In an age of home theaters and home networks we keep getting closer to the fully connected house becoming the modern standard in living. Advancements in window treatment motorization—from the motors and hardware to the radio- and infrared-controls—keep making it easier for dealers to sell and install.
A recent poll on www.DWC-online.com indicated that a large majority of dealers don’t even offer motorization (see D&WC, May 2008, page 12). We then set off of ask leading industry suppliers for their take on the state of motorization in the custom window treatments industry today? Here are their replies:
LUXURY BECOMES STANDARD
Forest Group USA
The motorization market has obviously picked up over the past two years or so. And the strange thing is that the number of motorization jobs has not only gone up, the types of clients who are using the systems have widened greatly as well—especially with the plug-and-play systems out there.
Forest Group’s TCS motor is an easy sell for any designer, wholesaler or contractor because the systems are so easy to use. You can be in and out of a job site in almost half the time that it would normally take for a motorized installation.
A couple of years ago it was a luxury to have a flat screen TV in your hotel room. Now, it is almost the standard and if you don’t have one the room is out-dated. The motorized window treatment market is going in the same direction. I know it can sometimes feel a little intimidating to use a motorized system, but there are some great, easy-to-use solutions out there no matter what kind of job or client you are working with.
Interior Products Division
Somfy Systems, Inc.
Motorization has still only scratched the surface as a percentage of window coverings sold in the market. However, with advancements in technology such as battery-powered motors, consumer price points have declined. This has allowed motorization to become a more affordable solution to the average homeowner who can now take advantage of those applications where a motorized window covering is a must: above a bathtub, behind the kitchen sink or in a two-story foyer.
As a manufacturer of motors and electronic controls for window coverings, we are experiencing a healthy increase in the demand for our products and experiencing double-digit growth on a consistent basis.
Motorization offers many advantages to a dealer’s business. It allows dealers to earn more profit with each sale. Upgrading a consumer to motorization is much easier in some cases than soliciting new business. In addition, offering motorized window coverings allows dealers to provide a complete solution to their client and helps them to differentiate themselves from the competition. Consumers are more aware of the lifestyle benefits of motorization today and are asking for this option with increased frequency. So, it’s important for dealers to be able to provide the appropriate solution for their customer, which should now include motorization.
HIGH-END AND HIGH-TECH
ZMC Window Covering Supplies
Motorized window treatments have penetrated widely into the market for use in everything from in-home theaters to office building conference rooms. The spread of motorization in the window treatment industry is amazing. That’s why the percentage of window coverings sales today featuring motorization has been increasing incredibly.
ZMC’s motorized window shading systems include motorized roller shades and motorized roman shades. It is easy to experience the beauty and functionality of motorized roller shades. The motors are compact, wireless and hidden inside the window covering to maintain the attractive style of roller shades. With a touch of a button shades will raise or lower providing the perfect solution for operating shades in hard-to-reach places, such as high and large windows.
You can still add fascia and cassette to your motorized roller shades with ZMC’s newly developed adjustable fascia brackets for Somfy motors. These brackets are specially designed and developed by ZMC for Somfy motors. It is a convenient way of mounting a level roller shade even where the window frames are not true or perpendicular to the floor. The self-contained Allen key design comes with a ball head that gives you the added flexibility of reaching the adjustable screw once the brackets are installed. The thread locker paste holds the screw firmly in place, but still allows for up and down adjustment.
Since motorized window covering systems are safer, more high-end and just plain cooler than regular window coverings operating with cords or without cords, ZMC has developed more and more motorized systems. A new motorized roman shade system is one of them, which has been released not long ago. The motor is wireless and hidden inside the tube to maintain the same attractive look of regular flat roman shade and hobbled roman shade and it fits all kind of tubes. All the innovative, mechanical features with ZMC’s roman shade bar and No-Sew Hobbled Tape make the roman shade both high-end and high-tech. It also offers the ease of mind of operating with a touch of a button on the remote control.
The trend of motorization sales in the window treatments industry will continue to be up because customers will appreciate the complete ease of opening and closing roller and roman shades, and dealers will realize the total benefits to themselves and their customers of motorized shades with adjustable fascia brackets and totally new designs in roman shades.
NEW AND BROADER MARKETS
National Sales + Marketing Manager
In a slowing economy, many of us are finding that we have to work much harder just to maintain our position in the market. In addition to working smarter, many designers know the importance of differentiating their product offering to increase business in new markets. And while the overall percentage of automation used in the total window covering market remains small, the category continues to steadily grow.
With advancements in the automation technology including the wide range of battery systems available and improvements in communication options, many savvy designers understand that automation is moving into new and broader markets.
Techniku automation solutions provide a variety of power and communication options to meet the needs of the application. Whether calling for batteries or power supply, Techniku systems can operate from a variety of user interfaces via infrared (IR), radio frequency (RF) or home automation (dry contact or Z-wave RF). With our control platform, designers have the ability to offer a good-better-best program that is universal and upgradeable on all Techniku motors available for tilting horizontal and vertical blinds, lifting cellular and roller shades, or traversing draperies.
At Techniku, we know that designers who ask their clients, “Do you want your controls left, right or remote?” are providing a service to that end-user . . . with motorization, they can offer them the ability to more readily control their environment at the touch of a button.