The Steamatic Story
More than 45 years of innovation in the restoration industry
Steamatic began with the partnership of two progressive Fort Worth, Texas, businessmen and best friends Bill Blackmon and Scott Mooring. They opened a furniture and dye shop in 1968 called Blackmon Mooring and quickly added carpet and rug cleaning services after realizing businesses like their local bank needed their rugs cleaned.
One year after forming the company, the Fort Worth area was flooded when the Trinity River levee broke. The businessmen helped with recovery efforts and then began offering water damage restoration services.
The need for carpet and upholstery cleaning continued to increase as more people laid wall-to-wall carpeting in their homes. Blackmon Mooring began marketing their cleaning methods to other franchisees calling this carpet cleaning franchise – Steamatic Inc.
Through the years, they developed cleaning formulas and solutions, as well as a patented hot-water-recirculating cleaning method. In 1974, their Lambrite dry-cleaning apparatus received a U.S. patent; later the LAMBRITE® cleaning process was patented.
Steamatic continued to grow with franchises throughout the years and in 1986, their first international franchise opened in Australia.
In January 1983, Bill Sims began working in the sales department at Steamatic. He progressed from a manager to Vice President of Franchise Development to Vice President of Operations.
In October 2006, the sons of the founders, who had taken over running Steamatic, approached Bill Sims about his buying the company. Bill bought Steamatic and moved it to its current location in Fort Worth.
A versatile franchise: From carpet cleaning to restoration work
We began shifting our focus from cleaning to restoration more than two decades ago, and we’ve grown as a result. Today, our fire, water and mold damage restoration services make up 67% of our business.
“Restoration is evergreen,” says Steamatic Director of Franchise Development Bill Helton. “It doesn’t matter what the economy is doing. Your washing machine can break, or you can have a kitchen fire in any type of economy. We’re always there to help.”
Because we made a conscious decision not to carve the market into small franchise territories, we are an agile and nimble company. This has allowed us to evolve with the changing restoration industry, roll out new technology and rapidly train our franchise owners to provide additional services. Today we’re focused on growing our restoration work, and the next decade is bright.
The future of Steamatic
Steamatic is entering into the largest growth spurt in its years of operation.
“We’ve just got a driving force with a new, younger corporate team,” says Steamatic President Steve Willis. “We’re investing heavily in technology, which is where we see the future. We want to be one of the most technological cleaning and restoration companies in the industry.”
We have beefed up technology for our franchisees, enabling them and their techs to be more efficient at doing their jobs. A franchisee receives a tablet loaded with the restoration management software, ClientRunner, at training. This software allows franchisees and techs to fill in information and attach pictures of a job to create customized forms and reports for insurance companies and businesses — who can look at them right away and track a job’s progress.
The software saves franchisees time because they no longer have to fill out mounds of paperwork, says Dan Thrush, Director of Franchise Support. It is a double win — franchisees get their payments more quickly when insurance companies and businesses can automatically see what is done.
Franchisees have the opportunity to acquire equipment — like infrared cameras and moisture measuring devices — that enables them to pinpoint how long it will take for walls, floors, and objects to dry.
“We are able to do things faster and do a more thorough job,” Dan says.
Technology is only one aspect of the plan to catapult Steamatic forward. We have increased our commitment to marketing our brand at events and online to help our franchisees generate more leads and acquire more customers.
“As part of our strategic growth plan, over next two to three years, we will increase our number of franchises by 30 to 40 percent,” Steve says. “Our 10-year goals are to continue to grow our systems and marketing efforts and to find even better ways to perform our services.”