Battery-Operated Shading Propels Dealer into New Profitable Markets

DEL Motorized Solutions seals shading deals 99 percent of the time thanks to an interactive showroom experience.

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When technology has been installed correctly, it should go virtually unnoticed, blending in with the home environment so seamlessly that it becomes a natural extension of the residence rather than a noticeable accessory. Selling technology, however, is an entirely different story.

“People need to see the technology, experience how it works, and have it demonstrated to them in a way that’s meaningful and makes sense,” says Dennis Lister, president, of DEL Motorized Solutions.

Touchy, Feely Shading Supports Sales Growth

So critical is the touch and feel to the profitability of his Philadelphia-based company that he and his team of salespeople operate a 2,000-square-foot showroom filled with more dozens of examples of motorized shading.

The store is open to consumers, architects, builders, interior designers by appointment primarily, and pulls in a regular flow of traffic based on its solid reputation and ability to cater to all a wide range of clientele in commercial, residential, new construction and retrofit markets.

It’s commitment to the motorized shading industry and ability to provide solutions for all types of projects recently landed DEL Motorized Solutions the honor of being named Lutron’s Excellence Winner in 2016 for Best Showroom Experience. 

Battery-Operated Options Expand Sales Horizons

Motorized shading has become an increasingly critical component of integrated systems. DEL, which sells nothing other than shading; “not even a single light switch,” says Lister, contributes much of this upswing in business to the development of battery-operated options. “Battery operating shading solutions has changed our business, expanding it two-fold,” he continues. “We went from serving primarily the remodel and new construction market to now also retrofit projects.”

Another important shift Lister recognizes is how motorized shading is now being applied. “When we first started offering motorized shades, back in 1997, it was big in commercial settings as a way to help conserve energy,” he says. “Now it’s become a key element of residential spaces not only for its energy-efficient properties but as a way to accentuate the design of a home.”

Shifting with the Changes in Home Design

To remain a powerhouse as a dealer of shading solutions, DEL continually alters the form and function of its showroom to stay on trend with the smart home, building, architectural, and design industries. In 1976 DEL began as a custom window treatment, offering draperies, valances, shades, even matching throw pillows and bedding. Since then, the company gradually started to focus on motorized solutions, and today offers nothing but motorized shading.

Battery-operated options like Lutron’s Sivoia QS Triathlon have become big sellers and highlights of the DEL showroom, as have all of the various decorative options available; again, the company pulls from Lutron’s huge selection of window covering fabrics and styles. But Lister notes Lutron’s reliability as just as critical to his company’s success as providing customers with a wide range of options. “The Lutron product is like a tank,” he says. “It works every time, all the time,” and that’s a feature is apparent in the many demos at the DEL showroom.

Demos of Diversity

In one section of the award-winning showroom, the DEL salespeople present to their clients shades of various fabrics and opacities — all moving in perfect unison; in another area the shades move in all different directions to demonstrate the versatility of the Lutron line.

There’s a vignette of a home theater where shades lower in preparation for a movie, and another section shows how shades can impact the lighting levels of a room.

Wood blinds, Roman shades, and an impressive display of Lutron’s Kirbé Vertical Drapery System that moves vertically up and down instead of traversing left to right, DEL covers the gamut in shading styles and motorization window treatments for a wide range of applications.

Also setting DEL apart from its competition is its customization capabilities. Per the specifications of builders and architects, DEL will cut the fabric of a motorized shade to the exact shape of the window.

“Builders are increasingly using windows as an architectural feature of a home,” says Lister.

Trapezoid, circular, arched, and other shapes have become popular. Rather than force the builder to figure out how to fit a “square peg into a round hole,” DEL custom-cuts the fabric, saving significant labor time and expense.

Control Options for All Scenarios

Of course, the shading hardware, fabrics, and motors are only part of the equation. On display at the DEL showroom are also plenty of controls for operating the shades.

Keypads, touchpanels, and mobile apps are all utilized, giving the DEL team the tools to demonstrate the versatility of their Lutron lineup and the key attributes of its products.

“It’s important for us to be able show and provide all the possible options,” says Lister. “It creates awareness … and as the continued success of our company proves, it truly helps seal the deal.”

About the Author

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Lisa Montgomery:

Lisa Montgomery has been a member of the CE Pro and Electronic House editorial teams for nearly 20 years; most of that time as the Editor of Electronic House. With a knack for explaining complex high-tech topics in terms that average consumers can understand, her style of writing resonates with people who are interested in adding electronic systems to their homes, but are unsure of the steps involved and the solutions available. From basic lighting control systems to full-blown automation systems, Lisa understands the home electronics market well, and is able to point consumers in the right direction on their quest for a smarter, more convenient, efficient and enjoyable home.

Over the years, she has developed close relationships with key manufacturers and seasoned custom electronics professionals, giving her a keen sense of what home technologies are hot now and what is on the horizon. She shares this wisdom regularly through feature stories, product roundups, case studies technology spotlights and comprehensive guides and books.

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Showroom