Industry Spotlight: Sandy Bass Leads BayWatch Enterprises
BayWatch Enterprises has been building doors and monitoring systems for the carwash industry since 1995. It is a full-service manufacturer located in Denver, Colorado, providing design, construction, installation and distribution to all the major carwash manufacturers. With off-site management and control of doors, heaters and heat mats, single thermostat control and a built-in car wash interface, BayWatch is recognized as the leader in advanced door solutions. BayWatch hired Sandy Bass as president in April of 2012. Previously, Bass was with Ecolab as a corporate account manager in the Vehicle Care Division. Prior to that, he spent eight years as vice president of sales for Mark VII Equipment. Curious to learn more about BayWatch and Bass’ leadership skills, I asked Bass to answer some pertinent questions. It seems BayWatch has made an excellent decision in choosing Sandy Bass to lead them forward within the carwash industry.
Wash Trends: In considering leading BayWatch, why did you think your personal philosophy was a good fit for the company?
Sandy Bass:Tom Townsend, the founder of BayWatch, had an amazing product that was like no other in the industry,” Bass responds. “Over the years, I have built many great relationships with other vendors, distributors and end-users in the carwash industry. In coming to BayWatch, I knew I could get people to take a look at our products and that those products would speak for themselves. I was also excited to help take our existing offering and see how we could broaden its capabilities. Tom and I share a common vision of where we want to take this business. This common vision has resulted in doubling the size of the company over the past two years.
WT: What is your viewpoint on leadership skills?
SB: I am a big believer in communicating with our employees about where we are going and encouraging their input about ways of getting there,” explains Bass. “I believe employees will take a lot more pride in what they do if they understand the company’s goals and can take part in accomplishing them.
WT: What is the BayWatch company philosophy?
SB: We feel that carwash doors are an integral part to the success of any car wash owner, but having a reliable door is only part of the equation. We want to expand what doors can do for our customers beyond just opening and closing. Our customers want to feel connected to their business at all times, and we have embraced the use of technology to keep them connected. We strive to provide high-quality products that are on the leading edge of automation.
WT: How is innovation at BayWatch orchestrated?
SB: Our products are centered around the latest technologies offered on the market. We offer remote monitoring of our doors and heaters to give our customers peace of mind that their wash bay is safe and knowledge that they are maximizing sales. To make sure we are providing the most current technology available, we try very hard not to just look at what is going on in the carwash industry, but in other industries as well. We regularly meet with our suppliers, who get to see what is going on in other fields, and we solicit their advice about the newest available products and ways that we can integrate them into our doors.
Also Tom and I often try to take the time to throw ideas back and forth at each other. We start out with “I wonder if we could … ,” and it just seems to grow from there. The conversation just gets us thinking in new ways, and we seem to feed off each other’s ideas.
WT: Does Bay Watch change with the times?
SB: Absolutely. The door and heater monitoring capabilities we offer have greatly improved over the past couple of years and have allowed us to expand the features we can offer our customers. For example, we started with the ability to notify the store personnel if there were any door errors out at the wash bay. That idea grew into the ability to also tie the doors, heaters, boilers and heat mats together with a single thermostat. This has been a big hit with wash owners because it eliminates employees and service technicians from tampering with heating systems. In the past, someone would raise the heater setting in the bay at some point in the winter. Spring would come and the doors would start staying open when the temperature would hit around 40 degrees. The heaters would still be set at 60 or even 70 degrees. This would result in heat being pumped out into an open bay all day long, wasting both energy and money. We’ve virtually eliminated that waste, and it has brought a lot of attention to us. We also expanded our product offering by adding a stainless steel heater line to take advantage of these capabilities. In addition, we then looked for ways to take our on-site monitoring information and allow our customers to see it remotely. Remote monitoring allows our customers to access all their door and heater information from any tablet, smartphone or computer and make changes to their system without being on site. It also provides email alerts of any door or heater failures for reduced downtime and reduced risk of equipment freeze-ups.
WT: What additional changes do you see coming from BayWatch?
SB: We are currently working on a project with a very large customer to quantify just how much energy they are saving by using BayWatch doors and heaters that are synced together compared to their old setup where they were not. Our newest software release now captures the amount of time their heaters are turned on and will send a monthly efficiency score to their cell phone. We are tracking the energy consumption of some of their non-BayWatch sites to show the difference in efficiencies. We intend to use the information gathered in this study to help customers qualify for available energy rebates from their electric providers for reducing their consumptions.
WT: And finally, what is your most important goal?
SB: Our goal is to continue to expand the amount of important information we can provide to our customers, helping them to run their business more efficiently.