by Matthew Spieler
Roslyn, N.Y.—The 16th annual Award of Excellence competition proved to be a sweet one for Shaw Industries as it was voted the industry’s Best Overall Manufacturer for the second year in a row and fourth time in the award’s history.
The company’s environmental initiatives continue to be noticed by the industry as it once again captured the Award of Excellence for Environmental Leadership, an honor it has won since it was first awarded in 2010. Shaw Living, the mill’s rug division, was voted as the industry’s Best Rug Manufacturer.
“We are honored flooring retailers and contractors consider Shaw Industries a premier manufacturer partner,” said Randy Merritt, president. “Our mission is to consistently provide the best quality products, the most innovative marketing programs, and the finest service available in our industry. Each of these awards, including the Best Overall Manufacturer, the Environmental Leadership Award and the Best Rug Manufacturer, reflect so positively on the incredibly talented and hard working Shaw team of associates that strive to serve our customers every day. So again, thank you Floor Covering News and the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) for providing our customers with a chance to provide this recognition; and a huge thank you to our customers for this special award. All of us at Shaw pledge we will continue to focus on earning your support each and every day.”
These awards, along with 10 other honors, were presented at a gala evening reception and dinner here.
Sponsored by FCNews and the WFCA, the Award of Excellence is a way for manufacturers’ customers—retailers, distributors, designers, installers, specifies, etc.—to honor the companies they feel consistently provide the best service, professionalism of sales force, management responsiveness, value, design, B2B, handling of claims and ease of doing business. In other words, those manufacturers they feel help them the best in running successful, profitable business operations, whether it be a retail operation, distributorship, design center or installation workroom.
WFCA’s Tom Jennings said the Award of Excellence represents the highest honor a manufacturer can receive. “What’s unique about this award is it is the result of the manufacturers’ customers doing the voting. There is no honor greater than to be recognized by those whom you serve.”
To receive an Award of Excellence, readers of FCNews, members of the WFCA as well as any other industry personnel visiting trade shows such as Surfaces and not employed by a manufacturer voted between October 2011 and the end of March for the companies they felt best met the previously mentioned criteria in the six individual floor covering categories—carpet, area rugs, resilient, hardwood, ceramic and laminate—as well as the Best Overall mill and the manufacturer that best exemplified Environmental Leadership.
Ballots were featured in full-page advertisements in FCNews and readers could mail or fax them back, as well as on its website and at trade shows such as Surfaces. WFCA also emailed the ballot to its 3,500+ members urging them to vote.
The effort worked, roughly 6,000 total votes were cast this year from people across the world and from all parts of the industry—from installer to store owner and from designers to distributors.
While the category awards were done on a simple, one vote per category/company format, both the Best Overall and Environmental Leadership awards had write-ins to vote for first, second and third. Votes were weighted so that first place was worth five points, second place was three points and third place was one point. Point totals were added and the company with the most in each was named the winner.
As has been done for the previous five years, individual category winners were selected in two groups based on their volume. And, as has been the case since the Award of Excellence first started, manufacturers did not have to pay a fee to be eligible to receive a vote. Any and all manufacturers of floor covering products in the above referenced categories were allowed to receive votes.
As Jennings noted, “The voting process that is used to determine this award is very fair since there are no costs involved to participate. This allows all manufacturers, both large and small, the opportunity to compete on a level playing surface.”
He said fairness and the aspect of promoting the entire industry in a positive light are among the reasons why WFCA continues to support the Award of Excellence. “This philosophy parallels the WFCA’s, which also is equally available to member firms of all sizes and locales. This is a key reason why the WFCA eagerly partnered with FCNews when originally presented with the idea of creating the Award of Excellence.”
Plus, Jennings noted during the event, “It’s a pretty neat thing to know the votes came from your customers.”
And the winners are…
A total of 13 Awards of Excellence were handed out during the dinner event.
The winners in the 16th annual competition were:
•Best Overall: Shaw
•Environmental Leadership: Shaw
•Carpet, Group A: Mohawk Industries; Group B: Beaulieu of America
•Resilient, Group A: Mannington; Group B: Johnsonite
•Laminate, Group A: Quick•Step; Group B: Formica
•Ceramic, Group A: Dal-Tile; Group B: American Marazzi
•Hardwood, Group A: Armstrong; Group B: Columbia
•Area Rugs: Shaw
For more about the Award of Excellence, contact FCNews at 516-932-7860.