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Showing posts from December, 2010

Can strong growth in flooring sales depend on the success of the electric car?

FLOOR COVERING STATISTICAL TRENDS AND OUTLOOK It may not seem logical to the casual observer that there would be any relationship between US floor covering sales and the success of the electric car. However, consider this. Historically, the introduction and commercialization of new technology has usually led to stronger economic growth and sharper gains in personal income and consumer spending. The resulting sharp gain in personal income and consumer spending has always led to strong floor covering sales growth. These correlations can be seen in the late 1990s, when the Internet became commercialized and revolutionized the way we communicate, shop, and seek entertainment. The Internet revolution led to a surge in new business investment, soaring employment, and rising productivity. As a result of these positive trends, US real disposable personal income increased close to 4.0% annually between 1996 and 2001. This relatively strong increase in personal income led to a 5.6% annual ga

How the “New B2B” Can Revolutionize Your Flooring Business

 This is post 3 of a three-post series on the status of B2B in the flooring industry. You can read Post 1 and 2 here:  Dancik asks,  "What's wrong with the B2B in the flooring industry?" and  New plans for B2B improvements will add value for the distributor and retailer. Web services are coming to floor covering providing both solutions and opportunity for the industry . Imagine a retailer that can access its supplier’s information as if that information was stored inside its own retail computer system. Imagine a supplier who no longer worries how its data is formatted - or how its brand information is represented by distributors and retailers. Imagine the entire floor covering channel answering consumer questions confidently and consistently because the consistency is built into the process. All this and more can become an everyday reality if the direction that was set at the 2010 annual flooring industry B2B meeting comes to fruition.  What is the New B2B? Th

Anti-dumping allegations will profoundly effect engineered flooring market regardless of investigation outcome

On December 3rd the International Trade Commission (ITC) announced an affirmative determination in its preliminary investigation of claims made by US engineered flooring manufacturers against China. The ITC has stated there is sufficient evidence to launch an investigation by the US Department of Commerce. A final determination is expected around the end of July 2011.  Read their decision here. This is a complex issue that isn’t so simple as US. vs China. This action is creating a situation where some US distributors and importers are lining up on the side of China, where others are questioning who the potential winners and losers might really be and point out that the remedies sought by the US manufacturers could “deliver a potential fatal blow to many American entrepreneurs,” by making the distributors and retailers pay retroactively for new tariffs.  Read: "Distributors question ITC investigation impact."  So how did this situation arise? Back in October the Coalit

Quality control - the best way to avoid ceramic and stone installation failures

Installation failures are the most detrimental occurrences in the ceramic tile and stone industries.  They leave the wrong impressions about products or services and they can be very time consuming and expensive to repair.   Will Rogers once said, "It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute." That’s so true when a ceramic or stone installation fails. Thankfully it doesn’t occur frequently, but when it does everyone involved loses.  It doesn't matter whose fault it is, everyone pays one way or the other in money, time or reputation.  As an industry, it's in everyone's best interest to do whatever we can to avoid failures and perpetuate quality installations. The best way to ensure quality installations is through a Project Quality Control Plan .  A Plan sets expectations and standards for a successful outcome. Not only can this help avoid a failure by ensuring the products are being installed correctly, but during the insta