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Showing posts from November, 2010

5 Points for Achieving Painless Negotiations

After 40 years in the flooring industry you can be sure that I’ve negotiated my way through plenty of deals - perhaps not always as effectively as I wanted to.  We’ve all have experience with business negotiations that were not pleasant or positive. Sometimes negotiations feel like a battle  -  a fight between two parties defending their positions, each one trying to avoid “loosing” to the other. With experience I’ve learned there are techniques that make negotiations less painful and more satisfying to both parties. Whether the negotiations are about a contract, family-twist or peace talks between countries, people in general automatically tend to start in the mode of Positional Negotiation . Positional negotiation is essentially adversarial; each party sees the process as a “win-lose” situation, each using their necessary arguments to defend their position against attack.  A win on one side is a loss on the other and in the end concessions lead to compromise and neither party may b

Do floor covering industry trends concern or include you?

Research tells us that consumers place little value on flooring.  Is this the fault of manufacturers, distributors or retailers?  Does it concern you that the fastest growing entities in the industry are home centers and Lumber Liquidators?  Can independent retailers survive if home centers own 50% share of the floor covering market?   Is it disconcerting that the industry is moving to fibers that we know don’t wear well in our attempt to hit price points rather than serve the customer?  Does that help our independent retailers create value or further damage their credibility?  Does it concern you that the growth of hard surface will greatly extend the normal replacement cycle of floor coverings?  Many people think independent retailers will go the way of television and organ stores.  Are floor covering retailers chum for suppliers?  Why would our industry be any different? The only way to change the future is to address the present.  Are these concerns real or a symptom of the e

New plans for B2B improvements will add value for the distributor and retailer

Mitchell Dancik talks about new developments in B2B: I recently returned from the annual flooring industry B2B meeting held by the Floor Covering Business to Business Association .  I’m excited to tell you about the new plans to improve B2B for distributors and retailers of hard surface flooring. These new enhancements will make hard surface distributor catalogs “SKU based” and far more useful to retailers than ever before. If all parties (software companies and flooring suppliers) deliver on this year’s commitments, retailers will be able to receive a catalog where every SKU can have its own prices, specifications, drop dates, etc. Each SKU will still transmit within its associated style or product line, but SKUs can be re-grouped however the retailer sees fit. This will also improve the value that local distributors bring to their retailers. Amidst the tight budgets of this moribund economy the meeting was the most well attended B2B meeting ever. But sadly the industry segment th