Episode Topic: Splash! 2016 Conference Interviews


Episode Description:

During the Splash conference in 2016, David Begin had an opportunity to conduct brief interviews on the show floor with various car wash industry experts. This episode combines those short interviews into an informative show. David asks about the top issues facing the carwash operator today. Our guests on this episode include Eric Wulf, Brian Guetz, Willy Vidakovich, Heath Pomerantz, Richard Belanger, and Jaime Harris.

Show Notes:

  • Eric Wulf Interview:
  • Eric is the CEO of the International Carwash Association, and he shares his thoughts on the Splash Show and other planned ICA events.
  • He also explains why being a great operator is no longer enough in an increasing competitive environment. Becoming a great retailer will be equally important for the carwash operator.
  • Increasing competition requires better site selection and a professional approach to operating a car wash.
  • Brian Guetz Interview:
  • Brian is co-owner of Colorado Express Car Wash with seven locations serving the Denver, Colorado market.
  • Brian shares his experiences with opening his first wash location, when he had no prior experience in the industy.
  • He and his bother purchased an existing car wash that required significant improvements.
  • Brian includes the management of labor, and having quality employees, as a significant focus for his business.
  • “We are in the service business.” “How do you make their experience memorable?”
  • Willy Vidakovich Interview:
  • Willy is co-owner of AVW, a family-owned company that manufactures innovative car washing equipment. His father started the business in 1973.
  • David and Willy talk about the challenges facing car washing operators, including creating a great customer experience, creating value, and changing customer habits to increase frequency.
  • Willy explains how considering the five human senses is important in delivering a great customer experience. He believes that investing in the overall customer experience is critical to the future success of carwashes.
  • He believes the influx of new investors will positively raise the bar for the entire industry.
  • Heath Pomerantz Interview: 
  • Heath is a Business Development Manager at Diamond Shine Car Wash Solutions, and has previously been involved in various capacities in the industry including owning a carwash.
  • He shares his thoughts on the challenges that carwash operators face, including water restrictions and shared-ride services like Uber.
  • Heath also shares his thoughts on water conservation.
  • He also explains the benefits of new chemicals packaging to improve handling and adhere to new labeling requirements.
  • Richard Belanger Interview:
  • Richard is Vice President of Operations at Motor City Wash Works, a manufacturer of quality car wash equipment, parts and accessories for the car wash industry.
  • From his experience in working with his carwash clients, Rich believes the top focus and concerns for most operators includes: reducing labor expense, automating to help reduce labor, a more effective car drying process, less prepping upfront, increasing profits, and building a subscription program.
  • He also notes that the exterior express carwash model continues to be highly popular.
  • Their latest technology includes the automatic friction drying equipment.
  • Jaime Harris Interview: 
  • Jaime is the President and CEO of carwash equipment manufacturer Hydra-Flex.
  • Jaime shares some the top priorities his carwash operator customers are focused on, including increasing higher soap foam flow and decreasing water consumption.

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