Experience the Magic of In Bay Automatic Touchless carwash (iba)2023

Automatic Touchless Car Wash | Lazrtek

IBA touchless popularity is increasing

In Bay Automatic Touchlesscar washes are on the rise. In the world of retail sales and service, numbers are often called on to tell a story. While the success or failure of a business depends on many factors, ultimately sales and profits will decide whether any venture or investment proved worthwhile. When it comes to professional car washing, one attention-grabbing number is that 50 percent of washes in the U.S. currently are in-bay automatic (IBA) facilities. Express wash boom stories are frequently the topics of conversation when it comes to new car wash innovations, but IBA washes remain functional, popular and profitable despite perceived massive market condition changes favoring long tunnel washes.

IBA operators must work to differentiate their businesses from nearby washes, and they must counter the convenience offered by express conveyors and self-serve facilities. Car wash Owner/operators should learn why IBAs remain popular in such a crowded marketplace and then communicate this message via marketing materials. To ensure popularity and increase customer retention, operators should learn more about modern IBA equipment as well as the services available in this wash format.

In Bay Automatic Touchless Car Wash | Lazrtek
Modern Grand Touring Car Inside Powerful Touchless Car Wash. Front View. Automotive Technologies Theme.

Proven popularity

IBAs have remained popular car washes for several reasons. The equipment offers touch-free wash environments, access 24 hours a day and seven days a week as well as increased convenience. Even now, many IBAs are built as part of a c-store business, and this conveniently makes IBAs part of a “one-stop” site for busy customers. Additionally, in smaller population areas, it can be difficult to justify a huge carwash tunnel investment; often, these communities are served by in-bay operations.

The in-bay automatic business remains strong, and it will likely remain a profitable contribution to the carwash industry. IBAs are an affordable way to enter the industry, since they demand a lower entry price when compared to typical tunnel site. IBA equipment typically requires less space, resulting in lower land acquisition costs and less continuing maintenance.

The biggest operational attraction is that no labor is required to run the wash on a daily basis. An in-bay car wash can run unattended and run 24/7 compared to a tunnel that requires a large staff and will have limited operating hours.”

Much of IBA’s continued popularity in the current carwash market is related to convenience. Customers can purchase washes right at the fuel pumps without handing credit cards or cash to greeters. Thus, it is important that IBA operators make it frictionless for customers to enter the bay and get into proper wash position quickly. Navigational prompts, such as colored lights and signs, tremendously aid this effort.

IBA systems have upped their presentation and display abilities as well. Some new IBA equipment offers similar experiences to tunnel washes, including colorful LED lights as well as quiet, gentle foam. Today, pleasant and convenient wash experiences — along with clean, dry and shiny results — are readily available in IBA touchless carwashes.

Automatic Touchless Car Wash | Lazrtek 5

IBA benefits

The process for touchless car washes begins with spraying the car with water, then coating it in a pre-soak solution. Specialized touchless car wash detergents and cleaning agents for these options deliver a deeper clean and leave behind a gorgeous shine. The system then uses high-pressure water jets to lift and wash away any dirt or grime on the vehicle’s surface. After rinsing, high-pressure air blows over the car’s surface to assist in a spotless drying process.

From an operator’s perspective, another advantage of IBAs over other wash formats is they require significantly less real estate. The equipment allows someone with limited space to enjoy the additional revenue opportunities provided by an automatic touchless carwash. Two examples would be an additional profit center at a gas station or an upgrade to a self-service wash. Also, modern remote access technology allows operators to receive instant notifications in case of a fault, so a business can often be manage remotely from a desktop computer, laptop or tablet.

Operationally, the labor savings and being able to remain open 24/7 are major advantages IBAs offer over labor-intensive tunnel sites, Dougherty reveals. Technology also has created the ability to know exactly where a washing mechanism, touch-free arm or soft brush is at all times. The bay can be constantly monitored via sensors to determine exactly where the vehicle is positioned in the wash bay. This detailed monitoring allows operators to make adjustments if something does not look or feel right during the wash process.

Another advantage is that most IBAs can be operated with fewer chemical stock keeping units (SKU) than a tunnel. Depending on the IBA’s setup, and if proper care is put into choosing the right chemicals, an owner can operate it with as little as three chemicals. In tunnel washes, since there are so many functions, operators will typically need to keep up with and manage 10 or more chemicals in their equipment rooms.

IBAs also remove many of the variables that self-serve washes have — mainly the customer variable. Every function is controlled and set to perform dependably during an IBA wash cycle.

IBA operators know exactly how much water will be used, how much chemical will be used and how much waste there will be every time a car is washed, barring some malfunction. “Since are principally touchless, this provides another advantage over self-serve washes for customers who would rather not have a brush or cloth touch the surface of their luxury vehicles.”

Add-on equipment

Modern IBAs offer numerous add-on services similar to competing tunnels. IBAs can offer such popular wash services as:

  • Triple foam
  • Super sealant
  • Rust inhibitor
  • Wheel cleaners
  • High-gloss waxes.

In addition to the typical services, IBAs can incorporate “entertainment” into their wash processes via light shows meant to make the whole experience more enjoyable. Some systems can display numerous color combinations, flashing patterns or constant illumination set up to match a wash’s brand im

Touchless car washes are also gaining popularity because they represent a shift toward advancing technology and automation. Labor shortages and minimum wage increases are plaguing American businesses. As of March 2023, there were a record 11.5 million job
openings and not nearly enough applicants. Whether your car wash business is fully staffed or has openings to fill, automated options allow you to operate at all times while avoiding the high cost of labor.

operators are beginning to add freestanding arches to their IBAs in order to capitalize on the upsell potential. Equipment such as freestanding wheel cleaner applicators, lava bath arches or tire shine applicators can be installed aftermarket. Monthly or unlimited wash passes are an excellent add-on option as well.

Another popular add-on is underbody rinse equipment. This IBA option is especially popular in areas where snow, ice and road salt are problems. An undercarriage manifold can be a smart and simple equipment addition for IBA operators.

Marketing IBAs

IBA owners have used many marketing techniques to help set their businesses apart from nearby competition, Kofsky states. Some operators incorporate their IBA services in “wash all you want” self-serve packages. In this instance, an operator will set a price and give customers the option of going through an IBA or entering the self-serve bays. Either choice can come with the use of vacuums and vending machines.

One of the largest factors that separates IBAs from the competition is offering touch-free washing. Most tunnels built today are friction, and many luxury car owners prefer a touch-free wash.

For help in choosing the right wash type to service your customers, contact LazrTek and get a free consultation. All our IBA washes are custom designed to ensure you provide your wash customers the clean car they want in the time and convenience they demand.

Related: Soft cloth versus touch-free

Conquering the competition with an IBA carwash requires a multifaceted process, according to Kelsey. First, the wash site must command attention from the street since a carwash is often an impulse purchase. Color-changing LEDs can help market a site around the clock and catch a driver’s attention in the typical roadside blur.

Second, Kelsey notes that the on-site aesthetic and flow should be attractive, intuitive and easy for the driver to navigate. Every vehicle should move from the street, through the pay station and into the bay quickly and easily. This also means — no matter what equipment is in the bay — everything should be well-maintained and not appear to be broken-down or damaged.

Third, the wash itself should provide a great experience. Kelsey states that this is where equipment choice comes into play. The wash cycle should begin immediately after the driver is in position to alleviate any anxiety that comes with having to wait and wonder. The wash equipment (even friction options) should be quiet and gentle on the vehicle while offering a nice visual show. Also, the wash must get the vehicle clean and shiny to top it all off.

“If an IBA location can master these facets, then it gives the wash a great shot at earning their portion of the market’s business,” Kelsey concludes.

Contact LazrTek today or call us at (469) 536-8478 for a free consultation.

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