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Research

Prepared for: Western Carwash Association
Prepared by: BYU PR Research and Measurement, Fall 2014
December 12, 2014

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WESTERN CARWASH ASSOCIATION

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction and Background………3
Interview Research……..…………..11
Focus Group Research…………….17
Survey Research……………………22
Key Findings………………………..36
Sources……………………………..37

FIGURES, TABLES, AND APPENDICES
Figure 1…………………………….23
Figure 2…………………………….25
Figure 3…………………………….26
Figure 4…………………………….28
Figure 5…………………………….29
Figure 6…………………………….31
Table 1……………………………..33
Appendix 1………………………..34
Appendix 2………………………..35

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INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
Objective

The Western Carwash Association (WCA), as one of many carwash associations in the U.S., has strug-

gled to attract and retain members. This research covers external factors affecting the organization’s success as
well as a broad range of information regarding the organization’s structure and its efforts to communicate to its
members.

About WCA

The Western Car Wash Association (WCA), headquartered and established in California in 1955, is a non-

profit trade organization intended to provide carwash and polish operators with resources to more successfully
grow and operate their carwash businesses (WCA, n.d.). WCA’s income comes through three avenues: membership dues, insurance commissions, and their annual trade show convention.

Many members of the WCA join the association for the various benefits that the organization offers to its

members. The benefits include the following:
• Western Carwash Insurance Agency- Members are offered a discounted price for using the WCA insurance
agency. This agency is able to specifically target issues related to the carwash industry.
• Car Wash-Specific Employee Handbook- Carwashes are required to have this handbook and the WCA provides
a hard-copy and electronic-copy to its members.
• Safety Plans Manual- Again, carwashes are required to own this manual and the WCA provides copies.
• First Data Independent Sales Credit Card Processing Service- This is a vendor that provide carwashes with
means to take customers’ methods of payment.
• YRC-shipping- Members save on truck shipments.
• Web Sites and Hosting- Members are offered means to make a website and have it hosted on the internet.
• Tickets to the Western Carwash Show- This is a show that takes place once a year and members receive two
free tickets to attend.
• Free Legal Consultations- In case of lawsuits, carwashes can get a free consultation through the WCA. It is not
a free lawyer, merely a consultation.
• Express Newsletter- The WCA has a bi-monthly newsletter that provides members with articles about the industry and current trends, tricks and advice.
• Human Resources Services- Members have access to this service for free through their membership.
• Environmental Posters- Members are given posters to hand up in their carwashes to inform customers on how
to be environmentally responsible.

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• WaterSavers- This is a program set up by the WCA to help promote people to use carwashes more since it
saves water. Members get access to the various materials about this program.
• WaterWise Certification Program- This certificate is given to members that follow guidelines that the WCA has
set up to save/conserve water at a carwash. Members can display certificate in their businesses.
• Mystery Shopper- Members have access to pay for people to come use their carwash and evaluate their business. This can give the owner important information about how they operate their business (WCA, n.d.).

Industry

Data on the U.S. carwash market suggests that 32 percent of carwashes are full serve, meaning a cus-

tomer would do nothing more than pay for the work done by others on his or her car (IBISWorld, 2014). Express
carwashes, locations where the customer washes their own car, make up 13 percent of carwashes in the U.S. A
third group of carwashes, self-serve, account for 55 percent of carwashes--these are fully automated washes that
do not require the driver to leave the car. The carwash industry is an easy industry for entrepreneurs. However, the
competition level is high. IBISWorld research suggests that profit margins will increase from 0.7 percent in 2009 to
4.2 percent in 2014. The amount of carwashes across the nation is also expected to increase 2.9 percent annually
until 2019 (IBISWorld, 2014).
The key drivers of the carwash industry include the following:
• Per capita disposable income: Having a car washed is considered a discretionary expense, and as disposable
income increases, so will discretionary spending. Disposable income across the nation is expected to increase
in 2014, presenting a good outlook for the industry.
• Number of motor vehicle registrations: The number of registered motor vehicles determines how many cars are
on the road and as this number increases, so will the number of carwashes. This number is also expected to
increase in 2014.
• Demand from used car dealers: Before the sale of a vehicle, used car lots often have the car detailed by a carwash. This presents a big opportunity for the industry since sales of used cars are expected to rise in 2014.
• Households earning more than $100,000: These households represent about 25 percent of the carwash industry’s market. These households are more likely to use the more expensive services, such as detailing and conveyer washes since they are more expensive than the self-serve style carwashes. The amount of households
earning 100,000 or more is also expected to increase this year.
• The price of oil: This is one potential threat to the industry since oil prices are never stable. The higher the cost
of oil, the more people turn to public transportation.

The competitive landscape for carwash owners has many different aspects (IBISWorld, 2014). Market

share concentration in the industry is low. The top four carwash companies will only generate about six percent of
the profit in 2014. There are also five keys to success in this industry:
1. Business expertise for the operators

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2. Proximity to key markets
3. Having access to the latest and most efficient technology and techniques
4. Having a loyal customer base
5. Accommodating the environmental requirements enforced by governments

Most carwashes are local establishments and have only one location. For this reason there are large

amounts of internal competition in the industry. The most successful carwashes use coupons and loyalty cards to
encourage customers to return to their business. Some carwashes choose to make themselves stand out from the
competition by offering waiting rooms with nice furnishings, televisions, and Wi-Fi. They can also choose to offer oil
changes or other similar quick services. Another mark of a successful carwash is the location. Carwashes are impulse buys, and the most successful carwashes are located on busy street corners with lots of visibility. The biggest form of external competition comes from gas stations. These offer gas and food, and many are now offering
in-bay automatic carwashes. This allows them to operate with low overhead and large profit margins (IBISWorld,
2014).

Competition

According to the Ross Hutchings, executive director of the Western Carwash Association, his team does

not view other regional associations as competitors, explaining that all offer roughly the same benefits and usually
stick to the states within its given region (personal communication, September 23, 2014). However, recent developments indicate that it would behoove WCA to start analyzing its costs and benefits for members in relation to
other regional associations. The main associations they should look at are the International Carwash Association,
the Southwest Carwash Association and the Puget Sound Carwash Association. These carwash associations are
considered competitors because they are located within the 13 state boundaries of the Western Carwash Association.

The International Carwash Association is a Chicago-based, nonprofit group that consists of 15,000 car-

washes in 24 countries and provides the world's largest carwash trade show and convention (International Carwash Association, n.d.). The ICA has premium and basic memberships. The ICA offers membership materials,
magazine subscriptions, trade show passes, event access, and vehicle damage reports for the basic membership
option. The premium membership offers all that a regular membership offers plus a wash count program that
gives the owners data from other carwashes so you can compare and contrast (International Carwash Association, n.d.). They also administer the WaterSavers program that gives carwashes recognition of keeping environmental standards. Since 2009, the WCA and ICA have worked together on environmental regulations and California, which has caused the WCA to urge its members to take part in the ICA's WaterSavers program (WCA, 2014).
In addition, the WCA plans on canceling its carwash tour and becoming a co-sponsor of the ICA's Car Wash
Show because they felt their members would be "better served" by doing so (International Carwash Association,
n.d.).

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The SCWA offers a stronger emphasis on advocacy and representing the needs of its car washes before

legislative and regulatory bodies than does the WCA. Another personalized benefit given to the members of SCWA
is the Car Wash Mentors Council, “a group of seasoned car wash owners offering experience, guidance and advice” (The Southwest Car Wash Association, n.d.). Additionally, the SCWA offers multiple consultations for members, while the WCA offers only one free consultation. The SCWA directly focuses on individualized support for its
members—an area in which the WCA is lacking. For example, the Rocky Mountain Car Wash Association, based
in Denver, had a history of working with the WCA. But a year ago, they chose to align themselves with the Southwest Car Wash Association, a counterpart representing Texas and surrounding states, without telling the WCA.
The RMCA felt the Southwest Car Wash Association could better fit their needs and represent their interests (R.
Hutchings, September 23, 2014).Though the WCA still considers Colorado a part of its association and continues
to plan activities there, this dismemberment shows a strong competitor for the WCA in the Southwest Car Wash
Association.

The Puget Sound Carwash Association is considered a competitor because they are a local carwash as-

sociation in Washington and might potentially be taking potential carwashes away from the WCA. On the Puget
Sound Carwash Association's website they don't say how much their membership costs. However, they include
many benefits for members; these include bringing more new customers, good community relations, awareness,
building relationships with regulators, influencing public perception, connecting with the environmental community
and competing more effectively by being associated with other carwash owners in their region. The big event that
the Puget Sound Carwash Association is the charity carwash, which they heavily promote (The Puget Sound Carwash Association, n.d.).

Market Share

To date, there are 18 major carwash associations in America. There are currently seven total state car-

wash associations. The states that currently have carwash associations include Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Utah. There are also seven regional carwash associations. The regional carwash associations are Hartland, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, New England, Southeastern, Southwest and
Western. There are also local carwash associations including Chicagoland, St. Louis, and Puget Sound. The
eighteenth carwash association is the International Carwash Association (Carwash Insurance, n.d.).

The International Carwash Association has the biggest market share because they aren't restricted by

location. The International Carwash Association's (ICA) total revenue in 2012 was $3,689,650 and its total expenses were $3,584,683 giving them a total net gain of $104,967. The ICA has $5,940,294 in assets and
$1,499,245 in liabilities (GuideStar, n.d.).

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The Western Carwash association has the second largest total revenue among all carwash associations in

America. WCA's total revenue in 2012 was $547,356 and its total expenses were $526,702 giving them a net
gain of $20,654. The WCA has $647,271 in assets and $119,534 in liabilities (GuideStar, n.d.).
After the WCA, the Southwest Carwash Association averages the third highest revenue in the carwash association
industry. In 2012 the Southwest Carwash Association’s revenue was $477,423 and its expenses were $455,017
giving it a net gain of $32,406. 3The Southwest Carwash Association has $1,334,314 in assets and $118,155 in
liabilities. The Southwest Carwash Association has a larger net gain than the WCA, and its total assets are significantly higher than the WCA (GuideStar, n.d.).

The Puget Sound Carwash association is smaller than the WCA but is located in Washington, which is

one of the states that the WCA covers. The Puget Sound Carwash Association doesn't have all its yearly financials listed on GuideStar, yet income and assets are still listed. Its total income in 2012 was $58,484 and its total
assets were $35,736 (GuideStar, n.d.).

External Environment
Water Supply

In 1980, legislation saw the growth of farming and residents and worried about water supply in Arizona
(“Arizona is Overdue,” 2014). They planned for the future depletion of groundwater by creating a plan to artificially
recharge with water from the Colorado River. Arizona has experienced drought conditions for the past 15 years,
and the Colorado River is not providing the amount of water it used to. Lake Powell and Lake Mead are operating
at less than 50 percent capacity (“Arizona is Overdue,” 2014).

According to the Las Vegas Valley Water District webpage, the Las Vegas Valley receives 90 percent of its
water from the Colorado River, which is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts on record (Las Vegas
Valley Water District, 2014). Since January 2000, Lake Mead’s water level has dropped 100 feet, more than 3
trillion gallons below capacity. It will take many years of water runoff from the Rocky Mountains before Lake Mead
returns to normalcy. Residents of Las Vegas may only wash their car once a week at their homes, provided the
hose has a functioning shut-off nozzle. At home, people use about 100 gallons of water to wash their cars.
Carwashes are much more water-efficient, only requiring 20-30 gallons of water, and capturing and recycling 100
percent of it (Las Vegas Valley Water District, 2014).

Some carwashes throughout the valley sign a contract with the Southern Nevada Water Authority in order
to join its Water Smart program. The SNWA promotes members of the Water Smart program on its website by
offering coupons. Carwashes may become Water Smart by adhering to certain training and procedural
requirements on an annual basis (Southern Nevada Water Authority, 2014).

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In California's 119 years of recorded history, 2013 was its driest year ever, according to the United States
Geological Survey. On January 17, 2014 Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency. This has
resulted in multiple cities increasing water prices and encouraging citizens to conserve water by not watering their
lawn and even not washing their car (California Drought, 2014).

Legislation

Colorado and Utah are both environmentally conscience states. According to the Huffington Post (2011),
Colorado is the 10th most environmentally friendly state, with several laws relating directly to the health of the
environment. With the government’s focus on keeping the environment clean, water laws are a big part of the
carwash industry.

In Colorado and Utah, as well as some other western states, carwashes are often charged two times for
the water that is used (Reclaim Equipment Company, n.d.). They are first charged for the water that is used to
wash the car. Later, they are charged to send the water into the sewer system. These regulations make knowing
the local water rules imperative for carwash owners.

In order to conserve water and save money, carwashes need to know who supplies their water. Owners
should check and see if a conservation program exists in their city and state and try to build a good, working
relationship with the water district.

Strict Environmental Regulations

Carwashes that are not disposing of chemicals correctly are subject to thousands of dollars in fines and
can potentially be shut down, making the safe filtration of water and appreciate disposal of chemicals of the
highest importance to carwash organizations (Standford, 2003).

Carwashes are required to use water reclamation systems in addition to their filtration systems. Water
reclamation systems reuse filtered water as a successful method of significantly reducing water usage, while the
average citizen washing their car on their driveway is using a constant stream of water that cannot be used again,
and flows directly into the nearest sewers and storm drains (Stanford, 2003). Most storm drains are intended to
only carry rainwater. This means that chemical filled water from the driveway runs directly into the nearest
waterway without any filtration or purification.

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Public Misinformation

Most people do not associate the effects of washing their own car in their driveway with environmental
dangers (Hodson, 2007). They are unaware of the lack of filtration from storm drains, and believe that their water is
being treated the same way it would be at a professional carwash (Hodson, 2007).

Detergents and soaps used to wash cars at home, including ones that may be categorized as eco-friendly
or biodegradable, can have detrimental effects on the environment (Hodson, 2007). Not only can these products
be harmful, but also the contaminants that are being washed off the cars into the water supply can be harmful too.
Oils, grease and contaminants like lead, zinc, chromium, pesticides, benzene, nitrates and other harmful chemicals
wash right off a car and out of sight (Hodson, 2007).

According to a study by the city of Federal Way, Wash., 62,000 vehicles in a single city deposited the
following amounts of pollution into the cities drainage and storm water systems.
• 190 gallons of gasoline, diesel and motor oil
• 400 pounds of phosphorous and nitrogen
• 60 pounds of ammonia
• 2,200 pounds of surfactants
• 30,000 pounds of solid wastes

Clean water organizations associated with the WCA and ICA are dedicated to promoting this information
and alerting others to the environmental dangers of washing your own car, rather than taking it to a carwash
equipped to handle these toxins (Wash With WaterSavers, 2014).

Undocumented Workers

One of the factors facing the carwash industry in California is an ever-increasing number of undocumented
workers. California has the highest population of illegal immigrants in the country, an estimated three million (Illegal
Immigration, 2007). These individuals are willing to work for less than minimum wage and have been hired by
many carwashes in an effort to cut costs, and many carwashes have seen legal backlash as a consequence of
cutting these corners (Illegal Immigration, 2007).

In 2008 one major carwash franchise was found guilty of using undocumented workers, forcing
immigrants to work in unsafe conditions for roughly eight to 18 hours a day for $35 per day. The owners of this
franchise were forced to pay up to $500,000 in fines and faced up to two years in prison (Hinckleman, 2008).

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The WCA organization frowns upon the use of undocumented workers. They pride themselves on
complying with all state and federal work laws and would potentially take action against carwashes using illegal
workers for inexpensive labor. Unfortunately, this may have dissuaded many California carwash owners from
wanting to become members of the WCA, in the event that they are reported to authorities and face legal action
and penalties.

Research Questions
1.What do car wash owners see as the valued benefits and incentives for joining the association?
2.What are the barriers that prevent car wash owners from joining the association?
3.What information or help do car wash owners need to help them be more successful in their job?
4.Which communication channels should the association rely on for reaching out to potential members?

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IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW RESEARCH
SWOT Analysis
Strengths
• Events (LV carwash convention)
appeal to audience
• Well connected / networking
• Competitive insurance (stands out
as a benefit to carwash owners)
• Consistency in communication
• Cost efficiency
• Respondents to the survey expect
to receive industry updates from a
carwash association
• Respondents to survey rated the
WCA show as the most useful
benefit.
• In house lawyer

Weaknesses
• Limited research
• Minimal understanding of benefits
offered
• Weak brand awareness
• Behind the times with technology
• Not in touch with their members
• Out-of-date directory
• WCA is not a primary source of
information
• Discontinuing the WCA show

Opportunities
• Help people understand the
benefits of the WCA
• Revamp communication methods
• Continue conventions and or
             roadshows
• Networking opportunities
• Lobbying for states other than
California
• New research to work with
• “How-to” newsletters/videos
• Make an effort to retain members
• Respondents to survey were open
to receiving communication from
WCA monthly or more frequently
• More member involvement

Threats



Alienating non-californians
International Carwash Association
South Western Carwash Association
45% of respondents to survey are
members of ICA
• 21.9% of non-members who took the
survey said they are not members
because they are already members of
another association.

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The information provided in this report comes from 34 phone interviews conducted by members of the
Communications 318 class at BYU. The individuals interviewed were selected and called from a list of members of
the WCA provided to us by the WCA, as well as non-member and ex-member carwash owners inside of the
WCA’s serviced areas. The following is a breakdown of the carwash owners that we interviewed:
13 own carwashes in California
6 own carwashes in Colorado
2 own carwashes in Washington
3 own carwashes in Nevada
3 own carwashes in Arizona
3 own carwashes in Utah
1 own carwashes in Alaska
2 own carwashes in Montana
1 own carwashes in Idaho

1. What do car wash owners see as the valued benefits and incentives for joining the association?
Members

Many of the owners we interviewed mentioned the WCA’s insurance program was a major reason why they continue their memberships. The owners that have the insurance would typically bring up the insurance as a benefit
without being prompted by the interviewer.

“The main thing they do for us is the insurance. We buy our business insurance through them. They contract with Wells Fargo, I think. They will go out and get you three bids on your insurance and it saves you a hell of a
lot of money.”
While reading through the interviews it is evident that most members don’t know many of the benefits offered by
the WCA. The members generally know about the insurance program and the car wash show but the other benefits such as the handbooks and newsletters the members don’t have much knowledge about.

Non-Members

Former WCA members often say that they just didn’t see the benefits in a WCA membership. One respondent
didn’t know when the WCA Las Vegas convention was held. Others expressed surprise at mentions of WCA’s
benefits. Non-member carwash owners confess that they simply don’t know what the real benefits are that WCA
can offer their business.  
“ I didn’t get anything out of it.”
“Well, to be honest, I’ve never heard of any really. And I guess I don’t see any benefit to the extra cost here
in Hawaii.”

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“I wouldn’t say we got that many benefits from being a member. Most of the benefits were some sort of
information and deals off certain items to expos and stuff like that.”
“I wish that they did more research on the industry, like you are doing right now. I think they have done it
before, but they haven’t done enough.”
“Well yeah I was briefly a part of the Western Carwash Association and the main reason that we joined
them was insurance if I remember right, and then we found some local insurance and the cost outweighed
the benefits in our estimation.”
Carwash owners typically see the benefit in going to events. They enjoy networking with other owners, sharing tips
and tricks and discovering new technologies. Even if a carwash owner does not sign-up for a WCA membership,
they will travel to the events to stay up-to-date. Some expressed disappointment that the WCA will no longer hold
its convention.
“We like to go to the shows every once in a while. We go to the ICA every few years for the classes. The
classes they put on are mildly helpful. Mostly we go to walk around to see the new equipment and talk
with the manufacturers, the chemical manufactures.  If we go to the ICA show, we sign up for a membership that year.”
“Yes, yes I do go. I’ve been to the Vegas event several times.”
“I definitely have gone to a lot of carwash conventions and sat through a lot of seminars and have talked
to other industry owners in other towns and gotten advice and bounced ideas off each other.”
“Just putting trade shows together helps, so it’s a place where I can meet with vendors and meet with
other operators all in one place.”
“Just putting trade shows together helps, so it’s a place where I can meet with vendors and meet with
other operators all in one place.  That’s a huge help.  We’ve also done some of the roadshows that WCA
has put on, and that’s been a big help for me to see what other operators are doing in other markets as
well as talk with other markets.”

2. What are the barriers that prevent car wash owners from joining the association?

Members

California Focus

One of the biggest barriers to joining the association is not knowing if the resources provided by the WCA will be
helpful to the owner. Most of the owners outside of California felt that the WCA provided content only relevant to
California carwash owners.
The carwash owners we interviewed felt that communication was good as far as quantity, but that content needs
to be more tailored to different sub-groups found in the WCA’s membership.

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“I guess it would be nice if the WCA would focus maybe a little bit more on Arizona. That would be something I would say. Their business focuses pretty much on the laws and all that stuff in California.”  
-Self-service carwash owner in Phoenix

Threat of Competitors

For these members, we worry that they will eventually leave the WCA. Several other carwash associations may
eventually appear to meet their needs, or at least attempt to meet their needs better. Many interviews have shown
that many non-California WCA members have left in order to join the South West Carwash Association.
Non-Members

California Focus

Previous members believed that the WCA focused too much on California. Owners from other states failed to see
the benefit of joining an association that did not help them with the issues that they are facing in their respective
states.

“The city [Denver] itself doesn’t know anything about carwashes. We went on several boards to
explain to them about it. That didn’t help us. I think if the WCA could get involved or show benefits to us like cheaper
soaps or information that would help us.”


“I mean we’re not that big to pay all the dues and try to make it to all their different meetings. Most of the
carwash industry have their generators like, California....laws and they don’t fly if you’re in Wyoming, so a lot of the
stuff they have to offer doesn’t apply to our setup.” - Self-service carwash owner in Wyoming
Price is Not the Main Issue

While many members and non-members complained about the WCA’s California-centric attitudes, very few listed
the price of membership, or the lack of other perceived benefits as a reason as to why they might leave the WCA.
WCA Has Helped Non-Californians

It is also worth noting that not a single carwash owner felt that communication with the WCA was a pointless act,
meaning that most members who contacted the WCA for help felt that they were speaking with someone who
legitimately could, and would, help them.

3. What information or help do carwash owners need to help them be more successful in their
job?

Members

Networking Opportunities

Many of the carwash owners expressed the fact that they were very much alone in their business, or that
they had very little interaction with other carwash owners. Some expressed a desire to get to know other carwash
owners, and didn’t seem to view them as competition but as colleagues. They mentioned that having a network of
colleagues would be valuable to them as they can obtain advice, guidance and bounce ideas off of each other.

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“I noticed the car wash industry is not well organized and connected. They have some resources online
for general trends and conventions each year but it would be nice to have on a grander scale. There have not
been opportunities to meet other operators in my area.”

— a carwash owner in Santa Clara, California

Lobbying
Another major trend was interest in lobbying. When owners were asked what they felt the WCA could be doing for
their business, many of those interviewed responded that they would like an increase in lobbying power. Half of
those interviewed felt that the carwash industry is a fragmented industry. They would like to see the WCA help
bring them together and help increase their power as a group so that they would be able to get a lot more accomplished, especially in regards to lobbying certain laws.

“The industry is pretty fragmented—there’s maybe one carwash for every 100 restaurants—so we don’t
have the same lobbying power that a lot of other industries have.”

—a carwash owner from Monterey, California
Mechanical Support
Another consistent trend that owners would like help on was mechanical issues. Many of the carwash owners are
not mechanics and all of them complained about how a carwash is a giant piece of machinery with lots of moving
parts. While none of them said that this is a major difficulty for them as carwash owners, all four brought it up the
topic which shows that it is an issue that is consistently on the minds of these WCA members.

“The carwash is a very troublesome business because it’s a large piece of machinery.” —a carwash owner
from West Covina, California

“Automatic washes are maybe 10 times the headaches. Some of that you can’t work on yourself. They
are really complicated and my theory is that you never get out of debt on them because if they were successful,
they would probably wear out within 5 years. Then you still have debt and maybe the thing is obsolete by then.” —
a carwash owner from Colorado
Social Media Training
Lastly, many carwash owners recognized that social media should be an important element of the marketing mix
for their carwashes. Those who do want to use it don’t know how to use it. They look to associations as a source
for learning new trends within the industry. Since they all expressed understanding for how important social media
is to their business, the WCA has an opportunity to help owners become more familiar with this latest trend.

“I’m the youngest at 69 so I’m not real knowledgeable on all that stuff, but my niece and a couple of
other people and we are starting to get much more involved with Twitter and FB and all that. So yeah, I’d have to
be stupid to say that that isn’t going to be a very very important part of my business because it’s what’s happening
now. I adapted myself isn’t what’s important. What’s important is are my customers using it. And I believe they
are.” —a carwash owner from Phoenix, Arizona
Non-members

Industry Updates
Many car wash owners want their carwashes to be up-to-date and they love hearing what about what other businesses are doing--what works and what doesn’t.

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“Maybe talk to us about detailed products that other products that other people are using, some new
tools and systems people are using.”

“I like to know what’s going on throughout the country. Misery loves company so I like to know what’s
happening to other carwashes. I like hearing and knowing about the trends and hearing about other operators. It’s
also nice to know who’s telling the truth out there and it’s nice to have a place to look to.”
Updates Twice a Month
Non-members said that if they were members, they would want to receive updates once and twice a month. They
don’t want to be bombarded with information, but they do want regular updates and insights to what’s going on in
the world of carwashes.

“I think it would be very helpful once a month. Just timely updates.”

“Probably once a month at the most.”

“How often would you like to receive industry updates?” “Probably twice a month”

Specific Info for all Types of Carwashes
Many carwash owners indicated that they’d like updates more specific to the various types of carwashes that are
in operation. More detailed and specialized updates are preferred to very general updates.
Between the members and non-members, there is a general consensus that they would like an association who
could help them out more in the industry, whether it be mechanical, lobbying or industry updates. They, at times,
feel alone within the industry without much access to other carwash owners. As a result, they always appreciate
the help from others to help further their business and are looking for specific information that is difficult to find on
their own.  

4. Which communication channels should the association rely on for reaching out to potential
members?
Members and Non-Members
Email Me
The majority of owners mentioned that they prefer email over all other methods of communication. Although many
of the owners expressed that technology was not their strong suit, email was almost always mentioned as the best
method of communication for the owners.
“We get an email type newsletter from them; we also get one in the mail. I’m usually pretty religious about reading
that because it has pertinent information to it—particularly WCA.”
Carwash-specific Resources
None of the carwash owners mentioned that they like receiving a paper copy of the newsletter. Paper contact with
carwash owners seems to be less and less important as technology gets better. However, many of the owners did
say that they wished the information that was sent to them was more specific to their type of carwash.

!16

Focus Group Research
SWOT Analysis

Strengths:


Insurance
Lawyer
Conference

Threats:

One big conference may lead
members to join ICA and quit WCA
No WCA conference may reduce
brand awareness.

Weaknesses:




Insurance
Poor marketing
Focus too much on CA
Benefits are not clear
People don’t see value in being a
member

Opportunities:






More networking
Keep owners informed about issues /
help them know how to deal with
them
Better lobbying
Keeping conference?
Give members discounts for
equipment
Make an effort to retain members
More member involvement

To ascertain the thoughts and opinions of the carwash owners we held two focus groups. We conducted
these focus groups on October 29, 2014, at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. The first group consisted of eight nonmember participants, five of which owned self-serve carwashes. In the second group, we had seven member participants and one non-member participant. Of the eight members, three owned self-serve, three owned full-service
and one owned an express carwash. The mean age for both groups was 54 and majority (nine of the 16) resided
in California.

1. Benefits and incentives for carwash owners to join the WCA.

!17

 

The focus groups showed us a couple of themes of why carwash owners join the WCA. For many, they
join because of the WCA’s insurance program which offers some of the best rates in the state of California. Others
stated that, they join because that’s just the way it’s always been. However, most of the focus group participants
said that they join because they love the WCA’s annual trade show. They like the fact that the show is small which
gives them an opportunity to network with their fellow members. The show also gives them time to talk about the
different problems that they may be having with their carwash and ask other owners for advice on what to do.
Here are what the owners had to say about the benefits of joining WCA:  

The WCA’s Las Vegas Show:
Several my friends and I that are in the carwash industry go the WCA’s show because it’s an opportunity
to meet with one another and talk about the different issues that are happening in the industry.
For me, the main benefit is the WCA’s trade show. I need to know what’s going on in the industry so that I
can better run my business.
Networking:
The WCA is a very good association, the members are very helpful. Since most of us aren’t competing
with one another, I’ve been able to sit down and speak with several of them and have learned a lot.
In order for the WCA to attract new members it needs to provide highly competitive rates on insurance for
owners in all western states. They also need to provide more opportunities for its members to network with other
members. By doing this, the WCA will most likely see an increase in its membership numbers.  

2. Barriers that prevent carwash owners from joining/resubscribing to the WCA.

The focus groups helped us understand a few of the reasons carwash owners don’t become members of
WCA, as well as why former WCA members decide not to renew their membership with the association. Overall,
carwash owners are initially attracted to WCA’s competitive insurance program which helps them starting out as
new owners, however, because they don’t feel they are receiving the other benefits of WCA membership, they
eventually search more competitive insurance prices. As soon as they find insurance that is cheaper they are incentivized to leave the WCA to avoid paying additional membership renewal fees. Carwash owners also expressed
complaints that they didn’t fully understand the benefits offered by WCA membership outside of its insurance program. Here is what they said:
Membership Benefit Clarity:

!18

I don’t think the WCA did a very good job of introducing themselves to new members. When I first started
in the industry I joined the WCA for the insurance portion. But they didn’t really inform me of what they
did. They need to explain what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and how the money’s being spent. I
just thought of them as another group taking money. I didn’t see value with them because I didn’t know
what they offered.
Leaving the WCA:
I was a member for about three years in a row. The reason I became a member was because I was told
about the WCA insurance program. I had the insurance for several years but when the insurance went up,
I looked for better coverage elsewhere and then cancelled my membership.
The WCA should make a bit more of an effort to go after the old members. I simply forgot to renew my
membership. I wasn’t asked why I left or asked to come back. It just happened.
We recommend that WCA send clearer communications through a variety of effective channels to better
communicate membership benefits to its members and retain current members. We suggest targeting new members especially. We also see opportunity to retain members by adding value to the existing insurance program,
perhaps by discounting the premium each year as members renew their memberships with WCA.

3. Information and services that carwash owners want to be successful.
The two focus groups were successful in revealing several key elements that carwash owners would like
to be provided in order to be more effective. The overall consensus gathered from the participants is that they
would like to be given any information or tools that will help build their brand and make their companies more successful. New carwash owners and seasoned carwash owners alike have several different necessities, but also
have a lot of the same issues they need solved. Several owners stressed that networking with other carwash owners is a large benefit to their businesses.  If the WCA could provide these types of tools and tips, it could play a
large part in new membership and member retainment. Here is what they said:
More Information about the Industry:
They should probably let us know the updated rules. Sometimes we don’t know what rules change and
what are the posting requirements.
If there’s a webinar that would be wonderful. You know, ‘tune in at this time we’ll tell you what’s going on
in your area.’ I’m in Fresno, so yes the drought is wow. So like I said, I always emphasize the people watering their cement so the water turns off automatically here. I’d like to see some more information on
what’s going on, what’s coming up.

!19

More Networking Services:
I have made quite a few made friends. You get to meet them and find out what is going on and how exactly they are solving all have their own problems. It is quite interesting to meet these people in a larger
forum.
The carwash tours that they do are really beneficial and informative because, ya know, just to see other
operators and exchange advice.
Miscellaneous Services:
I have a real problem finding people to stay with me until I’ve got longstanding employees. It’s difficult in
our economy out there to find people even to stay with you at $14 an hour.
I also like that [the ICA] has a  wash account program where you submit your numbers and then they’ll
show you how you’re comparing to other carwashes in the industry and area.

We recommend that the WCA provides its members with more in-depth information about the trends and
changes in the carwash industry. Because every region has differences in the industry, this could be achieved
through means of regional webinars, conference calls and region-specific newsletters or email updates. Networking between members is also very helpful for carwash owners. Members would benefit if there were more opportunities for networking made through the WCA.

4. Best ways for WCA to communicate with members and non-members.

Our focus groups taught us that the best channel to communicate to members and non-members is
through email. This contradicts the WCA’s assumption that the best way to communicate with their members is
through mailed newsletters. In one focus group, all but one participant indicated email as the preferred method of
contact with the WCA. The other focus group agreed that email was the best method and that one email per
month is the right amount. Here is what they said:
Content of the Emails:
How you address the email is important to me. I have plenty of emails to go  through so I go through
them pretty fast. If it’s from a car wash or an association, I want to see it.

!20

If it’s an email from the WCA, I will always open it up and see what they have to say and what I can glean
from it.

Frequency of Communication:
Monthly is a good amount because it is not too much and not too little. However, if there is a hot issue,
twice in a month is reasonable.
Suggestions:
Emails are good but sometimes we miss them, or we are busy and don’t read them all the time. Periodically, it would be nice to have a more personal means of communication. For instance, having a quarterly
conference call where we can schedule a time to talk about things with other members or the WCA.

The results from the focus groups speak for themselves. The WCA would do well to use email as the primary method of contacting members and non-members. This would allow the WCA to communicate more effectively and also cut costs. On occasion, the WCA may wish to mail a quarterly update or newsletter to all their
members. This will allow them to keep in touch with those who like receiving information through their mailbox. It
would also be wise for the WCA to think of more personal ways to keep in touch with their members. As one participant suggested, a quarterly conference call may be appropriate.

!21

SURVEY RESEARCH
This survey was conducted to learn about (1) the benefits and incentives for joining the association, (2) the
barriers that prevent carwash owners from joining the association, (3) what information or help that carwash owners need to help them be more successful in their job, and (4) which communication channels the association
should rely on when reaching out to potential members. Owners and operators of carwashes in the 12 western
states were solicited for participation in the survey. Operators were asked dichotomous, multiple choice, rank order, open-ended, semantic-differential scale, and demographic questions to achieve the purpose of the survey.
Members of WCA were asked what useful benefits and incentives they saw from being a member of the association. Owners who were not affiliated with the association were asked what could potentially incentivize them to join
an association and what barriers prevented them from doing so.

Sampling Method
Survey data was collected using a convenience sample of email surveys sent to carwash owners and operators. Email addresses were obtained from a list of current WCA members (n = 690), previous WCA members (n
= 673), and non-members (n = 1097; list purchased by WCA). Of the 2160 email addresses only XX% (n = XX)
were valid addresses. XX owners/operators took the survey. If individuals were not a carwash owner or operator
they were directed to the end of the survey.
The survey was distributed to owners/operators on two separate occasions.

Survey Participants
Of the survey participants, 50% own self-service carwashes, 42% own conveyor washes, 26% own fullservice washes, 21% own in-bay auto washes, 18% own detail services, 13% own express washes, and 11%
own other types of carwashes.
California carwashes had the largest representation in this survey with 39% of participants having carwashes located in the state. The remaining 61% was represented by Washington (at 19%), Colorado (at 17%),
other states (at 8%), Alaska (at 6%), and Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (totaling 3%). None of the respondents had a carwash or carwashes located in Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, or New Mexico.
Participants were asked approximately how many employees they currently have. The highest amount of
employees for a respondent was 250 employees. The lowest amount of employees was zero. The average is 33
employees per carwash.
Participants were asked approximately how many years they have been in the carwash business. The
longest time was 57 years, while the least number of years was one. The average number of years participants
have been in the carwash business is 19.

!22

Participants were asked if they were members of the International Carwash Association, Southwest Carwash Association, or the Western Carwash Association. Out of the responses, 40% of the participants were
members of the International Carwash Association, 12.9% of the participants were members of the Southwest
Carwash Association and 74.3% of participants were members of the WCA (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Number of respondents in regional associations

Note. Participants were asked if they were members of the International Carwash Association, Southwest Carwash Association, or the Western Carwash Association. Respondents were asked to answer if they were members of each association
with a “yes or no” response.

Participants were asked to report their annual income. Of the participants, 26.7% made over $250,000,
6.7% made between $200,001-250,000, 13.3% made between $150,001-200,000, 23.3% made between
$100,001-150,000, 21.7% made between $50,001-100,000, and 7.1% made between $0-50,000.
Participants were asked to report their gender. Of those who participated in the survey, 92.5% were males
and 7.5% were females and the average age was 58.88 years old.

!23

Research Questions
1.What do carwash owners see as the valued benefits and incentives for joining the association?
Both WCA members and nonmembers were asked to answer the following question, “What regional or
local services/benefits could you foresee an association helping you with?” The following statistics and Figure 2
show the breakdown of the participants’ response:
Government/Lobbying: 34 respondents (federal regulations, state regulations, legislation, lobbying, reduce unnecessary regulations, employment law, educate government)
Other: 22 respondents (combat review sites, facility security, positive press, utility rebates, competition mediation,
waste disposal, trade shows)
Education: 15 respondents (tips on keeping chemical costs down, point of sale information, best practices, staff
training videos, tips on equipment, ethics education)
Reaching Customers: 13 respondents (advertising, educate public, marketing, public relations)
Insurance: 12 respondents (pooling insurance, national insurance program, insurance exchanges)
Water: 11 respondents (water conservation policy, water recycling, water savers program, water recovery, water
rationing)
Labor: 9 respondents (employee compliance laws, human resources, reducing worker’s comp, health care)
Equipment: 4 respondents (upgrading equipment)
Standardization: 4 respondents (one organization to represent industry, bringing local carwashes together, unionization)

!24

Figure 2: Useful local services/benefits respondents can see an association providing

Note. What regional or local services/benefits could you foresee an association helping you with? Respondents were asked
to indicate top three benefits through an open-ended question.

The responses indicate that carwash owners see the government as the primary threat to their business.
It makes sense then that many carwash owners (27%) feel that an association can assist them with government
issues. This includes influencing federal and state regulations, lobbying in behalf of carwash owners, reducing unnecessary legislation, and educating government officials. The “other” category makes up the next largest percentage of responses; however, because these responses are unique to individual carwash owners, the WCA
should focus their efforts on other areas. Other major places that carwash owners would like an association’s help
with include education (tips, best practices, and training videos), reaching customers (advertising, marketing, public relations), insurance, water (conservation policies, water recovery, rationing), and labor (labor laws, human resource information, health care).
WCA members were also asked, “What benefits or services provided by the WCA are the most meaningful to you and your business?” The following statistics and Figure 3 show the breakdown of the participants’ response:
Insurance: 24 respondents

!25

Convention/Trade Show: 17 respondents
Industry Updates: 14 respondents (reports of other carwashes, updates on legislation and regulations, annual calendar, current events, educational sessions, advice regarding new laws)
Government/Lobbying: 11 respondents (dealing with regulatory agencies, representation, reducing regulation
Networking: 6 respondents (business meetings with other owners, round table)
Other: 5 respondents (worker’s comp, posters, labor costs, products)
Credit/Bank Cards: 2 respondents
Water: 2 respondents (Watersavers program)

Figure 3: Benefits/services that WCA members see as meaningful

Note. What benefits or services provided by the WCA are the most meaningful to you and your business? Respondents
were asked to indicate top three benefits through an open-ended question.

Members of the WCA find the insurance program the most meaningful benefit provided by the association. This benefit is followed by the conventions and tradeshows, assistance with government regulations, and
networking (see Appendix A for means and standard deviations of each category).

!26

Members reported that the Western Carwash Show (M=5.21, SD=1.91) and industry updates (M=5.04,
SD=1.91) would be the most useful benefits for an association to provide them. The next most useful benefits respondents indicated were the industry advice (M=4.69, SD=2.02), WaterSavers Program (M=4.04, SD=2.26) and
environmental information (M=3.96, SD=2.43).
Non-members were asked a similar set of questions (see Appendix B for means and standard deviations
of each category). Respondents reported that receiving industry advice (M= 5.06, SD= 1.73) and industry updates
(M= 5.00, SD= 1.75) would be the most useful benefits for an association to provide them. The next most useful
benefits respondents indicated were the training programs (M=4.89, SD= 1.78), WaterSavers program (M=4.83,
SD= 1.82) and environmental information (M=4.83, SD= 1.79).
Both members and non-members were asked if their business has resources (e.g., an organization) to
turn to if they were to encounter an environmental shutdown or lawsuit (yes or no). Of the participants, 52.2% said
they did not have any resources to turn to, while 47.8% said that they did.
All participants were asked how much they spend on carwash insurance each month. Respondents varied widely with 21.5% reporting that they spend over $2,000, 10.8% reporting that they spend between $1,001 to
$2,000, 16.9% spend between $501 to $1,000, 7.7% spend $401 to $500, 9.2% spend $301 to $400, 18.5%
spend between $201 to $300, and 15.4% spend between $100 and $200. It is interesting to note that respondents were more likely to be found at extremes of the spectrum with the highest percentages falling in the over
$2,000 and the $201 to $300 categories.

2.What are the barriers that prevent carwash owners from joining the association?
Non-members were asked to indicate what their reasons were for not joining or currently being part of the
WCA. Respondents indicated that they did not join the WCA because of lack of relevant benefits (12.5%), cost
(12.5%), lack of information or knowledge about the association (9.4%), business is fine (3.1%), lack of interest
(15.6%), lack of time to dedicate to it (12.5%), being a member of another association (21.9%), and other reasons
(12.5%). See Figure 4 for reference:

!27

Figure 4: Non-member barriers to not joining the WCA

Note: Indicate which of the following reasons are like your own reasons for NOT joining or currently being part of the Western Carwash Association? Respondents were asked to indicate what factors were a reason for not being a member of the
association.

3. What information or help do carwash owners need to help them be more successful in their job?
Both WCA members and non-members were asked what their primary problems and challenges are that
their carwash business faces. The following statistics and Figure 5 show the respondents’ results:
Labor: 42 respondents (employees, employment costs, finding good employees, worker’s comp, labor laws)
Other: 31 respondents (sewage, Groupon, Yelp, management, getting new locations, dollar coin shortage)
Costs: 20 respondents (cost of supplies, rising costs, utility costs)
Weather: 18 respondents (drought, freezing weather, weather)
Maintenance/Equipment: 14 respondents (repairs, upgrade costs)

!28

Competition: 13 respondents (express washes, $3 washes)
Government: 13 respondents (new legislation, state department of labor, Obama Care)
Regulations: 11 respondents (regulation fees, multiple regulations for the same issue)
Vandalism/Cleanliness: 10 respondents (graffiti, garbage dumping)
Lack of Business: 8 respondents (low sales, need more business, low volume of cars)
Customers: 7 respondents (educating customers, getting new customers, disrespectful customers)
Economy: 6 respondents (poor economy, slow economy)
Water: 5 respondents (water rationing, water shortages)

Figure 5: Primary challenges/problems carwash owners face

Note. What are the primary problems/challenges your carwash business faces? Respondents were asked to indicate top
three benefits through an open-ended question.

!29

In general, carwash owners see labor as the primary challenge their businesses face, with 21% of the responses falling into this category. Individual responses indicate that their primary concerns in this area are labor
laws in labor costs. The next most prominent concern, described here as “other,” is composed of a variety of single responses that could not be collapsed into larger categories. These include sewage, Groupon, Yelp, management, and finding new locations. The large amounts of responses that make up this category suggest that many
carwash owners face concerns unique to their business. The third most prominent concern among carwash owners is costs. More specifically, this concern surrounds rising costs in general and costs for utilities and supplies.
Additional challenges surround the weather, maintenance, equipment, competition, government, and regulations.
Respondents were asked what they considered the primary threats to the industry. The following statistics
and Figure 6 show the owners’ response:
Government: 43 respondents (government regulations, government interference, Obama, Obama Care, state regulations)
Other: 30 respondents (environmentalists, unemployment, unlawful practices by other carwash owners, theft, vandalism)
Competition: 26 respondents (oversaturation, home car washing, mobile services, express washes, lower prices
by others)
Water: 24 respondents (water and sewer rates, water conservation, water supply)
Labor: 16 respondents (employee costs, minimum wage, labor market, worker’s comp, finding good employees,
union)
Taxes: 9 respondents
Costs: 8 respondents (cost of utilities, insurance costs, inflation, increasing expenses, interest rates)
Economy: 6 respondents
Weather: 3 respondents
Paint Technology: 3 respondents (paint that repels dirt)

!30

Figure 6: Perceived primary threats to carwash industry

Note. What do you consider the primary threats to your industry? Respondents were asked to indicate top three benefits
through an open-ended question.

Overwhelmingly, carwash owners indicated that the government is the primary threat to their business.
Their responses indicate that their primary concern in this area is too much government interference—they would
prefer government, at both the national and local levels, to take a hands-off approach. The second most prominent threat, described above as “other,” is a collection of single responses that included concerns about environmentalists, unemployment, theft, and vandalism. Each of the responses in this category was given by a single
carwash owner, indicating that many owners perceived threats that are unique to their experiences. The third most
prominent concern is competition. Carwash owners are concerned with both oversaturation and carwashes that
reduce the time and cost of services (express washes and $3 carwashes, for example). Other threats surround
water, labor, taxes, costs, and the economy.

The questions previously stated in the first research question about asking members and non-members

about the benefits and incentives the association also gives valuable insight into what information car owners are
looking for. Members stated that the Western Carwash show and industry updates are the two most useful bene-

!31

fits of being a part of the organization (see Appendix A). Both incentives give carwash owners the opportunity to
learn and understand what is going on in their industry. Non-members said that industry updates and advice
would be the most useful benefits that an association could provide (see Appendix B).
Respondents reported that they were most likely to learn about carwash regulation and law information
from a carwash association (M=5.65, SD=1.4), then industry/business acquaintances (M=5.30, SD=1.48). The
next most likely sources were newsletters (M=5.17, SD=1.4) followed by industry conferences (M=5.0, SD=1.77).
The least likely sources were colleges (M=4.84, SD=1.61) and lastly news media (M=3.23, SD=1.91).
Most respondents reported that they conduct employee training sessions as needed (44.8%), 11.9% of
participants never conduct training, 6% conduct training once a year, 10.4% conduct training twice a year, and 3%
conduct training three times a year, 13.4% of participants conduct training 4 times a year, 10.4% reported other,
and no participants selected every other year.
Half of the participants reported that they spend most of their time at the carwash (50%), 16.7% reported
that they spend most of their time at their home office, 13.6% spend most of their time at another job, and 12.1%
spend most of their time at an off-site office. The rest of the participants fell into on the other (4.3%) and on the
road (2.9%) categories.
Participants were asked if their business has resources (e.g., an organization) to turn to if they were to
encounter an environmental shutdown or lawsuit. Of the participants, 52.2% said they did not have any resources
to turn to, while 47.8% said that they did.

4.Which communication channels should the association rely on for reaching out to potential members?
Members and non-members were asked how often they would like to receive updates about the carwash
industry. 56% of respondents said they would like to receive updates monthly, 22% responded quarterly and 22%
responded weekly.
As stated in the previous research question, respondents reported that they were most likely to learn
about regulations and carwash laws from a carwash association (M=5.65, SD=1.4), then industry/business acquaintances (M=5.30, SD=1.48). The next most likely sources were newsletters (M=5.17, SD=1.4) followed by
industry conferences (M=5.0, SD=1.77). The least likely sources were colleges (M=4.84, SD=1.61) and lastly news
media (M=3.23, SD=1.91).

!32

Respondents also ranked their preferred form of contact (see Table 1). Email was the most frequently preferred method for receiving communication, with 59.6% of participants ranking it as their most preferred method,
35.1% of participants ranking at as 2nd preference, 3.5% ranking it as 3rd. No one ranked email as their 5th or 6th
preferred method. Regular mail was ranked as the preferred method for receiving communication by 38.6% of participants, with 31.6% ranking it as 2nd and 5.3% ranking it as 3rd. Social media was ranked as the preferred
method by 1.8% of participants, as the 2nd preferred method by 8.8% of participants and as the 3rd preferred
method by 40.4% of participants. The website was not ranked as the preferred method by any participants, but
was ranked as the 2nd preferred method by 11.4% of participants and as the third preferred method by 28.6% of
participants. Phone calls were not ranked as the preferred method by any participants, but were ranked as the 2nd
preferred method by 7% of participants and as the 3rd preferred method by 8.8% of participants. Blog was the
least preferred method of communication with no one ranking it as their most preferred, 3.5% ranking it as their
2nd preference and 7% ranking it as their 3rd preference.

Table 1: Carwash owner preferences for communications with association
Type of
communication

1st Preference (%)

2nd Preference (%)

3rd Preference (%)

Email

59.6

35.1

3.5

Regular mail

38.6

31.6

5.3

Social media

1.8

8.8

40.4

Website

0

11.4

28.6

Phone calls

-

7

8.8

Blog

-

3.5

7

Note: Respondents were asked to rank their preferred method for receiving communication from a business-related association from most preferred (1) to least preferred (6).

!33

Appendix A: How useful benefits offered by WCA are (Members question)
Benefits

N

Mean

Std. Deviation

Carwash Insurance Agency (WCIA)

52

4.65

2.634

Safety Manuals

52

3.83

2.273

Employee Handbooks

52

3.62

2.224

WaterSavers Program

52

4.04

2.258

WaterWise Certification Program

52

3.40

2.403

Legal Consultation

52

3.08

2.432

Western Carwash Show

52

5.21

1.913

Legal Information/Advice

52

3.71

2.387

Environmental Information

52

3.96

2.433

Human Resource Services

52

3.40

2.277

Advocacy Services

52

3.21

2.592

Training Programs

52

3.04

2.401

Industry Updates

52

5.04

1.909

Industry Advice

52

4.69

2.025

YRC - Freight Shipping

52

1.88

1.977

Labor Attorney on Retainer

52

3.04

2.497

Bankcard Rate with First Data

52

2.19

2.223

Note. Participants were asked the question, “How useful are the following Western Carwash Association benefits to you
and your carwash business?” It was measure on a scale from 1 (“don’t know”) to 7 (“very useful”).

!34

Appendix B: Services that would be useful if provided by an association (Non-Members)

Benefit

N

Mean

Std. Deviation

Carwash Insurance

18

4.67

1.940

Safety Manuals

18

4.61

1.787

Employee Handbook

18

4.50

2.149

Legal Consultation

18

4.72

1.904

Legal Information/Advice

18

4.67

1.879

Environmental Information

18

4.83

1.790

Human Resource Services

18

4.61

1.852

Advocacy Services

18

4.06

2.014

Training Programs

18

4.89

1.779

Industry Updates

18

5.00

1.749

Industry Advice

18

5.06

1.731

WaterSavers Program

18

4.83

1.823

WaterWise Certification Program

18

4.67

1.879

Note: Participants were asked the question, “How useful would it be for an association to provide you with the following
services?” It was measured on a scale from 1 to 7.


!35

KEY FINDINGS
1.

Alienation of certain demographic and geographic groups
a. Self-serve carwash owners feel neglected by the WCA
b. States outside of California feel overlooked by the WCA
c. Carwash owners want to feel that the WCA represents their needs locally, all across the western
states

2.

Lack of brand and benefit awareness
a. Most non-members are unaware the WCA exists
b. Members and non-members are usually unaware of the full extent of benefits

3.

Networking and resources
a. What WCA is doing well:
i. Events and roadshows proved to be a tremendous benefit for the carwash owners for
information and networking opportunities
ii. Many members joined for the insurance plan.
b. What carwash owners want:
i. Better advice on employee relations and labor suggestions
ii. Industry updates via conference calls, webinars, etc.
iii. More idea-sharing platforms and opportunities for carwash owners

!36

SOURCES
Arizona is overdue to discuss its No. 1 problem: water. (2014, January 14). Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved from
http://tucson.com/news/opinion/arizona-is-overdue-to-discuss-its-no-problem-water/
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