by Lew Migliore
Just because you “flower up” a product to make a sale doesn’t change the flooring’s actual capabilities. This is the biggest problem in the industry encompassing all floor covering materials.
One dealer installed a high quality nylon loop pile carpet in the corridors of a six-story con- dominium a year and a half ago. One of the tenant’s children left skidmarks when he was riding his bike in the hall and the maintenance manager called to see if there was any way to remove it. They had the carpet cleaned with hot water extraction but that did not help.
Any suggestions? Certainly: Make those kids ride their bikes outside. Continue reading Claims file: Stop overselling
By Warren Tyler
It was a huge event on Friday, April 30, at the Nautilus, home of the USS Wisconsin, which celebrated the 66th birthday of the famous battleship. That evening the Virginia Retail Alliance held its annual awards night at an event attended by hundreds of dealers from all over the state. Continue reading Salesmanship: Attitude isn’t everything—it’s the only thing
By Lew Migliore
The most problematic segment of the floor covering industry today is hard surface flooring. This is not because the material is defective but because people want to do things that defy its ability to perform.
I’ll use a recent example of a flooring dealer who called the other day, wanting to know how he could successfully install three types of hard surface flooring products on a concrete slab that was only 60 days old in a building with no operating HVAC system. His moisture test results all exceeded manufacturers and industry minimum standards. Continue reading Claims file: Not ready when they are
By Derek Young
Green labels, green standards, green marketing— the marketplace has become saturated with products making claims about how they are sustainable, environmentally friendly, eco-friendly or greener than the competition. Add this to the increasing number of companies who regularly talk about their sustainability story, positioning themselves as a “green business.”
It’s no wonder so many customers and end users are confused by all the white noise they have to deal with when trying to make an informed decision on which products to purchase and companies to do business with due to what they are doing to benefit the environment. In fact, the very term “greenwashing” was created to explain this phenomenon, defined as “the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.” Continue reading Guest column: Key points in avoiding greenwashing
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By Kelly Kramer
About 15 years ago, while living in Southern California, I specialized in selling flooring to apartment complexes and property management companies. During a presentation to a manager of 550 units, I asked, “What problems have you had in the past with your floors?”
After a long explanation it came down to, “The floors get beaten up very quickly and we have to replace them too often.” The apartment-beige plush got beaten up—not worn out—in high traffic areas and stains were not treated by renters. Also, the laundry room vinyl wore out in front of the washing machine and dryer, but there was no problem with bleach or chemical discoloration. In both cases, the cost of a quick replacement was the big problem. Continue reading Retail education: Winning with alternatives
By Scott Perron
We all know the industry has been experiencing an unprecedented recession stretching from late 2007 to the writing of this article. For those with the wherewithal to sustain during this economic black hole, huge opportunity lies just on the other side of would-be disaster. And, if you have the capital, infrastructure and guts to expand, you may reap an incredible increase in market share.
Why? From my view it exists for several reasons but here are the top two. First the commercial market has joined the recession and many landlords will renegotiate their leases just to keep a paying tenant from leaving. This line item on your P&L generally represents your second largest operational cost. Continue reading Retailer2retailer: Change your people
by Lew Migliore
As if business for floor covering companies was not hard enough with new asbestos regulations for testing, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued new regulations about lead paint that affects all contractors who work in older facilities. If you are disturbing a structure during the course of doing your job, stirring up dust or removing components— which you certainly will be installing flooring materials— this rule will affect your company. The regulation, effective as of April 22, covers setting up the job safely, minimizes the creation of dangerous lead dust and leaves the work area clean and safe for occupants after completing the restoration job. Continue reading Claims file: New lead regulations
by Warren Tyler
Lately, there have been numerous signs things are picking up. Housing starts are up for the first time in many months. Manufacturers have been reporting strong profits, although with the exception of electronics, hiring is at a standstill. Retail sales are up and many dealers in our industry are reporting increased sales. Most of the above have sifted through to the general public giving them the confidence to spend. Continue reading Salesmanship: Happy days are here again (maybe)
by Kelly Kramer
Call me partial or call me prejudiced. Most of all, call me happy and proud to live in the greatest free country in the world. My wife and I enjoy many of the luxuries that America has to offer. We have clean water right out of the tap. We drive on roads that are well maintained. We have a nice home with two nice vehicles, five TVs, two computers and two fat cats. We never wonder where our next meal will come from and can afford to travel as we please. This is just a short list of the material items that people in our country can have. Continue reading Retail education: Fighting free
by Brent Fike
Everyone wants an installation that happens on time and within the budget. But construction delays throughout a project do one thing: they put the flooring contractor behind the proverbial eight ball.
One of the more common mistakes we see is not consulting or following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Manufacturers spend hours developing procedures for successful installations. Failing to follow those directions means important steps may not be performed resulting in a problem installation, product failure, an unsatisfied customer, or some combination of all three. Continue reading Installments: Behind the eight ball