In the laundry hall at the BP gas station in Well, Limburg, it is almost always busy, but especially on Saturdays it gets hectic. This bustle owes its good name to the station, which Vollenhoven took over last year. When the old rollover was replaced, the company therefore made every effort to choose a fast, but above all good washing machine.
It eventually became a Washtec Softcare Pro 2. A special feature of the machine installed in Well is the drive-in module. Laundry customers can choose the program in the terminal at the front of the laundry hall and pay contactlessly. It is therefore no longer necessary to buy a ticket in the store and enter a code upon return. “In theory, you could pick and pay from your car through the window, just like at the drive-in at McDonalds,” explains Adriaan Nuijten of Washtec. “Then you drive into the toilet, and as soon as the car is in the right position, the program starts automatically.”
Remove the antenna
Vollenhoven deliberately chose to turn the terminal a quarter turn. “Customers still have to go out, pick and pay here,” says Guy Faber, product manager car wash at Vollenhoven. “That way you prevent them from forgetting to remove or fold their antenna. But customers have the advantage that they do not have to go into the store. ”
Convenience to the customer is not the only motivation for developing the drive-in module. Customers who do not have to come in to get a ticket do not block the passage with their vehicle while looking around the store in peace. By paying on the portal, six to seven extra washes a day can be performed within the same time frame.
“Especially on Saturday it can save a lot of delays, because then it can get hectic here with long queues of cars wanting to be washed.” At BP Well, an average of three hundred cars are washed a week, of which 40 percent on Saturdays. “While one car is inside, the next one can already pick and buy its program,” says Faber. There is also a spray lance for the prewash, which waiting laundry customers can kill time with and not stop the flow later. The most comprehensive program takes just under eight minutes.
Another special feature of the terminal is Valina’s payment system. This contactless system also has a slot where the bank card can be inserted if the contactless system does not work for a while or the card needs to make contact again. Furthermore, a receipt can also be printed in the terminal, something that is often not possible with contactless systems.
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Washtec Softcare Pro 2 works fully automatically, ie if the customer has indicated that he or she will stay in the car, the program starts as soon as the car is in the right place in the car wash. As a safety feature, the program stops as soon as the customer presses the horn. Customers who prefer to wait outside the car can start the program by pressing the green button to the right of the entrance.
As soon as the machine starts running, the sight of foam and colored LED lighting starts. “The customer takes it for granted that your car comes out clean. It should be good anyway, but the rest makes the difference, “says Faber. “Things like convenience, speed, the amount of foam and the experience this provides.”
Furthermore, the machine is fully electronic and frequency controlled. The customer especially notices that the rollover is very quiet. “A mechanical-pneumatic machine makes jerky movements and more noise. It is precisely the jerking movements that load the parts more and therefore more wear. In addition, the wash arms and brushes can also follow the contours of the vehicle less accurately. With Softcare Pro 2, for example, you do not need covers for wipers. Furthermore, the soft brushes ensure that there is no damage to the vehicle. Every fiber has holes, so if they get caught in something, they break off immediately before the car can be damaged. ”
Vollenhoven currently has twenty manned petrol stations, fifteen of which have a roller or car wash and one with only a wash box. According to Faber, washing is becoming an increasingly important part of business operations. “We can no longer manage with the sale of petrol and diesel alone. We are in a transition phase where we need to reinvent ourselves. Alternative fuels are an important part of this, but also what we do in the shop with coffee with baker and sink. We are constantly looking to expand our network. The acquisition of BP Well also fit in. ”