May 22, 2023


Harnessing the Wave of Change: Insights from The Car Wash Show 2023

Harnessing the Wave of Change: Insights from The Car Wash Show 2023

The Car Wash Show 2023, the premier event for car wash professionals, recently concluded, sending attendees back inspired, informed, and eager to implement new strategies and technologies in their operations. While hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada, the last thing car wash operators wanted to do was gamble on the future of their industry by resisting the latest advancements.

The MaintainX team was on the ground, keenly observing the trends and engaging with industry leaders. In this post, we identify our key insights that stand to reshape the car wash industry.

car wash industry
The MaintainX Team at The Car Wash Show 2023

Key Insights from The Car Wash Show 2023

Aspirational Audience

At the show, operators displayed ambition and a clear vision of what the future of their businesses should look like. Setting aside where they started, they understand the need for digital transformation. But they sometimes lack the technical expertise to bring it all together. This is where technology vendors like MaintainX came in, helping these aspirational businesses navigate the digital terrain and drive real business results. 

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Without a doubt, the event’s theme was “Meters, meters, meters.” Operators are increasingly interested in monitoring and tracking via API’s essential parameters, such as water usage, chemical consumption, and tunnel traffic. This trend reveals the growing emphasis on data-driven decisions and recognizes their crucial role in driving business optimization. This may sound like the logical and obvious direction to some, but it clearly demonstrates the car wash industry is very much ahead of many other industries reluctant to embrace Industry 4.0.

Maintenance and Operations

Unfortunately, operators still consider preventive maintenance and asset management as secondary considerations. Many are stuck in reactive mode, which is not sustainable in an industry driven by subscription revenue. While most are not okay with the status quo, they’ve struggled to break this cycle. Our clients are real evidence that a proactive approach to maintenance reduces customer complaints and cancellations, leading to increased revenues and enhanced customer satisfaction.

car wash

Digitization and Trust

Despite the digital wave sweeping across industries, the idea of digitizing maintenance is relatively new to many car wash operators. However, there is an increasing receptiveness to this concept. We noticed a common concern among operators was the lack of accountability and transparency across all the sites they manage. Our clients shared how digitizing maintenance and operations enables time-stamped digital audit trails they can supplement with photos, helping to build a culture of trust across their organization.

Visual Aids

Visual tools such as pictures and checklists have become crucial for larger car washes. They simplify work execution, coordination, and parts tracking. For folks who considered themselves lucky to have up-to-date hardcopy spreadsheets tracking their spare parts and PMs, the simple ability to collaborate across their organizations with photos has been a game changer. 

One operator showcased a lubrication checklist with arrows drawn on a digital photo of his equipment with all the necessary lube points. This feature alone has seriously improved the reliability of his tunnels.

“Car washes help maintain what may be the second-largest investment many will make.”


MaintainX in Action at The Car Wash Show 2023

Our co-founder, Nick Haase, had the privilege of sharing the stage with Nick Lopez, CEO of Bubble Bath Car Wash. Lopez spoke about how MaintainX has impacted operations across his growing organization. He explored the challenges and opportunities in the car wash industry, emphasizing the role of digital transformation in enhancing operations across the front lines.

car wash industry
Nick Haase with Nick Lopez, CEO Bubble Bath Car Wash and Matt DeWolf, CMO International Car Wash Association

On the Pitch20 stage, Nick Haase also presented how Take 5 Car Wash, with over 400 locations, uses MaintainX as its secret weapon to minimize downtime. In addition, he demonstrated how MaintainX streamlines maintenance and operations, increasing efficiency and profitability. We were thrilled to see the at-capacity audience eager to learn how to solve a shared challenge.

Take 5 Car Wash
Standing room only for our presentation sharing how Take 5 uses MaintainX to minimize downtime

Drawing from these insights, it’s apparent that the car wash industry is ready for a digital revolution. Combining data-driven decisions, proactive maintenance, and digitization promises to transform its operations and enhance profitability.

At MaintainX, we understand these shifts may seem daunting. We’re committed to helping car wash operators navigate this transition. Our platform allows operators to manage assets, track preventive maintenance, and shift from a reactive to a proactive operational model. The secret to making it all happen starts with our easy-to-use mobile app. 

We were delighted to connect with dozens of satisfied MaintainX clients already experiencing the benefits of our solution. In addition, we were humbled to meet folks in person who were excited to share the benefits of MaintainX with their peers. (It was referral mania!)

The Car Wash Show 2023 clearly demonstrated that the industry is primed for digital transformation. We’re excited to be part of this journey, helping car wash operators make their operations as shiny and efficient as the cars they service. 

Join us as we ride the wave of transformation together. Stay tuned for more insights from industry events and updates on how MaintainX is shaping the future of asset and maintenance management.

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