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Showing posts from June, 2011

Flexible, affordable training means adapting to and using technology

Donato Pompo Quickly evolving information and products makes education more important than ever. Training used to mean taking the sale force out of the field. But theses days that isn’t always necessary. In today's world we have the technology to communicate within seconds and remotely just about anywhere we go and that includes training. Keeping employees informed is getting easier and cheaper. Here are the newest options to keep your sales force in top form with up to the minute information. E-Learning  The advent of E-Learning -  training using computers and the Internet  - has helped individuals find the time to learn.  E-Learning reduces the cost of training by eliminating the need for travel for both the student and trainer and the flexible schedule means that students can take the courses at their convenience. Online courses are self-paced, interactive and effective teaching tools. In the past, only larger universities and corporations could afford to use Learning Mana

Is the flooring anti–dumping case a catalyst for change in the distribution channel?

David Wootton Duties for Samling and 73 other respondents to the imported Chinese engineered flooring anti-dumping case were lowered Sunday. The Dept. of Commerce announced  they would lower Samling's rates from 10.88% to .29% and 73 other companies to 6.78%. The DOC's latest revisions mean that the largest volume manufacturers selling engineered wood to US importers have now been assigned rates close to zero. Jonathan Train, president of the Alliance for Free Choice and Jobs in Flooring (AFCJF) whose group opposed the investigation, is thrilled and feels vindicated.  But does this mean it's over?  I am bothered by something more far reaching. While many are focused on the the immediate outcome related to duties what is most significant to me is how it affects the fragile and contentious relationship between manufacturers and distributors – a problem we’ve been dealing with for twenty plus years and a topic that I’ve covered here before . But I feel now that we a

Anti-dumping cases – who are the winners?

Jim Gould The ITC recently announced its latest determinations in the case alleging unfair dumping of multi layered wood flooring by China and both sides quickly claimed victory.  I often receive calls from the US financial industry asking about the flooring anti-dumping case and its likely impact on specific companies in our industry.  I always caution them on focusing too closely on the short term impact rather than the taking a broader perspective. Dumping can be a short-term predatory strategy by manufacturers or governments targeting a market in hopes of increasing jobs in that country.  Anti-dumping lawsuits are supposed to “level the playing field” and “stop unfair practices.”  At the same time, anti-dumping laws can sometimes be used by domestic companies seeking to gain advantages over their competition that imports. The American economist Milton Friedman authored Free To Choose in which he explains who “pays” for subsidized dumping and who benefits from it.  In Brigh

Catalina reports market update on resilient floor covering sales and growth opportunities

FLOOR COVERING STATISTICAL TRENDS AND OUTLOOK S. Hirschhorn  After five years of reporting on sluggish floor covering demand, I am glad to present a positive story - the growing selling opportunities in resilient flooring . Fiberglass-backed sheet vinyl has had some of the sharpest flooring gains over the past three years making resilient replacement sales the strongest growing market between 2007 and 2010. We now estimate that in 2011 resilient flooring will reached 17.8% of total US floor covering sales. Manufacturers are making big investments in the product category and consumers are responding well to the new product lines.  Resilient flooring manufacturers have used their price competitiveness to entice consumers seeking value priced products and introduced products that stimulated interest by residential and commercial customers.  Resilient’s success is due to a combination of these factors: •  Resilient – a value-priced product line.   During 2011, resilient floori