Story courtesy of siouxfalls.business. This paid piece is sponsored by Silverstar Car Wash.
It’s probably fitting that Nick Weets is involved in readying nearly every new Silverstar Car Wash to begin operations.
That’s because he has been there from the very first wash.
Hired 11 years ago as the first site manager for the first Silverstar location, Weets has grown his career with the company.
“It’s pretty neat,” he said. “When I started, I didn’t think we’d be this far along in 11 years, but every day poses new challenges. I come from a mechanical background and mindset, and enjoy problem-solving. That’s what’s kept me around – being able to grow myself and my career with the company.”
Through the past decade, he has gone from managing the location at 57th Street and Marion Road to handling maintenance for existing sites.
He gets to put all that experience to work in his latest role: lead installer for an in-house team that helps set up all the equipment for new Silverstar locations.
“There’s definitely an advantage with this approach,” Weets said. “It gives us the opportunity to have control a little more over the timelines and the quality of the end product.”
Silverstar decided to bring installation in-house about two years ago as its growth began to accelerate.
“Prior to this, an installation team would come out for a few weeks from our equipment distributor in Rapid City to install the equipment,” said Andrea Vetos, Silverstar operations director.
One of those team members was Nick Lunde, who joined Silverstar’s team as chief field engineer, bringing valuable installation experience.
Five team members are based in Sioux Falls, three are in Sioux City, and the plan is to grow. This past week, a team helped prepare to open the first location in Fargo.
“I feel like we’ve got a good system down,” Lunde said. “We always have one or two projects going on, so we’re working at getting everything down to streamline it even more.”
For Lunde and his family, the time was right for a change. He’s a Seattle native who was stationed eight years at Ellsworth Air Force Base, where he met his future wife.
“We love Sioux Falls,” he said. “It’s a great place. I was from a big city and went to a small one, and Sioux Falls is a nice in between.”
The installation team handles all equipment, from the pieces in the mechanical room that ensure everything runs properly to the equipment in the wash bay that physically washes the cars, plus the point-of-sale setup, camera system and many smaller storage and signage items on-site.
They even apply the floor coating throughout the office and wash tunnel.
“From my perspective, having our in-house team completing all this allows us to become highly specialized with our equipment needs and preferences, making sure that things are set up exactly the way we want them from day one and that they’re consistent from site to site,” Vetos said.
“It also allows for a feedback loop that creates constant improvement — as each new site opens, there are details, small and large, that our site managers, regional managers and other team members can share with the installation team to see how we can do it a little better the next time.”
While it’s a specific career field that takes time to learn, Lunde said those who come with a background in construction, plumbing or electrical can find that it’s a fit.
“If you enjoy working with your hands and building things, it could be for you,” he said. “We take a lot of pride and care in how we build these because we know we’ll also be the ones taking care of them as they need higher-level maintenance.”
The installation team will be looking to grow as current team members are trained and can begin leading crews, Lunde said.
“We’ve got a real diverse group with different backgrounds, and it’s been nice watching them come together and get really good at this,” he said.
Weets, who started when Silverstar only counted a handful of employees, said it’s an opportunity others should consider.
“The opportunities at Silverstar are endless as we grow,” he said. “It’s all based on the effort you put into it. If you want to put in the effort, there is ample opportunity to move up in the company.”