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Award of Excellence: Mohawk returns to top spot with Best Overall title

By Matthew Spieler

Volume 26/Number 26; May 13/20, 2013

Taking home the 17th Best Overall Manufacturer Award of Excellence was Mohawk Industries. This was the third time Mohawk won top honors. Holding the custom-made trophy is Mohawk’s David Duncan. With him, are, from left, Floor Covering News’ Steven Feldman, publisher and editorial director, and Dustin Aaronson, associate publisher; Mohawk’s Ken Durning; Scott Humphrey, WFCA’s new executive director; Mohawk’s Jeff Lubinsky, and Mike Blick, president and CEO of FCNews.

Roslyn, N.Y.—Mohawk Industries not only reclaimed the Best Overall Manufacturer’s title in this year’s Award of Excellence balloting, four of its divisions were also honored as being the best in their respective categories of expertise, giving it the most trophies of any company in this year’s competition.

In addition to earning the Best Overall award for the first time since 2009 and third time in the competition’s 17-year history, the company’s Karastan, Quick•Step, Dal-Tile and newly acquired Marazzi divisions were also honored as the best. Karastan took home the Award of Excellence in rugs, Quick•Step in laminate, and Dal-Tile and Marazzi were each honored in the tile category—Dal-Tile for Group A and Marazzi for Group B.

This was the first time Karastan was honored separately from Mohawk for its rugs as in previous years, such as in 2011, the Award of Excellence went to the parent company. The other three divisions were recognized once again, as this was the 15th time for Dal-Tile, the seventh for Marazzi and the third for Quick•Step.

Brian Carson, Mohawk’s president, said while the company is “honored to be the recipient of the Best Overall Award of Excellence,” the mill is “never satisfied with the status quo. Mohawk is an innovative company and will continue to make strategic investments that will help our retailers grow their businesses profitably. We are tremendously grateful for this recognition from our loyal retail partners and excited to see what we can accomplish together in the future.”

John Turner Jr., president of Dal-Tile, said, “We work every day to create customer loyalty through innovative products and exceptional customer service. There is no greater reward than to be recognized by our customers as a trusted partner. That is why we are thrilled to once again receive the prestigious Award of Excellence and will continue to provide our customers with the products and service they need to succeed in the marketplace.”

Roger Farabee, senior vice president of marketing for Mohawk’s Unilin division, said, “This recognition is very meaningful for us, because votes were cast by those we serve. Being named Laminate Manufacturer of the Year confirms customers know Quick•Step offers the industry’s best designs, cutting-edge innovation, consistent quality, and excellent customer service/product availability—all at an attractive price. We are committed to continuing our legacy of equipping customers for success.”

Along with the five honors received by Mohawk and its various divisions, 10 other awards were presented at the evening reception and dinner here as part of the 17th Award of Excellence ceremony.

Shaw Industries was the next big winner, walking away with not only the Best Carpet Manufacturer award—the eighth time it has done so—but the Environmental Leadership Award of Excellence, an honor it has won every year since it was added to the competition in 2010.

Randy Merritt, Shaw’s president, said, “Year after year, this important awards program showcases the trust our customers place in our Shaw associates, our products and our reliable service. We are committed to continuing to delight our customers with innovative products and industry-leading solutions.”

Sponsored by FCNews and the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), the Award of Excellence is a way for manufacturers’ customers—retailers, distributors, designers, installers, specifiers, 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 retailer, distributorship, design center or installation workroom.

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 2012 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.

This year FCNews and WFCA expanded the program by adding two categories, Best Cushion/ Underlayment Manufacturer and Best Bamboo/Cork Manufacturer as it was felt these are two areas where there are enough companies dedicating themselves strictly to these products and trying to make a difference.

Ballots were featured in full-page advertisements in FCNews and readers could mail or fax them back, as well as vote on the FCNews website and at trade shows such as Surfaces. WFCA also emailed the ballot to its 3,500+ members urging them to vote.

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 place. 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 tabulated and the company with the most in each was named the winner.

As has been done for the previous six 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.

Scott Humphrey, WFCA’s new CEO who attended his first Award of Excellence ceremony this year, told the crowd of manufacturing executives, like Steve Jobs of Apple believed nothing to be impossible, the winners have shown by example it is not impossible to be a great flooring company.

And the winners are…

A total of 15 Awards of Excellence were handed out during the dinner event.

The winners in the 17th annual competition were:

•Best Overall: Mohawk

•Environmental Leadership: Shaw

•Carpet, Group A: Shaw; Group B: Beaulieu of America

•Resilient, Group A: Mannington; Group B: IVC

•Laminate, Group A: Quick•Step; Group B: Formica

•Ceramic, Group A: Dal-Tile; Group B: American Marazzi

•Hardwood, Group A: Armstrong; Group B: Mirage

•Area Rugs: Karastan

•Cushion/Underlayment: Carpenter Co.

•Bamboo/Cork: USFloors