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March 3

How RYSE Will Disrupt The Window Shade Industry With SmartShades

We started RYSE to address two core problems that people face when trying to motorize their window shades today: cost and complexity.

RYSE SmartShade completely disrupts the industry by making the process of getting motorized shades infinitely less expensive and complicated.

One obvious way that we accomplish this by having an intuitive approach to motorization that allows users to retrofit their window shades to become motorized shades.

However, another, less apparent way that we do this is by turning the entire manufacturing and distribution on it’s head. The end result is less middlemen, less confusion, and ultimately, lower costs for the user.

If you’ve ever looked into motorization before, you’ll be familiar with how outrageously expensive and confusing it can be. Let’s find out why that is by breaking down these two core problems in further detail.

Why Do Motorized Window Shades Cost So Much?

Image: Blindster

The cost to motorize your window coverings ranges can range from $400 – $500 per window to well over $1000 per window.

These costs can be attributed to two major factors:

  1. Huge research & development investment
  2. Exclusive distribution

To get a better understanding of this, let’s break down the entire production process from manufacturing to distribution.

Manufacturing

Manufacturers, such as Somfy, invest heavily into R&D to develop motors that fit inside the headrail of blinds or tubes of shades (known as tubular motors).

Image: Somfy

A motor that was designed for a smaller window blind may not be robust enough to lift larger, heavier drapes. This is why there are so many different models for all of the different the type, size, and weight of window coverings. 

Fabrication

Motors are then distributed exclusively through window covering fabricators, such as Hunter Douglas. These fabricators source fabric and motors from 3rd party vendors and assemble the coverings according to the size of the customer’s window.

Image: Polar Shades

Window covering fabrication is a very labor-intensive process because windows come in all different sizes and are made-to-order. 

Distribution

Once the coverings are fabricated, they are distributed to dealers who handle the sales and marketing to the end consumer (you!).

This means the manufacturer of motors must sell to fabricators, who in turn sell to dealers, before it finally reaches you – there is no scalable method to sell directly to end consumers (which would cut costs greatly!). 

The End Result?

Because each of these middlemen (fabricators and dealers) mark up the price of the motor by 100%, the cost to you becomes astronomically high.

For example, if the vendor manufactures a motor for $50, they’ll sell it to the fabricator for $100, who will then sell it to a dealer for $200 – the price you finally pay is a minimum of $400!

Why Are Motorized Window Shades So Complex?

Image: 3 Day Blinds

When it comes to motorizing your window shades, blinds, or curtains there are just too many options. For so many reasons, the convenience of motorization is traditionally just too inconvenient to achieve.

Why is this?

Traditionally, window coverings are only motorized at the time of purchase.

If you move into a home that already has window coverings installed, in order to motorize them today, you would have to uninstall them, retrofit them with motors (installed in the headrail or tube of the window covering), and reinstall them. It’s a very complicated and expensive process.

Image: Curtain Blinds Dubai

Even if you are starting from scratch and getting newly motorized coverings, you might find that you need a professional installer to get it all set-up and installed properly. On top of that, you might even want to hire a specialist to help you make the right product selections even before it is time to install them.

In addition to all the different types and sizes of motors (mentioned before), control is another hurdle. On the cheaper end, get a remote that controls a single shade or pay more for different remotes that control more shades – scheduling doesn’t even come with all remotes.

Speaking of add-ons: a sun sensor, solar-charging, and the ability to integrate with your favorite Smart Home devices are all separate and costly “upgrades” that need to be separately slapped onto your window, plugged into an outlet, or have batteries replaced.

The Bottom Line

Although these aren’t the only reasons we started RYSE, finding a way to reduce cost and complexity so that as many as possible can enjoy and experience the benefits of motorized shades is definitely a pillar of our company’s mission and vision.

With RYSE SmartShade, we’ve created an all-in-one device that’s easy to install onto any window covering and doesn’t break the bank.

SmartShade make it so that window shade motorization is simpler and more accessible to everyone. Window shade industry: prepare to be disrupted.


About the author

Trung Pham is the CEO and founder of RYSE, the company behind the next generation retrofit motorization product, SmartShades. Trung is also the co-founder of a rapidly growing entertainment app in Toronto.


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