Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 15

M E ET TH E BOA R D

Mark De Graaf: A Clean
Car Is a Clean Soul
MARK DE GRAAF started working part-time in the car wash industry prior to heading
to University and has been there ever since. While studying chemical engineering at
Delft University of Technology, he even recruited fellow students to work at the wash.
By the time he finished his masters degree, the car wash owner where he worked asked
him to work on and develop management and loyalty software for the wash.
Today, he operates 24 locations in the Netherlands with two of them based in the
Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao.
De Graaf recently took time away from the wash to share his story of getting into the
industry as well as what trends he's watching currently.

Q: When you started developing the software for your car wash employer, there
were some unique challenges right?
During development, car wash owners in
the Netherlands had experienced some
serious fraud issues. We were able to solve
these with our software and also developed
a car wash controller program that was
better in preventing fraud.

we see a lot of people copying our ideas,
even back to the U.S.
I think the best car wash operators in the
world are very passionate about their businesses, having constant new challenges:
new car technology, chemicals, marketing, express or full (flex) service, minimum
wages, effective working, consolidation,
private equity etc.

Q: Fraud's not something anyone wants
happening in their business. What kind
of opportunities did this create for you?
I had founded my own "car wash" software
company with two employees two years
after starting work on the software. Two
years later I had my first holiday since starting my business. You always get the best
ideas during holidays.

Q: Why do you serve on the board of
directors of the ICA and Bovag - What
do you see to be the value of the two
organizations?
I believe having organizations like the
ICA and Bovag representing our industry
is extremely important. We need to have
an official representation toward automotive industry and government. And it is
extremely important to constantly improve
our operations and technology. I am not
the type of guy that sits back and waits. I
want to be with our industry leaders working on this.

Q: The question is, did you get to make
the idea come to life?
Yes. I ended up opening, as far as I know,
the first car wash to be opened in a converted warehouse. I partnered with Ger
Loogman and since then we've installed a
lot of car washes in the Netherlands.
Q: So, knowing you've had some measure of success here, what keeps you
motivated; what continues to excite you
about the business?
The car wash industry is constantly evolving. A couple of years ago we were pioneering in the Netherlands, trying to find ideas
and copying what was happening in the
industry in the U.S and Germany. Today

Q: What would you like the industry to
know about the ICA board of directors?
Many people may not realize that all of our
decisions are made based on consensus and
not on personal agendas. Leading people
in our industry are investing a lot of time
to bring the industry further by serving on
the board of directors of the ICA. We have
intense discussions about the direction our
industry is moving or should be moving
and both operators and vendors are part
of this process. I am a strong believer of

Mark De Graaf, owner, BOB Autowas

"I THINK THE BEST CAR
WASH OPERATORS IN
THE WORLD ARE VERY
PASSIONATE ABOUT
THEIR BUSINESSES,
HAVING CONSTANT
NEW CHALLENGES:
NEW CAR TECHNOLOGY,
CHEMICALS, MARKETING,
EXPRESS OR FULL
(FLEX) SERVICE,
MINIMUM WAGES,
EFFECTIVE WORKING,
CONSOLIDATION,
PRIVATE EQUITY ETC."

shared interests and working together as
much as possible!
We make informed decisions on things
like where to have shows, how to serve the
industry the best, how to use our financials
and how to establish the best interaction
between all the people involved in our
industry.
I have often changed my vision on certain issues by listening to these great leaders
in the industry and of course by active participation in these important discussions.
Q: How would you compare and contrast the U.S. and European car wash
markets?
U.S. and European markets are very comparable on wash habits and wash frequency.
The car wash market actually started in the

FALL 2017 | CAR WASH MAGAZINE | WWW.CARWASH.ORG

15


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Fall 2017

Letter from the ICA
Meet the Board
By the Numbers
Overheard Online
Globetrotting
Waterway Gas & Wash
Rising stars
You've made it... now what?
Kadelyn Burgess, Crew Car Wash
Roll up your sleeves
They say they want a revolution
Lessons pave the way to success
Car Wash Excellence Summit
Carina Spurlock, Mister Car Wash
Shaun Nordgaarden, Waterway Gas & Wash
Automotive technology
... And now I own a car wash
“The How of Car Washing”
Take a Tour: Wash N Roll
Blast from the Past
Marketing Minute
Download It!
Ask Champ
Top Tweets
Advertiser Index
5 Things
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Intro
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - belyband1
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - bellyband2
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - cover1
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - cover2
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 3
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 4
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 5
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 6
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 7
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 8
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 9
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 10
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 11
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 12
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Letter from the ICA
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 14
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Meet the Board
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 16
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 17
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - By the Numbers
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 19
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 20
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 21
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 22
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Overheard Online
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 24
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 25
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Globetrotting
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 27
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 28
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 29
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 30
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 31
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 32
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 33
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 34
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 35
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Waterway Gas & Wash
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 37
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 38
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 39
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 40
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 41
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 42
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Rising stars
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 44
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 45
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 46
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 47
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 48
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 49
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 50
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - You've made it... now what?
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 52
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 53
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 54
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Kadelyn Burgess, Crew Car Wash
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Roll up your sleeves
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 57
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 58
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 59
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 60
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 61
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 62
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 63
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - They say they want a revolution
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 65
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 66
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 67
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 68
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 69
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 70
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 71
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 72
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 73
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 74
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 75
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 76
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Lessons pave the way to success
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 78
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 79
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 80
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Car Wash Excellence Summit
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 82
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 83
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 84
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Carina Spurlock, Mister Car Wash
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 86
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 87
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 88
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Shaun Nordgaarden, Waterway Gas & Wash
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 90
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 91
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Automotive technology
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 93
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 94
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - ... And now I own a car wash
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 96
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 97
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 98
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - “The How of Car Washing”
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Take a Tour: Wash N Roll
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 101
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 102
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 103
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 104
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 105
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 106
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 107
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Blast from the Past
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 109
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 110
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Marketing Minute
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 112
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Download It!
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Ask Champ
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Top Tweets
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 116
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - Advertiser Index
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 118
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 119
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 120
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 121
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - 5 Things
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - cover3
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - cover4
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert1
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert2
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert3
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert4
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert5
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert6
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert7
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert8
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert9
Car Wash - Fall 2017 - outsert10
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