Tips N Chat Throwback #16: Professionalism Conquers Methods

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from an Ed Sez article published in the April-May 1974 issue of Tips N Chat. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!

 

As long as the world is made up of people, I won’t have to go to a Broadway show for amusement. Even though I’m snowed with work that should have been out last week, I still try to skim through the many publications that we receive each week. I’m sure others find more than sufficient items in our presentation to be able to criticize to their hearts’ content. We have tried to dispense some factual information, keep our customers advised of what others are doing, and add enough of our own family information to prevent having to write to the kinfolk as often. Now that I have publicly confessed that we are not perfect, I’ll share one of my latest chuckles at some of the actors in today’s World Comedy.

The setting is Jan.-Feb. issue of CM (Cleaning Management), a bi-monthly publication of the American Institute of Maintenance. Allan Ames, their Technical Editor reported on the better-known methods of cleaning carpets. He referred to Steam Cleaning and its accepted virtues. There was very little to add to what is now an accepted fact. Steam Cleaning is a preferred method of cleaning some carpets. The March-April issue of the magazine contained a Letter to the Editor by Tom Fisher, Marketing Manager of ADVANCE FLOOR MACHINE CO. His letter pretty well takes Mr. Ames to task for his earlier report and pans STEAM CLEANING and its so-called shrinking problem, and Mr. Ames for even suggesting it was an excellent method.

Now since Advance is an honorable name in the floor machine sales, and probably has, and will have, major emphasis on Scrubbers, you can understand his displeasure of a Technical Editor saying anything else but the scrubber was an approved method. The item that amuses me, however, is that in the SAME issue under the magazine’s Products on Parade section they have a picture and write up about the LIQUIDATOR, manufactured by Advance Floor Machine Company. The propaganda says the Liquidator is a carpet RINSER. They don’t mention Steam Cleaner at all. They describe the function of the Liquidator being connected with a 50-foot hose to the HOT water or cold water tap, and the water is evenly inserted into the carpet fibers by four jet spray nozzles. The dirty water is then picked up by one of 3 Hydro Vacs.

Recently a young and aggressive salesman from one of the biggest and best-known chemical houses called upon me to introduce their NEW shampoo which was also a STAIN REPELLENT. He left a gallon which in big letters said it was a SOIL RETARDENT. I questioned the difference and he admitted he didn’t know there was any difference.

Two weeks later, he returned with his Regional Supervisor to explain it. I again asked the question and received a blank stare for an answer. The sales pitch quickly changed to a NEW super spot and stain removal. You simply aerospray it on the spot and then apply water which changes it to a shampoo, and then we go ahead and agitate prior to cleaning. It’s great. I questioned him if our unit would cause the same reaction with its hot water and pressurized force. He didn’t know for sure, but still claimed it was designed for this use. I then asked him if he had ever SEEN a carpet being Steam Cleaned. He had to admit he hadn’t. That ended the conversation. A Regional Manager claiming he had the magic answer for our pre-spotting, that had never even seen ANY steamer in action. Ridiculous!

The tragedy of today’s manufacturers & suppliers is their reluctance in accepting the fact that the ability to clean carpets comes from good equipment, good chemicals, and superior knowledge of the techniques, and the ability to use them at the proper time and under the proper conditions. In their drive to SELL their product, they concentrate on tearing the other fellow down, rather than helping their customer to better and properly use their equipment.

Many of the pioneers in Hot water extraction methods are very small and do not have the financial ability or staff to do this. My hat is off to them, however, because if it hadn’t been for their entry into the field, the consumer would still be without the CHOICE of the methods. The Giants in the field, however, who waited on the sidelines until entering the Steam Cleaning field was forced on them, owe the industry something besides hate letters and snide comments. “Steam” cleaning is a proven method and will be with us for some time. Hopefully, you will remember the few companies who dared to put their life savings on the line to be different and bring you a new concept in fiber cleaning and give them your support. They might not have the fancy name or distributor network of the conservative Giants, but they are the reason you are enjoying more on-location cleaning than ever in the history of carpets. At the same time, it is hoped that some of the fanatic “steam” cleaning equipment suppliers will also recognize that many carpets require a method other than “steam”.

I personally do not advocate your being a shampooer, nor do I believe you should be a “steam” cleaner. I hope that each of you will strive to be a PROFESSIONAL carpet cleaner, offering the method needed, with the equipment and chemicals needed, to do the best job possible, based 100% on the carpet’s NEEDS. 

~ Ed York (1974)

Below is the original article. 

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from an Ed Sez article published in the April-May 1974 issue of Tips N Chat. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!   As long as the world is made up of people, I won’t have to go to a Broadway show […]

ServiceMonster 6.3.0.23 Release Notes

Read on to learn more about new features, enhancements and changes included in the latest ServiceMonster release.

Date of release: October 17, 2018

For information on previous releases, please visit the release notes archive.

New to ServiceMonster? Try it now!

Features

  • (3935) SendJim Button in Accounts. Added a SendJim button on account pages for companies that are integrated with SendJim.
  • (4074) Consolidated Header. Cleaned up and consolidated buttons in the top right corner of the SM6 header into a user drop down menu.
  • (4099) Data Tags. Added a data tag in email templates for User Information.
  • (4100) Data Tags. Added a data tag in SM5 and SM6 for Order Forms: Account Memo Field and Account Phone Note Fields.
  • (4139) HRI.  When clicking on the New Leads button on the home deck for CD and NH, you will be directed to the leads grid with leads being filtered to “New Leads” instead of “In Progress.”

Fixes

  • (3412) Enabled the ‘Accept’ button on the lead sheet for Home Depot Leads with a status of ‘Unqualified.’ 
  • (3930) In Marketing > Drip Campaigns, there is no longer an error when changing filter from ‘Between’ to ‘EqualTo.’ 
  • (3970) In Accounts > Orders sidecar, open orders no longer randomly resort whenever account details page is opened.
  • (4069) In the Schedule, reminder cards now show company names.
  • (4114) When merging accounts, contracts no longer get deleted.
  • (4121) Fixed issue with sending emails to accounts with blank last invoice amounts.
  • (4154) When importing accounts, the system no longer creates unnamed client account records when a CSV file has blank rows. 
  • (4156) In email templates, emails in the CC/BCC fields will populate when using the template for an email.
  • (4157) When pulling up an existing order in the Quick Add, it no longer defaults the order site to the primary address, and instead uses the site address that is bound to the order.
  • (4158) New leads are now being automatically detected if they match an already existing account.
  • (4164) In Scheduling, now able to drag and drop unscheduled jobs and open them without issue.

Read on to learn more about new features, enhancements and changes included in the latest ServiceMonster release. Date of release: October 17, 2018 For information on previous releases, please visit the release notes archive. New to ServiceMonster? Try it now! Features (3935) SendJim Button in Accounts. Added a SendJim button on account pages for companies that […]

The ServiceMonster Show (October 12th, 2018): Townsquared, New FMS Cards Soon, and Mobile Pro Is Close!

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA

THIS WEEK IN SERVICEMONSTER

  • We’re working on even more seasonal FMS cards!
  • Come see us at the UAMCC event in Houston!

SERVICEMONSTER PRODUCT UPDATES

  • 6.3.0 is here, with more features!
  • ServiceMonster Mobile Pro is now in closed internal beta!

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA Looking for ways to stay in touch with your local community? Check this out: https://townsquared.com/ THIS WEEK IN SERVICEMONSTER We’re working on even more seasonal FMS cards! Come see us at the UAMCC event in Houston! SERVICEMONSTER PRODUCT UPDATES 6.3.0 is here, with more features! ServiceMonster Mobile Pro is now in closed […]

Tips N Chat Throwback #15: What Are the Possibilities Today?

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from an Ed Sez article published in the August 1972 issue of Western Cleaner & Launderer. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!

What Are the Possibilities Today In the On-Premises Rug Cleaning?

By Ed York – Steam Services

It is an impossible task in the short time allotted to go into any detail on how you can diversify into the carpet cleaning field or what would be required to obtain the best results for your own personal operation. Therefore, I will limit myself to some general comments for your consideration. I know of many of your members who have made a successful diversification into this field, and I would be happy to provide those of you considering the move, their names so you can contact them individually.

From all reports, the dry cleaning field is experiencing some troubled waters. One of my accounts in Louisiana, who has a long established dry cleaning business, told me the wash and wear shirts forced him into the carpet cleaning business, and that polyester forced him into Steam Cleaning! Let’s take a brief look into the carpet industry. In 1964 the mills produced some 80 million square yards of new carpets. This year they will hit around 640 million yards. In 8 years they have advanced their annual production 800 percent.

Recently an executive from Bigelow carpet mill told a convention of maintenance contractors that less than 10 percent of the carpet laid today has been cleaned.

Who is going to clean these carpets? Prior to coming here today, I checked with Dun and Bradstreet, who reported only 2,800 listed in the United States and about 10 percent or 280 from California. In February of this year, I attended the 1972 Convention for AIDS International, the new name for the National Institute of Rug Cleaning. Registration was about 300. Their total membership is around 600. Their magazine called “Voice” is the trade magazine for the carpet cleaners and has a worldwide subscription list of about 2,500. Who is going to clean these carpets? Do you realize if every carpet cleaner in the nation worked their equipment and crews around the clock, without stopping, they couldn’t handle the task.

The population explosion hit our country after world war two and we saw what happens when one isn’t prepared for it. The carpet cleaning explosion is knocking on our front door. Once again, I ask who is going to clean these carpets? Unfortunately, it is not the rug cleaner of yesterday. He is still sitting in his big plant with the big investment wondering what happened to the loose rug business. He, for some unknown reason, refused to change with the times. While he insists on a jet plane to travel in, he continues with a horse and buggy operation. Most of the small firms only know one thing — how to say they can do it cheaper. Today’s carpet owners are demanding professionals.

A few years ago it was rugs, now it is carpets, wall to wall. Yesterday’s rugs were predominately cotton and wool. Now they are made from new synthetic fibers that require new methods of cleaning. Yesterday’s carpet cleaning was mostly a physical process, but with today’s modern on-location equipment science plays a most important part. We now have chemicals that help do the job. This means we need qualified, trained operators with stain and spot removal know-how.

Two weeks ago I spoke on the value of clinics to a group of the leading maintenance contractors representing the biggest and best in the western states. I gave them a sample test, covering minor items. One of the questions was concerning the pH scale. The low and high reading plus what was neutral. Which side was acid and is most soil acid or alkaline. Only three of those attending knew that 7 was neutral. No one could answer 0 to 14, or that acid was on the low side, or that most soil is on the acid side.

Once again I ask who is going to clean these carpets? Frankly, I don’t know for sure at this time. I do know that those carpet cleaners that have taken the time to become truly professionals in the last couple of years are all enjoying great success. I earnestly believe tomorrow’s carpet cleaners will come from the dry cleaning field.

Why do I say this? It’s simple. You men have the know-how. You know spot and stain removal. You already have the base of operation needed for an on-location carpet cleaning operation. You have the phones. You have the bookkeeper, you have the office staff, and most important you have the management. Most of these carpets will be cleaned during the summer months. This is your slump season. As a licensed dry cleaner you can qualify for contract to hire and train new employees to handle your carpet cleaning, and the government will pay to do this.

You have a ready-made customer list. You see these customers all year long. You already have the reputation for spot and stain removal. Many costs such as liability insurance, business licenses, and display signs are already provided. Who is going to clean these carpets? The professional. The firm that features quality and carpet know-how. The firm that looks and conducts his operation as a professional. Of all the service trades known today, there is no one more prepared and more able to enter this market, that is ready to bust at the seams, than those of you here today — The Professional Dry Cleaner.

~ Ed York (1972)

Below is the original article.

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from an Ed Sez article published in the August 1972 issue of Western Cleaner & Launderer. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post! What Are the Possibilities Today In the On-Premises Rug Cleaning? By Ed York – Steam Services It is an […]

Tough Stuff: Planning for the Future of Your Business

We’ve talked about those first steps to getting off the truck, and we’ve talked about “Hell’s Valley” (that time when you have just a few employees). But what about when you’re past those points and actually have grown a large, successful business? What does the future hold? Have you thought about retirement? Do you have a plan for the future of your business?

We haven’t covered this much, mostly because many of you haven’t reached that one-to-two million dollar mark yet (keyword, YET!). That’s the size of business that we’re really talking about here, but this situation can apply to any size service business. With that in mind, have you looked at succession? Or selling? Or part-time retirement? Really what it comes down to is, have you focused on building a sustainable business that can ultimately function the same without you?

Charles Schwab and Steve Jobs are great examples of this. Here are two guys who built massive companies, but when they left things began to fall apart. They both had to come back to their businesses because they didn’t “install” within the company the core culture of their leadership. Yeah, they were great leaders (in their own ways), but they had to be physically there for things to stay on track. They didn’t realize that they had essentially failed to pass along their leadership skills and expectations to the people taking over.

For you, the service professional who has built a profitable business with 20 or so employees, you’re likely already in a managerial position or even onto the entrepreneurial visionary position. You’re no longer a technician (unless there’s a rare occasion where you want to be). At this point, you’re focused on figuring out the future of the business that you love. Hopefully, your employees are doing things the way you want them to be done, with only minor corrections here and there.

What so many business owners don’t realize at this point, is that their leadership is still just as important as ever, even if they aren’t directly managing all of the employees or even the day-to-day operations anymore. The business can’t function if it’s “headless”, so you must make sure that the business will not be headless when you leave.

You can leave and put someone else in charge of the operations, while you still collect dividends, or you can retire part-time and show up occasionally to help with the guidance of the business. For those less interested in staying involved in some way, you can set the business up to be sold. So, how do you approach these situations?

Read the books “Good to Great” and “Built to Last” by Jim Collins. These books will give you the proper mindset for the next steps. One of the key points that Collins brings up is the concept of “level 5 leadership”.

What does that mean? Well, Collins starts out with level one leadership, which is your typical example-based leadership style. This person does the same work as the people under them. It’s easy to get stuck at this level, and many business owners actually enjoy doing those basic tasks. You can’t grow a successful business at this level of leadership though. Do the CEO’s of Google and Microsoft go around doing rudimentary tasks? No, they don’t. The business as a whole relies on them to do things far beyond that.

We’ll skip ahead to level 5, but to learn more about levels 2, 3 and 4, either read the book or check out the video at the bottom of this post. A level 5 leader is someone who has an immeasurable amount of humility and steadfast resolve. They’re able to get stuff done not just because people love them or want to follow them, but because they don’t accept anything else. They make sure to hire the right people for the right jobs. Yeah, this is a lot harder than it sounds!

What all of this really comes down to is… it’s all about YOU, the business owner. Can you self-reflect? Can you take criticism? Can you look for mentors or coaches who will look you in the face and tell you the hard truth? Ultimately, can you set aside your ego? Maybe you aren’t the person who can single-handedly take your business to where you want to go.

So, who can you trust in your business without question? If the answer is nobody, then you need to start looking for people that you can put around yourself to help build you up. It’s not easy and it takes time, especially to build that trust, but it’s a journey that you have to get started on as soon as possible if you want to get where you’re going and you know that you can’t do it alone.

You have a few options with succession planning. You can keep on doing the business until you die, and then the business will just implode. Or, you can keep going until you retire and then let the business implode. However, neither of those are doing anybody any favors. Have you thought about finding someone to replace you? Someone who you not only trust but someone who is fully capable of running the business with you not there? Or, setting up your business so that you can sell it to an investor? Most people these days don’t want to buy a business and have to do all of the work still. They’re looking for an investment. They’re looking for a business that has been carefully structured in a way where people are in place to run it, and all that’s needed from the owner is occasional feedback or guidance.

Three things to wrap this up:

  1. Start planning early. Set goals, put things in place, and start really learning how to see those signs that aspects of your business are still too reliant on you individually.
  2. The biggest change you’re going to make during this process is you. Your mindset. Your ambition. Your perspective.
  3. Self-criticism. Are you able to look at yourself in the mirror and see the shortcomings that you have and work on them? Your personal shortcomings shouldn’t be the limiting factor when you’re headed towards your goals. Look for people to supplement your qualities.

For those interested in hearing more, check out this video below.

We’ve talked about those first steps to getting off the truck, and we’ve talked about “Hell’s Valley” (that time when you have just a few employees). But what about when you’re past those points and actually have grown a large, successful business? What does the future hold? Have you thought about retirement? Do you have […]

The ServiceMonster Show (October 5th, 2018): Facebook Job Listings, New Fall FMS Card, and 6.3.0!

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA

THIS WEEK IN SERVICEMONSTER

  • We have new Fall FMS cards!

SERVICEMONSTER PRODUCT UPDATES

  • 6.3.0 is here!

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA Here are some cool stats about the cleaning product industries impact on the economy: https://cleanfax.com/news/aci-economi… New features in Facebook’s job listing page could help you find your next great tech! https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news… THIS WEEK IN SERVICEMONSTER We have new Fall FMS cards! SERVICEMONSTER PRODUCT UPDATES 6.3.0 is here!

ServiceMonster 6.3.0 Release Notes


Read on to learn more about new features, enhancements and changes included in the latest ServiceMonster release.

Date of release: October 5, 2018

For information on previous releases, please visit the release notes archive.

New to ServiceMonster? Try it now!

Features

  • (4098) Import Accounts. Users now have the ability to upload accounts to SM6 from their computer via a CSV file.
  • (2749) Audit Trail for Text Job Confirmations. Created an audit trail capabilities for Text Reminder/Job Confirmations.
  • (3847) Download or Print Images. Added the ability to print or download images directly from the Order screen.
  • (3945) Marketing Filters. Added ‘Do Not Call 2’ and ‘Do Not Call 3’ to marketing filter options.
  • (3956) Reports – Opportunities. You can now click into the Opportunities page directly from the Opportunities report.

Fixes

  • (3870) In Orders, the price field in tips collected now fills in properly.
  • (3889) In the Schedule, the Week View button no longer covers Recent Activity panel. 
  • (3944) Under New Accounts, Do Not Contact fields default to FALSE in database.
  • (3946) Date Picker in Schedule no longer pops up behind Job Card. 
  • (3950) In Accounts and Custom View Builder, using site address 1-blank or -not blank now correctly shows accounts with no addresses.
  • (4056) On the Home Deck, Current Jobs no longer appear under Future Jobs and vice versa. 
  • (4088) In OT and SM6, the Lead Links in reports is now working properly. 
  • (4092) In Leads, Commercial checkbox is now mapped to the right place in the database.
  • (4103) Issue in Opportunities > New Opportunities resolved. Pop-up window is no longer appearing blank. 
  • (4108) System now allows new drip campaigns to be created.
  • (4116) On the account page, the ‘New Payment’ button is moved to the main button row and ‘New Contract’ in the drop down. 
  • (4105) When trying to view accounts in FMS, the system no longer throws an error. 

Read on to learn more about new features, enhancements and changes included in the latest ServiceMonster release. Date of release: October 5, 2018 For information on previous releases, please visit the release notes archive. New to ServiceMonster? Try it now! Features (4098) Import Accounts. Users now have the ability to upload accounts to SM6 from their computer […]

Tips N Chat #14: The Kreeping Krud

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is an Ed Sez article referencing what Ed calls the “kreeping krud”. It was featured in the Fourth Quarter 1976 issue of Tips N Chat, the “magazine published for the benefit and enjoyment of on-location carpet cleaners”. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!

THE KREEPING KRUD

Every industry making progress today has one thing in common: They present a united front to the world. They have learned that to grow they must have strength to protect themselves from the outside forces working against them. They know it takes understanding and MONEY.

The poor carpet cleaning industry shuffles along dragging their wounded limbs, saying “woe is me” every time ‘THEY” do something to take a bite out of our profit. Never could figure out who “THEY” are, but I’ve got a hunch it may be the person we see in the mirror when we shave.

Our industry is plagued with a contagious condition known as “The Kreeping Krud.” It consists of several strains of ignorance, hard-headedness, and apathy and it has claimed victims in every state of every land.

Let’s take an example: The BBB and its ridiculous stance on Steam Cleaning. While many carpet cleaners say the BBB is wrong, they aren’t willing to “make waves” as long as the problem stays out of their town. Yet when they are hit, they suddenly start yelling that “somebody should do something about this WRONG.”

The latest outbreak of “The Kreeping Krud” is reported in ALASKA where the Attorney General is being pressured to stop Steam Cleaning. Sure, several of us have protested, but most have turned their backs (Why bother the safe nest when Alaska is ‘way north of us?). “AWAKE,” I cry, “before you, too, are all alone when the Krud comes Kreeping YOUR way!”

Recently, I purchased a Commander motorhome. Here’s a prime example of “The Kreeping Krud” as you’ll see in the story in this issue. It would be easy to say “So What?” and forget it but I am challenging the Commander company’s stand. How about the rest of you? Do you have Commander dealers spreading “The Kreeping Krud” in your area? Will you donate some time to your profession to check it out?

Congratulations to Jean Smith in Rupert, Idaho who is fighting a pure case of “The Kreeping Krud” singlehandedly. We’ve included her story in this issue. Read it and then tell me: How many professional carpet cleaners have KNOWN of similar cases but have refused to stand up to FALSE information handed out by upholstery fabric manufacturers?

Carpet Cleaners routinely continue to patronize places that have FILTHY carpets. Why don’t we stand up tall and say “NO MORE until you clean your carpets!”

Examples like these are all around you and happen every day. Like any battle, it can’t be won by isolated individuals. Only individuals JOINED TOGETHER toward a common goal will overcome “The Kreeping Krud.” Congratulations to organizations like the California Carpet Institute (CCI), the Steam Carpet Cleaners Associates and the Society of Cleaning Technicians who fought the BBB in their attempt to blacklist professional carpet cleaners who don’t use the Von Schrader folks’ method of dry foam cleaning.

Congratulations to the St. Petersburg, Florida carpet cleaner who refused to allow the maitre d’ to seat his party at an expensive and well-known restaurant because the carpets were FILTHY. Every carpet cleaner who refuses to do that allows “The Kreeping Krud” to infest our lives.

A carpet cleaner who CUTS prices to keep up with his inferior competition is guilty. An association, group or individual who visits a mill or retail store that publishes propaganda adverse to our industry and doesn’t do anything to educate the owners and managers to the truth is guilty.

Carpet cleaners who spend their time fighting with each other instead of spreading the word that 86% of the public are living on dirty carpets are already infected with “The Kreeping Krud.”

So stand up and be counted, all you noble men and women, and attack this contagious disease with all your resources. Let’s keep our identity AND our independence, but join forces against a common enemy and STAMP OUT “The Kreeping Krud!

~ Ed York (1976)

Below is the original article.

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is an Ed Sez article referencing what Ed calls the “kreeping krud”. It was featured in the Fourth Quarter 1976 issue of Tips N Chat, the “magazine published for the benefit and enjoyment of on-location carpet cleaners”. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post! […]

The ServiceMonster Show (September 28th, 2018): Facebook Chatbots, Hashtag Spam, and New Training Videos!

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA

THIS WEEK IN SERVICEMONSTER

  • New Training videos!
  • Looking for more amazing support members!

SERVICEMONSTER PRODUCT UPDATES

  • If there are any features you found missing from our last release, find out why they’re coming in the next one!

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA Should you be using Facebook’s chatbots? https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news… Is this the end of hashtag spam!? https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news… THIS WEEK IN SERVICEMONSTER New Training videos! Looking for more amazing support members! SERVICEMONSTER PRODUCT UPDATES If there are any features you found missing from our last release, find out why they’re coming in the next one!

Tips N Chat Throwback #13: Wearing a Black Hat Isn’t Fun

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is an Ed Sez article all about Ed York’s position in the carpet cleaning industry. It was featured in the March/April 1980 issue of Tips N Chat, the “magazine published for the benefit and enjoyment of on-location cleaning technicians”. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!

Wearing a Black Hat Isn’t Fun

by Ed York

I’ve been accused of looking for ways to make folks angry at me… that I must do it for fun. Well, let’s set the record straight: Wearing a black hat isn’t fun. I don’t have to search for ways to make folks angry. All I have to do is refuse to walk the same traditional path that others are traveling. No matter if that path is unreasonable or leads to destruction, or simply serves someone’s special interest. Well, I’ve never tried to hide my special interest. I believe in the dignity of the service technician also known as a carpet cleaner. I respect their desire to succeed. I’m also in this business for profit. Now when the time comes that I can’t combine these, then it’s time for me to leave.

If the industry would grow up and produce leaders who are interested in more than just what they can sell–then there would be no market for me. I can only exist because of the simple fact that someone better isn’t doing it. The reason I established a school was because, at that time, the suppliers didn’t care enough about their customers to educate them. I established a supply house because suppliers were not willing to carry the necessary but unprofitable little items that every cleaner needs. I helped organize a Certifying body to help provide the carpet cleaner who wanted to earn his stripes some dignity and recognition. SCT came about only because trade associations at that time were places to go once a year as a tax write-off or to gather every month or so for a keg of beer. I continue to issue bulletins every month so carpet cleaners can share knowledge and not handicap their progress by hiding behind a phony “trade secret” cop-out. I continue to bring competitors together, as I truly believe that if they can learn to sit down and have a cup of coffee together, they will work together in harmony against their real enemy: DIRTY CARPETS.

So I challenge those who become riled at me because I upset their apple cart to start giving the carpet cleaner some real, honest leadership. Manufacturers are now building superior equipment, so they don’t need to exaggerate its ability. “Tell it like it is.” A prominent manufacturer once threatened to sue me because I challenged his salesman for installing a unit with the gas line feeding from a portable gas can sitting in a loop of hoses. The manufacturer now requires factory-approved installation and I don’t need to shout.

A chemical manufacturer tells a class of students that breathing mineral spirits isn’t harmful. He is angry because I shout WEAR a respirator! A supplier peddles an exclusive Hot Fogger for $550.00 to our members and gives him a $50 discount if he buys TWO. He is furious when I point out that the item has a list price of $425.00 at any pesticide supply house.

The trade magazines continue to publish stories written by and for the glorification of their advertisers. It matters not if the material has any substance. I make no bones about this magazine–it is published as a fun-thing for carpet cleaners to enjoy. It wasn’t established to be a crusade or a voice. It is a tragedy that most trade publications provide little more than an ego trip for their advertisers. It evidently doesn’t matter if the contents are fabrications merely to highlight a product, as long as the contributor continues to advertise.

If I’ve ruffled some feathers in the past, then the future should really be interesting. Since I’m not controlled by any special interest group, I’m going to dedicate the future issues of TIPS N CHAT to not only carrying some chit-chat about our good readers, the Carpet Cleaners– but also to bringing out some true FACTS about our industry that others may not be able to publish. Guess that’s enough for now, besides I have to go see my Haberdasher, as I’m buying myself a new BLACK HAT.

~ Ed York (1980)

Below is the original article.

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is an Ed Sez article all about Ed York’s position in the carpet cleaning industry. It was featured in the March/April 1980 issue of Tips N Chat, the “magazine published for the benefit and enjoyment of on-location cleaning technicians”. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new […]