Ron VanGelderen, president of CRI in 1995, asked me to chair a committee with the purpose of bringing the "fragmented" cleaning industry together. I accepted and was involved in a six year fiasco called the CRI SOA program. I regret the vast amount of time and money spent on that failed project, but it convinced me that we are better off "fragmented."
One of the most profound statements I've read recently regarding the carpet cleaning business appeared in ICS magazine's 50th anniversary issue. It's timely because of efforts by groups to form separate associations to represent our industry's associations. This sounds like a marriage made in Washington and another step toward bureaucratic control of our business.
This was written in ICS magazine by a member of one of our industry's pioneering families:
"I am going to sound like a U.S. President starting his/her “state of the union” address with this, but ladies and gentlemen, the future of the professional carpet cleaning and restoration industry is strong. Many an organization or investment group has introduced their new venture with the goal of “gluing” together a fragmented industry.
"Most of these ventures to “dominate” our industry have failed miserably. Some would take that to be a negative. I view it as the strength of this industry. The independent nature of our industry has developed hugely successful cleaning and restoration companies – both independent and franchise. It has developed numerous organizations and trade associations, each with their own strengths geared toward the needs of their specific membership. It has developed six or more recognized ways to professionally clean a carpet, allowing the carpet owner to find just the right way to clean their carpet in their environment. I believe our industry will always be a source of independent thought and innovative ideas." Doyle Bloss
Congratulations Doyle. Your summation will be posted on my office wall. May we always remain fiercely independent and "fragmented."
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