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Showing posts from February, 2010

Meet Ruud Steenvoorden, Newest Floor Covering Institute Consultant

I’m pleased to introduce Ruud Steenvoorden, the newest consultant to join the Floor Covering Institute consulting team .  Ruud was born in The Netherlands but now lives in South Africa after a 35 year career with Fetim. B.V .  Fetim is one of the largest wood flooring providers in Europe with channels to retail, commercial and DIY chains. Ruud began with Fetim in 1975 and actually grew up in the business, starting as a trainee and eventually becoming the Director of Corporate Buying responsible primarily for Fetim’s hardwood flooring products. He has conducted business in China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and across Europe and has been responsible for wood flooring production from logs to showrooms. His business experience includes mergers and acquisitions, international product sourcing, channel distribution, marketing and much more. He speaks four languages: Dutch, English, German and French. From 2005 to 2009, Ruud was also vice-president of the European Federation of Parquet Import

Understanding Opportunities in China

In China Has Awakened. Are You Ready? I mentioned that I plan on sharing with you digital resources to help better understand global opportunities. My focus, for now, is China. Understanding Opportunities in China: AccessAsia In this post, I introduce you to AccessAsia and Malcolm Moore . AccessAsia AccessAsia provides market intelligence to companies wanting to do business in Greater China and Southeast Asia. From their About Us section, they are based in the UK, Malaysia and China and have been in business since 1997. They've also worked with an impressive roster of companies. Their resources section offers at-a-glance a map of Greater China and Southeast Asia . Click on any country - for example China - and you have a snapshot of the country and some vital links. The links section captures links to newspapers & media, travel sites, culture, business services, governments and stock exchanges. Finally, check out the Weekly Update . AdAge describes it as " a sn

Flooring Companies: It's Time for your Annual Check-Up and Spring Cleaning

I believe the year starts when Surfaces is over and manufacturers have announced their plans for the coming year and introduced their new collections. Domotex, Surfaces and manufacturers’ road shows are over and it’s time to push ahead with 2010. However now is also the time to check your company’s health, perform the annual check-up and do some spring cleaning. This applies to all channels in the industry be they manufacturer, distributor or retailer. By now most of you should be well along in the process of creating new budgets for 2010 but for those who may have just completed your audit or are still in the process here are a few suggestions I hope you find helpful. The Physical: Examine Your Statements and Set a New Budget Review your income statement for 2009 and compare it with 2008 . On a line by line basis compare the number for 2009 with 2008 and make sure you can explain the difference better or worse. This will enable you to keep doing what’s working and fix what need

Are Floor Covering Sales on Schedule for a Spring Recovery?

FLOOR COVERING STATISTICAL TRENDS AND OUTLOOK Stuart Hirschhorn is a member of the Floor Covering Institute and Director of Research of Catalina Research, Inc . which provides in-depth market research on the floor covering industry. Last week as I walked through Surfaces, the U.S. flooring show in Las Vegas, I heard many optimistic comments about the future of the U.S. floor coverings industry. A number of vendors even mentioned that sales were good in January (or maybe sales were better than they thought they would be). This attitude is in-line with my outlook for the floor coverings industry posted here last month ( Catalina Says Floor Covering Sales Expected to Begin Recovery in 2010 ). As I stated then, the recovery of floor covering sales will depend upon the returning health of the residential repl acement and remodeling market , since the builder market remains weak and nonresidential building construction spending continues to decline at an accelerating rate. I also indic

International Summit to Address Global Wood and Laminate Flooring Issues

Leaders and stewards of the world's wood and laminate flooring industries will converge in Shanghai next month to discuss critically important issues impacting wood based flooring markets around the world. The 2010 International Wood Flooring Summit (IWFS) will be unlike any other in the world and is open to anyone attending Domotex's annual Asian floor covering industry event, DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR. Nowhere else in the world can you drop in and listen to so many thought leaders from so many parts of the world discussing global topics that affect your industry. The goal of the IWFS is to increase communication among international markets and industry leaders in order to better understand governmental regulations, standards and environmental issues central to our industry. Last year, Ed Korczak, CEO of the U.S. National Wood Flooring Association, and I represented the U.S. at a similar Domotex event which was covered well by our media. This article by Floor Biz, Wood Summi