January 7/14, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 16
By Ken Ryan
Flooring dealers who carry Phenix Flooring products describe the company as nothing less than extraordinary. Much more than a manufacturer of stylish products with on-trend colors, Phenix routinely goes the extra mile to provide outstanding service while understanding and empathizing with its dealers.
As is a mid-sized mill that competes in an industry with such goliaths as Mohawk and Shaw, a company like Phenix has to be on point in several key areas to be successful. It starts with good products that resonate with customers, backed by excellent service and follow through. Dealers say Phenix checks all of those boxes.
“I value my relationship with Phenix at the highest possible level,” said Jeran Steuart, owner of Carpet Direct, Tulsa, Okla.
Meanwhile, Brad Flack, owner, Flack’s Flooring, Cumming, Ga., said it’s the people that distinguish Phenix. “Our representation with their people is the gold standard for how a retailer-supplier relationship should be. It is second to none.”
It’s an old adage: people like doing business with people they like. “Their leadership—Mark Clayton, Chris Johnson, Tom Pappas, Mike Donarumo, Jason Surratt and Jason Hair—are caring, thoughtful and dynamic,” Steuart added. “Our relationship with Phenix is one of a kind and irreplaceable. They care about my business and profitability as much as I do. They understand the value of partnerships with the retailer better than anyone else.”
Flack agreed, citing the Phenix sales team’s interpersonal and communication skills as market differentiators. “Their reps seem to look at issues through our lens—they understand what the retailer is really going through, and their reaction is swift. They let you know not just with their words but with their actions. It is 100% true and has been for a while.”
Tom Garvey, owner of Garvey’s Flooring America, Northumberland, Pa., said it doesn’t matter who calls on his shop, he knows he is going to receive consistently excellent service. “They are strictly service focused. Tom Pappas [vice president of strategic business development], who oversees retail, doesn’t play the power game with me. I love it when people are just simple to work with.”
No matter how nice and responsive the sales team is, dealers can’t win unless the product performs and yields a profit. This, dealers say, is never an issue with Phenix. In fact, Steuart noted Phenix’s first-in-class ability to respond to trends and colors and create new products and styles is amazingly fast.
“They focus their product line on what the homeowner wants, which makes selling their products extremely easy and extremely profitable,” he told FCNews, calling Phenix “the nimblest mill” in the industry. “Whether you are selling their polyester or their Stainmaster PetProtect, you know you are getting best-in-class performance. Our annual mill tour to the Mecca of Dalton always begins with Phenix. Mark and his team are at the cutting edge of value, performance and looks for the industry. Back orders are virtually non-existent with Phenix.”
Other dealers laud Phenix’s carpet products for the option they provide to upgrade customers within the same color line. “It gives you the ability to get a customer sold on a color and then have pricing options to give them to help make a decision,” said Kelly Taylor, president, Ambassador Floor Co., Chesterfield, Mo. “Our company still has a large builder market we make selections with, and Phenix products get us into the price points our builders need along with providing value in their products with very little issues [on delivery or claims].”
Garvey said he has never had a claim on Phenix carpet. “I am dealing with truckloads. Not only are they giving me the pricing, but they are also giving me the service and quality I need. They are ahead of the game with their tone-on-tone color combinations. It is very easy for my decorators to sell their carpet; they are one of the best mills out there.”