MOTIONS AND PROMOTIONS
Barrie, Ontario-based MacNeil Wash Systems has announced that Will Walters has joined its sales team as national accounts manager. Walters will be reporting to Steve Michuta, the company's vice president, North American sales, and will be responsible for the continued development of existing and new relationships with car wash operators and corporate accounts operating on a national basis. Walters has a wealth of car wash experience, including five years as an owner of a full-service car wash in the Chicago area. He also spent several years in car-wash development and category management at Clark Oil, over 10 years in various management roles with the Turtle Wax car wash division, and held operating and management positions with the Sparkle Buggy chain in Michigan.
INDUSTRIAL SPECIALTIES ACQUIRED
Oklahoma City-based Fred Jones Enterprises has announced that it is expanding into the industrial distribution market with the acquisition of Oklahoma City's Industrial Specialties, Inc. and its subsidiary Control Dynamics, Inc. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Fred Jones Enterprises, a privately-held family-owned business, is a national distributor of automotive parts. Founded in 1979, Industrial Specialties is a wholesale distributor of fluid connectors, valves and pneumatic components that manage fluid power for heavy equipment utilized in both general manufacturing and the oil and gas industries. Industrial Specialties and Control Dynamics have been family-owned for 25 years and employ a combined work force of 20.
ICA's e-Xpo A SUCCESS
More than 1,300 car wash owners, operators, vendors, and suppliers took part in the November 9-13 e-Xpo arranged by the International Carwash Association. This was the industry's first-ever Internet-based convention and trade show.
Much like the association's Car Care World Expo, e-Xpo offered "exhibits," seminars, and networking opportunities. More than 1,000 attendees visited the e-Xpo show floor, where they were able to engage in real-time chats with vendors and fellow attendees, view live and archived education sessions on demand, exchange contact information and learn about innovative products and services right from the comfort of their homes or offices.
Leading industry vendors maximized their exposure on the e-Xpo exhibit floor. Personnel from 45 car care equipment and supplies manufacturers connected with attendees through real-time chats, e-mails, and VCards. With booths offering streaming video, product demonstrations, downloadable materials, and links to their web sites, exhibitors went to great lengths to provide attendees with all of the benefits of a live trade show.
DRB/QUICK BOOKS INTERFACE
DRB Systems of Akron, OH has announced that its SiteWatch cash register system now interfaces with Quick Books version 2002 or later for general ledger and house account information. The new interface allows car wash operators to export key information in ASCII format, in addition to using Microsoft Excel to generate customized reports. By utilizing the powerful replication logic feature in SiteWatch, the new Quick Books interface supports multiple sites and multi-profit centers.
Car wash operators can use the Quick Books interface to view their income statements in a dollars-per-vehicle format using Microsoft Excel. Operators can also use Microsoft Excel to see their percentage of income based on profit center, as well as the percentage based on total revenue. These reports can be run separately for individual sites, or for a combination of sites.
Working with the new feature, operators can now set up house accounts in SiteWatch or Quick Books. House account reports can include detailed license plate number, time of last visit, items purchased, payments made on an account and other information.
CASTROL LOYALTY PROGRAM
The Castrol® Customized Key Tag Loyalty Program has proven to be a successful marketing tool for quick lubes and service centers across the US. The program's popularity has fueled the introduction of new customer retention tools and membership incentives.
The Castrol Punch-A-Deal™ program has expanded to include postcards, claim checks, business cards, and combo cards. Each version comes with a Key Tag, but offers independent quick lubes and service centers different methods of marketing themselves. For example, the postcard version is a self-mailer the shop distributes to its customer list. The customer, upon receiving the mailing, can punch out their Key Tag and bring it to the quick lube or service center for activation to begin realizing immediate savings.
The program helps participating shops differentiate themselves from their competition. This past summer, one million Castrol key tags were reportedly in distribution at over 400 service centers.
CAR CARE TV NETWORK
Broadcast International (OTC: BCST "BI") has announced an agreement with AutoNet Broadcasting, LLC (AutoNetTV), based in American Fork, Utah to provide AutoNet the network appliances/displays, installation, maintenance, network management, and content delivery to waiting rooms in automotive service centers throughout North America.
AutoNetTV is an automotive television network viewed by customers in the waiting areas of automotive service centers. Hundreds of service centers throughout the US have agreed to receive this custom waiting room programming to educate customers and improve their waiting experience. AutoNetTV also delivers advertising messages in a highly-desirable captive, distraction-free environment that is often the last point of influence.
The initial launch will include about 400 locations nationwide and, based upon the success of a number of pilot deployments in major chains, several thousand additional locations are expected to follow. In addition to delivering customer programming, the network will also enable after-hours training of service-center personnel on the "Pro Channel."
OBITUARY: LEON HARTMAN
Leon Hartman of Lawrenceville, GA passed away on November 20, 2005 at the age of 64. Hartman started in the car wash industry managing car washes, moving on to equipment sales and installations. His company, Action Car Wash Solutions, was one of the first equipment suppliers in Georgia and he was a longtime member of the Southeastern Car Wash Association. Active in the association until the very end, he was recently honored with SECWA's Lifetime Achievement Award. Leon Hartman is survived by his wife, four sons, one daughter, one grandson and four granddaughters.
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