R&T BLINDS EXPO IN EUROPE Stuttgart, Germany March 2018
The world’s largest window blind manufacturers gathered in Germany for five days to show off the latest and greatest advances in the window blind industry. From the moment you entered any of the eight halls, it was clear that the trend continues for sales of fabric blinds and roller shades.
This is great news for ultrasonic blind cleaners! These beautiful, higher end blinds require a bigger investment for consumers. To protect this investment, they are willing to pay for cleaning and maintenance rather than having to purchase new blinds.
Our stand received visitors from over 50 countries! Most are blind manufacturers and/or sell new blinds. During live cleaning demonstrations, it was amazing to see the recognition in their eyes of how easily blinds can be cleaned, and how much profit there is in the service. Most told us they had been asked if they clean blinds. Many discussed that by offering cleaning, it would be easier to get their customers to invest in more expensive blinds.
This was not news to Michele Lazzarotto from Elle Emme and Lavarretutto of Milan, Italy. Michele spent all five days at our stand speaking with interested customers about his personal experiences with ultrasonic cleaning. During the past eight years, Michele has expanded his business tremendously with ultrasonics. His investment in four Morantz machines has allowed him to take on all types of cleaning jobs, although cleaning blinds remains his largest market. Most recently Michele has been on the job at Versace keeping their blinds looking good!
Our live demonstrations included cleaning several blinds that people from all over Europe brought to our stand. We had one company bring us an extremely dirty, twenty year old Venetian Blind, from the exterior of a building.
Within minutes, the slats were clean, the cords and ladders were clean, and it was ready to be rehung and used for years to come.
Overall, the show was a great experience. We look forward to working with our new customers all over the world.
Here at Morantz, we believe that we’re only successful when our customers are successful. That’s why when we heard that ICS Cleaning Specialist Magazine profiled our customer, Nu-Look Cleaning Services of Philadelphia, PA, we couldn’t wait to share the news.
Meet Mick Bantoft, owner and operator of Kleena in Queensland, Australia (kleenabc.com.au). Over the past 8 years, Mick has used Morantz Ultrasonics to create an entirely new niche market for his company cleaning curtains, microfiber cloths, trolley covers, privacy curtains, blinds, soot damaged contents and other hard to clean items for hospitals and hotels.
Shaking Up Business
In 2006, Mick Bantoft knew he had to shake up his curtain cleaning business or risk losing it. He flew half way around the world to attend a cleaning tradeshow in search of the “next big thing,” something that would help grow his business. During his browsing, he saw the Morantz Ultrasonics cleaning systems. Immediately, Mick knew he had found what he was looking for. “I was completely amazed with what I was seeing. Fabrics, like the ones I clean were being put into the machine and came out cleaner than I could ever get them, and all within seconds,” Mick said. Mick decided then and there to learn as much as he could about ultrasonics. A short time later, he was on a plane to Philadelphia to see all that Morantz had to offer. After a few days at Morantz H.Q., Mick ordered his first set of machines, a Morantz 3-in-1 System, and got to work.
“The learning curve was short and once my staff and I really began to understand the full capabilities of these machines, the excitement and work continued to grow.” said Mick. “I focused primarily on blinds and curtains in my first year because it was my client base. I was able to process existing jobs in a much shorter amount of time which generated higher profit margins and left me time to explore and promote other types of cleaning.”
Mick and his staff soon returned to Morantz H.Q. and attended a Morantz’s Firesonics® Seminar where they learned more about how to use ultrasonics to clean soot and smoke damaged items including electronics. “Very few people offer content cleaning in Australia. I knew this was a great opportunity to get my foot in the door. As soon as I started promoting it, the work came so quickly I ordered a SM-200 Super Mighty One from Morantz to dedicate to the contents side. I also purchased a golf club cleaning machine to promote content cleaning and other services at tournaments and meetings.” Mick added, “When I realized how useful the pneumatic lift on the SM-200 was for lifting heavy items, I started using it for curtain cleaning and it made a huge difference! My female employees were struggling with lifting wet, heavy curtains out of the tank, but the lift made this process of lifting and draining very easy.”
A Better Drying Process
As both his curtain cleaning and content cleaning businesses continued to grow, Mick knew he needed a better drying process. “While some curtains can air dry, other types need to be dried quickly or else browning starts to appear. Electronics also must be dried quickly and at higher temperatures. I had seen the Morantz Drye Rite cabinet, loved it, but needed something much bigger to accommodate all I had to dry on a daily basis. I had Lisa (Morantz) build me what is now the Drye Rite XL. It’s a full, room size dryer complete with Infrared Heat and Ozone for deodorization. We have both our contents and our curtains on rolling racks and roll them in and out. It’s incredible and has increased my productivity tremendously!”
Hospitals Took Notice
In 2010, Mick started seeing a significant increase in work from local hospitals. When he presented the data from Morantz’s independent testing (testing confirmed that ultrasonics not only sanitizes, but disinfects), hospitals really took notice. Mick tells us, “MRSA and C-Diff are big issues for hospitals. Morantz’s testing set a new standard that no other method of cleaning could touch. Now I had the capability of offering services well beyond privacy curtain cleaning. With my equipment, I clean wheelchairs, slings, trolleys, trolley covers, bed-side tables, microfibers, patient restraints… Some of the items they give me, I don’t even know what they’re for! The work orders keep growing and I keep bringing on new hospitals.”
Business was growing so fast that Mick needed to expand yet again. After moving to a larger and newer building, he spoke to Lisa Morantz about adapting one of Morantz’s newer models, the SM-200-XL which had primarily been used for industrial parts cleaning, to suit his needs. “We put our heads together and came up with unique features which makes the new SM-200-XL a hybrid machine with all the best features Morantz has to offer,” said Mick. “I now use this model for everything I do and couldn’t be more pleased.It’s been terrific for all the new curtain cleaning and lamp shade work I am getting from hotels.”
Growing by 200%
By 2014, since meeting Morantz, Mick has increased his business by 200%. His processes with the Morantz machines can now be duplicated around the country, and that’s just what he intends to do. Mick has just completed a new deal to bring Morantz Ultrasonic equipment, and his know-how, to a major Australian cleaning franchise.
Congratulations to Mick and the entire team at Kleena. Best wishes for your continued success.
Buongiorno and welcome to Milan, Italy! We bring you all the way around the globe to meet Michele Lazzarotto, owner of Elle Emme custom window treatments and LavareTutto (literally translated from Italian to mean “Wash All“).
Michele and his family operate several businesses all over Italy that custom manufacture window treatments of all types including blinds and curtains. He has owned and operated his famous shop in Milan for nearly 25 years.
How He Got His Start
Michele first learned about Morantz’s blind cleaning equipment in 2008 while researching on the internet ways to properly clean blinds for his clients. Amazed with what he saw, Michele booked his flight to Philadelphia to see the machines in action. He even brought samples of fabrics and blinds to test clean. Excited by the results, Michele placed his order for equipment.
“I could not believe the opportunity I had come across when I saw the Morantz blind cleaning machine working,“exclaims Michele. “No one in Italy was offering to clean blinds. The market was wide open and desperately in need of this type of cleaning“.
Michele let all of his long-time customers know that he can now service all the window blinds he had sold them. He also created a separate company and website, Lavarre Tutto, to start promoting everything he could clean. Soon he had jobs not only cleaning blinds, but items such as hubcaps, wood stools, metal parts (including engine parts), light diffusers and much more. Here are some photos he sent us to share with our readers, Prima (Before) and Dopo (After):
A Machine Called “Money!”
Michele lovingly named his blind cleaning machine “Money,” and the name has stuck to this day. “It is unbelievable how much money this machine continues to make, so the name fits,” Michele said. “My staff is constantly busy with cleaning blinds of all types: Roller shades, mini blinds, vertical blinds and more.”
How He “Sells” It
One of the many ways Michele promotes ultrasonic cleaning to his clients is by hooking them on the technology when they visit his shop. Next to his coffee machine proudly sits his Morantz SZ-400 Table-Top System. During offers to clean his clients jewelry and eyeglasses. While cleaning, he explains that this is the same technology that he uses to clean blinds. “It works beautifully and demonstrates my capabilities for cleaning,” says Michele.
Success, and More Success
Michele was doing so much ultrasonic cleaning that in 2011 he purchased a second machine, the Morantz SM-200-XL. “With the XL machine, I am able to clean a wide variety of items including curtains and even multiple blinds at once. This all-purpose system has really opened up Ultrasonic Cleaning to my company. We have diversified in ways we never dreamed of.”
To procure commercial cleaning jobs, Michele takes his machines to tradeshows in Italy including the largest exhibition for window blinds as well as the largest for general cleaning. In this way, he is constantly in front of decision makers showcasing his company’s technology and capabilities. “When I show potential clients how Morantz Ultrasonics works, they can’t believe what they are seeing I create a lot of excitement at these trade fairs, and have taken on many large commercial jobs as a result of these exhibitions.”
Michele recently completed a large commercial blind cleaning job for one of the many buildings on the campus of ENI Petrol Company. They were so pleased with the outcome that they have now hired Michele’s company to clean another 5000 blinds this Spring!
“I Get Calls Every Day”
Michele tells us that he is constantly receiving calls for his service. “I get calls everyday,” He says, and with the economy in a major slump in Italy, and with local banks not loaning money, he is glad he invested in the equipment. “Small businesses are closing everywhere in Italy. Companies like mine who manufacture and sells blinds are very slow, so they’re looking to maintain what they own,” He said. “The timing could not be better for me to offer this service for blinds and other items. Ultrasonic cleaning is not only keeping my doors open for business, it’s growing my business.”
The Success Keeps Coming
Michele has sent us even more photos including those for the job above. You can see them on our Facebook Page. All of our best wishes for continued success to Michele Lazzarotto and the entire Elle Emme and Lavare Tutto team.
Congratulations to Urban Valet Dry Cleaners on their new Morantz Ultrasonics B-136 “Baby” Blind Cleaner. Great day of training. Urban Valet is now ready to clean your mini blinds, vertical blinds, pleated shades, silhouette shades, wood blinds and more! — with Eric Pyne and Jackie O’Malley.
For many of us, social media has become a standard in our lives. With the proliferation of Facebook, Twitter and other networks, I find myself on the internet more than ever discussing all types of topics with people from all over the world. But who would have ever thought that WINDOW BLIND CLEANING would have been one of those topics? Don’t take my word for it. Check out Facebook and Twitter where I found these messages:
“I hate cleaning wood blinds!!!, why did I have to get them everywhere in my house.”
“You could take em off & throw em in a tub…or buy a swiffer…I hate dusting blinds UGH!”
“Decided that cleaning window blind slats is right up there with silver polish; never gets done either.”
“Took down blind to clean it…took hours!”
“Cleaning a mini blind? Don’t bother. Its too hard.”
Recently I came across a Blog which threw out the simple question:
“What’s The Best and Easiest Way to Clean Blinds?”
Throughout the day, 21 people replied. Most people responded with their homemade bath tub type cleaning and dusting techniques. Interestingly, many of those people admitted that they were frustrated because the results of those methods were not that good. All this frustration leads to people absolutely hating the job of cleaning blinds!
Still not convinced? How about this response (you can really feel the frustration here):
“When asked how to clean; Yes there is a great way to take care of this problem! Make sure to read all the way through…even though this is easy, it is kind of detailed instructions. What you do: Mix a quart of vinegar, a small box of baking soda, in a bathtub about half to three quarters full of hot hot water. You need a hammer for this part. Take down all the horizontal mini-blinds in your home and hammer them to one inch pieces and set the pile on fire. Have the marshmellows handy! While your fire is getting the coals built up (because you can’t rush a great campfire) go online and order some vertical blinds, roman shades, or curtains for the windows in your home, all of which are easy to clean. Next, throw a beach towel over your naked bathroom window. Sprinkle some lavender oil or rose petals in the tub with the vinegar and soda water (which is great for the skin by the way) and celebrate your wise decision with a nice hot soak for your tired, stressed out, marshmellowy body. All this to say, I think mini-blinds are God’s way of mocking humans and I have NO idea how to deal with them. (WINK WINK HAHAHAHAHAHAHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAA!)”
Despite all these posts, tweets, etc. The quote that follows is actually my FAVORITE response. It’s short and gets to the point:
“Pay to get them clean, that’s the easiest.”
And many, many people do pay to get their blinds cleaned.
The blog went on to discuss ultrasonic cleaning for blinds and stated:
“There are many benefits of ultrasonic cleaning such as they eliminate pollutants, germs, bacteria and move dust. And the best thing of this method is that you can clean your blinds at reasonable price. Another great advantage is that with the help of this method you can not only clean roller blinds but other types of blinds such as vertical blinds, office blinds, wooden blinds, mini blinds and Venetian blinds can be cleaned perfectly.“
At the end of the day, there’s an absolutely huge market that has proven itself time and time again to be profitable; and that market is cleaning window blinds with Ultrasonics.