Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Sun-Belt Release

March 5, 2010

RALEIGH, NCSun-Belt USA, national distribution center for carpet cleaning and restoration products, is celebrating its 40th year in business. Ken Hines of Raleigh, North Carolina, started the company in 1969 by selling Steamex Carpet Cleaning Machines that were invented by his brother Bob Hines and manufactured by US Floor Systems. For many weeks he would put three machines in his station wagon, leave town and would not come home until they were all sold. The company was incorporated in 1971 as Steamex of N.C. and soon added chemicals, supplies, parts and repair service. This system worked well for over 10 years and when competitors flooded the market with similar machines, Hines decided to add and represent other reliable lines of carpet cleaning products. The name was changed from Steamex to Sun-Belt when the company began to offer multi-lines.

Loyalty grew among customers in the Carolinas and Hines saw that cleaners needed a catalog of name brands to help increase awareness and give buyers a better choice. The first Direct Buyers Guide was published by Sun-Belt in 1983 and was considered the first diverse catalog in the carpet cleaning industry. This "nonprofit" buyer''s guide continues to be published annually and includes over 50 manufacturers of quality national brands.

Hines believes that any company that can withstand the test of time must be prepared to quickly change, adapt and adjust to unexpected business climates and conditions that arise. From the company’s humble beginning, Hines has always encouraged excellence in customer service and vendor representation by employing talented, experienced and eager to learn people with a good work ethic and loads of integrity.

Today Sun-Belt is led by Steve Boyette and a creative team of people that understand supply chain distribution and can engage the high level energy that makes it work.
"We all love our customers, admire and support our manufacturers, and are willing to sacrifice everyday, long term, for the goals of the Company," claims Boyette.
Boyette spent 15 years in the wholesale distribution business before moving to Sun-Belt in 1993. He now patterns the systems and procedures of Sun-Belt after the largest and most successful plumbing and heating wholesaler in the United States.
He says: "Sun-Belt has weathered the recent economic storm and remains financially strong. We are positioned for growth and eager to overcome any business and market challenges that lie ahead."