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Invista puts flooring by itself: Integrates Stainmaster, Antron business units into Surfaces division

KENNESAW, GA.—Sometimes the old way of doing things wasn’t so bad after all. That’s what Invista has discovered with its flooring business, which resides within the company’s Performance Surfaces & Materials (PS&M) division.

As such, the company announced it is integrating its residential Stainmaster and commercial Antron business segments into a new organization within PS&M called Surfaces. As part of the reorganization, Dan Haycook, who has served as Asian Pacific executive vice president for Invista’s Apparel business, has been appointed Surfaces’ executive vice president. He will report to David Duncan, PS&M president. In addition, Steve Griffith, who is currently responsible for Invista’s residential business segments, will become chief marketing officer for the Surfaces business.

Duncan said the moves are part of the company’s “continued pursuit of innovation, growth and leveraging the combined power of its brands.”

Organizing these residential and commercial segments within a newly combined business structure is designed to facilitate additional innovation and investment in marketing, product development, planning and operating strategies, he explained, “all of which will strengthen the value of Invista’s Stainmaster and Antron brands and Invista’s overall investment in the Surfaces business.”

Griffith told FCNews this is not only a positive move for Invista but for Stainmaster and Antron customers, noting they will still be dealing with the same salespeople as before but by having a separately run business focused on flooring, they can be more responsive, faster pace and more innovative.

“This is not a consolidation by any means,” he explained. “In fact, we’ve been adding people for the last two years and are continuing to do so, along with investing in new technologies. What we’re doing is leveraging the best practices and knowledge and focusing on one thing—flooring.”

By creating the new chief marketing role with an integrated marketing organization, Griffith added, Invista “hopes to derive greater value in its messaging and marketing communications with consumers, while also capturing cross-market synergies for its brands and distribution channels. The new structure will guide the creation of additional awareness and demand for Invista’s commercial and residential brands and products, and will also facilitate the development of even stronger capabilities in interactive media, messaging, distribution channel strategy, and marketing initiatives which can be employed across commercial and residential market segments.”

For example, he pointed to solution dyed nylon which is “big in commercial but will be even bigger in residential.” Under the Surfaces organization, “we can leverage this to make sure we’re at the forefront with products and services to meet these changes in the marketplace.”

While there have never been “restrictions” on what could be done, “We’ve always had the capabilities on each side, residential and commercial, to cross over,” Griffith said. Putting it under a single umbrella is an “opportunity to think more broadly,” he added.

An example of this would be how its two branded fibers are utilized. For instance, as Main Street grows out of the recession, it could provide an opportunity to expand the use of Antron by coming out with an Antron branded fiber specifically for this market segment.

“Residential and commercial are still separate,” he noted, “but my focus is to bring them together quicker when needed. This will allow us to meet the needs of the new end user while at the same time creating value. The idea is putting the right people in the right jobs and finding those places where we can make a difference and provide value.”

Duncan said the company’s strategy is to “find better and faster ways to deliver customized solutions for all market segments we serve. With sustainable technologies and products with long life-cycles becoming more relevant to all market segments, it is our hope that our new Surfaces organization will leverage the combined power of Invista’s Antron and Stainmaster brands as we continue to provide our commercial and residential customers with exceptional service and support.”

Interestingly, making the flooring business a single entity is like a coming home event. “If you go back seven years,” Griffith explained, “the flooring business had its own president and was solely focused on flooring. Over the last three or so years PS&M has brought in other businesses that are not part of floor covering and the division started to get really big. So, in a way, this is not such a huge shift in how we used to operate.”

He concluded by noting, “This has become a complex global business and it is important to have a focused message.”

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