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Regional VP Richmond Is Quite the Catch at Fishman Flooring Solutions

Posted By NAFCD, Thursday, September 21, 2017

Shane Richmond currently serves as Regional Vice President of Fishman Flooring Solutions' Mid-Atlantic Region. In that position, he is responsible for managing, directing, and coordinating all sales and branch operations in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia, and the District of Columbia, as well as ensuring that the customers throughout the region are pleased with the service they receive from the Fishman team. The regional VP position also means he is heavily involved in long-term strategic planning for the firm overall.

Richmond has been a decision-maker in the flooring industry for more than 25 years. He joined Fishman in 1997 as Assistant Manager of the company’s Raleigh, N.C., location. Since that time, he has held a number of positions with increasing responsibility for the Baltimore-based company. Before being named to his current post, he was the company’s Regional Manager for the Carolinas. Prior to that, he served for over a decade as Territory Business Manager for Fishman’s Charlotte, N.C., branch.

We sat down with Richmond recently to discuss what makes Fishman such a respected player in our industry, as well as to discuss where he sees the business headed. What follows is our chat:

NAFCD: What makes your company stand out in the marketplace? What makes it a special place to serve and work at?

SHANE RICHMOND: One thing that makes Fishman Flooring Solutions special is the fact that it is 100-percent employee-owned. So, our customers know that when they are working with a Fishman employee, they are working directly with an owner of the firm. At Fishman, our stated promise is to delight our customers with every product, service, and solution that we provide. We take this promise very seriously. We’re focused on our customers every day and believe that the better we understand their needs, the better we can recommend the right solutions to them. It’s that customer focus that I think also makes Fishman special.

NAFCD: What do you think are our industry’s one or two biggest challenges at the moment?

SR: I think that, by and large, floor covering distributors face challenges similar to many other industries. Recruiting and retaining excellent employees is key to maintaining service levels with customers. With low unemployment across many parts of the country, recruiting presents a particular challenge.

I’d say a second challenge is how to stay abreast of the many new technologies and cutting-edge products that are continually introduced into our marketplace. The best flooring distributors are those who invest time and dollars in understanding these new technologies and products, so they can knowledgeably advise their customers about them.

NAFCD: What is your assessment of the current state of distributor-manufacturer relations?

SR: Distributor-manufacturer relations are constantly evolving. In the past, manufacturers mostly relied on distributors to get their products to the floor covering dealer. Distributors committed local inventory and delivery to accomplish this.

Today, manufacturers are looking to their distributors to bring value to their brand. Distributors are challenged to do more than inventory products and ship them to customers. We are expected to be experts on the products that we carry. We help floor covering dealers find solutions to their project needs. This often means providing installers with technical details about products and where they can and should be used. It also means that we’re tasked with working with architecture and design firms and facility managers to help get products specified on projects.

NAFCD: Have you implemented any new technology that is driving efficiency?

SR: At Fishman, we are constantly looking at ways to make our team more efficient. Whether it’s a new transportation management system or better phones at our 35 locations, we’re continuously updating our technology to better serve our customers.

NAFCD: Finally, how has NAFCD been of value to your firm and to you personally?

SR: NAFCD provides a unique opportunity for distributors and manufacturers to interact outside our everyday business environment. Association events allow us to surround ourselves with peers from across the country to discuss the challenges and opportunities that affect all of us. At Fishman, NAFCD events are very much about learning and sharing. We send team members to these events every year.

Learning and sharing also apply to me personally. I have attended both Distribution Management University and the University for Innovative Distribution. These experiences provided me with valuable knowledge specific to the wholesale distribution industry. And I always look forward to the information sharing that takes place when I participate in NAFCD board activities or other NAFCD events.

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