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Distributors’ Perspective: Upbeat. Re-energized. Ready for growth.

By George Roth

Oct. 21/28 2013; Volume 27/number 13

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 9.35.06 AMAs my term as president of the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) comes to an end, I am thankful for the opportunity to work with so many people both front-and-center and behind the scenes who continue to make NAFCD such a great organization. We’ve had a successful year of providing essential values to grow our businesses, and we’ve done it through education, networking and just plain hard work.

The relationships I have made will continue beyond this presidency, and I encourage each of you to consider volunteering with NAFCD—you take away far more than you give. Serving on the board of directors, for example, is one of the best ways to grow my leadership skills and serve the industry.

Upbeat. Re-energized. Ready for growth. These are the words I have used to describe our industry’s drive. The overall economy is looking up, and if you participated in the economic webinar in June, you know the dynamic growth potential for our markets. Our partnership with ITR Economics—which generates trend research analysis for NAFCD—is one of the perks of membership. In November, ITR Economics CEO Brian Beaulieu will bring his economic forecast and wisdom to the 2013 convention in Chicago. I predict every seat will be filled.

Good times or bad, it’s important to be active in a business association. NAFCD provides an avenue to create close industry relationships. The annual convention allows for networking with decision makers at all levels as well as the sharing of experiences, challenges and ideas. Afterward, you’ll know the right person to call who can help you solve a problem or develop new business.

This year, NAFCD leaders accomplished a tall order of tasks, including streamlining our dues structure for distributors, expanding our trend reporting, creating a new logo and brand, centralizing a location for the convention and developing more educational programs that are business related and industry specific.

Our new website went live this summer, giving our members and nonmembers the most up-to-date, critical industry information and training to execute the members’ visions efficiently and effectively.

Just as our new dues structure simplified our membership process and opened up NAFCD to more people in your companies, we’re looking to continue that momentum in 2014 by adding a membership package that allows suppliers to meet the needs of their companies.

Good managers are always evaluating their operations, looking for better ways to become streamlined and more efficient. NAFCD provides the tools to keep you and your business sharp.

One way to ensure business growth is by educating your team. We sponsor the University of Industrial Distribution, which saw near-record attendance in the spring of 2013 with 527 attendees from North and South America. To further sharpen management skills, our Distribution Management University offers programs in increasing market knowledge, directing sales staff, creating customer value and improving cost productivity. And of course, our annual convention tackles important issues, including leadership skills, increasing sales and growing our businesses.

I want to thank Floor Covering News for affording our organization the opportunity to publish a regular column. Extending our reach to the readership of this publication has proven to be a valuable partnership, and we are truly grateful for this collaboration.

I am proud to have served you as NAFCD president, and I look forward to continuing my commitment as a member of this outstanding organization.