Multi-Sites, Multi-Data Challenges

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by Rex Womble

Multi-Site Car Wash Operations Balance Micro and Macro Data Needs

Running one car wash is complex enough, but the complications exponentially grow when entrepreneurs juggle staffing, revenue tracking, and expense accounting across multiple sites.

The challenges of operating a car wash business with multiple locations are considerable, given the need for day-to-day site operations while maintaining an overall perspective on growth and profitability. To be successful, owners of multi-site car wash operations must track various performance indicators at both the “micro” site-based level and at the “macro” regional and brand level.

Multi-site car wash operations are a relatively new phenomenon driven by consolidation and growth within the car wash industry. Once primarily small, individually-owned businesses, many operations now boast multiple sites with more than 100 car wash chains in the United States that have at least 10 locations. 

Tracking all the aspects of running a car wash – multiplied by several sites – is crucial for gauging the health of the business, optimizing resource allocation, and identifying opportunities for growth. Traditionally, this process has been manual and time-consuming, compiling data from different sources and running multiple reports. 

WashMetrix – the only business analytics and data visualization built specifically for the car wash industry – simplifies the process, seamlessly uniting data from different point-of-sale (POS) and accounting systems.

Unit Level Economics of Daily Operations 

Day-to-day operations at each car wash location involve juggling numerous variables, including total cars washed, labor costs as a percentage of sales, cost per car, chemical expenses, water and energy consumption, and membership numbers. 

Site managers must somehow tame all this data to understand net income. Site managers want to understand the average cost and the average net income per car. That means factoring in the supplies, water, damages, downtime, chemical usage, and more to create an overall profit and loss for the location. 

By analyzing key metrics over specific time periods, such as weeks or quarters, business owners can identify trends and patterns to inform their strategies. For instance, managers can pinpoint opportunities for improvement by looking at whether chemical costs have grown at specific locations or if water consumption has spiked.

WashMetrix integrates disparate data points into a cohesive view to provide a comprehensive understanding of how car counts and revenue correlate with actual expenses. With a click, site operators can drill down into different details for their site. The detail allows users to uncover why metrics fluctuate from one quarter to the next, whether due to varying weather patterns, changes in chemical prices, or other external factors.

Macro-Level Insights for Regional Managers, Owners

Multi-site car wash operations extend beyond individual locations, encompassing regional and brand-level considerations. Owners need to be equipped with a macro-level perspective to assess their business’s overall health and growth trajectory. Gaining that perspective involves answering questions like how each site performs individually, by region, and compared to historical performance. 

WashMetrix bridges this gap by providing instant access to real-time data without labor-intensive data collection. In the past, macro-level data was stale when it finally was available by rolling up individual site reports.

Owners and executives can quickly gauge performance metrics across sites, regions, and brands with WashMetrix. This level of immediacy is invaluable in making timely decisions that impact operations and growth strategies. 

The benefits of business analytics extend to various levels of management within a multi-site car wash business. Regional managers, for instance, can use WashMetrix to plan for labor needs and create hiring strategies. By analyzing historical hourly and daily wash counts, managers can identify peak hours and days of operation – enabling them to staff more effectively, improve customer service, and balance costs.

WashMetrix also helps owners and executives at the C-suite level gain a holistic view of the business’s performance for strategic decision-making. Comparing current performance to historical data helps identify growth trends and areas of concern. This level of information empowers leadership to formulate strategies that ensure sustained success.

Strategic Planning with Data and Visualizations

WashMetrix offers a powerful solution to the challenges of multi-site car wash operations by streamlining data collection, integration, and analysis. With WashMetrix, owners and managers can make informed decisions that drive efficiency, optimize resource allocation, and ensure sustainable growth.

Contact us to schedule a WashMetrix demo to find out more about how we can help you stay on top of your multi-site car wash operation.

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