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Shades Week: Adding Instant Shade Expertise

Partnering with a professional shading company lets integrators painlessly – and profitably — expand their offerings.

Shades Week - Draper At Home - Logo

There is no doubt that adding motorized shades to a custom integrator’s product lineup offerings many benefits, including increased profitability, access to additional work, and more interaction with architects and interior designers. However, it is not an easy addition to make, requiring a whole new set of skills and expertise to master before you can put your reputation on the line with your clients.

One way to reap the benefits of adding shades to your shop without adding the pain points is to partner with an experienced shade installation company — ideally one that understands the custom installation market and can work with you to provide an extraordinary experience for your clients.

DEL Motorized Solutions is the epitome of such a company. DEL has over 30 years of experience in fabricating and installing shades and knows how to work with integrators.

“We work with integrators so that they don’t need shade expertise per se,” says Dennis Lister, president of DEL Motorized Solutions. “We have a team of 30 and have plenty of people for large projects that you don’t want to extend over time. Sometimes it’s just a matter of wanting to concentrate on their core business and, if they’re installing shades, they aren’t able to do that and still do all the programming without getting themselves backed up.

DEL Motorized Shades - Bedroom

“We’ve created a niche business throughout New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey where we work with hundreds of integrators — we’ll even wear their t-shirts on the job site. It’s seamless to the customer.”

Working With Experts

Equipping an entire home with shades is a daunting task for an inexperienced company. There is so much that could potentially go wrong with measuring, ordering, and installation. Subcontracting relieves the pressure and removes the fear factor from the job.

Shades Week: From Building Partner to Shading Client

“Shades are not cheap,” adds Lister. “Clients are spending thousands of dollars on a wholesale level and, if they make a mistake, some of the products cannot be redone so it ends up being trash. We take care of the entire solution. We even offer them the integrator our lifetime warranty so they have another revenue stream because many of them will charge their customers contract pricing for five-year or 10-year extended warranties that we’re supplying for free.

“At the end of the day, subcontracting to an expert in the field not only eliminates the fear, but it’s in their customer’s best interest — even for integrators that already do shades. I like to say that we’re the orthopedic surgeon and we do the knees, but the integrators do the brains. The true best interest for the customers is to let each expert in the industry handle what they do best.”

Shades Week - DEL Motorized Shades - Beach View

If needed, DEL will work with the client throughout the entire process — helping them understand the different fabrics and luminosity and all the other choices that need to be made when ordering shades. Additionally, DEL will also provide training for its integrator partners, so they have a deeper understanding of the entire process.

“We call it a mentor program,” says Lister. “The integrators are welcome to be there with our technicians and our team during the entire sale process and learn how it’s done.”

Team Lutron

DEL has exclusively worked with Lutron for more than 25 years, and while some may be wary of building a business around a single partner, Lister has a deep confidence in the brand — and has never had a reason to doubt them.

Shades Week: Shades in Action!

“I needed to find a manufacturer that took pride in what they did and let me know that their product was just going to work because, if the shades failed, I would fail and I could never let that happen,” he says. “Lutron fit perfectly with our business. We both have core values of superior customer service with superior products.

“When our technicians go out to the house, they wear booties. Everything’s covered to protect the home’s surfaces. One person is drilling and another one’s holding a vacuum to make sure nothing gets airborne. Every wire is dressed. When they’re all done, they vacuum the entire room and they wash every window. That’s just what we do.

“Plus, every customer gets a lifetime warranty. Twenty years later, if a shade fails, we replace it — no charge for labor or parts. How can I possibly offer that to all my customers? It’s because what Lutron makes works. It works on day one, it works on day 1001. We have the warranty, but it’s almost never used because everything Lutron makes just works.”

Furthering the relationship between the companies is DEL’s role as a “refabricator” of Lutron shades where they take the rectangle models and change them into whatever shapes are necessary to cover the windows. This refabrication leads to some amazing installations, and a satisfyingly soothing sensation when you watch videos of the shades sliding into perfect place.

So, the same expertise that can make and install bespoke, high-end Lutron shade shapes can represent your company on jobs that require a high level of shading skill. To find out how to add DEL Motorized Solutions to your company’s offerings, visit