Wash Club: The Club App Built for the Car Wash Industry

The customer calls in. Months ago they called, or sent a letter, or emailed the office to cancel their membership, but they just noticed on their credit card statement that they’ve been charged ever since. They want a refund, for the entire amount, or else.

It’s a situation that car wash operators and any business with a membership program experiences routinely, and policies should be in place to help limit misunderstandings and streamline the account management process. But ultimately traditional membership programs force the customer to depend on car wash personnel to manage their account for them—they don’t have direct control.  

Wash Club: The Membership App Developed Specifically for the Car Wash Industry

Wash Club was developed by Tommy Car Wash Systems in cooperation with Superoperator to give the car wash industry a modernized option for car wash membership management. It’s a fully featured solution specific to car wash operations, and it’s available now!

How it Works:

From the customer’s perspective, Wash Club is the app they download from their regular app store. They pull it up, select their specific provider (from all participating car washes using the program) and are able to view and purchase their membership from their device.

All it takes is customer and payment information, and their license plate number. From then on they can visit the wash as a regular member, and make revisions or even cancel their account themselves, at any time, no phone calls required.

They have control and convenience, and the automatization involved naturally streamlines customer service, allowing a smaller team to manage more customers with less difficulty.

License Plate Recognition Built-In

Wash Club is more than an app. It’s a technology suite that’s bringing advanced, customized license plate recognition to more and more participating washes.

It is absolutely possible to enhance a radio-tag based membership system with an app system. But the best application of the technology integrates license plate recognition, as the combination gives customers the ability to sign up vehicles or make modifications wirelessly, with no car wash employee involvement. This lowers the barrier to entry and eliminates both the time and cost involved with applying and activating IR tags on-site.

And this compressive hardware + software package is already developed, ready to deploy, and supported one a constant basis by a team with a deep understanding of car wash operations.

Learn More!

To learn more about Wash Club or to bring your facility into the program, please contact the Tommy Car Wash Systems team using our contact form, or one of the other contact methods listed HERE.

Tommy Car Wash Systems

Testing Paid Vacuum Services, a Case Study

Customers love free vacs, but are they still the right choice for car wash operators looking towards 2020?

Free vacuum service has long been considered the standard in the car wash industry, including in our own corporate washes. Not only is free vacuum service valued by customers, but it allows express or other exterior-only car washes to compete with full-service car wash operations—especially in the difficult economic conditions of the last decade.

But times have changed and car wash operations should no longer assume that free vacuum service is always the right option.

The Case for Paid Vacuum Centers

A strong economy and the widespread adoption of membership programs demonstrate that customers are both willing and able to pay—and subscribe—for services that provide real value. At the same time mobile technology has enabled washes to offer on-demand vacuum service as a component of the wash’s membership offer, increasing the value and sense of priority that that members enjoy while other guests are still able to purchase vacuum time as needed.

Aside from increasing the value and attractiveness of car wash memberships, this program increases the likelihood that paying vacuum customers will also grab a vending kit while they’re at it, further driving revenue and dramatically reducing the overall wear and tear on the vacuum equipment.

Real World Case Study – Jenison, Michigan

In late 2018 Tommy’s Express Car Wash launched a new corporately-owned express car wash facility in Jenison, Michigan. This facility is located only four miles from a sister location in Grandville Michigan, a development strategy designed to establish critical density in the Grand Rapids region.

Unlike the Grandville location the Jenison car wash included a modified paid vacuum system. Using the Tommy’s Express mobile app members were still able to use the vacuums for free, but all other guests had the option of purchasing vacuum time bundled with a vending detailing kit for $3.

The results?

Combined vacuum center sales averaged nearly five cents per car during the testing period, significantly higher than vacuum center sales of less than one cent per car at the sister location and other corporate washes.

However, the test was ultimately ended and the vacuums converted back to a free system due to other factors. Jenison and the other Tommy’s Express washes in the area are competing with a large number of independent and branded car washes, and with Tommy’s Express’ higher pricing it was determined that free vacuum parity was important for the sites to remain competitive among a specific segment of the customer population.

Moving Forward

With fewer and fewer full-service car washes left in the US the initial driving force behind free vacuum service is disappearing. In the absence of a highly competitive local market, conversion to a paid vacuum system may allow operators to add another level of value to their membership programs, generate additional revenue, and reduce the overall wear and tear inflicted on their vacuum systems.

We expect to begin seeing more and more operators retrofit large, costly free vacuum centers with points of sale and/or membership-integrated alternatives, and will continue to carefully test and develop this concept in various markets around the nation.

Tommy Car Wash Systems

In the Wash with the All-New Tommy RO

After a rigorous development and testing cycle, the brand new Tommy Reverse Osmosis system is hitting select car wash facilities and proving itself a sterling option for high production express car washes.

Like other RO systems the unit uses a powerful filtration system to produce purified water for use in spot free rinse service. However, unlike other systems the Tommy RO was developed to include amenities specific to car wash operation.

These include:

A suite of monitors providing advanced warning ahead of required maintenance or system faults

Proprietary solenoid system for strict 1 to 1 production of RO and Reject water

Automatic back-flow system to purge membranes, extending membrane lifespan to greatly reduce system operating costs

The system may be equipped with an onboard controller or integrated into the Tommy Controller for centralized command and control in a Totally Tommy tunnel. For more information please visit the Tommy Car Wash Systems webstore or contact a sales representative.

Tommy Car Wash Systems

TCWS Client Thriving in Lithuania

Much like the car wash market in the United States, car washing technology and practice on the international stage is in flux, with a wide variety of systems and approaches competing. We asked the team at Švaros Broliai, the leading car wash provider in Lithuania, about their experiences with Tommy Car Wash Systems’ equipment and the difference it’s made for them.

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5 Carwash Trends to Watch for In 2019 and Beyond

The car wash industry has entered in a period of rapid transition, with new technologies and practices making inroads and bringing change to both customer expectations and industry norms. As we look forward to the coming year and beyond we’ve come to expect the following five car wash industry trends to play an increasingly central role.

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Five Ways the Totally Tommy Car Wash Design Reduces Car Wash Labor

Ask most car wash managers (or retail business managers in general) what the hardest part of running the business is and they’ll likely tell you that it’s not the equipment, the materials, or the customers – it’s managing the people. Even with a fantastic team the work that goes into balancing everyone’s schedules, hiring, and training requires a tremendous amount of time and energy.

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The Tommy Car Wash Systems All-In-One High Pressure Pump Station

Car wash backrooms are a mixed bag, and you’ll seldom find one that’s really clean, orderly, and presentable. There’s just too much equipment mounted in too small a space, leading to haphazard layouts, tangles of tubing and plumbing lines, and a general feeling of clutter and disorganization.

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