ISTOBAL is aware that setting up a car wash facility or remodelling it is hard work and requires an important investment. That’s why this week we want you to get familiar with ISTOBAL Business Rent, one of our business units in Spain. To do so, here is an interview with one or our most loyal customers who is really convinced about the flagship product marketed by the unit, Formula 360º.
First things first. What is ‘Formula 360°’? What are its advantages compared to standard financing products? Available in Spain, this flexible leasing solution covers not only the supply of the machines, but also the actual needs of a car wash business: from equipment design and commissioning to maintenance and consumables throughout the contract term, including the remote control of the facility by a video surveillance system for the purpose of remote preventative and corrective maintenance. Hence its name, Formula 360°.
José Domínguez, from Gasóleos Energéticos el Sur ( GEDS ), visited our facilities in L’Alcúdia and told us about his experience with this formula. In his visit, he described the advantages of this flexible leasing solution for one of his recently set-up car washes, installed at La Rambla Service Station in Cordova (Andalusia). His company has 14 service stations in total in four Andalusian provinces.
How did you get to know about the product and what caused you to use it in 2015?
GEDS have worked with ISTOBAL right from the start. I consider them my business advisers, not just an equipment supplier or a technical support service. At the beginning I had maintenance contracts, given the distance of some of the facilities from Cordova. But on the occasion of new investments and renovations, the sales director of ISTOBAL Spain in my area, Rocío Más, suggested I could try this new product which actually combines different solutions -not only the financing- as it also covers the chemicals and all repairs.
What are the advantages of this solution and how does it facilitate management?
Well, my costs are crystal clear from the very beginning of the investment; everything is computed. You just have to worry about selling more washes. Besides, under this contract, only ISTOBAL’s Technical Support repairs and services the machines, assuring quality at all times. I just have to deal with one supplier for all products: technical service, chemicals, machinery, etc. It is so much easier. I worked with several suppliers in the past and it was a bit of a headache.
Based on your car wash experience, now that you work with Formula 360º, do you have fewer machine incidents or stoppages?
Of course, the machines are always ready, so the number of breakdowns has been reduced. And most importantly: no stoppages. Service is now guaranteed: the manufacturer’s technicians know the product. In some of my facilities, I have had no shut-down faults for more than 12 years.
How has Formula 360° helped you grow your business?
I now have a better car wash, I can choose the best equipment and the most complete systems without being conditioned by investment costs.
What ISTOBAL equipment do you have at La Rambla Service Station in Cordova?
We have the ISTOBAL M’NEX25 rollover with a Connect-A payment system and an enclosure, and we also have a container for three bays equipped with the ISTOBAL n’joyavant high-pressure jet wash systems, an osmosis unit and a water softener. We have two marquee areas, one for vacuum cleaning and final finishes and another one with a professional interior-cleaning service. And the three jet wash bays include bicycle racks and accessories to be able to hang your helmet and your jacket.
What general services do you offer in your facilities?
Our most common model is that of a petrol station with an adjoining car wash, but we are studying having the car wash as an autonomous business model. All of our car wash offer is self-service but we also offer a professional interior-cleaning service. Our car washes are staffed from 8:00h to 20:00h. Experience has taught us it is important to be there at regular working hours to advise clients and promote premium wash programs.
What makes the difference compared to nearby facilities?
Car wash quality and customer satisfaction are the key to differentiation. We don’t compete in price. We understand that if we are well positioned in a higher category -and that’s why we have the ISTOBAL M’NEX25- we can really differentiate ourselves from local competitors. This high-end rollover ensures a quality wash and dry with very complete high-pressure programs and the characteristic fresh smell of the shampoo. And our bays are equipped with the new very light ISTOBAL guns, which makes the wash process really easy. We work with constant high pressure, hot water, and powder shampoo by ISTOBAL esens®. And our vacuum cleaners are very powerful. In sum, we prioritise quality and we are client-oriented: we want our customers to enjoy their car wash experience so that they keep coming.
If you had a new business opportunity in this sector, would you go for the same formula again?
Actually, since I first tried it in 2015 at Estepa, Formula 360º is the only one I’ve used.. GEDS are planning new mid-term investments; all of them will be Formula 360° to ensure firm control over costs right from the beginning. If the competition is already there where I plan to set up a business, I just partner up with the best.
Lastly, José Domínguez asks us to continue working closely with car wash and service station managers using formulas like this one, which are really helpful to them on a daily basis. We will do so for sure!