S & W Pressure Wash, Inc.

What the business does: S & W Pressure Wash provides a cleaning service for small-to-large fleets of vehicles, mainly over-the-road tractors and trailers. The company washes everything from personal vehicles to heavy construction equipment and provides detail service when requested. The work is done on-site at three stationary wash-rack locations in Vancouver, Kent and Rochester. The company also has a fleet of mobile trucks that bring the wash to the customer at their facility or job site.

How has the economy affected your business: Although the company has had some moderate growth in the past three years, the economy has definitely affected the trucking industry. There have been periods of inconsistency in the amount of truck washes from time to time. Companies usually wash their fleets to maintain their professional appearance when traveling through weigh scales as well as to keep their fleet well maintained. Recent economic conditions have made washes a secondary priority in order to reduce costs. Hines said his company has been contacted by companies requesting pricing discounts to help them offset the economic conditions. This is a first for the company.

Greatest challenge: Hines said it has been a challenge to keep a balance between rising costs from vendors and maintaining a competitive price in the market. What has been even more challenging is taking care of his employees and helping them to survive. The difficulty is in providing wage increases, making sure hours are balanced and fair — especially when work is slow — and keeping the company earning a profit.

What’s ahead: The goal is to stay focused on providing a quality service at a competitive price while continuing to add value for our customers. There are opportunities for improvements and potential expansion to another location in the Tacoma/Seattle area that are currently being explored.

Accredited to The Columbian

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