Aims to ‘ignite’ business moving forward
Stone Mountain, Ga.—What’s in a name? Well, if you were to ask members of the ReSource Commercial Flooring Network (RCFN), their answer would probably be, “a lot.” That’s how it seemed as members responded with applause to the announcement at the group’s Network Exchange 2012 convention here that ReSource will now be known as the Fuse Commercial Flooring Alliance.
The name change ultimately came as a result of ReSource members wanting to proclaim who they are, noted Ken Daniels, vice president, “and no longer explain who we are not.”
Kris Keller, vice president of member services, made the official announcement. “Our current identity continues to link us to our past, but we feel we’ve evolved as an organization, one with a really dynamic group of independently-owned commercial flooring contractors.
“We’re driving our own destiny, making some exciting changes and moving forward,” she said, “and through the valued relationships with our suppliers, we feel that we have a great mix. So, with that, we’ve decided now is the time for us to set the industry on fire. [That’s why], as of this moment, the ReSource Commercial Flooring Network is now the Fuse Alliance.”
Fuse, by definition, means many things relating to the organization and its values, Keller explained:
•Combine: To become united or blended into a whole
•For igniting an explosive (or business)
•A connection between members, preferred suppliers, customers and the industry ensuring constant power in the relationships.
“Our tagline, ‘igniting business’ embodies the Fuse Alliance goal to grow the business of its members and the business of the group’s preferred suppliers with its members,” she added.
According to Ron Lee, executive director, the name change has been in the works for quite some time. “For the last year and a half, we’ve been planning a re-branding of the network, to change our name from ReSource, a link to the past, to who we really are now. We’re not the same organization we used to be and it’s time to match our identity to our actions. That really is igniting business and being the catalyst for growing business with our suppliers—fusing members and suppliers together.”
Another reason for celebration at Network Exchange 2012, Lee noted, was the success the group enjoyed in 2011. “While it was a challenging year in the world economy, our network grew double digits. Our members have been doing well. And we are optimistic on where the economy is going, albeit slowly, but steady.”
“There is no better time than now to refocus and restructure for success. The best way for small businesses to improve productivity is to invest in people, training and technology.”
A total of 155 attendees made the trip here, which included 16 first-time member attendees. And after adding five new members in the past year, Fuse—which now has 73 members in the fold—is closing in on its goal. “Going by our business model, we’d like to get to 75 of the best [contractors] in the country. So we’re getting close,” Lee noted.
President and member Keith Krueger of Flooring Resources in Elk Grove Village, Ill., said the show was a good bonding experience for the group. “One of our mission statements has to do with intimacy, so everyone is talking to everybody. I don’t think there’s enough of that going on. The networking and feedback between each other in a positive way just helps all our best practices moving forward.”
The group, originally set up as a member-owned organization six years ago, operates approximately 100 locations with its 73 members and collectively does between $800 million and $900 million in business. Many members believe ReSource’s past affiliation with Interface played a role in its re-branding. RCFN was originally formed when it acquired the assets of Resource Connect from Interface in March 2006.
“We needed to separate ourselves from the Interface days,” said new member and first-time show attendee Jamie Gilmore, president of Pavilion Floors in Woburn, Mass. “Even though Interface is a great company, I don’t believe we should be pigeon-holed into one name and the history of that, so I am looking forward to using the Fuse name and incorporating it into our marketing materials as soon as possible.”
In addition to the name change, other new developments for Fuse included the addition of new suppliers Florida Tile, Mohawk and the latest to join the group, cleaning and floor maintenance expert, Cintas.
“This partnership expands the services available through Fuse members, assuring their customers that their floors will continue to look great long after the installation,” Lee said. “In addition, the services and solutions from Cintas will improve the safety of floors and enhance brand image—a benefit to any of our members’ customers.”
Fred Wehby, director of deep clean services for Cintas, said floors are one of the first things that a visitor sees when he or she enters a building, so it’s important to keep them clean and maintained. “We look forward to assisting Fuse members with professional floor cleaning services that help their customers protect their flooring investment.”
Other show highlights included a panel featuring Dominic Rice, vice president of commercial flooring, Armstrong; John Felker, Northeast regional sales manager, Ardex; Michel Vermette, senior vice president of commercial and international business, Mohawk; Mark Bischoff, executive director, strategic partnerships, Johnsonite; Erin Dempsey, head of public relations, environment and strategy, Centiva; Todd Lehr, general manager of commercial sales/national accounts, Dal-Tile; Joe Tuttolomondo, general manager of XL Brands, and David Jolley, CEO of J&J Industries.
One of the more popular educational opportunities at the event took place when industry veterans George Donnelly, Testing & Inspections, and Sim Crisler of LGM & Associates took the stage to provide the latest industry moisture update and review.
With a total of 21 exhibitors displaying their wares during the show’s supplier exhibit, most of the participants seemed happy with the event’s turnout. Pam Bowe of The Bowe Co. and executive director of the Floor Covering B2B Association, said attendees seemed engaged and upbeat. “They see there’s business out there, and while there are still pockets in the country where things are challenging, most of the time they’re pretty upbeat and looking for new opportunities. They’re investing in their companies.”
For more information on Fuse, call 407.574.6600.