Friday, April 29, 2016

THE CUSTOMER DILEMMA

A service company often has a tendency to believe that the customer is there just to buy something. That's not the role of a customer. A customer is there to be served.

Clients or customers have complete agendas of their own. Your service is a minute segment of their requirements for living. The secret of good service is to go where you are needed and to be as little an intrusion as possible for your customer.

Many times, service personnel mistake courtesy for friendship. A customer may be polite, but that does not mean he or she wants to be a friend. Return politeness and courtesy, but do not go beyond those points. The successful service company learns to differentiate between courtesy and friendship.

See the latest issue of The Clene-Times.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

Friday, April 22, 2016

WHY USE PHASE I™ AND PHASE II™

Phase I™ and Phase II™ represent a generation of dual action odor control concentrates. Both have the unique ability to deodorize as well as remove the source of bad odors.

Offensive odors are not masked by Phase I and Phase II. Rather, by a complex chemical reaction, odors are treated chemically and neutralized. Then a germicide combines with the carpet to retard the source of the odor. This wintergreen-scented dual system is regarded as one of the best available in the carpet cleaning industry today.

Phase I is mixed directly with the cleaning solution, normally one ounce per gallon of water. Phase II is ready to use and is sprayed directly on the carpet, injected into the backing and pad, or atomized into the air or under the carpets for tough deodorizing jobs involving smoke, mildew, animal odors and rancid odors.

As with all Bane-Clene® products, Phase I and Phase II contain no Butyl Cellosolve, phenolics, Formaldehyde, harsh chemicals or toxic material.

See the latest issue of The Clene-Times.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

Friday, April 15, 2016

WICKING

WICKING

Wicking is blamed for a variety of problems. Knowing what wicking is, what causes it and ways to prevent it are extremely important for a professional carpet cleaner.

As carpets dry after cleaning, the fibers dry from the tips. As the moisture evaporates from the tips, any foreign material in the pad, backing and fibers rises vertically along with the water until it reaches the surface. If this material dries on the tips, the result is the appearance of stains or dark areas that were not there before cleaning. These stains are commonly referred to as browning.

If spills and or residue from previous cleanings has been detected during the cleaning process, then browning may be prevented by treating the affected area with Brown Out®. Always use proper application techniques. If a problem occurs after cleaning, then Brown Out can be used to neutralize the browning. After removing the browning, thoroughly rinse the affected area and reapply the Brown Out according to instructions.

To minimize wicking problems, avoid over wetting the carpet during cleaning. The use of Preface® as a pre-spray will help avoid over wetting. Most spots and stains are removed during the regular cleaning process when good techniques, equipment and chemicals are employed.

See the latest issue of The Clene-Times.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Get 'Em Dry!

There are several reasons that Bane-Clene Systems get carpets so dry:

1. Cleaning Agents, Pre-Sprays and Spotters

  • Specifically designed for the system. They were developed and are used in our own service company. They are safe, effective and economical.
  • These are Bane-Clene's own proprietary brands and patented formulas. They are updated and monitored by our In-House chemist.

2. Temperature, Pressure and Recovery

  • Optimum water pressure is set to safely and efficiently loosen soil and ground in dirt. The cleaning solution is delivered at a temperature hot enough to remove stains but yet safe for all fibers.
  • Positive displacement Vacuum System recovers dirty water, leaving the carpets 95% + residue free and virtually dry.

3. Operator Techniques

  • Proper technique is taught so that carpets are not over wet and are left slightly damp to the touch with minimal drying time. This is achieved by a philosophy of 2 dry vacuum strokes for every "wet" stroke. This facilitates drying time and the importance of leaving carpets virtually residue free.

See the latest issue of The Clene-Times.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Jimmie

   

Today is commonly known as April Fools Day. But, at Bane-Clene®, it has a much different and important meaning. We celebrate the birthday of Elizabeth Bane's father.

James (Jimmie) Crossey was born in Ireland on April 1st, 1898. He immigrated through Ellis Island in 1916. He eventually settled in Philadelphia, PA where he married and raised his family.

When Bane-Clene Corp® was searching for a logo in 1969, we chose a leprechaun because of our partial Irish heritage.

In 1972, Jimmie's beloved wife passed away and he came to live with the Bane's in Indianapolis.

In 1976, Jimmie made his debut as our real live leprechaun in his full authentic attire at our national convention. He was a fixture at subsequent meetings until he passed away in 1986.

See the latest issue of The Clene-Times.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

Friday, March 25, 2016

TLS 2000® Heavy-Duty Carpet Cleaning Prespray / Traffic Lane Spotter

TLS® 2000 prespray degreaser is an extremely strong, highly concentrated liquid formulation. This heavy-duty traffic lane spotter contains grease emulsifiers and saponifiers, wetting agents, water softeners and grease-dissolving solvents.

The amount of TLS 2000 over other pre-sprays needed was cut at least in half. Results were better, liquification of grease occurred faster and carpets were cleaner and brighter.

These results were obtained even though TLS 2000 contains NO Butyl Cellosolve , enzymes, free caustic or chlorinated solvents. All of which could cause allergy and toxicity, as well as waste water disposal and pollution problems.

TLS 2000 is environmentally safe and is one of the many "green" products Bane-Clene® offers.

See the latest issue of The Clene-Times.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

Friday, March 18, 2016

We're All In This Together!

From the fiber producer to the end user, the carpet industry is composed of many different segments.

The fiber producers continue to improve the soil hiding and stain resistance for their fibers. Warranties against crushing, matting, stains, soil, wear and static are standard.

Most carpet mills with input from equipment and chemical manufactures have designed maintenance brochures for their customers. Bane-Clene® has developed a "Residential Carpet Care" brochure (Item No. 40021). Mills know that a large percentage of their claims are a result of improper maintenance or lack of it.

Retailers understand that today's cleaning technology will enhance the beauty and prolong the life of carpet. The longer a carpet performs, the better the chance of a repeat customer.

Through continued education and training, like that offered at The Bane-Clene® Institute and others, carpet cleaners continue to provide high quality cleaning services. This helps carpeting perform better and last longer.

Truly we are "All In This Together".

See the latest issue of The Clene-Times.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Mystery Spots

Many medicines such as acne preparations and pet products contain a chemical compound called Benzoyl Peroxide, a strong oxidizing bleach. NOTE: Some tooth pastes also contain peroxide!

It acts as a "bleach" in an ointment base and attacks dyes in fabrics, often leaving a yellowish to whitish spot. Often, they do not appear until after cleaning because the ointment base as been removed in the cleaning process and the peroxide has been activated. Although insoluble in water, they are not extremely difficult to remove.

If the medicine is known to be present, but discoloration hasn't yet started, scrape up the medication, blot with Saf-T-Solv™ and treat with an anti-chlor bleach neutralizer such as Red Relief® or ChlorX Bleach Neutralizer following label directions. Leave the bleach neutralizer on the area at least 15 minutes to neutralize the benzoyl peroxide and thoroughly extract.

If discoloration has started, blot first with COLD household ammonia. Then spot the ointment with Saf-T-Solv™. After that, thoroughly clean and rinse out the spotters with your normal cleaning process.

Spot dye where necessary with the CMC Carpet Color Repair Set.

See the latest issue of The Clene-Times®.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Understanding the Nature of Soil and Dirt.

In order Bane-Clene® Systems to fully understand how extraction cleaning works, it is necessary to understand what it is you're trying to remove: SOIL.

Soil can be defined as an unwanted substance which detracts from the like-new appearance of a surface.

The purpose of cleaning carpet is to restore this new appearance and also to prolong the life of the carpet.

Soil falls broadly into five major groupings: surface litter, dry dust, grit, wet soils and oily soils.

Surface litter is easily removed. The other soils react differently with the carpeting. Gritty soil (like sand and other abrasives) will get deeply imbedded into the carpet, where they will grind away the life of the fibers. Dust left unattended attract oily soils. Wet soils (spills, stains and mud) change chemically with time to make their removal difficult. Oily soils (like cooking oils, gum, tar, etc.) attract more dust and grit. Bane-Clene® Systems consist of just the right combination of water pressure, water temperature, chemical energy and technique to provide the optimum cleaning of all these types of soil without any harm to the carpet fibers.

See the latest issue of The Clene-Times

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Value of Education.

The Bane-Clene Management School is a unique institution devoted to the concept that "nothing is constant except change".

Class content is flexible and will change to incorporate the latest developments in our industry. Classes are based upon the actual experiences of our service business in Indianapolis.

The camaraderie and friendships that develop are as valuable as the curriculum that is taught. You are among your peers who are eager to share their experiences.

School dates are March 21st through 23rd, 2016. Call now 800.428.9512 to register or for more information.

In March, the 3 day Bane-Clene Management school will be followed by 2 one day specialty classes.

Thursday March 24, 2016 will concentrate on Stone, Marble, Ceramic and Grout cleaning and care.

Friday March 25, 2016 will concentrate on Wood and Laminate Floor Care and Restoration.

For more information regarding fees and times, please call 800.428.9512

See the latest issue of The Clene-Times®.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Proper pH Cleaning

Whether we're talking about cleaning carpet, upholstery, hard surfaces or even trucks, all other things being equal, the higher the pH (potential of hydrogen) the better the cleaning.
Alkaline detergents more readily neutralize soils, which are usually acidic, and also more readily saponify cooking grease and cooking oils. Saponification is the chemical reaction of fatty materials with alkaline materials to form soap and glycerin.
Certain stain-resist nylon cannot be cleaned at a pH above 10. Some carpet fibers require a neutral pH.
Oriental Rugs or wool carpeting should not be cleaned at a high pH.
Upholstery that is wet cleanable should also not be cleaned at a high pH. This will avoid browning and or dye bleeding.
A quick review of pH:
  • 7.0 is neutral
  • Above 7 is alkaline
  • Below 7 is acidic.
Our service technicians follow a simple rule. If you do not know that exact fiber content of what you are cleaning. Then test the fabric in a inconspicuous place.
See the latest issue of The Clene-Times®.
Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Treating Carpets for Ice Melt "stains".

Winter time is obviously upon us. Copious amounts of Ice Melt or other ice melting products are being used.

When tracked in they either leave a white sticky residue or can turn a carpet yellow.

These problems can be easily resolved. Use a applicator or brush to apply a solution of Brown Out®.

Proper dilution ratio is one (1) part Brown Out® to two (2) parts water. Leave on the area to be treated for at least 15 minutes or until the stain has disappeared. Flush with water using one (1) wet and two (2) dry strokes with the cleaning head. It is important to thoroughly remove all the Brown Out®.

Repeat the process if necessary. You may apply the properly diluted product with a pressure sprayer. Do not allow the spray to come in contact with any object other that the carpet. Do NOT apply through your Carpet Cleaning Machine. If you use a sprayer thoroughly rinse your sprayer after use.

After you are done clean the carpet using PCA™ and Booster®. Retreat the carpet with a mixture of one (1) part Brown Out® to four (4) parts of water. Apply Sta-Clene® and "fast" dry the carpet using a Air-Mover.

See the latest issue of The Clene-Times®.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bane-Clene Corp® will celebrate our 54th Anniversary - February 4th, 2016.

Bane-Clene Corp® will celebrate our 54th Anniversary - February
4th, 2016.

We will presume you know the story of how a small start up Janitorial Service
morphed into what we are today.

An international manufacturer and supplier of Carpet Cleaning Equipment, Chemicals
and Accessories.

We don't have to tell you that being in business has its trials and tribulations.
However more importantly it has its many rewards for which we thankful.

Here is just a partial list of what we are thankful for:

  1. An invaluable staff, without whom we did not and will not continue to grow.
  2. Customers that compliment us for doing a good job.
  3. Customers that point out mistakes. We correct those mistakes, which makes us better.
  4. Good Vendors that keep our supply lines full.
  5. Good Accounting, Advertising, Financial, Insurance, Legal and Technology Advisors.

Lastly we are thankful that 54 years ago Wm. F. Bane had a vision and we at Bane-Clene strive everyday to promote and build on his vision.

For more information on the history of Bane-Clene visit "A
History of Cleaning Carpet - On the occasion of Our Golden Anniversary
"
by Wm. F. Bane.

See the latest issue of The Clene-Times®.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®

Monday, December 28, 2015

Human Relations

Speak to people. There is nothing as nice as a word of greeting.


Smile at people. It takes 72 muscles to frown but only 14 to smile.


Call people by name. This is music to anyone's ears.


Be friendly and helpful. This is one way to gain friends.


Be cordial. Speak and act as if everything you do is a real pleasure.


Be interested in people. You can like something about everyone if you really try.


Be generous with praise. But be very cautious with criticism.


Be considerate of the feelings of others. It will be greatly appreciated.


Be thoughtful of the opinions of others. This demonstrates you are a good listener.


Be alert to give service. What counts most in life is what we do for others.


Please visit our web site www.baneclene.com for hints and tips. Also, you will find the latest issue of The Clene-Times®.


Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®

Friday, November 27, 2015

SHOW YOUR CREDENTIALS

We live in a world where people are acutely aware of security. To this point, all your service personnel should be easily identifiable for your customers' peace of mind. The daily news is filled with home invasions, burglaries, robberies and unfortunately worse.

Bane-Clene® Institute has been teaching security awareness since its inception in 1978.

Wearing PCA™ and Bane-Clene® Certified Technician shoulder patches establishes credibility and confidence when you arrive at your customer's location.

A Bane-Clene® Certified Technician I. D. badge with a current photograph of the technician will offer further security for your customers. It is also extremely professional looking.

If you need to knock before entering, stand back from the door so you are fully visible. Upon entering the premises, immediately introduce yourself and your Company.

Also, park your vehicle if possible in full view of your customer line of sight.

Vans should be well marked.

A PCA™ decal is also a valuable point of credibility. It will demonstrate that your company belongs to an international trade group.



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Customer Relations

Some thoughts and comments regarding Customer Relations.

Your employees and or yourself are an invited "guest" into your customers' home or office. Recently a team member of the Bane-Clene® staff had a window replaced in their own home. The technicians that came were courteous, wore shoe booties and overall respected their home. However, one of the technicians remarked about the home and some of the furnishings. While this may seem as a compliment, by some it can be considered unsettling.

These are some of the standard procedures when the Wm. F. Bane Co. is on location:

  1. Conversations should be limited to the services that are being performed.
  2. Technicians should explain what they will do and answer questions pertaining to those services.
  3. Try to avoid conversations regarding politics, religion or other such topics. An answer that contradicts your customers' opinion can lead to an uncomfortable situation.
  4. Do NOT discuss your personal life.
  5. Avoid using the restroom.
  6. Politely decline any offer for food or refreshments. If you have time to sit and partake of such, the customer may think they are paying for the time you are sitting? Even though they offered.
  7. Put your cell phone in the vibrate mode or better yet, leave it in the truck. If you are answering calls while working in a customers' location, they will feel as though they are not your primary focus. Besides that it is rude and inconsiderate.

The ability to converse with your customers in a professional and business like manner while focusing on the task at hand is an EXTREMELY important attribute.

Good Cleaning!

The Bane-Clene® Team

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The "B"s Of Success!

Developing these "B" characteristics will help you become more successful.
  • "B" ready - Vans should be well-stocked with everything you need to work and with all the products you want to sell.

  • "B" punctual - People are busy and appreciate promptness. Have the courtesy to call if you are running late and offer them the opportunity to reschedule.

  • "B" professional looking - When making a sales call or estimate, wear proper business attire or a uniform. Carry a clipboard, briefcase or some type of folder to hold business cards and advertising material.
    Carpet Cleaning by Bane-Clene

  • "B" uniformed - All service personal should wear fresh uniforms  and clean shoes when working. Shoe Booties should be worn in a customers' home or office.


  • "B" knowledgeable - Be able to converse about your Company, the products and services you offer. Knowledge is power and will set you apart from your competition. Spot and Stain Removal is often a concern for a customer. Be well versed by referring to the Bane-Clene® Spot and Stain Guide.

  • "B" fair - Treat all customers, regardless of status, influence or size of the job equally. Service should be priced fairly at all times.

  • "B" flexible - Cleaning arrangements and maintenance programs at times have to be adjusted based upon a customers' need.

  • "B" polite - Always be courteous to the customer, even in stressful situations. Use tactful reserve in conversations. The customer is always right.

  • "B" friendly - If you smile and you are friendly, you will most likely put your customer in a like mood. This will make them more receptive to your plus sales efforts for Carpet Protectors, Deodorizers, etc.

  • "B" positive - If you do not believe in what you are selling, why should the customer? Never say anything derogatory. Even without voicing negative comments, a poor attitude can usually be sensed by the customer.

  • "B" sincere - Sincerity is the most important characteristic of a successful Company. Be straightforward and honest. Do NOT promise more than your Company can deliver.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Advertising

Advertising is the most difficult and expensive part of any business. More times than not, an owner who writes ad copy is totally shocked by the lack of response from an ad he or she thought was fantastic.

We recognized this problem early in our business and engaged outside advertising and marketing counsel to help us find out just what are the ingredients in an effective advertising campaign.

Marketing is a learning experience and the learning NEVER ends. Changing environments and consumer attitudes are constantly altering the campaign. When we first started direct mail and print media were the most effective in reaching our market. TV and radio can be effective in a smaller market that can be "dominated" with a modest budget. However, the larger the market the larger the budget and the cost can overwhelm a campaign. While we have not abandoned direct mail and print media (Yellow Pages), we now spend less in those media. We still use direct mail to send a "Reminder Postcard" to existing Bane-Clene® customers. Yellow Pages (print) is now augmented by Internet advertising, through them and others.

Obviously, Internet advertising is the "now" way to reach consumers at this time. The proliferation of Facebook, Pinterest and other Social Media platforms are giving consumers an avenue for looking for Carpet Cleaning Services. Also, Angie's List is a highly respected source for consumers to seek a myriad of companies.

Social Media can make you or break you. Be constantly vigilant and protective of your On Line reputation.

Good advertising will not help you if your service is not good.

Please visit our web site www.baneclene.com for hints and tips on advertising. Also, you will find the latest issue of The Clene-Times®.

Thank you for reading Bane's Blog®

Friday, August 07, 2015

The dog days of summer

The dog days of summer are here in most parts of the country. As the temperatures rise be sure your truck mounted equipment is performing at top efficiency.  Visit our web site www.baneclene.com for helpful information. You will find guides on periodic and preventative maintenance.

If you have any questions or need assistance please do not hesitate to contact us. We can be reached either via e-mail bane@baneclene.com or by phone at 1-800-428-9512.

Also on our web site www.baneclene.com you will find the latest issue of The Clene-Times®. Access it by clicking on The Clene-Times® tab in the Index on the left hand side of your screen. There you will find articles and our latest specials for carpet cleaning chemicals, supplies and accessories.

In addition our web site has a complete spot and stain removal guide. Click on the tab “Stain Removal” listed alphabetically in the index.  There are also instructional videos to guide you through the process of spot and stain removal for many items.

Thank You for reading Bane’s Blog ®. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Welcome to Bane's Blog.

It has been over a year since there were any postings to our blog. The exigency that prompted this was the untimely passing of our founder Wm. F. Bane on February 20, 2014. Writing was his passion and he epitomized the saying that "the pen was mightier than the sword". These new blogs will honor that passion and hopefully deliver information that you will find enlightening and educational. Your comments are always welcome and may be directed to bane@baneclene.com. Thank you for your past, present and future support and patronage. We value all of you.

The Bane-Clene® Team

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

July/August 2014 Clene-Times

The July/August 2014 Clene-Times issue is available on-line. Just click on the link.
Due to increased postal regulations regarding bulk mail and a looming
postage increase, future issues of the Clene-Times will be available
in digital format only at www.baneclene.com/clenetimes.html.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mini-Mount®



The Mini-Mount® carpet cleaning equipment is the first truck-mounted system designed especially for fuel-efficient mini-vans, which will fit into almost any garage or tight area. This carpet cleaning system is ideal for areas where extreme distance between jobs is a concern. It has the storage capacity, in many instances, to perform a full day's work. The Base Unit can be portable in less than one minute.

Triple heating system: Wasted engine heat automatically heats your cleaning solution to the right temperature and an auxiliary electric heater is used for water temperature control. The large insulated tanks enable you to clean all day without having to refill or dump water. The system is totally electric, with no dangerous or expensive fuels required. It is not  necessary to operate truck engine while cleaning.

Showroom 3D
Accessories including hoses and cleaning heads as shown in the catalog.
Does not include loading ramp. FULL FIVE-YEAR WARRANTY
Regular Price: $13,995.00
Special Price: $12,900.00
CALL FOR DETAILS

Customer Service

A quick and effective resolution of any conflict with a customer can actually increase their loyalty to your company.  A majority of customers will continue doing business with you if they feel you have corrected the problem that instigated the complaint.
Here are some suggestions:
Empathize with their emotions. Listen carefully and let them blow off some anger or frustration. Get as many "specifics" as possible and then clearly restate the problem. Confirm that both parties agree on the details.  Offer as many alternatives as possible and then allow the customer to decide on which alternative to use.
The most important part of creating a customer advocate for your company is after agreeing on a solution and solving the problem, be sure you do more than you promised.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Showroom 3-D Base Units Available at a special price

Now is a good time to upgrade to a Bane-Clene® 3-D base unit. Three showroom models available at a reduced price. The dual electric motor direct drive promotes 30% more vacuum. Plus an inline 1500 watt heater keeps your solution at a constant temperature at 180 degrees while you're in operation. Regular price 7495. Special price 6950 + s & h. Call your sales rep for complete details. Units will carry a five-year conditional warranty as always.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

William Francis Bane

It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we at Bane-Clene® Corp. regret to inform you that our Chairman, Wm. F. Bane, has passed away after a brief but courageous battle with cancer. Please read a brief synopsis of his life below. Thank you.

William Francis Bane passed away February 20th, 2014 at 9:40 PM
surrounded by his devoted family. A lifelong resident of Indianapolis, Bill led a noteworthy and successful life both privately and publicly. He was a loving
and devoted husband to his wife, a caring and nurturing father to his sons and Pawpaw to his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Bill was also an admired community leader and entrepreneur who led a successful business for over half his life, and who rose to a position of prominence within his industry.

Born June 25, 1927 and orphaned as a child, he was raised by his maternal grandparents Erven and Frances Ryle. Growing up in the Depression, he learned the value of hard work and the importance of self-reliance, innovation and motivation. His many positive qualities were further enhanced by his Catholic upbringing and education at Holy Cross Grade School and Cathedral High School. After graduation, Bill bravely embraced his love of country and enlisted in the Marine Corps to help defend his nation during World War II.

A true member of the ‘Greatest Generation’, he also volunteered and participated in the Korean conflict. While stationed in Philadelphia, PA after World War II, he met his bride to be Elizabeth Ann on a blind date. They were married on April 26th 1947 and the couple would have celebrated a happy and blessed 67th year of marriage.

In 1950, Bill and wife Elizabeth returned to Indianapolis as proud parents of their first son, Bill, Jr. Their second son Donald was born shortly thereafter, and the family has continued to call Indianapolis home since that time.

Following the return to Indianapolis, Bill helped to care for his ailing grandmother and began a career as a tanker truck driver for Gaseteria, a petroleum company. He later worked for Brink’s armored car service where he rose in ranks to the management level at the Indianapolis branch. With heavy heart, he resigned from Brink’s in late 1961 as further advancement meant moving his family to another part of the country and away from the city that his family called home.

Shortly after leaving Brink’s, Bill explored business opportunities that would allow him to create his own success and that might allow his family to become part of his endeavors. Seeing a need for janitorial services, he started The Wm. F. Bane Company on February 4th, 1962. The company grew and in 1967 added a commercial and residential carpet cleaning division. Recognizing the success of this aspect of his business, he divested the janitorial service division and focused the fledgling firm entirely on carpet cleaning.
While operating the carpet cleaning service, Bill recognized that improvements to the efficiency and quality of the cleaning process could propel the industry forward. His entrepreneurial spirit and innovation led him to produce the first “Truck Mounted” carpet cleaning machine in 1970, for which he later received a patent for the unique design and application.

Dedicated to his vision, in 1974 Bill launched Bane-Clene® Systems, focused on the production and sale of Carpet Cleaning Equipment, Chemicals and Supplies. The service and supply divisions were incorporated into one entity, Bane-Clene® Corporation in 1980. The successful firm that Bill began in 1962 celebrated its 52nd anniversary this year, with Bill still active as Board Chairman.
Under his guidance and charismatic leadership, the growing business attained worldwide recognition in the Carpet Cleaning Industry and Bill was an active speaker and evangelist for the cleaning methods he developed. His leadership and business acumen helped launch thousands of independent networked affiliates worldwide, and true to his original vision his wife and sons have remained active participants in the company, still managing its day-to-day operation.

In addition to his business success, Bill was an active civic leader, serving as President of the Meadows/Fall Creek Civic League. He worked tirelessly to promote the area and later achieved an Enterprise Zone designation which opened up business opportunities for others in the area. He was also an active member of American Legion Post #3 where he served as Commander.

Outside his professional and civic endeavors, Bill loved the game of baseball. As a noteworthy young ballplayer, he had been scouted by several major league teams. As a father, he coached his sons in Little League® baseball, where he taught them the attributes of sportsmanship and teamwork. Organizationally, Bill developed and managed multiple Championship teams in American Legion Baseball, Connie Mack and Junior Baseball.

Later in life, his competitive nature turned to golf. He enjoyed his time on the links with family, friends and associates at Hillcrest Country Club. His golfing buddies at Hillcrest were affectionately known as the R.O.B.’s and they enjoyed many great times together. Bill won more than one Club Tournament and realized the dream of every golfer, a “hole in one”.

Later in life, Bill and Elizabeth enjoyed wintering at their second home in St. Pete, FL. From there, they loved to visit nearby Disney World in Orlando, a special place where they enjoyed spending time with family and friends.

Their love for the ‘Fort Wilderness’ area of the resort inspired Bill to develop and personally execute a grand vision of his own nature park at their home in Indianapolis. Now successfully transformed into a beautiful five-acre nature sanctuary, this park, complete with paths, bridges, lakes and landscaping is a beautiful reminder of the man who created it. Even in late 2013 and toward the end of his life, Bill could be found creating pathways and clearing land on his trusty tractor, his vision always expanding. Over the years, they cared for dozens of pets on the property and loved observing the wildlife attracted to the beautiful grounds.

Bill left an amazing legacy for those that follow him. Whether in private, professional, or civic endeavors, he
was a successful leader with vision and motivation to follow through on his dreams. He will be greatly missed by the thousands of friends, associates and acquaintances he leaves behind, but most of all by his dedicated family who has remained with him throughout his prominent life.

He is survived by his spouse of 67 years (Elizabeth), sons Wm. F. Bane, Jr. (significant other Denise Pettigrew), Donald Allen (Linda Faye) several grandchildren and great grandchildren. Special mention is made for loyal caregiver and family friend, retired RN Lynn Kinz who was able to manage in-home hospice care at the end of his life.

In accordance with his final wishes, a private service is planned with interment in the family mausoleum at Crown Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Augustine’s Little Sisters of the Poor.Contact them at (2345 West 86th Street Indpls., IN 46260, Phone 317-415-5767, www.littlesistersofthepoorindianapolis.org) which was the favorite charity of his and his grandmother.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Stainmaster® one more time

Ads about Invista's new Stainmaster "PetProtect" were out as early as last November. The new product is durable, easy-to-clean and resists most pet stains according to the publicity releases. They claim pet hair lets go easier when vacuumed. That reminded me that it's time to do my annual puff-piece on the Stainmaster we bought for our family room in January of 1987. Actually it's the truth, but it sounds like a PR rep has played spin doctor on it.

DuPont spent $50,000,000.00, a lot of money in 1986, introducing Stainmaster with little Ricky throwing his food on the carpet. The commercials said it was easy to clean, but apparently they couldn't afford maintenance literature and wouldn't answer my inquiries about cleaning the new product. As cleaning professionals we needed to know if there were special requirements, so I started a testing program to see for myself how to clean it and how it would perform.

L. S. Ayres & Co., installed a champaign-colored cut-pile, by WestPoint Pepperell in our family room which is adjacent to a blacktop driveway and garage. Foot traffic funnels through the center of the room, so it was a poor choice of color and pile texture. The salesman never questioned my selection and when I asked about cleaning he said, "Don't worry about it, it hardly ever needs cleaning." No cleaning or warranty information was delivered by the installers.

For the next five years that Stainmaster was cleaned monthly and a variety of topical treatments (some later not recommended by DuPont) were applied to monitor the effects. In May of 1991, DuPont sent Cy Gantt to look at the carpet. The entry he made in our guest book reads, "The carpet is beautiful. It is difficult to put into words what it means to have Bane-Clene as a friend." Cy brought an artificial tree for our pool as a gift, which we cherish to this day.

In June of 1991, DuPont dispatched Caren McCabe to our home. Her entry in our guest book says, "Thanks for a wonderful two days. It was a pleasure meeting the folks at Bane-Clene and seeing the results of your testing program. It really looks great." Caren wasn't as kind to me as she was with her approval of our carpet tests. She beat me in golf at my club and again the next year when I was her guest at DuPont Country Club.

DuPont has sold the Stainmaster brand name, but twenty-seven years later, that carpet is still here. It has survived all of our early rigorous testing along with normal wear and tear like grandchildren, pizza, and pets. The traffic lane is not apparent, the tip definition is excellent and the fibers demonstrate remarkable resilience. If the new Invista product is half as good as our old Stainmaster it's a winner.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Missed 52nd Anniversary

On the 4th of February in 1962, my thirteen year old son, Bill Bane, Jr., cleaned the offices of Doctor James P. Leeds' in Indianapolis for the princely sum of $10. I usually mention the anniversary of our business on this BLOG site but medical problems got in the way this year.

The little weekly part-time venture was meant to supplement my income and help pay Bill's tuition to an expensive prep school he wanted to attend. Never in my wildest imagination could I have dreamed of the vast number of lives this little business would touch over the years.

Today, our service company has more than 60,000 central Indiana customers in its files and Bane-Clene ships merchandise to more than 9,000 professional carpet, upholstery and janitorial cleaners in 50 states and 15 foreign countries on 5 continents.

And it all began with that little $10 job ...... Is America great, or what!

Monday, January 20, 2014

"Yogi" logic

"This game is 90% mental. The other half is physical." Yogi Berra, the famous Yankee catcher, said that and was talking about baseball, but his famous quote can be used in almost any endeavor. The Mini-Clinic tours back in the '70s and '80s gave me the opportunity to talk with hundreds of people who were thinking about going into the carpet cleaning business.

These folks didn't have a clue about how to advertise to get the business. Worst of all, they had to commit to buying equipment and chemicals before they could even clean their first carpet. It was interesting to watch their faces as I talked about buying equipment, especially when Yogi's logic was applied to the difference between "buying" or being "sold."

To "buy" or to be "sold" may sound like the transaction has the same result but there is a huge difference. If a person is "sold," their chances of success are far less than those of a person who "buys" equipment. After being "sold" there is a period of doubt or buyer's remorse and that short hesitation may prevent the total commitment that it takes to succeed in a new business.

In a new business there is no room for error and just a short period of buyer's remorse may cause delaying an important decision. But someone who "sells" himself that he has made the right decision on equipment has a far greater chance to succeed because he is already committed and uses critical decision time with a clear head and to its fullest advantage.

Friday, January 17, 2014

More on bananas

The expression "Going bananas" is from the effects of bananas on the brain. Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy and can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent illnesses and conditions such as nerves. Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

A banana is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. Bananas might be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Astonishing comparison

During World War II, the U.S. built 22 aircraft carriers, 8 battleships, 48 cruisers, 349 destroyers, 420 destroyer escorts, 203 submarines, 34 million tons of merchant ships, 100,000 fighter planes, 98,000 bombers, 24,000 transport aircraft, 58,000 training aircraft, 93,000 tanks, 257,000 pieces of artillery, 105,000 mortars, 3,000,000 machine guns, and 2,500,000 trucks.

Nearly 20 million military were trained and uniformed, we invaded Africa, Sicily, Italy, won the battle for the Atlantic, planned and executed D-Day, took Europe, defeated Hitler and Mussolini, marched across the Pacific islands, won the Battle of Midway and built two atomic bombs and delivered them to Japan. All of this was accomplished in less than four years.

Obama took about the same amount of time to build a web site for Obamacare and it doesn't even work very well. The hundreds of millions of dollars in tax money that went to these "experts" is the epitome of "Crony Capitalism." Could it be true that the prime contract went to a foreign company owned by a college friend of Ms. O?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Low Fuel

When a car's low-fuel light comes on, there may be as little as one gallon of gasoline left, depending on the car model. Don't keep driving with the light on. In addition to running out of gas, driving with low fuel increases the risk of clogging fuel injectors with sediment that builds up in the bottom of the tank. That can reduce performance and fuel economy. The current cold weather compounds the problems.

Friday, January 10, 2014

"Tell ya what I'm gonna' do!"

"You say you're not satisfied! You say you want more for your money! Tell you what I'm gonna' do!" When pitchmen first shouted that line on TV, a Madison Avenue advertising executive said, "Television will change the advertising business forever." He was right!

Are you ready for more radical change? A New York shopping "expert" on national TV recently suggested shopping at Macy's or Bloomingdale's where someone will courteously demonstrate a product. Then she advised, "Go on-line and find that product at the best price."

J. C. Penney was in the news last year for flubbing their marketing program. They quit offering sales and discounts and tried honest, "everyday low prices." The CEO, Ron Johnson, lost his job, their stock plummeted and they even ran "apology" commercials to shareholders.

FTC rules and standards are long gone. The advertising guy was right 60 years ago about TV. But I doubt he could have foreseen dealing with people where everything has to be virtually free or absurdly discounted. The internet has turned the merchandising world upside down.

Examples: Suits, "Buy one, get three free." Carpet, "70% off." Is the consumer really stupid enough to fall for the old "Mark 'em up so you can mark 'em down" game? The majority of retailers must think so. The sad tale of J. C. Penney more or less confirms it.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

One more comment on Christmas

Listening to a former editor of a big liberal magazine that folded recently describe the reasons for the event was interesting. In the interview he may have divulged the problem that really caused their demise without even knowing it. At one point he said, "The elite of the east and west coasts just weren't enough to keep it going."

That gives you some idea of what he thinks of the rest of us in fly-over country. Since the media in general has the "elite" mind-set it becomes obvious to connect that mentality to the effort to eliminate God from our country. Elitists in congress carry the water for the elite media (not the other way around) and are hard at work to make us a God-less nation.

Meanwhile archaeologists (remember most of them have been educated by an elite academia) are busy at work in the middle east trying to tear down the traditional views of Jesus and the origins of Christianity. Christians are being killed in the middle east just as they were 2,000 years ago. And every year we see the same effort to remove Christ from Christmas.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Measuring ad results

Most people who advertise, especially those who write the check, want measurable results from their advertising dollars and in the near-term. Experience shows that advertising generates some immediate business but most benefits are measured in long-term value. An increased customer base and better profit margins are benefits from a consistent advertising program.

Certain fundamentals determine the success of an ad program. Be sure to target the right market and make sure an ad reaches it. Don't use too many different ads or try to mimic the "clever" ads used by big companies. It takes a budget outside the realm of small business to make them work. Most important, keep an ad program consistent.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Good advice from Cleanfax

Cleanfax published an article recently that goes to the heart of the training program at Bane- Clene Institute. Following are excerpts from the well-written article:

"The U.S. Department of Commerce claims that only one in five businesses will survive to celebrate its fifth anniversary. What is your biggest challenge? Rarely does one hear about a company failing because equipment could not do a good cleaning job. The real challenge is finding customers. Thousands of well-trained companies with state-of-the-art equipment fail each year. The predominant reason for their failure is the inability to create an ongoing flow of profitable work. Being the best carpet cleaner has little value if no one knows you exist. Yet for most start-ups, marketing is only an afterthought.

"Acquiring customers should be important from the beginning, and it will continually demand your attention and resources. Your success depends on your ability to accomplish this through effective marketing. Who or what is your competition? Many excuses have been given for why companies struggle. Some blame “price-shoppers” for forcing down prices. Others point to bait-and-switch companies as the reason for their hard times. National franchises or cheap budget companies are also good scapegoats.

"And when all else fails, blame the economy. These excuses are not the true reasons for failure. To succeed in business, you must know your real competition. If you do not know who or what that is, it will clobber you hard before you know what hit you. Your true competition is time.
Each company starts with a limited amount of cash and credit. Every month you and your business require a certain amount of that money to pay the bills. Your company is successful when it can produce more revenue than these bills consume. Until then, you are using up the limited financial resources with which you started.

"New owners often look around to see what other companies are doing and use them as role models. Unfortunately, according to the statistics, four out of five of your competitors are going to fail. If you follow their lead, you will experience the same failure that awaits them. Be selective about whose advice and habits you follow. You want to imitate businesses that are succeeding. Choose companies that are profitable, growing, and healthy. Look for mentors and teachers who have a proven track record."

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year

Best wishes for health, wealth and prosperity in 2014 from all of us at Bane-Clene.
May you be blessed with a Happy New Year.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Clene Times change

For more than 40 years we used the Cleaning Digest, Clene Times and brochures to advertise Bane-Clene Systems and our other products via direct mail. The upward price spiral of paper, ink and postage along with constantly changing postal regulations has made the current format of the Clene Times impractical to use.

For the last five years we have published an electronic version of Clene Times on our web site on the internet. All reader comments have been positive so far and have encouraged us to use the web site. The next issue will be printed and mailed as usual but future issues will only be available on our web site.

Note: The EDD (Every Door Direct) mail service offered by the post office is suggested to Bane-Clene Operators in the USA as the best and least expensive way to target specific residential and commercial markets for cleaning prospects.

Friday, December 27, 2013

New boss at Federal Reserve Board

The big meeting of the Fed last Week formally introduced Janet Yellin as their new boss. Her well-known position on Quantative Easing promises pumping Billions more into the QE pit. Wall Streeters are ecstatic because their bloated incomes will continue to rise.

Banks are happy because they get virtually free money to lend. The carrot on that stick is that when banks submit to buying their share of government bonds they get on a "good guys" list of being "too big to fail" in case of another banking industry collapse.

Yellin's appointment also means continued stalling on a program to audit the Fed. They simply don't want strangers rummaging through their secrets which date back a hundred years. Can you imagine the "deals" that are buried in those files?

Normal politics calls for acceptance or resistance to her appointment across party lines until there is an agreement to give in to an audit. Don't hold your breath. Establishment politicians on both sides of the aisle are in the Fed's pocket and she'll probably fly right through.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

May you and yours have a happy and blessed Christmas.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The "closer"

Mariano Rivera retired recently from the New York Yankees. He has an impeccable personal character that is unmatched in this age of sometimes criminal sports figure behavior. At 44 years of age and after 19 major league seasons his ERA was a sterling 2.21 and he was showered with more accolades from competitors than any sports personality I can remember.

When Mariano arrived at the mound in the 9th inning announcers introduced him as a "closer." This made me think of the sales end of our business. How often have we been told about the importance of "closing" the sale? Writers and teachers usually infer that once a sale has been "closed" all is well. But in reality nothing could be further from the truth.

In Mariano's case he had to face at least three major league hitters. "Closing" a sale is no easier. We still have to do the job. Everything to this point has been promises. The "closing" of a cleaning job is, in fact, just the "opening" or the "beginning" of what should be a satisfied customer and a long business relationship. Our careers demand it!

When we "close" the sale, we feel good about getting the job, but customers may actually feel a degree of anxiety or have a touch of "buyer's remorse" since they have yet to see our finished products or services. Now is the time to step up to the plate and deliver a memorable, long lasting performance. Our customers deserve it!

Friday, December 20, 2013

More paper than taper

Wall Streeters and investment bankers have been waiting for the meeting of the Fed Chieftains to decide if they will continue to be blessed with $85 Billion every month, or begin the awful "tapering" process. The general public has been waiting to see if the fleecing of our savings accounts would continue. Wednesday afternoon Bernanke finally made the difficult decision to lower the fleecing to only $75 Billion a month beginning in January.

The stock market went wild in celebration with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing that afternoon on the upside at $292.71, even though $10 Billion is hardly a blip on the economic radar scope. The way I figure it, that might take care of broker's commissions and holiday bonuses for December. Meanwhile easy credit for Government Motors and the rest of the auto industry will continue, but small business will continue to suffer.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

We need the Judge

The Fed pumps $85 Billion into the banking system and Wall Street every month. Our savings, which are the heart of the middle class, are being decimated by inflation that the government says does not exist. Every day congressional representatives appear with stories of corruption, crony capitalism, malfeasance and lying. When administration people are asked about a mistake their answer is, "We're going to fix it."

There are charges of unconstitutionally circumventing laws passed by congress. When asked what can be done about it the answer is much the same. "We'll have to be more careful the next time to write something into the law to take care of that." Government is out of control and until there are term limits and the ruling class lives by the same rules as our citizens, it's going to get worse.

Remember the legend of Judge Roy Bean, "The only law west of the Pecos?" If the Judge was alive and in authority today in Washington, more than half of the population would be in jail and at least a third of those would have already been hung.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Phone hints

Speak with enthusiasm and communicate in a clear voice. Do not talk fast or as if you're reading a script, even if you are reading. During telephone conversations our voices takes on a greater significance since only a part of the message is conveyed with words. The remainder is carried by vocal qualities and it's especially important to have a note of sincerity.

Voice volume makes it easy or difficult for others to hear us. Nervousness can be reflected through lower volume and hesitation. Hold the hand set near your mouth or you won't sound loud enough but not too close to pick up the sound of breathing. Avoid a monotonous tone of voice by varying the delivery of words and sentences.

For example, emphasize our qualifications by saying confidently, "We have the experience, education and equipment to do the job right." Some callers may equate confidence with competence. Conversely, too much confidence may come across as being arrogant, egotistical or unrealistic. To reduce the likelihood of this happening, temper self-confidence with enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is a quality communicated through our voice. A good method of relaying this quality is to smile as we speak on the phone. A smile can be "felt" and adds a pleasant, friendly quality to voice patterns. Elizabeth Bane put a little heart-shaped mirror at each of our phone stations in 1978 so the operators could see their own smile as they talked.

Speed in the rate of speech can interfere with effective communication. If we talk too fast, pronunciation and enunciation will suffer. If we talk too slow the caller may lose interest. When hiring someone to answer the phone, make sure you can understand them when they speak. Three things make us successful in our phone procedures. They are "Practice!" "Practice!" "Practice!"

Friday, December 13, 2013

Poor timing

Having worked in advertising for more than 50 years, it always amazes me to see some of the oldest and dumbest mistakes repeated again and again. For example, taking advantage of the current popularity of a word or phrase in an ad is something that can be a risk and usually proves to be a poor strategy. Sure enough, the other day a television commercial actually ended with this statement: "You won't find a better value.... Period."

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

You can learn something anywhere

Back in the '90s, Ron VanGelderen of the CRI asked me to go to Washington to make a presentation on behalf of our cleaning method about a new labeling law*. Bureaucrats had decided that every piece of carpet needed to be labeled with cleaning instructions. The fact that the label would be on the underside of installed carpeting didn't make any difference to them.

My flight was delayed and as I arrived at the meeting facility the doorman asked if I was there for the big meeting and I said yes. He said, "It's in the main section of those meeting rooms right over there. I slipped in and took a seat in the back row so as not to cause a disturbance. There was a panel discussion in progress that drew my immediate attention.

A gentlemen on the panel said, "Take the carpet cleaning industry for example. They have the opportunity to work for a customer many times during the anticipated life of that carpet. This represents a long profit stream. That's not the case in our business. We can only do it to a customer one time." The room errupted in laughter.

That made me suspicious as did the large number of people in attendance. As I looked around the room I didn't recognize anyone and began to feel as if I were in the wrong meeting. I stepped out in the lobby to check and sure enough there was a sign I hadn't seen when I came in the other door. They were funeral directors from DC, Maryland and Virginia.

The guy on the panel was right. We are so blessed that we can work for a client many times during our careers. If we're careful and treat the customer right we can even work for their descendants. Some cleaning businesses started in the '70s are now in their third generation. That's exciting.

*The bill never made it through congress.

Monday, December 09, 2013

A friend of our industry retires

The other day Carey Mitchell sent an e-mail saying he had retired from Shaw Industries, the largest carpet maker in the world. There was an attachment with some hand-written speeches that he had given at Bane-Clene conventions and he asked if we would want them. It was very thoughtful of Carey and of course they will be put in a prominent place in our company archives.

Many famous people have been invited to speak at Bane-Clene meetings. Some were celebrities and many were hard-working people from inside and outside our industry who had an effect on our customers' businesses. Carpet industry people like Carey Mitchell, Ron VanGelderen, Bill Doan, Cy Gantt, Jim Keener, Irv Shaw, Don Mercer, Walt Lipscomb, Jon Trivers and Don Barrett, Jr. helped us build an image of credibility.

Carey was presented with our "Jimmie Award" for having a profound affect on our company and our customers. Shaw maintained a state-of-the-art laboratory to test and study the effects of cleaning on their products and over the years he sent members of his technical staff to Bane-Clene Institute. This commitment by Shaw Industries to work with cleaners demonstrated an understanding of where the rubber meets the road.

On behalf of all of us at Bane-Clene, may we wish you a blessed, healthy and happy retirement Carey. Thank you for your many years of service to our industry.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Remember Pearl Harbor

That was the battle cry of WWII. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "Sunday, December 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy..." Not many are alive who remember that fateful Sunday morning when the dastardly attack took place on our Pacific Fleet. Those who were, will never forget.

"Remember the Alamo" and "Remember the Maine" are slogans that would never be forgotten...but now they are relegated to the pages of tattered history books that are routinely ignored by many teachers. "Remember September 11" is the latest of infamous events that unfortunately will soon be just a faded memory.

Thank God for the brave troops who protect our freedom and for the first responders who protect us in this land of plenty. With all of our problems, people still want to come here legally or illegally. But remember this, too. Freedom is not free!

Friday, December 06, 2013

A new era in prudence

Twitter hit the market with a noisy IPO that started at $26 and after a short "delay" traded in the mid $40 range. I wonder who bought all the stock in the initial (delay) blip at $26? One thing is for sure. It wasn't anyone you or I know. The "back-room" boys made a killing and then they put lipstick on the pig and let the suckers in hoping the oinker can make it on its own.

An executive with Twitter was questioned about how they expected to monetize the company and become profitable. He said they intended to figure that out as they went along. That's the same mentality that prompted the famous congressional leader's remark about national healthcare when she said, "We'll just have to pass the law to find out what's in it."

That seems to be the way things are done today. Janet Yellin, the new Fed head honcho, is apparently going to continue printing money and buying junk bonds. Wall Street tycoons are inebriated by the good fortune coming their way. I was pretty young in '29 and don't remember events leading up to the great market crash, but I'll bet there was comparable confusion as it headed down the nearest sewer.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Where have all the Gurus gone?

Since 1978, Bane-Clene Institute has been conducting classes in the same building for nominal fees and in many cases there is no fee at all. Thousands have attended our "Course to Success," but it amazes me at the number in our industry who have spent vast sums of scarce capital on "get-rich-quick" or "guaranteed-to-succeed" scams conducted by so-called "Gurus."

About 15 years ago a strutting little example of such a "Guru," accompanied by two body guards, came up to my booth at the big Surfaces Show in Las Vegas. He introduced himself in an almost defiant manner as the one who could save and promote my company if we used his training and coaching programs. The names he dropped as associates and clients were like a "Who's Who."

This little braggart was only one of many making a pitch for the few educational dollars available in our industry. Fifteen years later most of the Gurus have either gone or have taken cover in their failure to keep the many wild promises they made to the struggling cleaners they fleeced. With apologies to Peter, Paul & Mary here's a parody:

Where have all the Gurus gone, long time passing?
Where have all the Gurus gone, long time ago?
Where have all the Gurus gone?
Gone too, are the exploited ones.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Monday, December 02, 2013

A lesson in longevity

The other day I got this note from Dan Willis, manager of our service company:

"In 2011, Jasper Dividal came in to have his equipment switched to a new van. I was looking at his old van when I realized that it was the one I started on in 1984. He bought it in 1985 and I just couldn't believe it was my old truck and equipment. He came in the other day for a weld repair on his old 1984 fresh water tank. That old equipment is still out there every day making money in his new truck."

When he bought our used van in 1985 it had approximately 25,000 miles on the odometer and the equipment about 2,000 hours. In those days we sold our rolling stock every year so we always had new trucks on the streets. The last few years the cost of vans has jumped so radically that we have to keep them longer now.

When Jasper switched vans in 2011, Dan's old van had 510,000 miles on the odometer and there is no telling how many hours on the old cleaning equipment because the clock was broken. The 1984 base unit had a motor replaced in 2005. The vacuum pump, winch, gear motors and all other major components are original and operational.

Many years ago we made the decision to build equipment that would have no built-in obsolescence and last a long time, but this is ridiculous.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Keeping commitments

Our Yellow Pages Representative asked me to come and "say a few words" at the kick off of their annual canvas in the late '80s. Their meeting was on Monday, the day after our convention ended and after three days of meetings and talking, I was hoarse and tired. Monday morning I said to my wife, "I think I'll skip that Yellow Pages luncheon. I don't feel very well." Elizabeth said, "Now you promised Bill Dorrell you'd go, so you'd better go."

The luncheon was a huge event. When I arrived I was handed an engraved program and I was scheduled to speak between Gene Cernan, the Astronaut, and Ameritech's Chairman and CEO, Richard Notebaert. I had nothing prepared so I borrowed a 3 x 5 card from the registration desk and slipped into the restroom to make notes for my speech. Lee Holst, Ameritech's state manager, said it was the best speech I ever gave.

Fortunately, I knew quite a few Yellow Pages people, could personalize the remarks and they enjoyed that. Since Yellow Pages were in my department at work, I also knew a lot about that end of our business so it wasn't difficult to flatter my friends at Ameritech with numbers and statistics. It would have been embarrassing for my company and a disgrace if I had not gone. And I wouldn't have had the privilege of meeting Gene Cernan.

All of the top executives with Ameritech were there along with the Mayor of Indianapolis. I'll never forgive Bill for asking me to stop by and just "say a few words."

PS... This is the anniversary month of Lee Holst's passing in 2010. Hardly a day goes by that something doesn't remind me of him.