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Showing posts from July, 2010

The Great Urbanization: Threats and Opportunities for Floor Covering in China and India

I want to share a recent series of articles about coming changes to the global economy affecting the demand for floor covering  - representing both threats and opportunities. This grabbed my attention and it should yours too. If this doesn’t scare you, it may inspire you; regardless I hope you take some time to read and consider what might bring about a very profound change in the floor covering industry and other construction industries around the world. Spotting emerging trends Spotting and acting on emerging trends is how companies take advantage of market opportunities.  After much research,  McKinsey and Company just proposed five areas they see that offer the richest opportunities created by new stresses and tensions in the global economy. You can read the entire article about global forces but here I focus on two particularly important ones to us; they are productivity and emerging markets .  Together, the influence of these two forces will be profound; reshaping the global

How spinning the truth and lying with statistics can easily deceive

I was in 4th grade when my English teacher assigned us to write our first book report.  “Read any book you like,” she said. “Write a one page report and it’s due on Friday.”    Slow reader that I was, I remember running to the library in search of the thinnest book with the largest type I could find.  Pulling a sliver of a book from between two giant (probably more likely normal) sized books, I came face to face with How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff; 47 pages of large type with pictures and graphs. My selection was made! Little did I know at age nine, what an impact that book would make on me and how many times I would think about it during my life. This seemingly unimpressive, slim book turned out to be one of the most widely read books on statistics in history. It explained, even in a way that a nine year old could understand, how statistics and graphs can be used to twist reality.  What Huff said then may be even more true now, "The secret language of statistics,

Who merchandises and controls your floor covering showroom?

Merchandising a retail showroom floor may be an owner’s most important responsibility.  The problem is, most retailers permit their reps or buying groups to handle that responsibility which means that it's easy to start looking like every other floor covering showroom.  Let me explain why that might not be a good thing.  Last week my wife and I visited Sorbaras , our new local grocery store.  We were amazed at the plethora of brands we hadn’t seen for many years, including Utz potato chips , DeLallo and Isaly's chipped ham.  Sorbara’s is exciting to us because their selection is different.  The store is not as large as Publix , the dominant chain; nor does it have as many brands or selection.  None of that matters though, because Sorbara’s has brands and products that are different and we have become fans. Product differentiation is key to your success.  Someone recently said to me that shopping at carpet stores was akin to shopping for beer at convenience or smaller gr

How the flooring industry and consumers can reduce flooring waste sent to landfills

The “Green” movement is upon the floor covering industry - it has influenced our manufacturing processes for years. We have worked to increase manufacturing efficiencies, create more environmentally friendly products and even found ways to make recycled materials into flooring, such as using plastic drink bottles to make residential carpet.  Low odor and low VOC’s are now standard in new flooring.  Floors are now being produced with recycling in mind at the inception of their life. We have a variety of programs in place to recycle, re-use and re-purpose flooring that help to keep old flooring out of landfill, such as the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) . But we can do more to reduce waste at the end of a floors life cycle, and today I want to talk about how everyone in the industry can become part of the solution that reduces flooring waste in landfills. Up to now our flooring manufacturers have taken the lead on making our industry more socially responsible through product inn