Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2010

Flooring, China & Social Media

One last post relating to China - about Flooring, China & Social Media. This time, I highlight non-flooring examples with a Chinese connection to provide innovative perspective for your flooring business domestically or abroad.  All made possible thanks to social media tools. Here are links to my previous posts in this China series: China Has Awakened. Are You Ready? Understanding Opportunities in China What got me started with the series was an AdAge article titled 20 blogs marketers to China should be reading  with a wealth of information about China, a country on the other side of the globe, one I admired and have visited, but don't fully understand.  I can't speak the language other than a few words like thank you , yet love the food and fully appreciate the marketplace implications of a country so big for products like flooring.  In my previous life in the branded residential carpet business, global didn't matter much.  Flooring, though, is global --  Jim G

The U.S. Lacey Act Amendments: Wood Product Supply Chain Tips and Myths

The 2008 U.S. Lacey Act Amendments ("Lacey Act"), the world's most punitive and far reaching "ban" on illegally harvested timber, continues to influence the floor covering and many other industries using wood products worldwide. As more industries come under its influence, and with the first U.S. government investigation of  illegally logged wood underway, I thought now was a good time to revisit this subject. Here are some practical tips and a few busted myths. The Lacey Act makes it a crime to receive, transport or sell timber products harvested in a manner contrary to the laws from which the timber originated. Mislabeling and making false statements as part of the mandatory disclosure requirements are also crimes.  The act forces U.S. buyers and importers to take full responsibility for how their timber is harvested and extends that responsibility through the entire supply chain; everyone is accountable. We first wrote about the Lacey Act on this blog sit

Tips for Using Your Floor Covering Supply Chain to Reduce Your Inventory Investment

Recently Jim Gould wrote a post on this site about managing your floor covering inventory investment in Avoiding Cash Traps and the Recession Slows and Business Grows in which he talked about how inventory consumes a lot of business capital that could be available for other purposes. David Wootton also described inventory as “a big box of dollar bills” in his post that talked about methods for preparing your annual budgets . I could not agree more  - inventory is a cash trap - in fact, I always say that inventory should be the buyer's biggest client, meaning you have a bigger investment in inventory than any customer. With so much at stake you need to use innovative methods to manage your inventory investment. One of the best way to reduce your inventory investment is to use the resources of your supply chain. In my experience, businesses put a lot of money and effort into sales and marketing but place less focus on the supply chain. Normally you have fewer suppliers than cu

More about Moisture Problems Leading to Flooring Complaints from Lew Migliore

I feel like concrete moisture leading to flooring complaints is the bane of the flooring industry right now.  If you are a floor covering dealer you probably have a complaint, are dealing with one now or are about to get one. That is why it is important that you know your product’s vulnerability to moisture and then communicate it to your customers  - be they residential or commercial users. Alas, I see too many people who fail to heed the warnings then want to blame the retailer, manufacturer or the product itself for the failure when the facts, once we investigate, show that proper moisture conditions or barriers were not in place. The facts don’t lie, but people do, and by the time the flooring failure has gotten to my attention we usually find that the problems - and the huge costs and losses associated with them -  could have been avoided. This is a follow up post to my  recent post on concrete moisture leading to flooring failures which got a lot of attention. I hope this po

Catalina says U.S. Flooring Industry Set for Spring Thaw - Who Will Benefit?

FLOOR COVERING STATISTICAL TRENDS AND OUTLOOK In my February 11th post I asked the question “ Are Floor Coverings Sales On Schedule For A Spring Recovery? "  The answer is yes. Based on the March 2010 Catalina Floor Coverings Quarterly Update , the U.S. floor coverings industry is on track to show a 1.4% increase in square foot floor coverings sales (shipments, minus exports plus imports) in the second quarter of 2010.  This would be the first increase in quarterly floor coverings sales since 2006. Now the question is . . .  . . . . who will benefit from this “Spring thaw?”   The answer seems to be retailers catering to the do-it-yourself (DIY) market and the products purchased for DIY projects. The recovery in the residential replacement and remodeling market is being driven by do-it-yourself projects because the important first time home buyers are more likely to have lower income than the average homeowner and sluggish personal income gains have caused a shift to lower p