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3 President’s Message 4 2015 Golf Outing Sign-up 6 2015 Expo Review 8 Origins of the Exterior Wash 12 Improve Retention and Reduce Turnover

Phone: 800-610-4512 Email: 120 N. Washington Square Suite 110A Lansing, MI 48933

Review and Photos, p. 6


MCA is a membership organization that promotes the interests of Midwest Carwash Operators through interaction, education and information. The Finish Line is a quarterly newsletter published by the MCA. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect views of the MCA. Acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement or approval of the product or service advertised. All articles submitted with be considered for publication and accepted at the approval of the editor and MCA Board. The MCA reserves the right to edit submissions for accuracy, clarity and length.


PAUL COFFMAN Breton Auto Wash


Please send address changes, membership inquiries, and advertising requests to the address listed above.




Midwest Carwash Association 120 N. Washington Square, Suite 110A Lansing, MI 48933 Phone: 800.610.4512 Fax: 517.371.1170

KEN ALLMACHER Allmacher LLC/Vcard LYNNETTE PEPPLER Mr. P’s Wash World, Inc. SHERYL TURNER Belanger, Inc.

Your Industry’s Self-Insured Workers’ Compensation Fund

Advertising Index Diamond Shine......................................................................10 DRB Systems, Inc. ...............................................................11 Extrutech Plastics, Inc. .....................................................10 Genesys Technologies/Crypto Pay...................................13 Major Brands Oil................................................................14 Michigan Cleaning Fund...................................................2 PDQ..................................................................................4 Schultz Inc. ...........................................................................15 Warsaw Chemical Company.............................................3


• Workers’ Compensation Insurance with a 50% Average Premium Return • Safety & Loss Prevention Services • Competitive Up-Front Pricing | administered by Regency Group | 800.686.6640

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Third Quarter 2015

FROM THE PRESIDENT By Paul Coffman Breton Auto Wash

Rain: Friend or Foe?


s I sit looking out my window to the darkening skies and the rain heading in my direction I have mixed emotions. The impending weather is wet and will keep customers away.  No customers coming in means no revenue coming in, but my costs remain roughly the same. I will take advantage of the time to do more detailed cleaning, needed repairs and preventive maintenance that is difficult to do with cars running through the line. But more importantly, I will take the time to plan for future. • • • •

Am I happy with my staff? Have I given them the time, attention, tools and training they need to be successful and thus make me successful? Am I meeting my customer’s needs? If yes, how can I exceed their expectations?

• • • •

What capital improvements would I like to make? What steps do I need to take to make this happen? Am I personally satisfied in what I do? If not, what steps do I need to take to be happy again?

These are just a few of the rainy day thoughts I work on, to improve my dry days. I encourage you to make the most of your rainy days too. ~Paul P.S. on a side note: Although we did have our period of rain during the Expo, the turnout was better than we had seen the year before in attendance and vendor support. I would like to thank everyone who was able to attend. If you didn’t get a chance to give your feedback on the event, please let us know what you thought. If you were not able to attend this year, hope to see you at the 2016 MCA Expo!

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Third Quarter 2015

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Warsaw Chemical Co., Inc. P.O. Box 858, Warsaw, IN 46581 Phone: 800-548-3396 Fax: 574-267-3884

Car Choice ®. “If your car could choose.”

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Third Quarter 2015

BILL BOAL MEMORIAL GOLF OUTING Tuesday, September 22, 2015 Timber Ridge Golf Club Timber Ridge Golf Club is one of only 12 public courses in North America to be honored with the highest possible rating, five stars, by Golf Digest readers. This Michigan golf course is also listed in the Top 50 in terms of value, service, price, course condition, and in the Top 10 courses for unrestricted walking.


Timber Ridge Golf Club 16339 Park Lake Rd. East Lansing, MI 48823 Ph: 517.339.8000

Prizes awarded for:

9:15 a.m. Check-in, Coffee & Donuts 10:00 a.m. Shotgun Start Lunch at the turn 3:00 p.m. Dinner (approximate)

2015 Sponsorship Opportunities q Eagle Sponsor $500 Includes: foursome and tee sign with sponsor’s name at one “game hole.” q Dinner $375 (two available) q Beverage Carts $300 (two available) Each player will receive a drink ticket with your company name or logo redeemable for one beer or soda. q Golf Carts $275 (Signage on each cart) q Lunch $200 (two available) q Coffee and Donuts $100 (two available) q Tee $75

First Place Team Longest Drive Closest to the Pin

q q q q

Member (Single) $85 Member (Foursome) $340 Non-Member (Single) $100 Non-Member (Foursome) $400

$85 Player package includes: continental breakfast, 18 holes of golf, cart, lunch and dinner Questions: Call Hillary Walilko at 800.610.4512 or

q I will donate a golf prize __________________________________ Name Company Address City, State Zip Email Player #2 Company Player #3 Company Player #4 Company

Total Sponsorships $ Total Golf $ Total $ Method of Payment: q Credit Card q Check Enclosed Credit Card Number _________________________________ Expiration Date ______________ Security Code __________ Signature __________________________________________ The MCA office must receive this form no later than Monday, September 14th. Mail this form to:

Midwest Carwash Association 120 N. Washington Square, Suite 110A Lansing, MI 48933 Or fax to: 517.371.1170

EXPO 2015 The 2015 Expo was a great success thanks to an exciting new venue, more exhibitors, and a round-table educational format. The show was held June 23rd and 24th at FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan. Day one included a round-table breakfast with industry leaders discussing up-to-the-minute topics including OSHA, social media, site security and LED lighting. The first day of the show ended with a great on-site dinner attended by over 60 vendors and operators. Day two kicked off with breakfast and a shortened show schedule to accommodate the MCA Annual Meeting.


We want to again thank everyone who participated in the 2015 Expo, and stay tuned as we start planning for 2016!

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Third Quarter 2015

June 23 - 24 FireKeepers Casino Hotel

Exhibitors • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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The Origin of the

Exterior Car Wash

In 1963, the very first exterior-only car wash opened in Appleton, Wisconsin. This new business model allowed for car wash owners to cut costs while giving customers what they wanted.


he late 1940s and early ‘50s were the height of classic American road culture, a time when flashy hot rods sporting white-wall tires reigned supreme on the highways and a gallon of gasoline cost less than a quarter. Car washes too were far different beasts than they are today. “A car wash back then would be what we call today ‘full service,’” says Dan Pecora, the owner of Erie Brush & Manufacturing, a Chicago-based detailing and car wash supply manufacturer. Express car washes weren’t even dreamed up yet: Most car washes during the mid-20th century were operated by dozens of employees, and a car wash attendant drove a customer’s car into the wash; both the interior and exterior of the car were cleaned, and then dried by hand. It was not only a time-consuming process—it sometimes put the customer’s prized automobile in the hands of a young, inexperienced driver. Finish Line

As a child during the ‘50s, Dan and his father, Carlo Pecora, used to make hog’s hair car wash brushes (a specialized brush that’s easier on a car’s paint job and is made of real hog’s hair) at night in the basement of their Milwaukee home. During the day, Carlo would hit the road selling the brushes. It was during all those trips to those countless car washes that Dan’s father developed an idea to help speed-up the car washing process. The idea was relatively straightforward: create a simplified car wash that specialized in exterior washing only. In 1962, Carlo Pecora purchased property in Appleton, Wisconsin, and the following year he opened the first exterior-only car wash in North America—the precursor to the express car washes seen commonly around the country today. “It changed the whole industry. It was all full service before my father dreamt it up more than 55 years ago,” says Dan. The car wash, which was called Automat of Appleton, was located on the far east side of Appleton—the west side of town already sported a rival car wash, and the property on the east side was relatively inexpensive.

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Dan and Carlo Pecora

“There was absolutely no traffic on that street,” says Dan about the piece of property that his father chose for the car wash. What made the Pecora’s car wash unique was that unlike most car washes, the customer never had to watch someone else drive their car—they simply drove up to the wash, and their car was hooked onto a 90-foot conveyor belt. They were then pulled through the wash, where automated equipment quickly cleaned the exterior of the car and a superpowered blower dried it off. Then the customer drove off. “My father eliminated the employees driving the car on and off the conveyor, and he eliminated the employees doing the inside windows and the vacuuming,” he says. A central vacuum system was provided free for customers to use themselves. By doing this, labor costs were significantly reduced as compared to all other car washes, so the Appleton car wash cost far less for the customers. “We were only charging 90 cents for a car wash,” says Dan, noting that the cost was lower if the customer also purchased gas. Third Quarter 2015

At first, business was slow. “No one knew we were there,” Dan says. At 18, Dan worked as the car wash’s manager, and he took it upon himself to drum up more business. He went about posting flyers all across town, and posting ads in the newspapers, promoting the family business. The marketing campaign worked: the low cost, plus the quick car-wash turn around, was enticing enough for people to commute from the other side of town. “Nearly every one of the customers were coming out of their way,” says Dan. In November of ’63, just months after opening, they washed roughly 10,000 cars; in December, they washed an estimated 12,000. The Appleton location was the first of many car washes that the Pecora family opened in the U.S. — they also opened car washes in Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and elsewhere in Wisconsin. All of the properties they purchased for their car washes were inexpensive so as to keep overall costs down. The first location continued to do well, so much so in fact, that “people started contacting my father to buy it,” says Dan.

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Origin of Exterior Wash - continued from page 9 They eventually sold off each of their car washes throughout North America one by one, and by that time, “everybody and their brother were building exterior car washes,” says Dan. Exterior, express car washes—one of the most popular car wash models in the U.S.—can trace their origins back to that first exterior car wash in Appleton in 1963.

Wonder™ and Poodle Brush used in automated car washes for cleaning the small spaces within today’s intricate wheels and rims. The company also still makes the hog’s hair car wash brushes that Dan and Carlo made together over 60 years ago.

“He dreamt up all kinds of things,” says Dan about his father’s entrepreneurial skills. Dan has continued to follow in his father’s footsteps, creating innovative equipment that helps to increase the effectiveness of the modern car wash industry. Erie Brush & Manufacturing makes high quality replacements for automated and self-serve car washes, foaming brushes, and specialty cloth and foam products. Erie also makes the patented Wheel

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Diamond Shine Car Wash Solutions Grand Blanc, MI Office: 810.406.3300 Cell: 810.624.3069 @stevecwchemical

Third Quarter 2015

Introducing TunnelWatch® 4.0 New software that provides a modern user interface and powerful new capabilities

See Your Tunnel in a New Light • A new graphical interface allows

precious relay functions, but will help assure that you are getting you to change tunnel services on each car as clean and with as your iPad or other tablet – while little risk of damage as possible. in the tunnel or even off-site (with password protection, of • “Live Invoke” features means course!). No more running back that changes take effect and forth to the office when immediately on all cars in the testing new tunnel changes. Just tunnel. So, on that busy day, load the new TunnelWatch 4.0 on you don’t need to wait until the your tablet, make changes while tunnel clears to invoke changes – at or near the tunnel and watch they happen immediately. them take effect! Perfect for fine tuning your car wash into maximum • Tunnel activity can be monitored on your phone, tablet or any efficiency and cost savings. Internet-connected computer. • A new concept called “Traits” This includes the ability to make allows you to define given types configuration changes remotely. of cars (or recognize them TunnelWatch 4.0 improves your through our Vehicle Profile ability to control and monitor the Detection product) and efficiently site for tighter security and more control all tunnel devices as a efficient operations. result. This not only can save you

• Paired with the SiteWatch®

CarPics® product, TunnelWatch 4.0 shows actual photos of the car as it progresses through the tunnel. For example, you’ll be able to see the white pickup truck progress down the tunnel and observe all the services they receive as they are activated.

What’s Next? Visit for an online demonstration or call us at 1-800-336-6338 for more information. TunnelWatch 4.0 Creating a Smarter Tunnel


800-336-6338 Green, Ohio / © Copyright 2015. All rights reserved DRB Systems

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Initial Training will Improve Retention and Reduce Turnover


he biggest challenge for every detail business is not just finding good people, but keeping them once you find them.

To summarize:

With many successful companies, like McDonald’s, you might think would have 100 percent turnover. Not really, it’s more like 30 percent turning over three times. If they had 100 people, they still have the same 70 they had before. They have just hired for the other 30 positions three times. And that's pretty common. See if that is not true in your detail business. The 100 percent turnover in most retail businesses is really among the 30 percent of the people who keep moving on. Of the group that turns over a lot, you will find there are three reasons they do not stay: 1. Their own profile of what they were looking for and what the job had to offer was not met. In most cases, this is the number one reason they leave. 2. They were seeking an opportunity and it was not there. That is, they wanted more than just a job; they wanted a future and career. 3. They are good producers, and what they were being paid was not up to what they perceived they were worth - a compensation problem. Looking at turnover in the car wash industry you find the turnover can be attributed to one of two things: a) the kind of position they are recruiting for (part-time, flex schedule, or minimum wage); and b) the fact that they do not enhance that position at all. However, this can also be a case of the car wash operator having to hire fast, which is another common problem in both car washes and detail businesses. It is well known among experts that if you hire when you have to, you are hiring out of urgency, and as a result, you are more likely to make a poor hiring decision. The bottom line is, a business needs an ongoing recruiting and retention program, 24/7. Recruiting is a full-time job. Even when you do not have an immediate opening for someone, keep in touch with them.

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recruiting should be a full-time endeavor

if you're recruiting when you have to, you're hiring out of urgency, which tends to drive up your turnover levels

if you hire out of urgency, you probably are not devoting the time it takes to effectively orient new hires into the business.

Retention is Staged Retention is a staging process. For example, if retention numbers are going to improve, you have to break down the retaining cycle into 90 days, the first 6 months, the first year, and then three years. Those tend to be the turnover points and therefore, should be the staging points in your retention program. The majority of people will turn over in the first 90 days. So, what can you do to ensure that certain things happen in those first three months that will reduce the turnover rate? The most important thing in those first 90 days is orientation and training to a person's specific function. The quicker you get a person comfortable and confident in their job, the better chance you have of retaining them. If you spend the first 90 days teaching them what you and your company is all about, rather than what their job is all about, turnover tends to rise. You need to create a situation where the new person becomes comfortable with the stress and challenges of their position. For example, if you do not immediately teach a detailer how to effectively deal with upset customers, and continually coach them during this initial period, then the turnover rate will be high. That is because you are missing the "stress points" of the job. For example, if you are hiring a person to answer the phone they need to learn a great answer to five questions. However,

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more than likely, you try to teach them everything about paint finishes and chemicals, rather than the five questions every customer will ask when they call, then they will not be prepared for, nor feel comfortable in answering to your customers. This is an important part in the employees’ 90 day indoctrination program and it dramatically affects whether they get through that first staging point or not.

Attitude and Feedback Employees have to have feedback. Management not telling them they are doing a good job, or coaching them through those situations where they are uncomfortable with the job, and providing positive reinforcement, is another contributing factor in high turnover. The interaction and mentoring that goes on during these first days, coupled with positive, pat on the back ("I really like the way you did this") reinforcement, is a huge part of why people stay. That kind of attention is usually a make-or-break factor during the employees first days on the job. You must also do what you said you would do during the hiring process. If you tell them this is the way it is, then that is the way it should be. Because people hope that when they are hired for a job, the promise

is experienced. In other words, what you say is what you do. That builds trust. If you say you are going to put them in an orientation program that will start next Monday, and they do not start for a week and a half you are building a foundation of turnover. "Promise and deliver." Another factor that is critical in retention in the first 90 days is the "buddy system." Pair new employees with somebody whom they can get along with and is in a leadership position. A detailer who has been with you for a while, has proven themselves to you, and will be a good influence on a new employee is you best bet. Create "leadership windows" to test employees. Give them an opportunity to volunteer for tasks and watch their leadership abilities. Those kinds of people are matched with a new employee so the new employee has a co-employee, or “Sponsor” with this type of attitude about the company-which becomes very significant in terms of managing the new employee's attitude. What typically happens is that buddy system will happen anyway, but the employee will pick the person if you do not. Moreover, they will find a coworker who agrees with every lousy experience they

continued on page 14

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1/10/14 3:52 PM

Initial Training - continued from page 13 have, who reinforces their idea that maybe this is not a good match, rather than the positive expectancy that comes from better employees. Being proactive here will help you breed the type of attitude you are looking for in your organization. “Success breeds success�, as the saying goes, so put some thought and effort into this. Another important component during the first 90 days is weekly feedback. A spark becomes a fire that becomes devastating when what could have been handled is not handled and becomes a problem. Have weekly one-on-ones for at least 15 or 20 minutes, talking about three things, to be helpful with retention: 1. A performance standard - not a job description. In other words, what was expected that week and how did they do? 2. What questions do they have about things, anything, openly? 3. What is going to happen the next week? There will be a significant change in attitude among people who find out that they are really in a 90-day orientation program earning the right to be a member of the team. They are more diligent, more committed, seek to have their questions answered, and approach the one-week reviews differently because they know that this is building. A challenge you have is to determine what competencies you want the employee to be able to do at a rating level of 7, 8, or 9 at the end of 90 days. To achieve this, take the 90 days and time sequence their learning process so that each week there is one more thing they learn. Then, at the end of each week, if they have learned it, they pass on to the next competency. This way, in the third week, they are working on number three and they are competent at a 7, 8, or 9 level on numbers one and two. If not, they spend another week on number two. That is what we call vertical integrated training or orientation.

bad. It is because they did not calculate missed sales because that person was not up to speed, the customers who were driven away, and the phones that were not answered. That is a soft cost, but over time, it is huge. When they reach the twelfth week, your turnover could drop 40 to 50 percent because of this orientation program. Second, you now have an employee who is able to do the things your average employee is doing, with no other learning. This is not, "Hire now and maybe in a year you'll get to where we want you to be." No, it is 90 days, or you are not here - because we cannot afford you. The big question from new hires is, "What if I don't prove myself by the end of the 12 weeks? What if I'm not ready?" You will know that before he gets there. They will know this job is not right for them, and you will know the opportunity is not right for them before they get there. It is a two-way street. You do not move from step to step at any company today without having to pass through these points. In addition, at the end of 90 days, if the employee succeeds at each step, they become a member of the team. Make the 12th week an event, pat them on the back, put their name on the wall, and take away the trainee badge. At that point, you can drop back to a one-month performance objective for the next nine months. Keith Duplessie is a Chemical Territory Sales Manager for Dallas, TX based Big Man Washes, he specializes in detail products and training, as well car wash chemical sales. He also serves on the board of directors for the International Detailing Association, and is a Certified Detailer (CD) with the Skills Validated (SV) designation and is an IDA Recognized Trainer (RT). Keith can be reached at keithd@

You cannot afford not to do these things. The cost of turnover is just too high. In some companies it's as little as $1,000 and in others it's as high as $8,000, when you figure in the cost and time of recruiting, advertising, interviewing, hiring, and training you spend over a 90day or six-month period. Some detail business owners think that it is not that Finish Line

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Major Brands Oil Company is pleased to provide our customers with the Simoniz line of car wash products. Liquid High Foam Detergents

Drying Agents

Whitewall and Wheel Cleaners

Rust Inhibitor

Polishes, Sealants & Glass Treatment Major Brands Oil Company is also an Oil and Lubricant distributor of Quaker State, Shell, Pennzoil and other major brands. For any questions or inquiries please call Major Brands Oil Company.

462 West 23rd Street Holland, MI 49423 1.800.968.9000 616.392.5936

Third Quarter 2015

Markets we serve.


Environmental Services

Car Washes


P.O. Box 27607 • Lansing, MI 48909

Excavation c Mr Va

Phone: 517-484-7989 • Fax: 517-484-7920

1-800-PIT-CLEAN (748-2532) schultz seRvices Non-hazardous Liquid Industrial Waste Vac & Disposal Services: Car Wash Pit • Floor Drain • Oil Water Separator Reclaim Tank • Fresh Water Tank • Sewer & Storm Drain Rain Water Gardens • Retention Pond Maintenance Analysis Services: Third Party Waste Sampling and Testing • Storm Drain Inspection Environment Site Inspections with Documentation Other Services: Automatic Service Program • Third Party Line Jetting Miscellaneous Vac Services • Emergency Services Hi-Pressure Power Washer Services Disposal for other licensed Liquid Industrial Waste Transporters

ceRtificAtions & licenses

AssociAtion & membeRships

USDOT Motor Carrier Identification Number: 1179117 EPA Transporter Identification Number: MID982074445 MDEQ Assigned Transporter Identification Number: ULIW2074445MI Lansing Wastewater Discharge Permit Number: C-800-I-080113

Power Plant

Third Quarter 2015

Special Projects

West Michigan Air & Waste Management Association Environmental Management Association Better Business Bureau Michigan Manufacturers Association Midwest Car Wash Association

Water Treatment

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120 N. Washington Square Suite 110A Lansing, MI 48933

2015 Bill Boal Memorial Golf Outing

Tuesday, September 22nd Timber Ridge Golf Course Registration Form Inside

Finish Line 3rd Quarter 2015  
Finish Line 3rd Quarter 2015