Scrubbing Car Wash Data for Insights

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By Rex Womble, Founder and CEO

No carwash owner would exchange their operations for kitchen sponges, a fire hose, or several rolls of paper towels. So why use tools made for another purpose when it comes to business analytics?

Successful business analytics employs real-time, integrated, and consolidated data to understand the past and optimize the future. The car wash business is very competitive, so it’s critical that companies recognize potential opportunities in their revenue streams.

There is tremendous growth and consolidation currently in the $15 billion car wash industry in the United States. The industry is expected to continue to grow at more than 5 percent annually over the next eight years, according to Grand View Research.

Consider all the transactional data that moves through the car wash industry – more than 8 million vehicles pass through car washes daily. In North America, those daily washes add up to more than 2 billion cars every year. Every one of those car wash experiences generates valuable data that the industry should use to improve efficiency and profitability.

Business analytics is an ideal tool to deal with many of the challenges that the car wash industry faces. The business is very cyclical – heavily dependent on weather – increasing the importance of solid financial data. Expenses can easily get out of control without carefully tracking various inputs.

WashMetrix is the first data analytics platform built specifically for the carwash business. Before WashMetrix, companies had to build their own data warehouse and either retrofit one-size-fits-all tools to their needs or create their own.

I like to think of it as the difference between buying a car and building your own from a kit. The experience with WashMetrix is like going to the car lot, leasing your car, taking it for service if needed, and having the piece of mind that comes with a warranty. You can drive it off the lot on the day you buy it – gaining value quickly from your investment.

Front-end data visualization is actually the most straightforward piece of the puzzle, but people focus on it because of the visual appeal of graphics and charts. The harder part of the puzzle is mapping the analytic reports back to the transaction level. Data from the point of sales system has to be cleaned, organized, and synthesized into a format for analysis.

As greater consolidation occurs in the car wash industry, owners are likely to have locations that use various accounting and point-of-sale systems. With each new system comes a new data structure for the transactions recorded. Companies can spend considerable money replacing systems to create uniformity or translate data from one system to another.

With WashMetrix, customers get data analytics front-end visualization with the underlying data warehousing architecture that fits their operations. The software can go live in five to seven business days, with historical data uploaded over the next two weeks. It doesn’t matter if you have one, two, or three different point-of-sale systems; WashMetrix is compatible with all of them. 

For a company to create its own in-house system, it takes roughly six to nine months, with expenses accruing for development, consulting, maintenance, data infrastructure, testing, deployment, and more. 

Because of the cost of custom-built solutions, many companies limit analytics to the C-suite. WashMetrix tracks metrics and goals at individual locations during the month. With WashMetrix, location-level tracking is included, and the interface requires no technical expertise.

WashMetrix scrubs data from multiple points of sale and accounting systems to create a unified picture of key performance indicators for car wash owners. With WashMetrix, owners can compare different points in time or different locations to gather important operational insights. Schedule a WashMetrix demo to find out more about how we can help you unify your data and improve financial performance.

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