Finding Ways to Use Big Data to Help Small Shops


Brian Janezic, 27, was in the equipment room of one of the two Auto Wash Express self-service locations he owns in Tucson, going through his cleaning supplies and vending machine items to determine what to reorder, when it hit him. “We have machines that automatically size and wash a car, mix chemicals, activate pumps, turn on lights — and here I am still counting inventory by hand.”

An online search introduced him to FileMaker Pro, a software product well suited to small businesses and tailored to the iPads that Mr. Janezic envisioned for himself and his three remote employees — not to mention the employees serving the six Arizona Auto Wash Express locations owned by his parents. “Now we can pull up any of our sites and see what’s on hand,” he said, adding that the FileMaker software “creates a PDF of a purchase order for us to send to one of our local suppliers or an online supplier.”

That was only part of the savings. Before Mr. Janezic installed sensors linked to FileMaker on each location’s eight drums of carwash chemicals — windshield bug removal solutions, pre-wash chemicals for tires, waxes, glass cleaners — monitoring use meant taking a yardstick to each drum, noting liquid levels and measuring again a week later. Gallons consumed divided by the number of cars washed told him how much of each solution was consumed per wash.

Written by John Grossmann.  To read the full article, click here.  Premier Business Network™ provides Guaranteed Benefits for Small Businesses™. Feel free to join the  conversation about small business benefits at #pbnbenefits. For more small business tips or to become a member, visit our website at www.premierbusinessnetwork.com, and follow us everywhere @pbnbenefits.

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