Auto Detailing Network
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Inside Detailing Network

Steve Okun's Detailing Column

The comments contained in this column are the opinions and views of Mr. Okun and do not necessarily reflect the views of Auto Detailing Network.

Comments or Questions regarding this column should be directed to Steve Okun.

Steve can be reached at Steve Okun's Website


Flex-Serve Blend

Flex-Serve Blend
An Initiative That Proves “The Whole Is Greater…

...Than The Sum Of Its Parts”


By Steve Okun

By prudently blending two essential elements together, a strategic relationship is created between two
universal bedfellows: the automatic carwash and the mobile detailer, forming a dynamic Flex-Serve
operating platform.

Although many might think of an automatic carwash and a mobile detailer as contentious adversaries,
when properly combined, they actually provide all the critical components of a very robust operating
platform. It may very well be the saving grace for troubled express exteriors — along with a sensible
option for all exteriors.

Profitable Adaptation
The Flex-Serve format is well known for its resilient adaptability in meeting the most stringent market
demands in serving consumer needs with seamless efficacy. Consisting of a high quality express
exterior carwash for automatic washing… and an express aftercare component for those customers
seeking a variety of hands-on service options, flex-serve is the quintessential carwash model. A
variation of that theme has been structured to provide a format that addresses a growing need by standalone express exterior operators who seek an effective way to take their clientele off-the-market from competitors while nevertheless insisting on absolutely avoiding the burdens of labor.

Likewise, mobile detailers are constantly seeking ways to cluster their activity in one location to avoid
costly downtime lost traveling from place to place as well as the inefficiencies involved in setting up and
dismantling down again between locations. Time waste is the mobile detailer’s constant nemesis.
Each of the two operations — the carwash and the mobile detailer — is a completely independent, selfcontained business with its own management and operational infrastructure. Yet, when combined, the collective resources provide a comprehensive marketing approach that can be significantly more
profitable for both.

As a business model, flex-serve is a good fit for both partners, providing fair and balanced benefits…as
well as shared responsibility. The mutual benefits are obvious.

Each business component retains its own identity. The express carwash offers a quick-and-easy wash
and dry without any hassles or needless delays. The mobile detailer isn’t really mobile… yet retains the
mobility of serving off-site customers, too. Both parties must demonstrate the benefits of the merged
services while carefully avoiding any compromise to the overall effort.

Detailers must help the carwash operation by sidestepping the urge to criticize, and instead provide any
needed supplemental support. The carwash operation should be viewed as a robust feeder system for
all the hands-on detailing needs. Good for the carwash owner, good for the mobile detailer and
especially good for the consumer.

A Supply And Demand Equation
For the carwash owner, the upside to the flex-serve synthesis is significant. Offering the consumer a
wide array of choices at one location is a powerful advantage.

Instead of asking customers to go elsewhere for needed hands-on services, the express exterior can
keep those customers from finding and using other alternatives, thus taking them off-the-market from
competitors. And, instead of running a staff-less facility, the detailer presence provides real-live walking and-talking people assistance.

The mobile detailer is self-contained, so no interior space is required. Conversely, the downside is
minimal. Reconfiguring the site for hands-on aftercare is usually quick and easy, providing the site is set
up properly — the basic responsibility of the carwash designer. Shortsighted equipment suppliers and
their lack of planning vision may compromise some sites but most will be able to easily adapt.

For the mobile detailer, the upside is significant. It’s an instant feeder system for hands-on services. Just about every vehicle that goes through a carwash can eventually benefit from detailing services, however slight. Maybe merely wiping the vehicle dry and doing the windows can become a mini-detail service.

On the other hand, the downside requires planning for peaks and valleys and setting some guidelines.
Unless the site is exceptionally busy, the hands-on services might be a part-time feature that cherrypicks peak demand times.
Mobile detailers need not change their business; simply grow it while maintaining existing clientele. If it
means expanding your equipment and staff, evaluate the opportunity and make a sensible business
decision. It need not be a change, but rather an expansion into another dimension.


All Hands-On Activity Occurs In After-Care
Unlike traditional full-service facilities, Flex-Serve Express After-Care is a hands-on option that doesn’t get in the way of carwashing. Instead, carwashing and “hands-on” after-care are completely independent of each other.

And in place of the stereotypical unskilled carwash attendant, a more competent team of detailers
deliver services to your clientele in meticulous fashion.

After-Care service availability can be determined by both parties to suit their respective needs as well as capability. Whether a full-time commitment of exposure or a designated day and time format, the handson aftercare services should be available to bolster consistency, thus enabling the service confidence to grow.

If one mobile detailer and his staff aren’t enough to fill the void, several other responsible mobile
detailing services may join the alliance. Irrespective of the number of partners, for it to be good for one, it must be good for all. The Flex-Serve synthesis creates a powerfully profitable synergy for all!


Who Handles The Money?
Cash control is simplified by each independent partner controlling their respective profit center within
mutually agreed upon guidelines. Many express exterior formats utilize automated cash control systems
that take care of the complete carwash transaction.

The carwash owner can integrate the aftercare offerings into the existing format and have a negotiated
payout or simply direct the aftercare operator to keep transactions separate. This flexibility may offer
many of the carwash-automated cash control services such as push-button sales and credit card
acceptance to the mobile detailer, providing potentially newfound advantages for growing profits.


Housekeeping & Image Synergy
Irrespective of what is being done in aftercare or who’s doing it, there should be a clear understanding of what the image of the overall operation must be, as well as overall staff conduct. For the alliance to be successful and fair to all parties, a unified effort towards absolute customer satisfaction should be the prevailing objective. You’re in the “business of clean”, and everything about the operation should
reinforce that image.

Each profit center retains its own identity, so the detailer enjoys added exposure and grows name
recognition. Just because the staff constantly deals with dirt doesn’t mean they must wear it. If you
intend to interact with consumers, it’s wise to look and smell clean. Busy days and hot weather may be
reason enough for multiple uniform changes.

Clean-smelling squeaky-clean restrooms speak volumes without uttering a single sound. Lighting that
eliminates shadows and bathes the entire surrounding with clean, bright light projects the image of a
safe, clean environment.


Fair And Balanced Synergy
Essentially, the carwash operator can develop a multi-profit center climate on the previously intended
single entity operation. Rent, merchandising and credit card processing fees can be collected from the
mobile detailing operation while bolstering a more robust destination site. Smart carwash operators will
have a few mobile detailers waiting in the wings for eventual blending in when needed. Labor hassles
remain the detailer’s challenge, motivated by the risk of non-performers being replaced.

On balance, automatic carwashes are typically busy on weekends and just before major holidays, so
special consideration should be given to coverage during those times.

Mobile detailers can find comfort in eliminating the time drain of traffic delays and multiple set-up times
while growing their business with better exposure at a high profile location. While generating profits
onsite, detailers have the additional benefit of growing off-site business as well.

Flex-serve blend is a sensible option for exterior carwash operators to help stabilize their business by
offering their clientele much wanted hands-on services without the day-to-day burden of finding, training, managing and administering labor. Although not for everybody, this innovative resource may provide a critical lifeline for express exteriors that are failing to generate the needed traffic to sustain their business.


How To Establish An Effective Match
❏ Assess your marketplace and evaluate your resources. If you’re a carwash operator, investigate
mobile detailers. Conversely, if you’re a mobile detailer, evaluate carwash opportunities.
❏ Carwash operators should survey existing customers and research their needs. Exterior
customers typically go elsewhere for hands-on services or do it themselves.
❏ Carwash operators need to make room for the supplemental hands-on stuff. If there’s a free
vacuum area, consider segregating and sharing some of it for the detailing component.
However, avoid congesting the easy no-hassle carwash flow.
❏ Mobile detailers must gear up to increased demands and prepare to provide quick, courteous
service that takes minutes, not hours. That means staffing accordingly.
❏ Carwash operators should insist on maintaining separate identities with detailers wearing clean
uniforms distinguishing their own company. Blurring the lines is risky unless a more
comprehensive agreement with appropriate safeguards is established.
❏ Mobile detailers should remain self-contained, manage their own space and not abuse the area
with spillover activity not defined in the original understanding with the carwash operator.
❏ If shared responsibilities involve crossover activity, clearly define the scope of involvement.
❏ If several mobile detailers are recruited into the alliance, make sure everyone understands and
agrees to guidelines. That requires oversight and is dependent upon effective communication
between all parties. For things to be fair for one, it must be fair for all.
❏ Mutually beneficial merchandising aids must be planned and executed carefully to gain their full
effect. Each profit center should bolster the other, with the consumer feeling the most benefit
by having many good service choices. Mobile detailers can also grow off-site service
continuation when appropriate and non-conflicting.
❏ If at first you don’t succeed in finding an acceptable match, try again. Sometimes, for whatever
reason, things simply don’t work out. Don’t quit; just find a better fit.

Understanding the basic Flex-Serve blend is simple: The whole becomes significantly greater than the
sum of its parts. In effect, express exterior operators that provide hands-on After-Care services find
having them creates the critical difference between flourishing… and floundering.



Steve Okun, developer of the Flex-Serve operating platform, is a 40+year veteran of the carwash and
detailing business. His company, FL-based SMOKUN & Associates, provides strategic planning &
development, carwash and detail consulting, training and marketing services. Contact Steve via e-mail



Used Vehicle



Seize This Profitable Niche Opportunity!



By Steve Okun





killed detailers who specialize in preparing used vehicles strictly for private resale are rediscovering a fresh and profitable new niche within their market. In a business that once concentrated exclusively on the used car dealers, resourceful detailers now find themselves diversifying their attention to the individual private sellers who need help preparing their singular vehicle for private sale.


Used Car Dealers Call It “Eyeball”!

Its long been known that buying a used car is a very emotional experience simply because every single used vehicle is uniquely a “one-of-a-kind”. But add to that the fact that most people make their decision on sheer looks, and the importance of strategic automotive appearance-care makes a whole lot of sense… and money. With few exceptions, we all “buy with our eyes”, while rationalizing and justifying the rest afterwards.

Detailers aren’t selling durability to this crowd, or even deep-cleaning and conditioning. Rather, it’s all about curb appeal and excited front-seat sensations. In a word: Emotion. Used cars are typically sold on-the-spot for that very reason. Mileage and optional accessories aside, beauty is usually the determining factor in any sale. First impressions really have a huge impact.

By specializing in this gigantic niche market, savvy detailers soon realize that in addition to making the paint shine and the interior feel and smell good, their ability to also make some minor upholstery and paint repairs offers a tremendous edge. Whether you achieve these repairs yourself or out-source, being a one-stop shop offers an important hassle-free advantage.

At Least Two For The Price Of One

Unlike dealing with a dealership’s used car manager who is responsible for many cars, you will be dealing one-on-one with the private seller. By advising your retail customer how to prudently rejuvenate their vehicle for resale, you have a tremendous opportunity to distinguish yourself and your talents.

You have your customer’s attention, because you become teammates on a mission to resell a car and enhance profits for its owner. Capitalizing on that special opportunity will give you the basis for a continuing relationship. Chances are, there is more than one vehicle in the family, or at least the car being sold will probably be replaced with another one that will need some appearance care. So, by getting involved in helping a private individual sell a used car, while making much more profit due to your know-how, you have made a potentially good long-term customer.

Reputations are built by influencing one customer at a time. If your services are worthy of praise, and you distinguish your value, people will talk. By recognizing that every customer has an indirect impact on several dozen more potential referrals, you are developing a healthy new network for growing your business. Essentially, you will create a very powerful and free marketing tool: Word-Of-Mouth Advertising.

A Quick Guide Of What To Offer

Remember that the mission is to make the vehicle look great in all of the key areas. You only need to accomplish short-term cosmetic rejuvenation, so keep things uncomplicated.

The exterior finish must have a dazzling shine, but durable paint protection is not required. All of the exterior trim must be detailed, the wheels must be very clean, and the tires dressed. Wheel cavities should be uniformly darkened to enhance the wheels and tires.

Likewise, deep cleaning of carpeting and upholstery will likely be the need of the new buyer, not the seller. A very thorough surface cleaning of the interior is critical, as well as the removal of any conspicuous stains. Every window and mirror must be cleaned streak-free. Meticulous cleaning and Q-tip detailing of door jambs, dashboards, and consoles is essential. Odor removal and air duct sanitizing with an ozone generator is an important plus, especially if the car has been exposed to smokers. Lightly dress interior plastics, leathers, and vinyl while carefully avoiding a fake, tacky look on the surfaces. Remember to clean up and dress the spare tire and trunk compartment, and make sure everything smells fresh and clean.

Lubrication of all of the hinges is a subtle enhancement that just makes things seem to work better. The same is true with WD-40 sprayed on a telescoping antenna.

Engine cleaning is a judgment call because risks are involved whenever you spray water into an engine compartment. If a quick wipe-down will suffice, you might be able to avoid potential engine and electrical problems that result from misplaced water pressure. However, clean engines are a definite advantage when showing any car for resale.

Make any necessary minor repairs to the vinyl or leather upholstery. Touch-up conspicuous micro-dings, superficial scratches & stone chips, as well as any major bumper pad scuffs. Make sure all lighting works fine, including interior bulb quality.

When you outline the care needed to prepare the customer’s car for remarketing, use the opportunity to differentiate what is needed to make the vehicle merely look good, as opposed to providing long-term protection. Plan for the future and lay the groundwork for more business after the job. Draw a distinction about how easily a well-maintained appearance is quick to resell, while neglected vehicles require more costly preparation. That variation will anticipate as well as legitimize expected service costs for the seller’s new car, making required protection and continuous-care a lot more valuable.


Distinguish Yourself As A "Used Vehicle Remarketing Specialist"

Seasoned used car detailers have made an art out of preparing a pre-owned car for remarketing. It is a tremendously valuable service that is only lightly touched upon in this article. Sharing tips and ideas with fellow detailers will offer you a wellspring of additional ideas, so do some research. Visit several used car dealerships and discover what their used car manager finds most important to look for in cosmetic reconditioning.

Catalog everyone’s ideas and develop your own package for the private seller market. Print up a special flyer or handout card and promote yourself as a uniquely qualified specialist. Farm all the used car print and electronic ad sites for potential clients and actively promote yourself as a “Used Car Remarketing Specialist”.

Remember that people are more likely to spend money on an Expert to eliminate problems and make their life less complicated. The easier you can make selling their car privately, the greater your chances are for capturing a tremendously overlooked and profitable niche market.

Be aware, too, that your competition may be reading this very same article. You Snooze, You Lose!




About The Author STEVE OKUN, a strategic advisor for the automotive think-tank that created the Certified Used Car for Lexus and Toyota, an Industry First!  Steve has been providing highly effective operations and marketing consulting services for the International automotive industry since 1970. Email: or visit his website —




Hire A Spy!

If this stimulates a reaction, I invite your feedback.


How To Enhance Your Competitive Edge:
Hire A Spy!

by Steve Okun

Espionage. Reconnaissance. Surveillance. Call it what you will, but understand that in today’s business
place, “spying” is an essential component for maintaining a competitive advantage in customer satisfaction and retention. It remains crucial that you have your finger on the pulse of what your competition is doing…as well as how your own operation measures up to competition. Complacency in this area often destroys good businesses before they know it.

Strategic Knowledge is Power
Our industry has come a long way in monitoring itself against theft and fictitious claims by way of the latest digital security hardware. But, safeguarding our competitive edge by monitoring how we do…what we do is another story. Regardless of how vigilant you are in sustaining a pleasant environment for the customers at your business, management’s eyes and ears often aren’t enough to render objective monitoring and adequate feedback. More information combined with candid oversight and critical evaluation provides a more effective basis for steering a business towards continuing success.

Mystery or phantom shopping is the systematic practice of secret observation in order to accumulate
assessable information. It has become a tremendously effective tool for maintaining a sensitive customer
service vigil and preserves quality customer retention.

Seize The Competitive Advantage
You can hire a professional spy or simply do-it-yourself. Either way, the quality of your effort and level of
commitment will determine the overall efficacy of the results. You will need to develop a list of criteria for
evaluation. Creating and using an established form helps maintain consistency within your survey. This
standardization will facilitate the uniform information capture from numerous inquiries and visits.

Third-Party Spy Works Best
When it comes to spying on the competition, there’s nothing new about a business owner checking out his competition. Accordingly, it’s hard to maintain anonymity when most of the competition recognizes one another and anticipates your scrutiny. That’s why it makes sense to have someone else do your spy work. When gathering information, an objective, emotionally detached observer is the best way to investigate a competing operation. Acknowledging that impressions and interpretations vary from person to person, this stealth-like review is best utilized with multiple observers who make inspections at the same site.
Overlapping their observations and layering their assessments will offer a rather effective judgment of real and perceived issues with the operation.

Bootstrap Reconnaissance: How To Go Stealth…On The Cheap
Enlist about a dozen people who are non-related to the operation in any way, and plan to pay them for their critical feedback. Invite them to an off-location site for orientation and provide them with your evaluation form. Explain the mission and emphasize the importance of their unvarnished candor as being a valuable tool. Give each “spy” a scheduled time to visit and assure them of reimbursement for the service and products you would like them to purchase, or give them a budget figure as a guide. A hand-carwash is a sensible choice because it’s easy to critique and allows for observation time in the business. Your spies should get a receipt of the transaction and include it with the returned evaluation form.

Spy On Every Operation, Including Your Own
Ask your spies to make a thoughtful tour of the entire operation. Their efforts should be individual and
separate, encouraging free and independent thought.
Provoke their sensory awareness. Ask that they scrutinize interior and exterior lighting in overcast and
dusk conditions, as well as nighttime. Expect them to check all signage for ease of understanding and
overall appearance. Insist that they make the inspection as thorough as possible. Probe their feelings
about color and noise in your printed evaluation form. Invite them each to rank ten things in which they
suggest improvement and encourage their independent criticism. Challenge spies for their complete and
uncompromised feelings and emotions. No pain, no gain.

Evaluate and Analyze Feedback
Gather all of the feedback and evaluate the responses. Detach yourself as much as possible and remain
painfully impartial. Recruit the assistance of a business professional you respect and trust to lend a hand in your final evaluation. The challenge in this exercise is your ability to be objective. Categorize similar
concerns and scrutinize their individual findings for your critical assessment. Remain sensitive to the areas that need remediation and search out meaningful improvement. Safeguard the secrecy of the exercise and maintain it as a cyclical, on-going continuous improvement task. Remember that there is a direct relationship between the effort and energy given to this activity… and the resulting quality of the results. Challenge yourself for excellence and celebrate your sensible avoidance of complacency.

You Snooze, You Lose.
A suggestion to the business owner who doesn’t care about the other guy: Wake up! In case you never
heard of Pearl Harbor, be advised that surprises may be fine for birthday parties and even winning the
lottery, but not all surprises are intended to be happy events. Others in the same business as you should
always be seeking an effective competitive edge. The more you know about all the activities within your
marketplace, the better your chances are of continuously enjoying success. Remember the old adage:
“Ignorance is bliss”… and understand that it really doesn’t apply to business. Here’s one that does: You
Snooze, You Lose!

About The Author — STEVE OKUN, a 40+year hands-on veteran of the carwash and detailing business,
has been providing highly effective operations and marketing consulting services for the professional carwash and detail operators since 1970. Email: or visit his website —


© All Rights Reserved – Steve Okun

Hire A Spy!


STEVE OKUN: Automotive Appearance-Care RAINMAKER

Dan suggested that the initial column be devoted to introducing myself and providing some background in the business. Here’s a recent Author’s Overview blurb that offers some perspective:

Currently, OKUN is an independent consultant specializing in the car wash and detailing industry, discreetly serving clients that run the gamut from a single detail or car wash business to automotive chains, industry associations and worldwide manufacturers of products and services. Previously, and often concurrently, he’s owned and operated professional car washes, truck washes and detail businesses, designed and built detail facilities and car & truck washes for others, provided hands-on training, and assisted various automotive OEMs as well as manufacturers who make products for the automotive aftermarket. Okun has worked in all aspects of the automotive appearance-care arena for his entire adult life. He’s picked up quite a bit of knowledge over these four decades, and hopes to share some insights along with offering some perspective on where we are as well as a few options and alternatives of how we might best advance. Always learning, Okun considers himself a tenacious student of automotive appearance-care, unwavering even after decades of up-close and personal experience.

Accordingly, Okun has been a major force in the automotive appearance-care business for over 40 years, successfully shaping the Industry nationwide. Okun, who holds degrees in psychology and marketing communications, has owned and successfully operated some of the most profitable appearance-care businesses in the country, including full-service and exterior car washes, truck washes, and high-profile detail centers. In fact, his businesses have been the subject of numerous national newspaper, magazine, and television features. As the innovator of menu-merchandising and service advisors that changed the sales practices in the professional car washing industry, his proven techniques remain key to their appearance-care profits today. As well, his concept of dollar-per-car revenue valuation has become a standard within the Industry.


  • Innovated “Dollar-Per-Car” revenue assessment in 1970 as a financial tool for Extra-Services financial growth and management.
  • Introduced Menu-Merchandising and Service Advisors concepts to the car wash industry in 1970.
  • Pioneered carwash signage by bringing internally illuminated merchandising inside the wash tunnel.
  • Coined the phrase “Soft-Cloth” for merchandising “fabric” washing material in sensible response to Industry-misnomer of cloth washing as being “brushless”.
  • Served as the first Detailing Editor for Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine as well as Technical Editor for America’s Car Care Business.
  • Authored for Crown Publishing, E.W.Williams Publishing, and National Trade Publications
  • Served as Vice-President for Meguiar’s, Inc., a leading surface-care products manufacturer.
  • Co-Drafted Detail Training Curriculum for INTER-INDUSTRY CONFERENCE OF AUTO COLLISION REPAIR (I-CAR) detail training curriculum for bodyshop trade.
  • Developed & implemented Chrysler Corporation’s acid-rain paint-correction procedures dealer-network training program.
  • Formulated Toyota Port Operations Appearance-Care Remarketing Procedures
  • Developed Meguiar’s Paint Correction Disciplines for Professionals
  • Broke new ground in professional product development.
  • Designed & Patented Foam Buffing Pad & Process Technologies
  • Co-Developed & Benchmarked worldwide appearance-care for the LEXUS Certified Pre-Owned program
  • Benchmarked Appearance-Care for Toyota Corporation’s Certified Used Vehicle program.
  • Designed a highly effective retail Appearance-Care Profit Center that helped automotive icon Carl Sewell retain more of his “Customers For Life”.
  • Developed & Benchmarked appearance reconditioning processes for DRIVERSMART, a national used vehicle superstore franchise.
  • Developed & Implemented DuPont Assurance of Quality seminar series for Appearance-Care Profit Centers within the collision & bodyshop industry.
  • Provided strategic planning initiatives for numerous international clients, a few of which being 3M, DuPont, DRIVERSMART, AutoNation USA, Meguiar’s, Chrysler, Turtle Wax, Auto Magic, Mercedes-Benz, Joyserv-Southeast Toyota, Sewell Motors, the International Carwash Association and others.
  • Developed & Benchmarked ICA’s EXPRESS DETAILING CERTIFICATION program, an Industry First.
  •  Innovated, developed & introduced the FLEX-SERVE operations platform for automatic car washing & “Express After-Care” detailing services that set a new standard for the Industry.
  •  Pioneered the integration of flat-belt conveyor systems for high-performance production detailing as well as hand-carwash operations.

Okun was the principal detail advisor for the groundbreaking Lexus and Toyota Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle remarketing programs, which resulted in significantly enhanced residual values, stabilized pricing, and a dramatic increase in system profitability. Okun also established system-wide remarketing standards for cosmetic reconditioning and appearance-care throughout the automotive industry.

Currently, Steve continues to be an active contributor within the Industry:

  •  A prolific writer, OKUN authored 4 books focused on various aspects of car washing & detailing.
  •  Seasoned industry expert writer & columnist for numerous magazines and trade papers.
  •  Frequent speaker at automotive industry conventions and educational trade seminars.
  • An Independent Consultant specializing in the automotive appearance-care industry with expertise in strategic planning, profit center development, ultra-high performance production efficacy, operations & management support, customer satisfaction & retention, innovative relationship-marketing techniques as well as Flex-Serve operational upgrades and new construction development.



The car wash and detail communities have enjoyed a great reputation of selfless sharing of concepts, ideas and problem-solving between professionals, and I look forward to continuing that philosophy.  To some, I have earned a reputation for being passionately candid about certain issues, and may not always remain "politically correct". 

It is seldom my intention to be overly aggressive, but having been around long enough to have seen and heard quite a bit come and go over the years, I sometimes feel honor bound to speak up when smoke and mirrors abound... and integrity is at risk of compromise. In addition to offering information and advice, my mission is also to provoke and challenge mediocrity... and rock the complacency of the status quo while challenging for growth and excellence!


One final comment: As a Professional Rainmaker I truly believe that, done properly, automotive appearance-care is... and will continue to be a very, very profitable business.  That said, there are changes evolving that will undoubtedly affect where and how that profitability is created and maintained.  I've agreed to participate in Dan's initiative because I'd genuinely like to assist in that endeavor.