Grade A plus for WashTec and AUWA
"I am Julian Strauch from Alfred Strauch Fahrzeugteile und Industriebedarf GmbH & Co. KG in Saarbrücken", says a young man introducing himself, whose private friendship with a WashTec service technician he highly regarded led to a picture-book business collaboration. "Then there is also to say", he continues, "that we have a new car wash from WashTec." The medium-sized wholesale distribution company, which has grown rapidly, was not satisfied with the previous model from a WashTec competitor. A company whose fleet today counts 30 of its own vehicles, 15 of which are delivery vans and mainly deployed regionally – "four runs for each vehicle on every weekday as far as Luxembourg, Belgium, Eastern France, Rhineland-Palatinate, to Saarland", he explains. A company that "my father planned and established twenty years ago. We got a petrol station, car wash, also our own garage, which we no longer use as much, due to repair and maintenance contracts replacing vehicle servicing", he says giving a short overview of the Saarland family company, whose history dates back to 1923.
High quality vehicle washing
The ability to refuel, wash, care for and buy parts for vehicles was the approach carefully devised for an all-round package. Offering everything a little cheaper than the nearest competitors in addition to quality, also of course with regard to the vehicle wash. The fact that it is now better than just good "people are finding out primarily by word-of-mouth marketing and the Facebook page. We are currently preparing an Instagram company page and compiling content, which will focus on car washing. When the page is up, we will link it with our Facebook account", says Julian Strauch looking ahead and already looking forward to the follower statistics the online network will provide him with.
Quickly agreed, perfectly chosen
The first gantry car wash was installed by service technicians back in 1998 and the new WashTec gantry was installed at Alfred Strauch GmbH & Co. KG in late summer last year. The official launch was on 10 October 2016, accompanied by a highly successful wash promotion. "The customers took photos as their cars were being washed, posted texts about it, shared it and added likes. We owe the change of equipment manufacturer "to the WashTec technician Ron Rauen, who suggested that we obtain information about WashTec gantry car washes." This information was followed by discussions with the WashTec salesman Harry Zöller. "With him we agreed on the SoftCare Pro Classic 29 XL", says Julian Strauch who of course still recalls the precise details. A car wash that perfectly meets the Strauchs' requirements, which delivers top-quality washing and drying results in only seven minutes and which is convenient to use for everyone. Measuring 2.58 m wide and 2.90 m high, the gantry is perfect for washing for standard sized and large vans. Thanks to the modular equipment, it was possible to customise the system to the Strauch's needs, his customers and the local conditions. These include, for example, the SofTecs® wash material – soft, gentle and thorough when cleaning the vehicle surfaces; MultiFlex, a multi-dimensional side brush for the rear and sill area; the WheelJet wheel washer, for which on account of the diagonal in-feed even 21-inch rims do not pose a problem as regards reliable and thorough cleaning, and FlexStream, a rotating roof nozzle, which thoroughly and reliably washes and dries vehicles. "We made a conscious decision to invest in vehicle washing despite the fact that it is not our core business", emphasizes Julian Strauch. The response from customers over the past twelve months have showed him that this approach pointed him in the right direction. This is because "customers instantly expressed their satisfaction, praising the gantry car wash. Their numbers have been steadily increasing for a long time", says the enterprising Strauch enthusiastically.
The good feedback received is not only down to the perfect work of the gantry car wash technology. It would hardly be possible if the chemicals weren't the perfect match. Julian Strauch sees things generally as follows: "The washing equipment is not built for the chemicals and vice versa the chemicals are not developed for the equipment." The fact that there is a great deal more to it in order to obtain the best washing and care results is generally known, and that besides the product qualities of shampoo, ShineTecs® and RainTecs®, it is particularly thanks to the setting and checking service of AUWA's customer service team. "Our service technician visits us regularly, closely inspects the settings of the dosing pumps, checks the quality of the service water and performs any adjustments to tap any last reserves." The result is very satisfied customers for Alfred Strauch GmbH Co. KG. Their good feedback reflects this.
Quality is key
We now know that the SoftCare Classic 290XL is the best car wash in the local area. The competitors' car washes are smaller and far less efficient due to their equipment. We regard this as a tangible competitive advantage, because we believe the quality of the wash is key. Backed by the economic power of trade and wholesale, Alfred Strauch GmbH Co. KG can keep the prices of its washes low. "We are around ten percent cheaper than the usual prices in the region and actually succeed in impressing our customers and winning them over for our car wash. It is particularly attractive for them when we give customers a free wash for spending over a certain amount with us. We can also afford to do this because we offer top quality car washing with WashTec", says Julian Strauch assessing the situation.
This also includes careful servicing and maintenance of the wash technology and wash bay. "The car wash and wash bay are looked after by several people at the company, for example our dispatch manager, a few employees as well as our responsible WashTec technician." Sometimes even Julian Strauch himself refills the chemicals. "We carry out the basic cleaning of the car wash and wash bay ourselves, depending on the degree of soiling, every four to six weeks. We have a service provider take care of the exterior facade of the building." This ensures that the car wash which is open on weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm remains looking clean, is technically well-maintained and always ready to receive. Customers with a washing card can even wash up to 6 pm, only then do we "close the rear gate so as to remain free of vandalism also in the future." And something else will be changing in the near future. "We are looking to optimise the vehicle underbody wash next year. The old system is still running smoothly and, for historical reasons, it is not from WashTec. Again, we plan to sit down at the table with WashTec to negotiate and will no doubt soon come to a new agreement."
Text/ Images: Bernd Fiehöfer