Statement on CarWatch® Support: January 2, 2013
In August 2005, postings on the Auto Care Forum (www.autocareforum.com) raised concerns about the availability of customer support for the CarWatch Cash Register and Timeclock System. We are happy to say that in 2013 we are still supporting CarWatch. We created this Web page to give DRB Systems’ customers a more complete picture of the outlook in this area.
- It's true: CarWatch is no longer available as a product. First introduced in 1985, CarWatch has been used in well over two thousand car washes and quick lubes nationwide. In 2001, the new SiteWatch® product supplanted CarWatch as DRB Systems’ primary point-of-service product for the car care industry. Since that year, our customers have steadily migrated to the SiteWatch product, with operators taking advantage of its more modern features and technologies.
The decision to discontinue the sale of CarWatch was reluctantly made; but it recognizes two key factors:
- The future lies with SiteWatch®. As a practical matter, all R&D and future features should be built on SiteWatch’s more-modern product platform. Technical and cost considerations make it impractical to develop both product lines at once.
- There are long-term risks to the supportability of CarWatch. Finding suitable DOS-compatible PCs, modems, and printers has become more difficult. (For example, of the hundreds of printers made by HP today, none of their low-end inkjet printers and only one of their mid-range inkjet printers is DOS-compatible.) In addition, hiring and training support staff for a DOS platform is increasingly challenging and expensive. Before training, most of the new hires in our support department have never seen a DOS “C:\>” prompt!
Given these factors, we decided it most appropriate to our customers (existing and future) to shut down the CarWatch product production line. With all that said...
CarWatch is still being supported today and for at least 2 more years. There are still over 400 active CarWatch customers who request and pay for ongoing support. We do not want to turn our backs to these loyal customers and have no current plans to change or discontinue support. As of this date, DRB Systems expects to offer CarWatch support for at least the next two years. Please consider the following points:
- Although limited in ways, CarWatch continues to provide real value to many carwashers across the country.
- Supporting CarWatch remains a viable business for DRB Systems.
Although hardware unavailability continues to be the largest factor for CarWatch, our company continues to take steps to warehouse CarWatch compatible PCs and other similar DOS-based hardware.
- DRB Systems is committed to providing you value and keeping you informed. In conclusion, there are long-term risks to the support of CarWatch. For this and more positive reasons, DRB Systems expects most CarWatch customers who have not yet made the switch to upgrade to SiteWatch.
That said, our company wants to meet the needs of its valued customers. For those who are not yet ready to upgrade to SiteWatch, we are committed to offering CarWatch support – hardware and software – as long as it is practical. Again, at this point, we project that that will be at least for the next two years.
Please know that these policies have been created with the intention of being good stewards to our customers. We at DRB Systems appreciate your business and are committed to providing the best computer solutions in the car care industry. We are also committed to keeping you informed in this matter and will update customers as time progresses.
Thank you for being a customer of DRB Systems, Inc. If you have any questions or comments relating to these notes, please send them to email@example.com and we will make certain you get a response.
What Do Our Customers Say?
"He got it working. Everything five-star. Couldn't be happier. Everything was perfect."
- Nick, Fast Lane Carwash & Express Lube, 11/12/12
"Brandy cleared it right up. Amazing! She did it -- amazing! Knew what she was doing. Top of her game. I tell you, it was excellent. It was excellent. You did a great job. Took one, two, three. Called, switched over to the right person, went to the computer, did a great job. You guys, top of your game. Absolutely. Top of your game."
- Steve, Algonquin Auto Wash, 11/24/12
"It was resolved. He did a very good job. He was very patient and we worked everything out. He was really professional. He checked everything and did all the steps - - he did a really good job."
- Jeanhee, Broadway Bridge Wash & Lube, 12/5/12
"He took care of us like we needed. Everything went good with it. I’m happy with the service.”
- Robbie, Classic Express Car Wash, 1/3/13