Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Donato Pompo's Ceramic and Stone Expertise is a Great New Addition to the Floor Covering Institute

We are pleased to introduce Donato Pompo, newest member of the Floor Covering Institute consulting team. Donato is founder of two well-known flooring industry companies focused on improving everything about ceramic tile and stone flooring and the businesses that produce and sell them. They are Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants (CTaSC) and the University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS). Together these companies address every tier of this product channel, from helping quarries and manufacturers produce better products and improve market positions, to providing distributors and retailers with better business practices and installers with the education to understand the complexity of their work. We look forward to seeing his insight and perspectives on this blog and are happy to be able to bring his expertise and resources to you.

Donato’s professional experience is a result of over 30 years in the flooring industry starting with installing, selling, and distributing ceramic tile and stone. He ran his family’s California distributorship, Southwestern Ceramic Tile and Marble Co., then joined Laticrete International (a leading provider of ceramic and stone installation systems) in regional and national sales capacities. He holds an MBA with emphasis in marketing and finance and his undergraduate work was concentrated in biochemistry. He has a list of technical certifications too long to list here - you can click here to read his full curriculum vitae on the Floor Covering Institute website. But first, please read Donato’s story in his own words:

Donato Pompo: I started out as a union installer, learning the nitty-gritty of how to install tile. Looking back, this was very good preparation for what was to come next in my life. After being in the Army and graduating from college, I joined my family’s business in San Diego, working my way up to executive vice president of the successful importing, distributing and retail ceramic tile and stone business. I worked closely with architects, installers and general contractors, educating them about our products and assisting them to design installation systems. Eventually my interest in the latter led me to my next career move.

I continued to provide architects, builders, dealers and installers with technical consultation, but this time I was working with a leading international manufacturer of installation products and systems for ceramic tile and stone, Laticrete International. For seven years there I wrote installation specifications, developed and implemented training programs, managed a large sales force, developed and implemented marketing plans and promotions, and investigated and resolved many installation failures. We were one of the first companies to target and work with floor covering distributors and dealers to help them learn and sell ceramic tile.

The idea of establishing my own business had always been brewing in my mind; this last rung of the career ladder cinched it for me. I decided to pursue my goal to create a company to use the knowledge and education I had gained about ceramic tile, stone, installation systems, and business in general. I knew there was a need for consultancy in the industry since I had witnessed firsthand the enormous cry for help during earlier years of my work experience with all types of companies and individuals who were frustrated and desperate with job problems, and marketing and business challenges. It was then that Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants was born!

What do I mean by a “cry for help?  I saw distributors and contractors who wanted to grow their business or manage it better but had no consultants to turn to who had both firsthand industry experience and the business education to help them solve their problems or improve their business. I saw distributors and contractors who were dragged into job problems and unjustly blamed for the failure and expected to pay for it, and owners who got substandard installations or failures and had no way to know that the work was below industry standards. There was no one available with the comprehensive experience, scientific background and professional approach to consult with them and help them defend themselves.

Today my business is divided into three main categories: (1) consulting on job installation failures and the services related to avoiding those failures, (2) education/training, and (3) business and marketing planning services. Learning what causes failures and how to avoid them is the focus of the forensic part of the business.

The training arm of the company is called the University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS). I have always believed that education and training is key to being successful in business. Helping your employees to grow will grow sales and profits. The University is a Learning Management System (“LMS”) web-based campus using the same technology that higher learning institutions use where self-paced courses and web conferencing is offered. Our topics are geared towards installation methods and standards, product information, sales techniques, and business training, which are relevant to the ceramic tile and stone industry.

Some of you may have seen the series of instructive cartoons I developed in the late 80's called “TileWise” to help educate members of the industry. You can view more of them on our website.

My commitment to the ceramic tile and stone industry and the floor covering industry in general is unwavering and that makes joining the Floor Covering Institute a logical place for me to reach more of you. I sincerely believe that information and education is a must in this age where the customer expects and oftentimes insists on being informed. Research, education, and planning are the key operatives for avoiding problems and driving success with an intelligent decision making process, which I hope to continue to help perpetuate within our industry using my companies and the Floor Covering Institute.

Thank you for your interest and I welcome your questions and comments.

Donato Pompo

Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants, Inc.

Donato is certified as a Ceramic Tile Consultant (CTC) and is the past chairman of the Ceramic Tile Institute of America Technical Committee, and a member of the ANSI and TCA standards committees. He is a Council-certified Microbial Remediator (CMR), an architectural CSI member and is certified as a Construction Document Technologist (CDT). He is a member of the Forensic Consultants Association (FCA)  past board member of the Ceramic Tile Distributor Association CTDA, a primary contributing writer and researcher for the Catalina Stone Industry Report, and is a frequent author and speaker for the ceramic tile and stone industries. He is an active member of ANSI A108, APSP Association of Pool & SPA Professionals, CSI (Construction Specifications Institute), ASTM C18 Dimension Stone committee, CTDA (Ceramic Tile Distributors Association) and Chairman of the CTDA Education Committee. He is a member of the CTIOA (Ceramic Tile Institute of America), past Chairman of the CTIOA Technical Committee, member of the FCA Forensic Consultants Association and the FEWA Forensic Expert Witness Association. He is member of the IAPMO Uniform Plumbing Code, IAQA (Indoor Air Quality Association), ISO TC189 committee, MIA (Marble Institute of America), NTCA (National Tile Contractors Association) and the  NTCA Technical Committee, an NTCA Recognized Consultant, particpant in the TCNA Tile Council of North America Handbook committee, Tile Heritage Foundation member, and WSCTA (Western States Ceramic Tile Association) member.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to Donato for becoming apart of the floor covering institute, I hope that he is a great addition. Thanks for the post