Doing Business on the Edge
During Pitch, suppliers share tips on getting an edge over the competition.
It was like being a fly on the wall, overhearing little-known secrets about achieving higher lifetime value with your customers and well-guarded tips on which products are the most likely to drive profits. The presenters from AMP, Arcadian Services, DRB, G&G Lighting, Mark VII Equipment, and Miracle Car Wash Advisors couldn’t see you — but you could see them. And instead of being on a wall, you were in your favorite comfy chair in front of your high-definition, widescreen monitor.
What more could you ask for?
Well, how about someone asking all the hard questions for you? And, someone taking notes for you, so you don’t have to go near the keyboard for the entire conversation? Then, someone else sending you a recording of the conversation, just in case you missed anything?
It might seem like it is time for a pinch. But, this scenario isn’t from the Land of Make-Believe (which is actually a real place in Hope Township, N.J.!).
This was something International Carwash Association calls Pitch™ — and it is one of the perks of membership.
During Pitch, suppliers create short, data-packed presentations explaining their products, then hop on camera to showcase them to ICA members in an ICA-hosted webinar. ICA doesn’t endorse or support the products, just gives the suppliers a platform where they can share the most interesting and impactful aspects about their products and answer three important questions:
- What one problem does this solve?
- What is the one reason I need it?
- How does this make me better tomorrow?
(Photo from Shutterstock.com)
Each company’s presentation was about 3 minutes long, which meant the content was targeted to car wash owners and operators, and was succinct yet specific.
Targeted messaging was one of the first points brought up, ironically. The presenters from AMP — CEO Dennis Dreeszen and CTO Adam Trien — talked about the benefits of creating surveys for customers with targeted messaging and knowing your customers. AMP has a program that allows you to explore your creativity, ask questions you didn’t know you could ask, and manage your membership. “If you don’t have a way to manage your membership, that’s huge,” said Dreeszen.
Targeting a price point for your members and customers was also raised, when Kayla Ivey, director of product and services strategy at DRB’s Suds Creative, shared information on a pricing program they offer. You could almost hear the gears clicking into place as attendees processed the financial implications of being able to accurately price car wash packages — without guessing. “We can predict what the results of your price change will be with about a 99% accuracy,” said Ivey about the program’s ability to estimate customer response to a pricing adjustment. This helps solve the question, “You’re doing well but you don’t know if you could be doing better and are you leaving money on the table?”
Miracle Car Wash Advisor also shared details on how technology, specifically data and data management programs, can help a car wash realize its full potential. Miracle starts with site selection and uses its data-driven real estate analysis program and artificial intelligence to find perfect car wash sites that mitigate the risk. “Everybody wants to be next to Chick-fil-A, but how do you get next to Chick-fil-A?” said Thomas Coffman, managing director at Miracle.
This idea of leaving money on the table was one that G&G Lighting touched on, too, when presenting statistics about increasing car wash sales at night with the use of lights. Bradley Gagliardo, an inside sales representative at G&G Lighting, said they’ve found a 70% increase in sales after dark after installing a color-changing light show. Plus the average ROI reported at over 200+ sites with a full-scale color-changing light show was less than nine months. “There are two aspects to car washes now: getting a clean car and getting customers wanting to come back,” said Gagliardo.
Safety was part of the discussion, too. Mark VII Equipment’s Vice President of Business Development Pierre Yves Leclercq talked about a system that reduces damage claims because each brush has its own variable frequency drive (VFD). The system is manufactured by Mark VII Equipment, the North American subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany. “We create a very precise touch on the car,” he said.
A precise touch was exactly what Arcadian shared as a perk of a new product they have on the market: a specially shaped addition for vacuums. This solution was created to solve the problem of getting crevices clean, especially for those customers who have kids that eat French fries in the car, for example. “It gives you an edge over your competition,” said Arcadian’s President Kipp Kofsky.
Interested in finding out more about Pitch? If you are a supplier with an idea and would like to present it, fill out the form at www.carwash.org/pitch. Also, all members will be sent email reminders and details for participating as we get closer to the next Pitch, which is planned for June 2023.