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Showing posts from May, 2011

Retail Floor Covering: Choosing your market position – coach or concierge

Chris Ramey Traditionally, floor  covering stores have been positioned in the market along a continuum from “promotional to high-end” roughly reflecting the products sold. In the future we will define ourselves, not by the product we sell, but more and more by the customers we serve and the continuum will evolve into a more customer centric one - “coach to concierge.”  Internet sales and home centers will be "Coach."  Dealers serving the premium and luxury segments and offering “something special" will fall in the "Concierge" category. And soon retailers will have to choose their market position; here’s why – The cost of properly serving and delighting customers is high and those costs have to be figured into margins.  Likewise, promotional suppliers have to rip-out every cost possible.  Nordstrom’s cost of business is higher than Walmart’s margins.  Walmart takes every possible cost out of its distribution channel.  You must do the same if you are a pro

Is the iPad just a pretty face? Adding the iPad to your flooring business tool box

Mitchell Dancik Barely a day goes by that I do not receive an email from a customer asking me about Apple’s iPad: Will my software run on it? What are Dancik International’s other customers doing with iPads? Will I fall behind if my salespeople don’t have iPads?    The iPad has hit a jackpot with consumers and hit a nerve with IT staffs trying to make sense of it. Usually, new IT tools flow from the top down and thus, this holy tablet would typically be delivered to your business from the IT mountain top. But this time it’s different. Having already been accepted by the consumer, the demand for iPads in business is coming from the bottom up - from salespeople and others asking IT managers to incorporate the iPad into their mobile IT tool box. Apple has had a string of hits that can be credited mostly to their unique combination of marketing and product savvy. But an iPad is different than an iPod or iPhone. Anyone that sees and iPad expects that it will run anything that runs on

Floor Covering Conversations Evolve

The floor covering industry is relatively new to online conversations - otherwise known as social media. Nonetheless, the industry has started to catch up! Floor covering conversations are evolving . How do I know this? From my research creating and updating the Social Flooring Index , which monitors the social state of flooring. I launched it in July 2009 and issued the latest update in April 2011. In the  April 2011 update to the Social Flooring Index I noticed 168 blogs focused on flooring and flooring related content compared to 88 blogs in August 2010 and 53 in April 2010. These 168 blogs generated 7,571 conversations over the past 6 months which translates to 1.877 blog posts per week compared to .7254 posts per week in August 2010. Flooring conversations are evolving! Here are  highlights of the April 2011 Social Flooring Index update : • 20 of the 168 blogs have high and medium influence in the flooring social media community and  the Carpet and Rug Institute Blog ran

What you need to know about flooring forensics

When hiring a forensic investigator to inspect, detect and solve ceramic tile and stone failures you should look for a combination of specific skills.  What you want to find is essentially the Sherlock Holmes of flooring forensics.  Holmes was observant, paid exquisite attention to detail, understood science and was able to solve crimes by piecing together a sequence of events using a combination of art and science to reach his conclusions.  That’s the kind of detective you need. Donato Pompo Long before I became a forensic failure expert, founded the University of Ceramic Tile and Stone , started my consulting company or earned my college degree, I installed floors. I worked my way up in the family ceramic and stone business from the bottom up. I’ve installed, inspected and now teach others how. So it is with this background and 40 years of broad experience in the industry   I can say with certainty that a top forensic failure expert will have these important qualities: •