Breeze Thru Car Wash Empowers Employees by Revolutionizing Work Order Management
“Making changes on the fly was brutal. Now I can make changes and have it done within 15 minutes.”
True to its family-business model, Breeze Thru Car Wash focuses on people development while striving to be the best in the industry across its 12 locations in Northern Colorado and Wyoming.
As such, the company works to empower and cultivate a younger generation of technicians. To properly train these new techs and help them grow their careers, Breeze Thru makes sure that the proper processes are in place as it continues to scale up.
“We look at ourselves as a people development organization that just so happens to wash cars.” Kenneth Harmon, Breeze Thru Maintenance Director
“We bring in a lot of young kids who have never had a job before. We get them to have a positive attitude every day, “ Maintenance Director Kenneth Harmon said. “They learn to work hard, grow, develop, and start their careers.”
In fact, Breeze Thru is the only car wash company in the industry with ISO 9001 certification. The ISO 9001 standard focuses on quality management principles, including customer focus, management’s motivations and process approach, and continual improvement.
By aligning with ISO 9001, Breeze Thru focuses on giving customers consistent, quality experiences and services. “We just went through our fifth recertification process. We're still in compliance with our quality management system,” Kenny said. And with its SOPs all in one place on MX, “We follow them and do what we say we do. That's been a game changer for us.”
Before implementing MaintainX, Breeze Thru used various systems—pen and paper, QuickBooks, and Google Drive—to manage its Work Orders, SOPs, and Parts Inventory. As a result, the company struggled with employee follow-up, accountability, and the ability to make real-time updates across systems.
With pen and paper, employees needed to write up and fill out Work Orders manually, one at a time. Purchasing Manager Devin Yarbrough recalled that sometimes “people ended up simply signing off on a job so it was considered done. “And not for lack of caring,” Devin emphasized. “The system just wasn’t working. As our success grew, Work Orders were overwhelming. It was also getting harder to audit our workflows.”
Like other companies without a CMMS, Breeze Thru used different systems across different departments. For example, it used Quickbooks Enterprise for Parts Inventory but pen and paper for Work Orders. As a result, inventory management couldn’t keep up with techs pulling parts off shelves to fulfill hardcopy Work Orders. Not to mention that not all of the systems were all that user-friendly.
In addition, running internal audits was very labor intensive. Devin explained, "You had to go to each site to search for particular paper Work Orders. Everything took time.”
Rolling out updates also took management a lot of time and effort. Managers needed to edit and print new forms and manually circulate them across locations. “Only then,” Kenny said, “could we roll out new processes and workflows. Sometimes, this took up to three months.”
In seeking a solution, Breeze Thru sought an integrated system that would allow it to scale up while still improving people's lives. In other words, the company didn’t want to lose its focus on individual employees as it grew larger and became more reliant on technology.
“Time Management Is the Biggest Change.” Kenneth Harmon, Breeze Thru Maintenance Director
In May 2021, Breeze Thru began digitizing and automating its Work Orders and Parts Inventory in MaintainX. “We’ve gotten faster. We manage our time more efficiently,” Kenny said. “That’s absolutely the biggest takeaway.” For example, automating workflows and sending out changes takes minutes when it used to take weeks.
Now, with MaintainX, managers and technicians “pivot a lot faster when things come up.” In addition, with company-wide updates in real-time, Breeze Thru can “streamline all in one place rather than going to email for this and using an order form for that.”
With MaintainX, employees can attach real-time images to Work Orders to show accountability. Likewise, by connecting via MaintainX’s in-app chat from a work site, techs can communicate more easily about potential problems.
“To have a partner out there growing with us, fitting our needs, that’s just an amazing thing.” Kenneth Harmon, Breeze Thru Maintenance Director
Regarding Breeze Thru’s commitment to employee development, digitizing Work Orders and SOPs has allowed administrators to maintain better contact with employees about their work. For example, with the company’s two-year training program, employee onboarding is more efficient with SOPs—including Breeze Thru’s maintenance manual—accessible via MaintainX.
These days, new technicians can follow Work Order procedures step-by-step, following the details and specifications directly from their mobile devices. In addition, they can access Procedures wherever they go, connecting instantly to the equipment they’re working on, ensuring they follow Work Orders with mandatory checkboxes.
On the software side, Breeze Thru has centralized its operations, saving both time and money. For example, with MaintainX housing its Parts Inventory, the company no longer needs Quickbooks. And by attaching manuals and instructions to MaintainX Work Orders and procedures, the company no longer needs Google Drive for document storage.
On MaintainX, Breeze Thru’s Parts Inventory now carries nearly a million dollars in its full inventory, including its supply of car wash chemicals. Moving from handwritten to digitized and traceable inventory in its warehouse, Breeze Thru has improved what was an inefficient, tedious, and time-consuming process. The accuracy of its inventory levels is a clear indicator of its MaintainX implementation.
Breeze Thru’s measurable success with its Parts Inventory and completed Work Orders has led to using MaintainX for in-app purchases directly from vendors, reducing its dependence on external emails and paper forms.
Devin now runs weekly and monthly Parts Inventory reports via MaintainX. In addition to saving an average of four hours a week, he is able to ensure that all techs at all locations practice proper quality control and consistency across workflows. Upcoming, Breeze Thru aims to digitize more safety-related tasks and procedures.
In addition, Breeze Thru’s Operations team is more involved, and, as Devin said, “The more we talk about MaintainX, the more other departments want to start using it.” So, as word spreads, the talk is more about “making everyone else's life better and more efficient” and “scaling MaintainX to continue on this growth path.”
On this last point, Breeze Thru plans to make good use of MaintainX’s cost- and time-tracking features. “We want to get to the point where all of our techs are logging their time at each site so we can get clear on which sites are high or low performing.” In addition, Devin said, “As a company, we’re hoping to open up a second warehouse, creating more room for inventory to keep more on hand.” Breeze Thru also hopes to create a dedicated training facility to continue empowering its younger, newer techs.
Spotlight on the Customer
From its first work order in early May 2021 to April 2023, Breeze Thru has created and completed nearly 17000 work orders. It also continues to build its online Procedure library, Parts Inventory, 180+ assets, and 50+ vendors—all connected via MaintainX.
More than anything, Breeze Thru aims to recruit individuals who reflect its values and share its enthusiasm to work as a team with one common goal: providing the best possible experience for customers and co-workers. The company’s professional ethos means that respect, responsibility, honesty, and hard work are Job #1.
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