Car Wash Monitoring and Video Surveillance

Car Wash operators are always looking for ways in which to both cut costs and save time. Most new Car Wash facilities start with both a monitoring system and a video surveillance system from day one. Many existing facilities are seeing the need to create accountability for not just criminals, customers, and employees. Monitoring systems keep honest people honest and helps eliminate shrinkage as well.Video Surveillance – Be aware when your not there.Car Wash operators already know the value of having a digital record of what happens at their wash when they are not there and when employees ARE there. Having cameras in each bay that can be viewed from the comfort of your home office can help you sleep better at night knowing all is safe and secure. Modern camera systems are now accessible through a Internet connection at your wash which puts you one click away from seeing your facility.Settling Customer DisputesA second value in getting a video system is in an instance in which a customer makes a false damage claim. “Your machine dented the side of my car, you need to pay to get it fixed!” is a common thing heard by a wash operator. These instances are quickly put to rest when an operator can show footage of the vehicle (already damaged) when they drove in onto the lot. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the worth of 10 seconds of video footage!Capturing Crimes of Smashin’ on VideoHaving quality video footage can help you work closely with local law enforcement to catch destructive vandals and would-be thieves as they destroy your wash equipment in order to get at the money inside. Most DVR equipment can be wired directly into your alarm system which upon triggering an alarm all cameras can begin to record at full resolution in order to have a better chance at getting the footage needed to convict.

Car Wash Monitoring – The Secret of the All-StarsThe most successful Car Wash operations rely heavily on their Car Wash monitoring system to keep them well-informed about the health and wealth of their wash business. Information is the most powerful tool that a business owner can have to help make informed decisions. Car Wash owners and operators that have monitoring systems are able to maintain a higher degree of control over their entire wash operation.It’s a Coin Changer, not an ATMOne of the big loss-leaders at a Car Wash facility is uncounted money from changer units. One dishonest employee that had been caught told the investigator that the change machines were just like an ATM that was never counted. Many wash operators report that they have been the target of theft involving stringing scams or stolen credit cards that wipes them out of their coins and tokens. Car Wash monitoring equipment can detect these types of crimes in the act and simultaneously cut power to the changer, send a text message to the wash owner, and turn on a video camera wired into the security system. Even employee theft will drop to zero when every coin, token, and bill is accounted for throughout the wash facility.Never Run Out of ChemicalA huge benefit of a Car Wash monitoring system is that you can make certain that the main tanks never run out of chemical. You can configure your sensors to alert your wash manager and your chemical distributor with a text message and an email when a monitored tank starts running low. This saves you money on rush service calls for chemical fills and delivery. This saves chemical distributors the time it takes to send a driver around on their route the ‘check’ chemical levels. Wash owners that never have to worry about running out of chemical before a busy weekend means they never have to worry about the associated losses of having to turn away business. Now you can go on vacation and know that if chemical runs low your chemical distributor is also sent the same text message and will have a delivery sent out without you even making the call.Your Evening Status Report DeliveredWash owners with Car Wash monitoring equipment tell me that they sleep easier at night because every evening they get a text message to their phone that gives them their car counts, daily totals, cash counts, credit card counts, and loyalty card counts. Knowing whether you hit your number for the day was never possible before monitoring systems were installed. The following morning a followup text message arrives to the wash owners phone while sipping a cup of coffee with the full report for the previous day.Monitoring Makes Investors HappydFor wash businesses that have investors or would like to attract potential investors will be pleased to know that having a remote monitoring system is exactly what the doctor ordered. Investors want to be getting regular reports on how the investment is doing. Since monitoring equipment tracks all revenue including cash it makes it easy for investors to remain the silent partner and allow wash operators to do their day to day operations without being bogged down with regular progress reports and financial updates. Consider how you can get more done during the day if your most of your paperwork was automated by a monitoring system?Learn from Your Mistakes – Historical TrendsMonitoring systems are powered by powerful software that can compare months against previous months or the same time period the year before. By looking at weather data, car counts, and pricing at the time you can help identify trends and business growth or loss. The reason monitoring systems play such a large role in a successful wash operation is that wash owners are able to find out where the loss leaders are early on before it can largely impact overall revenue. Just as important as knowing when something is wrong, monitoring lets you know when things are going right. The key to growth is to identify what works and replicate those efforts. Many wash operators have told me that with the assistance of their monitoring system that they learned that they were not charging enough. Bobby Willis of Cool Wave Car Wash says that if you have more than 20% of your customers buying the top wash package your not charging enough. How valuable would it be to know whether or not your leaving money on the table?

Catch the Small Problems before they become BIG ProblemsLastly, if not most importantly monitoring systems can tell you when there are issues at the wash. Error codes from entry stations, faulty equipment errors, doors that stay open in the winter and won’t close, and any number of other potentially disastrous problems. Monitoring systems are invaluable for a wash operator that wants to operate lean and make the most out of the equipment that they have. As any vehicle owner can tell you, it’s better to catch a problem early on before you end up replacing entire engines or having to get a whole new vehicle all together. Ignorance is not bliss and running a business in the dark is no means to run a business at all. Whether your building a new facility or have an existing site – wash monitoring and video surveillance may be exactly what you’ve been looking for because if you aren’t, employees and criminals looking to rip you off certainly are.

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