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3 President’s Message 4 MCA Carwash Tour a Success 7 EMV Pros & Cons 10 Golf Outing Coverage 12 State of the Carwash Industry

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

MCA Bus Tour Recap, page 4


PAUL COFFMAN Breton Auto Wash




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

Advertising Index Crypto Pay (Genesys Technologies)..........................................15 Diamond Shine...............................................................................2 DRB Systems, Inc..............................................................................6 International Drying Corporation.............................................2 Michigan Cleaning Fund..............................................................8 PDQ..................................................................................13 Warsaw Chemical Company........................................................9

SHERYL TURNER Belanger, Inc.


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

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Fourth Quarter 2016

FROM THE PRESIDENT By Paul Coffman, Breton Auto Wash

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round


e’re all rolling into our busy season where days are long and time is short. I wanted to take this moment to look back on our most recent events that had tremendous turn out, the annual golf outing and our first car wash tour.

The golf outing had more foursomes than I can ever remember and a great time was had by all that were able to attend. Our first, of what I hope are many, carwash tours had such great response we had to book additional accommodations for all that wanted to come. A big thank you to the carwash operators that opened their businesses to all of us.  I hope that this event will continue to grow to other areas to equally represent our members of the Midwest Carwash Association. This is the final Finish Line before the holidays, so I would also like to wish everyone a happy, safe and prosperous holiday season.


Save the Date Expo & Bus Tour June 19 - 21, 2017

M otor C ity C asino •H otel , D etroit More details to follow at www.MidwestCar Midwest Carwash Association

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First MCA Carwash Tour a Sparkling Success!


he Midwest Carwash Association held its first carwash tour on October 20th in Grand Rapids. More than 60 attendees met at Founders Brewing Company to visit the following five fantastic carwash locations in the greater Grand Rapids area: Thunder Mountain Car Wash, a wash making use of limited space with an 80 foot tunnel, vac service and a dog wash; Waterworks Car Wash, this exciting wash features a double tunnel system and the latest in both express and full service cleaning; Southland Auto Wash, their newest facility with amazing express wash and reclaim technology; Jenison Car Wash, part of the Joymar family of washes, is a recently remodeled wash featuring many new technologies; and Tommy’s Express, a brand new fully-automated facility featuring the belt conveyor system. Stay tuned to and this publication for further announcements!

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Fourth Quarter 2016

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Midwest Carwash Association

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Fourth Quarter 2016

Navigating the Gray EMV Waters EMV Pros & Cons for Car Wash Operators By Brian Garavaglia, PDQ Manufacturing, Inc.


hen the infamous liability shift happened in October 2015, credit-card companies pushed the burden of Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) fraud to retailers. The sound of that shift may have been silent, but the noise was heard across America. To encourage the timely adoption of EMV, the leading payment networks initiated an EMV Fraud Liability Shift that took effect in October 2015. Its proposed goals were to safeguard transactions and protect consumers against fraud. However, in a move that is still being battled in court by the likes of Walmart, Home Depot and Kroger, EMV chose not to go with the most secure method, use of a chip card with personal identification number (PIN) and instead allowed use of a chip card with a signature.

wax treatment or shining wheel rims to point to. The painful truth is that it would be difficult to try to pass the expense of upgrading to EMV compliance to the car wash customer.

Another Deadline Looming

According to the lawsuits filed by Home Depot and Kroger, not only is EMV insisting on a technology that they say falls short of providing customers with the most complete levels of security against fraud – but they have pushed the burden of fraud liability onto the retailer.

An October 2017 deadline has been set for fuel dispenser upgrades, which will be required to utilize the chip-card EMV system. With such uncertainty in the first rollout of the EMV upgrades, many C-Store merchants have chosen a wait-and-see approach that may be safe for the shortterm, but may also open them up to compliance concerns as well as continued chargebacks.

So, where does that leave the car wash operator? In many cases, if you refer to the courts, EMV liability is still a gray area being sifted through on a daily basis. If you ask EMV, who stands to make a considerable profit from the new chargebacks that are the result of less secure chip and signature methods, their way is the best way. Car wash operators are faced with making a considerable investment based not on a law, but on EMV policy.

While it is true that the losses from $5 to $15 car washes might take some time to add up to covering the cost of an EMV upgrade, the 2017 deadline for refueling stations will undoubtedly put additional pressure on C-store operators. At a single fuel pump, where an $80 - $100 charge is the norm, the potential liability of an operator, who may have anywhere from four to 18 pumps, could easily justify the upgrade investment.

According to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), the upgrade to EMV will cost the convenience and fuel retailing industry an estimated $6 billion. And with such a hefty upfront investment, the painful reality is that there are still uncertainties and considerable liability left on the small business C-store and fuel retailers.

Pros and Cons of Adopting EMV

The EMV investment is not like adding a new feature that car wash customers can experience. There is no special

Midwest Carwash Association

As car wash operators consider when, or whether to upgrade their payment systems to meet compliance status with EMV, they must also weigh the costs of the upgrade, the timeline to comply, and the overall benefits it provides to their bottom line. Some car wash operators have made the leap, while others may choose to wait.

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EMV continued from page 7 Here are a list of the pros and cons for compliance.

Pros for Adopting: • Puts liability back on the card processors for fraudulent transactions • Significantly limits chargeback risk • Provides secure card processing that consumers expect • Dramatically increases the security of the card processing while decreasing risk of fines/ chargebacks = peace of mind for the wash operator • Eliminates possibilities for thieves to attach skimmers and try to steal credit card information from your site • Utilize contactless payment acceptance for Google Wallet, Apple Pay, etc.

Cons for Adopting: • Significant cost to upgrade with limited ability to raise wash prices to accommodate the expense • Constant changes in EMV are leading to uncertainty – buy this now, will I have to buy something else later like a PIN pad? Some systems, like Access® from PDQ, already include a PIN pad in their upgrade)

Certification Means Security When it comes to a car wash EMV solution, certification matters because it signifies the card is being engaged off a chip, rather than a magnetic strip. In today's market, the difference in card security resides in that certification. EMV providers such as Moneris and Payment Express provide end-to-end encryption of card data that ensures the highest levels of security. When choosing a car wash EMV solution, be certain to find a provider who offers certification and the widest range of banking institution affiliation. Regardless of the provider, any car wash considering an EMV solution will be looking at four essential components to the system. PDQ's system is comprised of: • Encrypted Card Reader • Nearfield Communications Mobile Pay Devise • Encrypted PIN Pad • Software Upgrade (if necessary)

• Liability risk and chargebacks in the car wash are lower than in the C-store and at the pumps


Your Industr

• Pending lawsuits could lead to more changes, possible requirement for PIN entry

Self-Insured Workers’ Compensation Fund

Pros for Not Adopting: • Save money and take a “wait and see” approach • There is no requirement to be EMV compliant so the wash operator can put that money into other areas of their operation that can lead to increases in revenue • Liability risks are lower for car wash price points so the lost money at the wash would be less than it would in other areas of a business, such as fuel pumps


• Workers’ Compensation Insurance with a 50% Average Premium Return • Safety & Loss Prevention Services • Competitive Up-Front Pricing • Endorsed by MCA

• Request a Quote from your Current Agent

Cons for Not Adopting: • Risk for chargebacks, penalties, and fines go up exponentially • Increasingly savvy consumers, who come to expect secure chip card transactions, may be wary of your site if they see that you aren’t using EMV readers

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Fourth Quarter 2016

• EMV is not going away, so operators will have to make the investment eventually, why wait and risk the financial penalties now when you know in the end you’ll be investing in the upgrade • Fraudsters will look to the easy targets and if they see your entry station isn’t using a chip reader they may target you for attaching skimming devices to steal credit card information from your site, which carries with it significantly higher penalties than someone just using a stolen card to buy a wash • Processors are beginning to charge additional fees for not using chip reader technology • Miss out on the next wave of technological advancement with mobile payments acceptance like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, etc.

For now, car wash operators will be able to make the decision to invest and avoid potential liabilities, or to wait and see whether policy becomes law. Gambling on potential liability is not necessarily a strategy for success, but it may be the best option for some operators. About the Author: Brian Garavaglia is a Business Development Manager for PDQ Manufacturing, Inc., De Pere, WI. He has been in marketing and product development for more than 10 years. With specific emphasis on Internet-based products, his current focus is on interface and new product development in the car wash industry. Garavaglia can be reached at brian.

EMV Changes Down the Line In times of great change, the smart business move is not always the most obvious, nor the cheapest solution. Car wash operators who make the move to invest in EMV upgrades will still have to recognize there may be more changes in the future.

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Midwest Carwash Association

The Micro Pak System features a new line of hyper-concentrated products packaged in easy-touse 2.5 gallon containers. Our new Storage Station is easier, safer and faster. Get the whole story at

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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.”

2016 Bill Boal Mem

We enjoyed seeing you at our outing i

Thank you to Finish Line

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Fourth Quarter 2016

morial Golf Outing

in September at beautiful Hawk Hollow!

our Sponsors! Midwest Carwash Association

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State of the Carwash Industry: The Good, the Bad, and the Competitive Edge The industry is growing, but with rising competition and cost, operators must optimize operations to survive and thrive


ith recent economic growth in North America, the good news is that the car wash industry is growing. Consumers are buying more new vehicles, particularly trucks, which creates a greater demand to keep them clean, polished, and looking new.

OUTSHINE THE COMPETITION As more car washes are built, local market over-saturation can become a problem. So how can owner-operators set themselves apart from new competitors with big checkbooks?

The bad news is that the car wash industry’s growth has attracted lots of tough new competition. This has placed downward pressure on pricing just as labor and utility costs are rising. Technological advances like sensors, keyless ignition, and driverless cars are also introducing complications in the market.

“When we compete with big box retailers, we’ve got to keep our wash quality high, our service fast, and do the little things that they find hard to do,” says Justin Alford, co-owner of Benny’s Car Wash, with seven family-owned locations in Baton Rouge, LA, including express, exterior, full-service oil changes, and convenience stores with gasoline.

To survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive car wash market, owner-operators must now pay close attention to operational details and select the best equipment and materials that will give them a competitive edge in wash quality, shine, efficiency, and total per car cost savings.

Often this requires that owners maintain a hyper-focus on operational details and seek out the most effective wash materials and equipment for their market. With the fully integrated gasoline marketers, this is less likely to happen because the car wash business can be an afterthought.

GROWING TRUCK MARKET SHARE With total U.S. vehicle sales on pace as of August 2016 to eclipse 16.98 million for the year, sales continue at a brisker pace than the 15.42 million average of the last two decades. In fact, the industry came off its sixth straight year of sales growth last year. Consumers however, are opting for more cargo-passenger capacity and features like towing and four-wheel drive, pushing the light duty truck (including pickups, SUVs, crossovers, large vans, and minivans) market share up to 58% of all vehicles sales in the first half of 2016. For car wash owners who have traditionally calibrated their equipment to wash smaller cars and sedans, the taller, longer, wider vehicles that consumers now prefer may require adjustments to their operation. This could include working with vendors to adjust equipment to accommodate these vehicles.

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For example, instead of inefficiently having staff hand scrub, hard-to-clean, vehicle tires and wheels in tunnel washes, Alford uses an automated conveyor car wash brush specially designed to clean tires and wheels. The brush’s filaments vary in length between four to seven inches so that as a vehicle travels through the automated car wash, the longer bristles reach deep into wheel crevices while the shorter bristles clean the tire and wheel surface. “Instead of inefficiently hand scrubbing vehicle tires, wheels, and rims, particularly difficult big ones, we use something called the Poodle Brush,” says Alford. “Resembling a well manicured poodle, this brush is made for us by car wash supplier Erie Brush and Manufacturing.” “It gets into the nooks and crannies better than highpressure sprayers with heated water and cleaning solution, and gives a better quality wash for our customers,” he adds.

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Fourth Quarter 2016



• Aircraft grade anodized aluminum bridge and main rails - Now Standard • New redesigned LaserWash 360Plus Navigation System for improved bridge movement, accuracy, and speed • Non-corrosive materials used – stainless and aluminum • Fluid valves eliminated from the bridge • Air valves now enclosed for increased reliability • New stainless steel pump station design focused on improved functionality and low maintenance costs • Welded manifolds replacing assemblies of fittings – reduces leak points • Larger low pressure pump that feeds spot free to the bridge, eliminating the need to pressure feed spot free through the main pump, reducing energy /saving costs • Ultimate cover package – Now Standard


Midwest Carwash Association

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State of Industry continued from page 12 TROUBLESHOOT TECHNOLOGY Among the issues that confront car washes today are rapid changes in technology such as collision sensors, keyless ignition, and even driverless cars. On tunnel washes, for instance, cars are placed in neutral. But what do you do if a sensor thinks that wash equipment is a car and applies the brakes? Another problem occurs when cars have keyless ignition fobs. The technology can lock the doors or change gears from neutral to park if the owner walks away with the fob. “There’s no great solution to technology glitches right now because the last thing car manufacturers think about is how the car will be washed,” says Alford. “When a car’s sensors or keyless ignition is a problem, we have the owner ride in their car through the tunnel and have an operator follow to fix problems quickly. But in the long run, car manufacturers may need to create a Car Wash Mode to simplify the process for everyone.”

CUT LABOR, ENHANCE QUALITY Along with greater competition, the rising cost of labor and utilities means that car wash owner-operators have to optimize their labor and processes with the most effective equipment and materials to compete. “When we started 34 years ago, labor was $3.35 an hour and we charged $6.00 a car,” says Doug Seniw, co-owner of Prairie State Express Car Wash, an exterior express wash in Chicago, IL. “Now labor is $9.00 an hour and we charge $3.00 a car. Due to the competition, we’ve had to cut our price and streamline our business anywhere we could without cutting quality.” To optimize their process, Seniw has made a number of changes over the years. Previously, at the wash entrance his staff used nylon prep brushes to mop trouble spots on the front and back of cars such as the grill, headlights, and license plates. But this required excessive scrubbing to remove bugs, bird droppings, and other debris, and was not sufficiently gentle on the car surface. Seniw turned to prep brushes made of hog’s hair, actual hair that comes from hogs. This has the smallest diameter tapered filament, which helps to make it the softest. Since it is soft, tapered, and feathered at the tips, it tends to release grit and debris when properly lubricated and will not grind it into the car surface. Because of the taper, the

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hairs still retain stiffness for washing up close, if scrubbing is needed. For an optimal approach in the automated express wash tunnel, Seniw prefers soft cloth for cleaning painted surfaces. For windows, he opts for Gentle Foam, a unique type of foam material mounted on a core, which rotates, and is used in similar top, side, or wrap around equipment as cloth, filament, or regular foam. Unlike typical foam, which is usually offered at standard levels of softness, Gentle Foam significantly increases the level of softness. Because of its composition, it provides a better polish without the risk of scratching, snagging or damaging any portion of the car. Its softness enables it to clean difficult to reach areas, which also helps to optimize the wash while reducing claims. “Since Erie’s hog’s hair brush gets in the trouble spots easier, we can scrub once instead of several times, which makes a huge difference on busy days,” says Seniw. “We’ve cut about one-third of our labor with better prep, and switching to Gentle Foam provides a better, more efficient, damage-free clean as well.”

ADAPT TO MARKET CHANGES As owner of College Park Car Wash in College Park, MD, Dave DuGoff ran a high volume location with five selfserve bays and three in-bay, touchless, automatic spray washes for many years. When he noticed higher demand for the self-serve bays and realized that two automatic bays would be sufficient, he converted his third automatic bay to another self-serve bay. In the self-serve bays, he also relies on hog’s hair for his foaming brushes. “You can’t beat the quality of a soft hog’s hair brush on the car’s surface,” says DuGoff. “It’s something my selfserve customers notice. In the first month we converted an automatic bay to self-serve, and we increased our sales volume and since then it has been a source of growth.” As car wash owner-operators adjust to both the good and bad in today’s market, zeroing in on operational details and choosing the best materials and equipment for the job will help them outwit, outshine and outwash the competition.

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Fourth Quarter 2016

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The Road Ahead

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Midwest Carwash Association RoadAhead_FINAL_HCA.indd 1

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

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