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Showing posts from August, 2010

Flooring Warranties and Expectations: Oh, what tangled webs we weave

We surely see some tangled messes in the flooring industry when customers buy flooring products based on marketing and not based upon choosing the right products for their location or application.  Invariably, the product doesn’t live up to their expectations. Flooring warranties are part of the marketing package; they are not insurance against a bad product choice and we need to do a better job at making sure our sales people and customers understand the difference. For every application there is an appropriate product. The right product in the right place, and there always is one , will perform up to the expectations of the end user. The role of the flooring professional is to guide the buying decision toward the right product. In the absence of professional help a consumer is left to make a decision based upon marketing alone. Even with "professional help" they can come away confused.  Here's a great example of a consumer who is trying to make the right carpet deci

Dancik asks, “What’s wrong with B2B in the flooring industry?”

The Floor Covering Institute is pleased to announce that Mitchell Dancik, president of Dancik International , has joined our consulting group and will be posting regularly on this blog site.  Mitch has specialized in providing software solutions for the flooring industry for over 25 years. In fact, more than half of all the hard surface flooring sold in North America today is processed by Dancik software at some point on its journey from the manufacturer to customers.  He has worked with more than 130 flooring companies so many of you know Mitch; if you want to read more about him go to our website but be sure to come back because today he has chosen to explain the status of B2B and why it’s taking so long to implement the process in our industry. At my software company, Dancik International, I am constantly asked about the status of business to business (B2B) connectivity in the floor covering industry. In particular, I am asked “What’s wrong with B2B?” and “Why aren’t there more res

Delivering brand through customer service

Floor covering customers, like all customers, are passionate about customer service and there’s nothing like a bad experience to make my point so naturally I wanted to share my most recent customer service nightmare with you.  I actually wrote about it at length in this post -  I can’t tell you how cathartic writing it all down was - but our blog editor reduced my rant to save you from my painful story and now we have this efficient description in the following short story. I hope you read it because there really is a point to sharing this. My journey to buy a “fancy” (expensive) refrigerator to match other appliances in our new home sent my wife and I from manufacturer to distributor to a specialty retailer. When the freezer didn’t work an hour after finally being installed on a Friday afternoon we quickly learned that the “emergency 24 hour service number” shut down at 5 p.m. on Fridays. Over the weekend and throughout Monday we pinged between the retailer, who said they couldn’t f

Floor Covering Institute updates Lacey Act investigation and UN's "Year of Forests"

Here are a couple interesting updates that I thought the flooring industry might like to know about.   Gibson Guitar Asked to Forfeit Illegal Lacey Guitars News from the Gibson Guitar Lacey Act investigation comes today from the Nashville Business Journal . The government has filed a civil suit against Gibson seeking "official forfeiture" of the guitars they allege were partially made of wood deemed to be illegally sourced under the provisions of the Lacey Act.   We are following this story because Gibson is the first to be investigated under the new provisions of the Lacey Act Amendments which bans illegally harvested timber from the US supply chain.  What the government does with Gibson could be applicable to how they  investigate and prosecute claims of illegal wood in the floor covering supply chain. Lacey makes it a crime to receive, transport or sell timber products harvested in a manner contrary to the laws of the country from which the timber originated.  Once il

Strategies for Increasing Your Floor Covering Market Share

FLOOR COVERING STATISTICAL TRENDS AND OUTLOOK The economic trends and long-term outlook for the flooring industry tell us that if you want to grow your business your strategy must include growing market share. The 2010 Catalina Report on Floor Coverings indicates that there is a recovery in U.S. floor coverings sales.  However, the recovery will be sluggish.  Dollar U.S. floor coverings sales are estimated to increase 3.0% during 2010.  This growth is being driven by the double-digit increase in existing home sales over the past three quarters.  Going forward, however, the gains in existing home sales could level off with the expiration of the homebuyers' tax credit .  The builder market will also have a hard time showing significant gains due to the "overhang "of empty and foreclosures homes.   Overhang is the term economists use to refer to the number of foreclosed properties that will wind up on the for sale market. There are about 4.5 million distressed residen