Strategic Planning Theory – Productivity and Carwash Layout

Go to any full-service carwash on a busy Saturday and watch the production line for an hour or so. You will immediately see the sense of urgency to get the cars out of the way and keep the flow going. You will watch the cars coming in from the street backing up and creating a log-jam and you will see the completed cars backing up the tunnel and production cycle. And you thought a car wash was a simple business?

Hardly, as the modern day car wash is filled with robotic equipment that is so complicated that Murphy’s Law can ruin the entire day is a heartbeat and it still takes people, lots of people at the beginning of the assembly line to prep the cars (vacuum and pre-wash) and at the end of the production line (move cars up to exit and dry them off).

The name of the game at a busy car wash is Nearest car wash to move the cars out of the way and get them back on the road to make more room for the flow of production coming up behind them. It is all about productivity. Perhaps, after you sit and observe all this you can see why the layout of the car wash is ultra-important to the level of production and a mistake in a carwash’s layout will have huge ramification on its profits or lack of.

The tunnel of the carwash is like a choke point, where you have to take all the volume and run it through a single file line. Now that tunnel washing procedure may only last 90-seconds from start to finish, but, if you get bottlenecks on either side, you drastically reduce the number of cars you can wash in an hour, thus your days totals will be much less. This obviously affects the bottom line.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *