Pete Consigli is a 35+-year veteran of the industry and currently serves as an advisor for the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) and previously served as a trainer/instructor with Dri-Eaz.
How would you best sum up the last 50 years (or the time that you’ve been a part) of the carpet cleaning/restoration industry?
I kind of got into this business by accident. At that time, I didn’t realize and didn’t know that the industry was in its infancy because you don’t think about it until you reflect back. I’ve been part of this maturing process. It normally takes about 50 years for low-tech industries to mature. Our industry kind of formally started developing in the mid- to late-60s. As the industry grows and matures, things happen more quickly. It takes a lot longer in the early years. The biggest thing is that I think the industry (evolved) from being two things – a rug cleaning industry and fire reconstruction industry. Each one of those industries evolved on their own and merged. Then, over time, they separated. I don’t think they’re as synonymous as they used to be. Now they have their own niches.
What are some of your fondest memories of being involved in the industry in years past?
If I looked at the big picture of it all, I guess it’s been satisfying for me to watch the growth of several organizations that I’ve worked with. It just feels good to just step back and watch them be successful.
Moving forward, what do you see in store for the cleaning/restoration industry’s future?
Our industry has gone through a process of collaboration and consolidation and you can start to see the framework between the market leaders and all the others. The industry has basically gone through a maturing process and eventually it’s going to level out, it’s going to become more competitive.
Our industry has matured to the point now where the general public expects to get the same kind of quality service from a cleaning company or a restoration company than they would from any other market-leading company. We don’t get a pass. That doesn’t cut it anymore. (In addition), if businesses don’t pay attention to the marketing, the management side of their business… you’re not going to be in business. The industry has struggled with that for years – I think we’re doing better.