Lehigh Valley Company Revolutionizing Car Wash Technology
By Colin McEvoy on July 13, 2016
If you’ve used your local car wash there is a good chance that you’ve used the products developed by Innovative Control Systems (ICS), a cutting edge technology firm headquartered right here in the Lehigh Valley.
Based in Wind Gap, this industry-leading provider of car wash control, payment, and management systems may be one of the Slate Belt’s best-kept secrets. While not a household name, ICS is well-known as a leader in the commercial car wash industry and has experienced rapid growth for more than two decades.
Founded in 1988 by long-time Lehigh Valley resident Kevin Detrick, ICS is staffed by 120 employees, many of whom are from the Lehigh Valley community, and its technology can be found in 15,000 car wash installations around the world.
So what has contributed to the company’s success?
“ICS is all about helping commercial car wash owners and operators succeed,” Detrick said. “We do that by creating world-class products and supporting those products with the finest customer service and technical support available.”
That commitment to customer success has propelled ICS into a remarkable period of sustained growth. The company has increased its staff by 56 employees – or 46 percent of its workforce – in the last three years alone. Now they’re looking to grow again, seeking to immediately hire and train 20 Technical Support Specialists, a key role that supports the growth of the company.
Innovative Control Systems has also grown its brick-and-mortar presence over the past few years. In addition to its headquarters in Wind Gap, and a 24,000 square-foot production facility in Easton, ICS opened a 2,850 square-foot West Coast office in Irvine, Calif., in 2012 and additional offices in Bristol, England and Dusseldorf, Germany in 2016, making ICS a local success story with a truly global footprint.
ICS recently announced the acquisition of PSD Codax, a U.K.-based leader in car wash code entry and control systems. That acquisition, in addition to a number of recent strategic alliances with international organizations, has positioned ICS for outstanding growth around the globe.
“The commercial car wash industry is highly competitive, global in scope, and constantly expanding into new markets. ICS’s goal is to help car wash operators around the world build successful businesses using our advanced control, payment, and management solutions.” said Detrick.
That competitive spirit led ICS to contact the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) to learn more about supporting ICS’s growth strategies. LVEDC made business outreach visits to the company in recent weeks, providing a wealth of information, as well as connecting ICS with the Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board to help assist with its workforce needs.
“Innovative Control Systems is a truly cutting-edge company and a great example of some of the exciting things happening in the Slate Belt and the Lehigh Valley business communities,” said Melody Bradford, LVEDC Director of Business Outreach Programs.
Bradford noted the Slate Belt boasts a wide range of economic assets, including a large inventory of available commercial properties, reliable utility infrastructure, a favorable tax structure for businesses and residents, and a history of creative and skilled craftspeople.
ICS is deeply rooted in the Lehigh Valley. Detrick is a graduate of Lehigh University, and was a participant in the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, an economic development initiative that links high-potential, early-stage technology firms and established manufacturers with funding, technology, and other resources.
Detrick, who also owns Sparkle Car Wash with locations in Stroudsburg and Easton, capitalized on his early experience as a car wash operator and founded ICS to address the need for a management system that integrated control of the car wash equipment with key business functions like payments, labor management, sales analysis, and cash control.
The car wash industry began to take notice of the company’s creative approach to solving the challenges that faced all car wash operators and Innovative Control Systems quickly became a developer of world-class car wash management systems with customers around the globe.
Learn more about Innovative Control Systems and the opportunity to join the ICS team at www.ICScarwashsystems.com.
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