Car Wash - Fall 2015 - (Page 11)
m e et th e boa r D
A natural fit
for car wash
mike sobie is the owner of Waterworks Car Wash in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Following a 22-year career in the tool and die industry, he purchased a 10-minute oil
change operation in 2002 and shortly thereafter he expanded into the car wash industry. Sobie took the time to share thoughts about his transition into car washing and his
time on the ICA board.
Q: You came to the car wash industry from
the fast lube industry. What drew you to
A: There was an opportunity - perhaps
an obviously natural fit - to open an oil
change and a car wash with a business
partner, and we just went for it.
Q: What made it a natural fit?
A: Washing cars and changing oil are
similar in that we are educating customers on regular maintenance of a vehicle,
from engine to exterior finish. They
differ in the number of daily customers, cost of services, and the fact that,
especially in the Midwest, the car wash
industry is very dependent on weather
Q: What about challenges?
A: The biggest challenge was adapting to the
volume of customers. You interact with a lot
more customers in the car wash industry.
Q: Where do you go to get ideas on how to
tackle those challenges?
A: Many new ideas come from fellow ICA
members, other operators, manufacturers,
and seeing new innovations at the car wash
show every year. Plus, being a member of
the ICA board has given me the opportunity to meet, interact, and do business with
other wash owners and operators, allowing
all of us the chance to update and streamline our own facilities and operations.
Q: What is ICA doing that you are most
A: In the three years I've been on the
ICA board, there have been many
changes - not always falling in favor
of all of the members - however, the
board has always maintained open
discussion and voting to make those
changes. Changes like teaming with
the AOCA and the show in Europe
this fall are excellent examples of the
ICA not growing stale.
Q: Why are you a member of ICA?
A: I'm a member of the ICA to continue
to help grow my business through meeting other operators, learning about new
innovations, and finding new ways to
continue to thrive in the growing and
Waterworks Car Wash
Tool and die industry and
fast lube industry
Being a memBer of the
iCa Board has given
me the opportunity
to meet, interaCt,
and do Business with
other wash owners
allowing all of Us
the chance to UPDate
anD streamline oUr
own facilities anD
INTERNATIONAL CARWASH ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Gary Dennis, President
Fred O'Neill, Treasurer
Mark Curtis, Immediate Past President
Warren Davis, Vendor Vice President
Brian Gleason, Vendor Vice President
Mark De Graaf
fall 2015 | car wash magazine | www.carwash.org
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Fall 2015
Letter from the ICA
Meet the Board
By the Numbers
What do your customers think about your business?
Pricing yourself into profit
Don’t hate the haters
Data security essentials
The Car Wash Show 2015 Best Booth Award
Top 10 employee handbook mistakes
IP surveillance cameras
Grit, the underlying problem for car wash owners
Stand out from the crowd
Update from ICA working group
Women in Car Wash
Blast from the Past
Focus on a Member
Index of Advertisers
Car Wash - Fall 2015