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Tri-West President Provides a Gage on the Flooring Industry Today

Posted By NAFCD, Thursday, September 13, 2018

Allen Gage started in the flooring business right out of college in 1979, selling carpet for the William Volker Company. Three years later, he took a job at Tri-West Ltd. and began selling Armstrong products in Southern California. It wasn't until the mid-1990s that he moved into management at the company, placed in charge of all Armstrong residential products.

As time went on, he was asked to play a central role in diversifying Tri-West, a campaign that centered on building wood, luxury vinyl tile (or LVT), and laminate lines. As the company became more successful, he became more successful. He was eventually elevated to Vice President of Sales, which gave him a clear pathway to becoming President of Tri-West four years ago.

"It is an honor and a blessing for me to be part of the Tri-West team," he beamed, during a recent interview. "The passion still runs deep." NAFCD looked to mine some of that passion during a Q&A interview in which Gage was asked about everything from industry challenges and opportunities to what was the best advice ever given to him in this business. What follows is our chat:

NAFCD: What do you think will be one or two of the biggest challenges our industry will face in the second half of 2018?

ALLEN GAGE: The second half of 2018 will present several challenges. There is the ongoing challenge of managing overall growth while maintaining the excellent service levels that our customers deserve and expect. As part of that overall challenge, I believe two areas will be particularly challenging. First, finding and keeping good people will continue to be difficult as the labor market tightens. The saying, "You win with people" is absolutely true. Secondly, pricing and cost pressures as a result of rising material costs, fuel increases, a shortage of truckers, and tariffs will also make for a challenging second half of 2018.

NAFCD: Where will the opportunities lie?

AG: This answer sounds simple, but I believe it to be true. Market share will be taken by the company that has the right products, the inventory, and the organization behind it all to deliver it on time. Our customers are extremely busy, and they are looking for a partner they can depend on day in and day out. On the West Coast, we have been competing against the Asian factories for a long time. You are not going to win the price game, but quality products at good prices with consistent service levels can keep you in the game.

NAFCD: What makes your company stand out in the marketplace? What makes it unique?

AG: Distribution is definitely a team sport. We use the three P's (People, Product, and Passion) as our foundation. If we have better people, better products, and more passion, we will win. We are a very competitive group. We hate to lose!

NAFCD: What do you consider to be the favorite part of your job?

AG: We believe people are by far our most important asset. So, watching people grow in the organization is one of the things I find most rewarding. Whether it is a young person new to the industry or a veteran taking on a new challenge, seeing people take pride and enjoy their work is very satisfying. I also enjoy the process of developing new products very much. When we match up good people with good products, great things happen.

NAFCD: What do you still find hard or challenging?

AG: Dealing with regulations on the national, state, or local level can be very frustrating. That is the part of the job I like least.

NAFCD: Was there some advice given to you earlier in your career that has really stuck with you?

AG: I have been blessed to be mentored by the best in the industry, Mr. Dan Proctor. Dan is one of the founders of Tri-West and has mentored a number of the current management team. As any great leader, Dan has always led by example. He was very good at reminding us the basics of distribution. Some of those basics are: one, people are our most important asset; two, we can only be as good as our suppliers, because we don’t make anything; three, distribution is a pennies business; and, four, margin pays the bills

NAFCD: What advice would you give to someone young and just entering our industry today?

AG: The floorcovering business can be a fun and rewarding career. It is amazing how many people stay in the industry for the long term. There is tremendous opportunity, but there is no short cut for hard work.

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

AG: We have supported the NAFCD, because it has worked hard to support us. The sharing of ideas and best practices has been great for both me and Tri-West. We generally face the same issues as other NAFCD members. So, it's great to have other organizations to bounce ideas off of. The networking has been very fruitful. The training programs and industry reports are really good, and we use them to stay on top of our game!

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Greg Vale Joins Fishman Flooring Solutions as Vice President of Sales

Posted By NAFCD, Friday, September 7, 2018

Fishman Flooring Solutions, a leading distributor of flooring and flooring installation products, has announced that Greg Vale has joined the company as Vice President of Sales, effective today. Vale was previously Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for J.J. Haines, which he joined in 2000 as an architectural design specialist.

“Greg Vale brings impeccable credentials, an untarnished reputation and broad sales experience in the flooring marketplace to Fishman’s management team,” said Executive Vice President Bill Mabeus, who heads the Fishman sales function. “Our growth curve over the past several years has been steep and the addition of Greg to our team will strengthen our ability to grow and manage our sales today, as well as into the future.”

Fishman’s recent growth has been organic, according to Mabeus. This is reflected in the relocation of its branch and expansion of its warehouse in Charlotte, North Carolina in August 2018; the expansion of its Baltimore headquarters in March 2018; and the expansion of its Columbus, Ohio branch and warehouse in September 2017. In addition, Fishman opened new branches in Nashville, Tennessee in March 2018 and Knoxville, Tennessee in March 2017.

Vale will initially be responsible for leading the Fishman sales team, acquisition of solutions-based products and management of some brands. He will also work with Fishman senior managers to develop future leaders for the business.

Vale received a degree in business management from the University of Central Florida in 1995 and recently completed an executive education program at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina. He and his wife Jackie reside with their two sons near Raleigh, North Carolina.

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NAFCD Partners with fcB2B to Lower Costs for Flooring Distributors

Posted By NAFCD, Friday, September 7, 2018

The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) announced that it is partnering with the Floor Covering Business to Business Association (fcB2B) in an effort to increase the number of flooring distributors sending and receiving electronic purchase orders, invoices and product catalogs from their suppliers as well as their retail customer base. The use of such technology is making the whole supply chain more efficient and will ultimately lower costs for those flooring distributors who take advantage of the tools.

"Distributors large and small can take advantage of the cost benefits B2B technology offers", commented fcB2B Executive Director, Phil Zolan. He added that "it saves distributors money as research has found that on average it costs over $12 to process a manual flooring purchase order, but the same order costs less than $4 done B2B".

NAFCD will leverage its various communication mediums to inform flooring distributors about the many benefits of adopting B2B within their operations. In addition to a series of articles shared with NAFCD distributor members in its newsletter, Phil Zolan will be a guest at the 2018 NAFCD Convention in November to help educate the entire floor covering distributor community on why it's in their best interest to join the trend in communicating electronically with customers and suppliers. "NAFCD is committed to enhancing the productivity and profitability of the flooring distributor" commented NAFCD Executive Vice President, Kevin Gammonley. "Facilitating the greater utilization of available technology by distributors is in-line with NAFCD's mission" added Gammonley.

The Floor Covering Business to Business Association (fcB2B) is the primary advocate for the continual development and adoption of a standard language that allows software management systems being widely utilized by the flooring supply chain to communicate seamlessly with one another. fcB2B technology enables software users to automatically send and receive the documents that are exchanged everyday between manufacturers, distributors, and flooring retailers in a fraction of the time it takes when completed manually. fcB2B and NAFCD are committed to working together to bring the cost benefits of B2B technologies to the distributor community. As fcB2B members, distributors gain access to an extensive resource where they can find implementation advice, share best practices and review the current B2B standard with peers and industry experts.

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FCLC Releases First Phase of Installation Research Findings

Posted By NAFCD, Thursday, September 6, 2018

In August 2017, the Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) commissioned an independent research firm to conduct a multi-phase study to quantify the scope and severity of the lack of installation professionals on the flooring industry's sustainability and growth. Chicago-based research firm, Blackstone Group, was contracted to conduct the research which focused on businesses that purchased workers' services by engaging floor covering installers as direct employees and/or subcontractors in 2017. Over three hundred responses were received covering subcontractors, installers, retailers and suppliers from forty five of the fifty states.

Executive summary highlights of the research findings include:

  • Businesses that perform floor covering installation use diversification as a core business strategy to manage risk. Almost all of respondents had sold floor covering products in addition to installation services and earned revenue from more than one construction sector while two thirds used both direct employees and subcontractors to perform installation services.
  • While diversification was widespread, respondents did rely more on subcontractors than on direct employees. One in four used subcontractors exclusively. The benefits of subcontracting to lower risk remain compelling enough that no greater shift to direct employees was being planned for in 2018.
  • Respondents were somewhat likely to recommend floor covering installation as a career. Financial advantages drive career recommendations while tough working conditions are the primary barrier to making a recommendation.
  • Perceptions that the industry was experiencing workforce shortages were widespread and were high relative to both the shortage of direct employees as well as subcontractors. Serious shortage perceptions were driven by labor market characteristics including higher perceptions in non-union versus union markets as well as revenue mix where perceptions were higher for those generating residential revenue versus non-residential.
  • Despite perceptions of labor shortages, most of the respondents do not plan on raising wages for direct employees in 2018 even though costs of subcontracted services are expected to rise by an average of 3.9% in 2018.
  • The research identified gaps in the workforce including the challenge of recruiting young floor covering installation workers and the fact that retailers had the lowest percentage of directly employed installation workers who received formal training compared to contractors and installation businesses.
  • The shortage of installation workers is having a measurable financial impact on the industry. The combined cost of the labor shortages impacts on the businesses was 3.8% of their total 2017 floor covering product sales and/or installation revenues.

The study concluded that not only is the labor shortage real, but its financial impact up the flooring supply chain is significantly more than previously understood.

Additional details on the findings will be released in the coming months featuring in-depth highlights on the following categories of the research:

  1. Characteristics of the businesses that rely on floor covering installation workers
  2. Business' use and perceptions of the installation workforce
  3. Installation as a Career including motivations, barriers and recruitment
  4. Gaps in the installation workforce including perceptions and market indicators
  5. Financial impacts of installer shortages

FCLC's primary objectives of the research project included:

  1. Estimating the current size of the gaps between supply and demand of floor covering installers as well as the projection of these gaps in 5-10 years
  2. Quantifying the financial impact of the installer shortage up the supply chain
  3. Identifying the key drivers behind the installer shortage as well as potential solutions

Member associations of FCLC donated funds necessary to kick-off the initial phase of the research project. Ongoing industry fundraising will be coordinated to generate the funding needed for additional stages of the project.

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What Is B2B and Why Must I Have It?

Posted By NAFCD, Friday, August 3, 2018

The flooring industry is catching up to the rest of the world when it comes to technology and automation. The cost savings potential to every participant in the supply chain is staggering. So, why haven’t flooring distributors jumped in with both feet? We discussed that with Phil Zolan, Executive Director of the nonprofit Floor Covering Business to Business (fcB2B) Association, which is part of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA).

He noted that fcB2B maintains the electronic communication standards that all flooring distributors use to do business B2B. He noted many things during our interview. What follows is our chat:

NAFCD: When you say B2B in flooring, what exactly are you talking about?

PHIL ZOLAN: B2B, or Business to Business, means "electronic commerce between businesses," as opposed to between a business and a consumer -- FYI, that's B2C. The keyword in that definition is electronic. That means no paper, no phone calls, no e-mails, and no faxes. It’s strictly one computer system talking directly to another computer system.

NAFCD: Exactly what electronic business are we talking about?

PZ: For flooring, there are three major categories. One, Product Catalogs are the electronic files sent by manufacturers to distributors, or from distributors to their dealers, showing all the specific information about every product they sell, including style names, style numbers, colors, prices, and units of measure. The Product Catalog serves as the starting point for all transactions.

Two, Purchase Orders are electronic files sent from the purchaser to the distributor, or from the distributor to the manufacturer, listing the exact products, colors, and quantities being ordered. Because these are submitted electronically, you also get the benefit of a Purchase Order Acknowledgement, which quickly tells you your order has been received and accepted. Some suppliers are able to send these automatically in a matter of seconds, while some still manually look at each one before a response is sent.

And, three, Invoices are then sent electronically to the buyer, where most use industry specific software to match the invoice to their purchase order and receipt inspection. This is often referred to as a three-way match.

NAFCD: Distributors have been doing business for years. Why should they adopt B2B now?

PZ: First and foremost, it saves you money! WFCA research found that, on average, it costs over $12 to process a manual flooring purchase order, but the same order costs less than $4 done B2B. Also, it's the year 2018. People expect it. Look at the Amazon Prime Day earlier this month, for example, where over 100 million items were purchased in a 36-hour period. Imagine how many people they would need to field all those phone calls in 36 hours! They do it all electronically because it’s cheaper, faster, and more reliable.

Nobody should be surprised by that. But, surprisingly, with all the technology available to us today, most flooring transactions today are still being done the old-fashioned and very expensive way. It's no surprise then that more and more flooring manufacturers, distributors, and dealers are realizing that in order to stay competitive, they need to do less things manually and more things electronically. Those businesses are eliminating the paper, avoiding having to staff the phone lines to answer calls and take orders, and are conducting business completely electronically.

NAFCD: Is it difficult to start doing business B2B?

PZ: It's not that difficult to do. You probably don't need to have a computer specialist on staff, and you may have the software already in use right now to get started! There are only a handful of software packages currently in use at distributors, and most have a plug-in module to get it to start working in very short order.

NAFCD: How exactly does fcB2B fit into all of this?

PZ: The fcB2B group maintains the language that everyone in the flooring supply chain uses to talk with each other electronically. Computer system language is a lot like speaking Chinese – there are hundreds of different dialects. fcB2B worked with everyone in the supply chain to settle on one dialect, so that every computer in the chain can clearly communicate with every other one seamlessly, with no misunderstandings or special coding needed.

NAFCD: So B2B saves money and makes distributor businesses run more efficiently. How can a distributor get started?

PZ: The WFCA is here to help shorten that learning curve. The experience this industry has gained over the past 17-plus years of fcB2B is available to help you avoid the pitfalls. Drop me an e-mail at, and we’ll set a time to talk through the process and get you started!

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As VP of Sales, Mark Johnson Is Keeping TRAXX

Posted By NAFCD, Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Flooring executive Mark Johnson is very much like the company he has served for the past eight years: flexible, professional, and dedicated to serving a diverse clientele. "Traxx Corporation is continually listening to the industry and markets to determine what is changing," Johnson said during a recent interview. "As a result, we have the ability to make changes that will align with the industry and provide installation solutions for today’s distributors and installers."

Johnson has held the position of TRAXX's Vice President of Sales since June 2016 after serving as the California-based company's National Sales Manager for the previous six years. In his current position, he is responsible for overseeing all business development and sales organization for this leading manufacturer of specialty engineered flooring installation products.

"I started with Traxx eight years ago, but I have been in the industry for 29 years working for flooring installation supply manufacturers," he stated. "I enjoy working for a company that manufactures the highest quality products in the industry. We are highly committed to the training and education of installers, and we invest in and value the relationships with the distributors in this industry. Relationships, training, and installation solutions are equal to providing the highest quality of products available."

TRAXX's products are rigorously tested to ensure long-term performance for even the most demanding of carpet and vinyl installations. Whether the customer is looking for carpet installation tack strip, carpet seam tape, flooring nails, flooring staples, or other carpet installation tools and accessories, TRAXX offers a wide array of flooring installation products that professional installers rely on for performance and value.

The company, though, would not be the success that it is without a highly skilled and dedicated work force. For Johnson, there are few things more important or rewarding than building a team that is in alignment with the core values of the organization. "One strategy I have implemented for over 20 years in hiring is an acronym: CASH," he remarked. "C equals character, A equals attitude, S equals skills, and H equals habits. Character and attitude are most important. Skills and habits can be trained. Without high character and a good attitude, the skill level and habits don’t matter."

When asked what he considers to be the favorite part of his job, Johnson's mind was very much on the human equation. "It's the interaction with the people within this industry," he answered. "I love working with our sales team on a daily basis [and coming up with] strategies of exploring and developing diversification as the industry is continually transforming. It’s never boring!"

Johnson is a University of North Dakota graduate with a degree in Marketing and Business Management. Over the years, he has developed a philosophy of service and leadership that he likes to impart on men and women new to the industry. "Great follow-up will set you apart from many others in this business," he said. "Return phone calls and respond with information quickly. And, of course, have high character with a good attitude."

Looking ahead, Johnson sees several trends that he believes will affect the business. "Acquisitions and expansions are certainly a continuing trend, [and] the landscape is continuing to change as a result," he commented. In terms of product, "the overall trend within both new home construction and remodels continues to be toward hard flooring surfaces. As a result of this shrinking market segment, TRAXX diversified and entered the commercial markets segment by developing four moisture suppression products that are another cost-effective solution for protecting today's floor coverings."

Fortunately, Johnson, TRAXX, and executives and their firms in the business have the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) to rely on and assist them in recognizing the latest trends and keeping them on the path to success. Johnson concluded that NAFCD has provided him and his colleagues with "a connection to industry leaders who are willing to share ideas and strategies. Another key value of NAFCD is the training and information they provide. We all benefit as a result."

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Developing a Company Culture of Innovation

Posted By NAFCD, Monday, June 18, 2018

Technological advances have forced businesses to adapt and reinvent on the fly in recent years. Continuous innovation is not an option; it’s a necessity.

Being adaptable and open to change are essential aspects of any successful organization’s culture nowadays. However, that’s not enough. Business leaders must foster a culture of innovation to drive real success. In other words, you need to lead change instead of chasing it.

But how do you get there? Anyone can say, “We’re innovative,” but those are empty words if you don’t have the people on your team to realize the promise of innovation and creativity. The answer is performance competencies, which compare an individual’s intrinsic motivations to the behaviors that equate to strong job performance. By exploring the competencies of your existing team members, you can both identify hidden potential and uncover the talent gaps holding your organization back.

These are the key performance competencies that point to leadership in innovation:

  • Analytical Thinking – The capability to identify and synthesize information from diverse sources by looking for patterns in data, making connections between seemingly unrelated events, and understanding how different parts of a system are interdependent
  • Creativity and Innovation – Showing divergent thinking and the propensity to question existing practices; challenge commonly held assumptions; originate new or radical alternatives to traditional methods, processes, and products; and build on others’ ideas
  • Information Seeking – Displaying an underlying curiosity and desire to know more about things, people, or issues; people strong in this competency go beyond routine questions and dig for exact information, to understand the dynamics at play in a business situation
  • Initiating Action – This competency suggests the drive to take a leading role in improving or enhancing a product or service while developing entrepreneurial opportunities and avoiding problems. Those who initiate action often demonstrate a positive attitude toward getting things done and seek additional responsibilities beyond the scope of their formal job description
  • Learning Agility – The capacity to discern patterns in data, recognize relationships between concepts, and apply learning from one context to solve analogous problems in other contexts
  • Strategic Thinking – The capability to develop and help drive a shared understanding of a long-term vision that describes how the organization needs to operate now and in the future

These scientifically validated competencies are based upon years of research into – and data analysis of – intrinsic personality traits as they relate to job performance. Ultimately, people who demonstrate these competencies are much more likely to be innovators than those who do not show them. If you truly want your company to be a creative leader in your industry, you have to examine your organizational “bench strength” and start filling in the gaps with those capable of innovating.

Changing a company culture is not something you can accomplish with words alone. It takes time and effort to move the needle, and the best place to start is by measuring people’s performance competencies.

To learn more about enhancing company culture, and how to develop your leaders to embrace innovation, visit or email

To learn more about Caliper and special discounts to NAFCD members, visit

Caliper is a human capital analytics company leveraging decades of data and validated assessment results to predict and select high-quality candidates. Caliper partners with all types of organizations, industries, and sectors – from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and from government agencies to non-profits. We help companies reduce the risk of bad hiring decisions; build high-performing teams; and engage, develop, and retain their employees. Contact us to learn more.

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Joe Cavanaugh: Continuing His Leadership Excellence at Tarkett

Posted By NAFCD, Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Joe Cavanaugh describes himself as an "anomaly" in the floor covering business in that he had other careers before joining the business. The most notable of these careers was in the U.S. Army, which he retired from after nearly 23 years of service. Today, he credits his time in the military as shaping his way of thinking. "The Army taught me how much can be accomplished in an organization when great leadership has been provided," he stated, during a recent interview.

His desire to perfect the craft of leadership eventually drove him to earn a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership. His subsequent flooring career began at Mohawk Industries just as its Hard Surface division was being formed. "Uniquely," he noted, "this gave me the experience of working for a Fortune 500 manufacturer as well as a new start up." While at Mohawk, he became the North East Regional Manager in 2006.

Flash forward a decade later, and he joined the Tarkett Residential sales team. He is now the Vice President of Residential Distribution. More recently, he joined the board of the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD). We sat down with him recently to discuss his career, the industry, and his thoughts on the association.

What follows is our chat:

NAFCD: What do you think will be one or two of the biggest challenges our industry will face in the second half of 2018?

JOE CAVANAUGH: In my mind, the largest challenge will be additional pricing pressures especially in the areas of LVT/LVP, WPC, and rigid core products. The barrier to entry for a new brand in this arena is very low. This, in turn, will bring in new brands that have not properly vetted the manufacturing process. Additionally, advancements will happen so quickly in this arena that brands will introduce new flooring products having done very few or perhaps no test floors.

NAFCD: Where will the opportunities lie?

JC: The opportunities lie where the growth is. As advancements in technology along with manufacturing continue to improve, we will see products that will perform incredibly well in the consumers' home while having a level of beauty that until recently seemed impossible in these categories.

NAFCD: Are you seeing any trends within the flooring distribution channel?

JC: Distributors have always been great at getting products to the retailer in a timely manner. However, I have recently witnessed an increased level of service and a pride associated with that increased level. Distributors are proud of their ability to ship products quickly in their markets, and they should be.

NAFCD: Are there any unique trends in the specific geographic markets your firm serves?

JC: What I find amazing is that the core color preferences do not change that much. Gray and Greige -- a hybrid of Gray and Beige -- are still very popular colors for interior design across North America. However, the method of delivering those colors can differ greatly. In some areas, ceramic tile may be the preference while in others areas resilient floors may be the choice.

NAFCD: What makes your company stand out in the marketplace?

JC: What makes Tarkett unique is the deep level of caring the organization has for people and the environments they live in. It is widely known that in North America, people spend a majority of their time indoors. With that in mind, Tarkett has been a leader in the "Green Movement" within flooring. Currently, we have products certified by the Asthma and Allergy Association. If a floor is healthy enough for someone that suffers from either asthma or allergies, it will certainly be a good choice for any consumer's home.

NAFCD: Have you implemented any innovative approaches or strategies that have been particularly successful that you would be willing to share?

JC: At Tarkett, we focus on pull-through sales of a distributor rather than simply selling a product to a distributor and leaving them to handle the heavy lifting of getting those products into the local retail stores. We find that our relationships with our Distribution Partners is greatly enhanced as we help to generate sales at the local level within the distributor's market.

NAFCD: What do you consider to be the favorite part of your job?

JC: People! I absolutely love people and the flooring industry is loaded with great people.

NAFCD: Was there some advice given to you earlier in your career that has really stuck with you?

JC: I am very fortunate that I have had some great mentors in the industry. Those great mentors have taught me a lot of the things that I currently use every day in this job. However, in general, the greatest lesson I have learned is the importance of real, long-term relationships in this business. Almost every day, I speak with an old friend in the industry. Those conversations can range from an old friend making a major purchase from Tarkett to helping an old friend find the right position in the industry to just calling to keep in touch. It doesn't matter what the conversation is. What matters most is that they are all real and meaningful conversations between friends.

NAFCD: What advice would you give to someone young and just entering our industry today?

JC: My advice to anyone entering the industry in a sales role is "answer your phone every time you can. And if you can't, call the other person back quickly." I realize that many people reading this article take it as an automatic that sales people will answer the phone, but it is not. I make it a habit to ask retailers who the best sales person is in their market. Once they tell me who it is, I inevitably ask them "Why?" The answer I hear over and over again is that the sales person answers the phone or calls back quickly.

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

JC: Tarkett’s primary way to the end user is through distribution. Because of that, the NAFCD has been incredibly important to Tarkett over the years. However, if I was to identify one area that NAFCD has helped my organization, it would be education. I try to teach a deep level of empathy and understanding for what our Distribution Partners experience on a daily basis to my sales team. The NAFCD, because of its makeup of both suppliers and distributors, offers unique insights into both sides of the business. This unique approach gives us great tools to better understand our Distribution Partners' unique needs.

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Haines Welcomes Jon England as Chief Sales Officer

Posted By NAFCD, Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Haines is pleased to announce that Jon England will be joining Haines as Chief Sales Officer effective later this month. In his new role, Jon will report directly to Michael Barrett, President & CEO. Jon’s responsibilities will include all planning, processes, procedures, and policies related to the Haines sales force and also for brand marketing. Reporting directly to Jon will be Brian Green (SVP, CMH Sales) and Greg Vale (SVP, Armstrong Sales).

Jon was most recently Vice President, National Accounts at Mohawk Industries, where he has been employed for almost 15 years in a variety of sales, marketing, and operational roles. He has 20 years total experience in the flooring industry.

Jon England commented, “Haines has a long tradition of market leadership and connecting with its customers through great products and service. Having the opportunity to see what is on the horizon, I am excited to bring my experience and leadership to join an already strong team of great people."

Michael Barrett, President & CEO of Haines added, “I am delighted to have someone of Jon’s caliber join an already strong sales leadership team. His focus on strategy as well as top line growth will allow us to achieve our goals and expectations as a company.”

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FCLC's Installation Research Project Is Producing Valuable Insights

Posted By NAFCD, Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Members of the Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) united on April 13, 2018, in Tampa, Florida, to hear preliminary results of the FCLC installation labor force research initiative currently being conducted by The Blackstone Group Inc., a Chicago-based research firm. The initiative will provide an in-depth look at the current and future state of the flooring covering installation labor force.

The FCLC initiative has three primary objectives:

  1. Estimating the size of the gaps between the supply of and the demand for floor covering installers, now and in five and ten years.
  2. Quantifying the financial impact of the installer shortage up the supply chain.
  3. Identifying the key drivers of the installer shortage as well as potential solutions.

Work is complete on the initiative’s first three tasks: resource identification, preliminary analysis of labor force issues, and in-depth telephone interviews with industry stakeholders.

The preliminary analysis of installer labor issues delivered a profile of the floor covering installation labor force; an examination of the gaps between supply and demand; estimates of the size of the gaps now and in five and ten years; and approaches to analyzing the financial impacts of installer shortages on the supply chain.

In-depth telephone interviews targeted qualified stakeholders from key segments of the industry, including floor covering installers, builders, unions, retailers, distributors, and manufacturers. These interviews gathered insights on the drivers of shortages, the importance of training and certification, barriers to recruiting installers, the upstream financial impacts of installer shortages, and potential solutions to the shortages. Participants were asked to comment on the impacts that immigration, globalization, automation, regulatory changes, labor unions, product mix changes, and competition have had on flooring installation in the past five to ten years.

The fourth phase of the research is an online assessment being sent to a pool of industry stakeholders compiled by the members of the FCLC. The assessment has launched and will conclude by June. All who receive invitations to the assessment are strongly encouraged to respond.

The next meeting of the FCLC Communications Committee is scheduled for July 20, 2018, in Chicago. Final results of the floor covering installation labor force research are scheduled to be delivered to the FCLC membership on August 15, 2018, in Orlando, Florida.

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2018 NAFCD Annual Convention