How Sonny’s CarWash Factory Utilizes ALPR to Enhance Customer Experience

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MONTRÉAL Genetec, a technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations and business intelligence solutions, has announced that Sonny’s The CarWash Factory has integrated Genetec AutoVu Sharp V ALPR (automatic license plate recognition) cameras into its point-of-sale (POS) solutions.

Genetec explains this solution is used by car washes to create a frictionless retail experience for consumers, new marketing opportunities and more efficient operations.

Sonny’s is a large manufacturer of conveyorized carwash equipment with a network of more than 6,000 operators worldwide that apply a progressive approach including all the equipment, services and resources needed to run a successful car wash business.

To enable these solutions, Sonny’s CarWash Controls team built out its point of sale (POS) and Cloud-Based Back Office Management software to utilize 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; some reporting a rise in membership and average ticket sales, and a reduction of labor, after deploying it.

“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,” says Regi Flanagan, chief technology officer at Sonny’s The Carwash Factory. “The ALPR solution helps our customers increase their sales, save on labor and streamline the car wash experience so it’s completely seamless to the end customer.”

Sonny’s CarWash’s Use of Genetec ALPR Eliminates Need for RFID Tags

At car washes equipped with Sonny’s License Plate Recognition (LPR) solution, customers can sign up for membership wash plans using their plate numbers; customers can use special express lanes that read their plates when they arrive, and they get their vehicles washed according to their subscriptions.

Genetec points out this process eliminates the need for RFID tags and readers and online payment to support a “smart queue” that knows which cars are in the queue next to ensure every customer gets the wash they purchased — all of which is said to reduce time, labor and cost.

Genetec notes that it is now working with the Sonny’s CarWash Controls team to develop new firmware for the camera to enable the Sonny’s software that recognizes 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.

In addition to the labor and overall cost benefits, the companies state that 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 behavior data in meaningful ways to optimize 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 recognize first-time customers and greet them with targeted messages.

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