Car wash business creates new opportunities with ALPR system

Montreal, Canada

Sonny’s The Carwash Factory has integrated Genetec Autovu Sharp V ALPR (automatic license plate recognition) cameras into its point-of-sale (POS) solutions used by car washes to create a frictionless retail experience for consumers, new marketing opportunities, and more efficient operations.

Sonny’s is one of the world's largest manufacturers of conveyorised carwash equipment with a network of more than 6,000 operators worldwide that tap its progressive approach including all the equipment, services, and resources needed to run a successful car wash business. To enable the innovative solution, Sonny’s Carwash Controls team built out its point of sale (POS) and Cloud-Based Back Office Management software to utilise ALPR and worked with Genetec to integrate it into the Autovu Sharp V cameras to feed data back to the Sonny’s Carwash Controls system. Over 1,000 Sonny’s operations are now equipped with the Sonny's Carwash Controls ALPR solution; and according to Genetec, some are reporting a rise in membership and average ticket sales, and a reduction of labour, after deploying it.

Regi Flanagan, Chief Technology Officer at Sonny’s The Carwash Factory, said “Partnering with a company like Genetec helps our team make the ALPR car wash solution a success. The Autovu Sharp V cameras perform exceptionally well, and the Genetec team is always responsive and willing to help. But ultimately, it’s the car wash operators who are benefiting the most. The ALPR solution helps our customers increase their sales, save on labour, and streamline the car wash experience so it’s completely seamless to the end customer.”

Improved customer experience and operational process

At car washes equipped with Sonny’s License Plate Recognition (LPR) solution, customers can sign up for membership wash plans using their plate numbers, use special express lanes that read their plates when they arrive, and get their vehicles washed according to their subscriptions. This process eliminates the need for RFID tags and readers and online payment and enables a ‘smart queue’ that knows which cars are in the queue next to ensure every customer gets the wash they purchased -- all of which reduces time, labour, and cost.

Genetec is even working with the Sonny’s Carwash Controls team to develop new firmware for the camera to enable the Sonny’s software that recognises trailer hitches on vehicles, for equipment to retract and avoiding costly issues like damage to equipment or customer vehicles if staff doesn't intervene manually.

New data insights drive new marketing opportunities

By collecting and correlating data from Autovu LPR cameras, Sonny’s is able to further increase the value of their POS solution to car wash operators. Unlike RFID technology, which simply detected vehicles with memberships, LPR technology enables the businesses to capture and leverage consumer behaviour data in meaningful ways to optimise customer flow and potentially increase spending. For example, they can offer discount enticements if a customer has not renewed, memberships to customers who visit frequently, or advanced services like high-level detailing based on past purchases. They can even recognise first-time customers and greet them with targeted messages.


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