Jeff Brannon and his wife, Ann, own Integrity Blinds and Shutters in Greer, SC. Brannon decided to close his company’s doors for the week and bring his team of 17 designers, installers, and sales associates to this year’s IWCE.
Photo: Jeff Brannon ( bottom right ) and Integrity Blinds and Shutters team
“We did this a few years ago when IWCE was in Charlotte. We think attendance at the expo is so valuable,” said Brannon. “I believe it is important for people to get out and experience new things. I think it is great that our team can learn from industry leaders and talk to dealers and manufacturers.”
It was a huge investment—at least $25,000—for the entire Integrity team to come to Fort Lauderdale, FL, but Brannon felt it was an investment worth making.
“There is no question that this is money well spent. I know I will see a tremendous return on this investment that is far beyond additional sales revenue,” he said.
“It is an amazing opportunity to build morale and for the team to have the opportunity to engage outside the workplace. They come back looking for ways to innovate and energized to exceed with excellence. You can’t quantify this because it is definitely something you can’t buy. To see my team engaged and seeking ways to do their best is so valuable.”
Brannon personally found the keynote by Jay Steinfeld, founder and former CEO of Blinds.com and author of Lead From the Core: The 4 Principles for Profit and Prosperity, very inspiring as it served as further validation for what he knows … his business success is because he passionately seeks to “truly” serve his customers.
He also said that he felt his team’s attendance at this year’s IWCE was a real game-changer for his company.
Photo: Integrity Blinds and Shutters at IWCE 2022 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
“We were looking for the necessary processes and systems required to take us from a mom-and-pop business to a larger and more structured organization,” said Brannon. “We needed to find ways to create duplicatable systems and our processes have become so much more important. With our continued growth rate, we couldn’t continue to do things the way we’ve been doing them.”
At IWCE, Brannon had the opportunity to meet Zinga’s Blinds, Shutters & Shades’ residential sales manager and learn about the systems and processes it has implemented. He realized they were exactly what his company needed.
So the week after the show, that residential sales manager made the trip to Greer and met with Brannon. “It is great that Zinga’s has the selling system figure out. And, after our more in-depth follow-up meeting, I could see its systems are going to be a game changer for our business. We are now working with Zinga’s to implement its systems and processes,” he said.
Another great opportunity that was a direct result of his attendance at IWCE was Brannon finding a very important product resource. Integrity Blinds does 50% of its business in the commercial space and a large majority of this is with schools.
The company has been working with schools to develop a way that if the school goes into lockdown, there is a way for all the classrooms’ shades to immediately come down. And just before IWCE, Integrity’s commercial sales manager was bidding on this type of project but was having difficulty finding a motorized system that could do what was required.
At IWCE, Brannon discovered that SecurShade offers a window shade system designed to improve a school’s security during an active shooter threat. Its new technology allows any educator seeing a threat to close all the school’s shades remotely and simultaneously while also alerting authorities.
“We had no idea this product was available and now we are working with our clients’ architects and builders to implement SecurShade in the schools. If it wasn’t for IWCE, we would have never found exactly what we were looking for,” he said.
“This is exactly why IWCE is so valuable. You get to see everything that is available and it could be just one little thing you find that can turn your business around. It is great to have the opportunity to see all of these resources in one place.”
Learn more about Integrity Blinds and Shutters
by visiting www.integrityshutters.com
Interview by Sara Fiedelholtz, Editor-in-Chief at Window Fashion VISION Magazine