This article originally ran in the August 2019 issue of Kleen-Scene Magazine.
POS (or Point of Sale) systems act as the backbone of many businesses. But while they assist with reporting, employee scheduling, single wash payments, tracking chemical usage, and inventory, a POS system is not necessary to run a successful membership program.
“While most of our partners do have POS systems in place, many of our top performing partners do not have a POS system,” said Frank Brigidi, the National Sales Director of EverWash — a membership sales and subscription management platform that enables car wash operators to easily launch or shift services to a subscription-based model, gain new insights into member behavior, and open new and high-profit recurring revenue streams.
Not every operator has a POS in place, and many do not want to pay the exorbitant cost of installing a new system at their wash. John Laspata is the owner and operator of Kleen Kar Car Wash in Sicklerville, NJ — an express exterior wash in South Jersey with an 80 foot tunnel, 100 foot conveyor and no POS system. He purchased the wash in 2012 and proceeded to grow the business “the old-fashioned way” without membership. He met success early on before business got stagnant around year four.
“At that point we started to look into membership programs, and considered the possibility of doing it ourselves,” Laspata said. “I also looked into a new POS system, but that was going to cost me in the area of
$120,000 to $150,000 to put in two auto- cashiers, RFID readers, and signage. To me, it wasn’t cost effective to do that for membership.”
The good news is that operators without a POS no longer have to shell out thousands of dollars to set up a successful membership program thanks to EverWash’s membership solution. Laspata learned about EverWash and met with representatives from the membership platform a few times. In those meetings, EverWash coached Laspata up about membership and how to run a successful program.
“The average car wash operator looks at how many cars they’re washing and their average ticket price. That’s been the philosophy forever in this business, and there were definitely a few obstacles to overcome that mindset,” Laspata said. “It took some back and forth with the EverWash team to understand membership, figure out I was going to make more money, and change my mindset.”
EverWash is the first company in the car wash industry that’s membership specific. Unlike most POS systems and services, EverWash is more than just software or hardware — it’s a long-term partnership fostered with significant revenue growth in mind. EverWash doesn’t install pricey RFID equipment and leave car wash operators to manage the program themselves. Instead, EverWash uses their knowledge of membership and smartphone technology to convert ordinary customers into more profitable members in ways that POS systems can not.
“You don’t need an expensive POS system to operate membership with EverWash,” Laspata said. “You don’t need anything but a smartphone. You present your wash packages to customers, you sell the program, you sign them up and then you get a regular deposit right to my bank account from EverWash. It’s simple really.”
Laspata has been partnered with EverWash for a little more than a year, and is currently serving more than 800 members. He says that membership and the recurring revenue it brings has helped weatherproof his business following a rainy spring and summer in the Northeast.
“My first goal was to reach 500 members. Now I’m looking at 1200 by the end of the winter,” Laspata said. “I’m really happy with where I am at with my members. It’s not realistic to hit 5000 members in my location, there’s just not enough people. If we can hit 1200 members and maintain that through the summer, I will be really happy.”
Laspata encourages other wash operators without POS systems to reach out to EverWash if they are serious about doing membership at their location.
“Wash operators without a POS should look into EverWash for the sole fact that there’s basically no work on the owner, operator, or manager to run a successful membership program. There are tools for operators to see their daily usage reports, understand their membership base, and get to know their customers better than ever before.”