Two families have shaped the company for more than 100 years: the Miele and Zinkann families. In 1899, with four lathes and one drilling machine, the engineer Carl Miele and the businessman Reinhard Zinkann founded a company for the manufacture of cream separators in Herzebrock. Their guiding principle becomes the business philosophy: "Immer besser."
Vacuum manufacturers traditionally use Independent Dealers to introduce new products. Dealers build product value at high margins and ultimately those products are offered by department stores at lower prices. As time passes, margins erode but volume increases. This process keeps the factory busy and people employed. In days past, independent dealer accrued co-op ad funds from the manufacturer and we'd run display ads in our local newspapers. Macy's would break National co-op ads and we'd all benefit. Manufacturers recognized the Independent Dealer's role in the circle of commerce and expected them to perform warranty servicing and repairs. Manufacturers provided parts for warranty repairs but rarely shared in the dealer's cost of labor. Dealer's were considered "privileged" to participate as a warranty service location. Our opportunity was based on our ability to step up service revenue, sell belts, bags, accessories and other merchandise offerings. Sharp Dealers would establish a rapport with the service clientele and would sell up into more profitable and better quality products.
In the early '80, Miele introduced their vacuum cleaner brand to the USA. Miele, well known in Europe, had a plan to introduce their brand with vacs and later would bring their home appliances and commercial appliances. Miele, well aware of this distribution process, opened the US market using the Independent Vacuum Dealer network. Dealers used this product to their advantage by offering Miele as a premium brand at premium prices. As sales grew, their factories grew. Eventually, the larger factories, more employees, more production would demand more more sales. More sales than Independent Dealer could produce. Now with an established reputation, Miele could be sold "off the shelf." It took 35 years and generations of dealers. Miele continues to value the dealer's role. They provide the best warranty support in the industry. Their next challenge is determining how to compensate their dealers for warranty repairs made on Miele sales sold online. Good Manufacturers understand that repairs and service are important to support their brand. Already Miele has a Independent Dealer Product line, the Miele HomeCare Line, that includes extended factory warranties not offered on products sold online and through mass merchandisers. Miele's product distribution has evolved but that doesn't diminish the dealers role. The vacuum and sewing industry is still a place where a good proprietor can flourish. I was the first Miele dealer in Northern California, other than Bill Minford (RIP) in Palo Alto. My company, Carpet King Industries was responsible for setting up the first 15 dealers in Northern California. In those days, Miele was a tough sell. A long story short, service has always been the pathway to sales.
Miele Vacuum Training Videos: Miele has prepared product training for customers and all interested prospects. This video series will provide most of the information you'll need to know to make an educated buying decision. These videos will also be useful for training your housekeeping staff.