Solutions

Auto Wash Express

Auto Wash Express automates inventory management and forecasting for its eight self-serve car washes and manufacturing operation using FileMaker on iPad, desktops and the Web.

Family-owned car wash business uses FileMaker to optimize efficiencies bumper to bumper

Barcode-enabled mobile solution saves time and improves profitability

Overview

  • Using a custom FileMaker solution for iOS, Auto Wash Express automates inventory management and cost analysis to save time and optimize the efficiency of its self-serve car washes and manufacturing operation.

Industry

  • Self-serve car washes

Solutions

  • Custom FileMaker solution enables managers and employees to track inventory and parts, automatically order new supplies, record employee hours using the FileMaker Go app for iPad with CNS barcode integration.

Benefits

  • Automated inventory management; saved time; centralized and mobilized administration and management; reduced downtime; streamlined warehouse management; increased customer satisfaction; recouped investment within six months.
Auto Wash Express 1
Operations now sparkle across all eight locations of Auto Wash Express, owned and The Janezic Family, who moved from managing their business in spreadsheets to the FileMaker Platform in less than two months.

The Janezic family has been in the car wash business for three decades, keeping thousands of vehicles free of desert dirt at eight, soft-touch, self-serve car washes in Arizona. Spread out over several cities, Auto Wash Express has turned to FileMaker software to support three key areas of their operation: mobile management, inventory and process tools.

 

 “Up until two years ago, we struggled with isolated spreadsheets to manage parts and supply inventory,” says Brian Janezic, co-owner, Auto Wash Express.  It made no sense to duplicate efforts manually in software silos or to drive around from car wash to car wash to check levels of soap and vending machine supplies.”

 

The Janezics needed administrative and management solutions that everyone could use remotely from their home offices to check on eight locations. As a small, family-owned business, a high-end, proprietary inventory management system, one that likely wouldn’t be a perfect fit and would require outside programming resources, was cost-prohibitive.

 

Working on his own in FileMaker software, and with no prior programming experience, it took Janezic only about two months to create his first productivity tool: a breakthrough inventory control solution. The app is connected to FileMaker back-end software that hosts users across the company accessing it via the FileMaker Go app for iPad.

It just goes to show how even a small, family-owned business can automate their entire operations with FileMaker software.

— Brian Janezic, co-owner, Auto Wash Express
 

"I'm a car wash owner first and a programmer second. But FileMaker software is so easy to use, I automated several business systems and processes. It just goes to show how even a small, family-owned business can automate their operations with FileMaker software,” says Janezic. He simply followed the  “Best Practices for Designing Custom Business Solutions” How-To Guide, available free from FileMaker, which made it really easy to make the solution work on mobile devices with just a few tweaks to the desktop version.

 

Janezic has since expanded the FileMaker solution to include ordering and expanded inventory control systems. If a bearing cylinder is going out in one car wash, a manager can grab an iPad to access the inventory management system and locate another one, either at a sister location or from the warehouse. The result? The total time-to-repair has been dramatically reduced thanks to fewer repair related phone calls and repair site visits.

Optimizes business efficiency

Today, many aspects of the business run on FileMaker software, integrating iPads, desktops and servers, centralizing everything from order entry to inventory tracking and time sheet tracking. Instead of jotting down hand-written notes about which items are running low and notifying management, staff working at car washes simply click a box in the FileMaker solution on their iPads to initiate orders on the spot. Consolidated orders from all eight locations are processed on the back-end FileMaker server and shipped out to the right place.

 

Says Janezic, "With the mobile FileMaker solution for iPad, I do a lot of management remotely right from my house. It saves us a huge amount of time, as well as wear and tear on our vehicles."

 

The company also streamlined the employee time clock. Staff who tend the car washes use iPads with the FileMaker Go app to log their hours as well as tally orders for new supplies. This data is fed back to the FileMaker Server and used to automatically cut paychecks and keep supply chains intact.

Auto Wash Express
Building dispenser boards sold to other car wash operations by Auto Wash Express is now made easier using FileMaker Go for iPad, which is used to scan and track parts used in the manufacturing process.

Manufacturing and warehousing for the industry

The Janezic family business has another dimension: a small manufacturing company that builds product dispensing boards mounted inside car wash bays that come “pre-wired” and ready to manage washing, rinsing and drying cycles.

 

In the manufacturing operation, Auto Wash Express uses its custom FileMaker solution and the FileMaker Go app for iPad with CNS barcode integration to expedite order flow and inventory. Parts are barcoded in the warehouse, enabling assemblers to use their FileMaker Go app for iPad to quickly locate the building blocks for dispensing boards and pull them off the shelves. Once a board is assembled, staff uses the FileMaker to scan the item’s barcode, which automatically calculates the shipping weight, produces a shipping label and generates a bill for the customer, all on the same screen.

 

"Inventorying the warehouse used to take forever," Janezic explains. "Now it's all automated. We can keep track of parts for manufacturing and supplies for our car washes, eliminating a lot of downtime, which, of course, is very costly."

 

Janezic has also extended the FileMaker solution for forecasting point of sale and cost analysis. "Soon, we will be able to record car count per day and the revenue coming through each bay," he notes. "That way we can determine where to install additional or new equipment.” The firm is gearing up to integrate sensors to provide real-time cost analysis of transactions in FileMaker.

 

Running on empty is not an option at Auto Wash Express, where customers have come to expect the same polished, reliable service at all locations. Says Janezic, "The value back to our company has been tremendous. In fact, we recouped the cost of our FileMaker software within six months – a drop in the bucket over two generations of washing cars.”

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For Client:

Brian Janezic
Co-Owner
Auto Wash Express
P.O. Box 2444
Cortaro, AZ 85652-2444
520-261-5865
brian@azautowashexpress.com
www.azautowashexpress.com

For Developer

Brian Janezic
Co-Owner
Auto Wash Express
P.O. Box 2444
Cortaro, AZ 85652-2444
520-261-5865
brian@azautowashexpress.com
www.azautowashexpress.com