- THE MAGAZINE
I would like to discuss the many relationships that the IICRC has developed over the years. When the IICRC first opened its doors in 1972, it was known as the International Institute of Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning (IICUC), and was a for-profit organization. As founder, Ed York brought in several other people whose business skills, organizational abilities, and technical knowledge of the industry helped the organization gain strength. After a few years, the organization developed and encouraged relationships with different industry associations throughout North America.
With the involvement of these associations, the IICRC continued to flourish. Soon after the associations became involved, the IICRC changed it's status to a "not for profit organization" and built its registry to the of developing relationships with the carpet mills. The organization also discovered that the mills had a need for inspectors. With its "certified inspectors," the IICRC was able to help fill the carpet mills' needs. That opened the door for all the other categories the organization had developed, which could also be marketed to the mills.
The IICRC began marketing its services by sending a door-to-door representative to the carpet mills, and to the then "Atlanta Market," which was the big carpet show prior to Surfaces. Steamway, which was the only IICRC-approved school at the Atlanta Market, showed its valuable support by passing out IICRC brochures in their booth.
After creating that first budget of $10,000, the organization really began making in-roads with the industry. Many years later, the marketing budget is now the largest line item in our budget.
So how does the IICRC's strong relationships with many of the manufactures in the carpet industry help you, the registrant?
Many of the fiber producers and the carpet manufacturers such as DuPont, Shaw Industries, J&J Industries, and US Axminster attend the IICRC meetings to exchange information on new technologies they have developed. They give us their input through the different technical advisory committees, which helps the IICRC disseminate the newly acquired information to the various approved schools, so we can update the exams with current developments.
Equipment manufacturers such as Groom Industries, Dri-Eaz, Hydro-Lab, Host/Racine Industries, HydraMaster, Prochem, Steam Way International, and Unsmoke Systems Inc. also attend our meetings. These companies bring a lot of technical information and feedback from their customers in the field. Chemical manufacturers such as S.C. Johnson and 3M Specialty Chemicals also attend meetings on a regular basis, as well as franchises such as Servpro Industries. Coit Services, Servicemaster, Carpet One, Paul Davis Systems, Stanley Steemer, and Rainbow International.
Other organizations such as the Carpet and Rug Institute, World Floor Covering Association and the Floor Covering Installation Contractors Association give their input to IICRC. You can see that the industry is well represented within the IICRC. I know I have probably missed a few names in this prestigious list and I apologize.
The volunteers that work with the IICRC are always soliciting new organizations and people to work with us. We welcome anyone that wants to volunteer their time. Without the information each one of these people and organizations provide, the IICRC would not be what it is today.
With new organizations joining, the number of registrants increasing, and new categories being added, expansion is inevitable. Who knows what the future will bring for IICRC as far as relationships. For the present organizations and individuals that work with us, we owe them a debt of gratitude.