Distributors, retailers upbeat about 2018 prospects

December 19, 2017 | Comments Off on Distributors, retailers upbeat about 2018 prospects

December 18/25, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 14 By Ken Ryan   Flooring retailers and distributors are all but guaranteeing that 2018 will be a banner year for business, with signs pointing toward healthy growth both residentially and commercially. While the known (shortage of skilled labor) and the unknown (geopolitical strife) could threaten the feel-good story, the consensus among flooring observers is 2018 will be the best year in the last decade. There is evidence to...

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Distributors' perspective: Turning threats into opportunities

November 13, 2017 | Comments Off on Distributors' perspective: Turning threats into opportunities

November 6/13, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 11 By Torrey Jaeckle   A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted the tenuous plight of American retailers this year. Major retailers are closing stores at a record pace, as announced store closings this year are double what they were over the same period in 2016. It is estimated that retailers will close almost 9,000 locations this year, surpassing the number of closings during the 2008 recession....

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Distributor's perspective: Online marketing in flooring distribution

August 7, 2017 | Comments Off on Distributor's perspective: Online marketing in flooring distribution

July 31/Aug. 7: Volume 31, Issue 4 By Steve McKenna   In this modern technology age, no one can dispute the importance of developing and maintaining a viable online marketing strategy. Problem is, many of us are not utilizing our websites to their full potential. As I look around the industry, I’m noticing our websites are vastly different from our day-to-day customer interactions. In the flooring distribution world, many distributors choose a strategy that attempts...

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Distributors' perspective: Life lessons learned from ‘Moneyball’

May 15, 2017 | Comments Off on Distributors' perspective: Life lessons learned from ‘Moneyball’

May 8/15, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 24 By Dunn Rasbury   A few years back, I read a book by Michael Lewis called “Moneyball.” The story is about the Oakland Athletics Baseball team. In 2002, the team’s general manager, a guy named Billy Beane, was faced with a huge challenge: field a competitive team using a little more than half of the average MLB team payroll. This disparity forced him to look at the “value”...

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Distributors' perspective: Turning challenges into opportunities

November 28, 2016 | Comments Off on Distributors' perspective: Turning challenges into opportunities

November 21/28, 2016: Volume 31, Number 12 By David Powell The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius said, “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” To run a successful flooring business—whether it is in retail, installation, distribution or manufacturing—inevitably we will face challenges from the market, government regulations, competitors, the list goes on. Even in the best of times, there will be problems. I propose that every challenge is an...

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Distributors’ perspective: Helping retailers embrace technology

October 31, 2016 | Comments Off on Distributors’ perspective: Helping retailers embrace technology

October 24/31, 2016: Volume 31, Number 10 By Torrey Jaeckle One look at the displays in any retail flooring store these days and it’s easy to see that our industry is rife with innovation. The explosion of product innovation we’ve seen over the past decade is astounding, and something to be proud of. Unfortunately, when it comes to implementing technology on the operational sides of our businesses, our industry is often behind the curve. The...

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Distributors' perspective: Enticing the next generation

October 30, 2015 | Comments Off on Distributors' perspective: Enticing the next generation

October 26/November 2; Volume 30/Number 10 By Heidi Cronin Mandell How do you motivate the next generation of workers to get involved in the flooring industry? Most people don’t dream of becoming a floor covering installer and these days taking pride in the craftsmanship seems to be gone. Although installation isn’t looked upon as a glamorous job, it still requires talent, a sharp mind and constant learning, problem solving, customer service and interpersonal skills. No...

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Distributors' Perspective: Time to prioritize counter sales

August 26, 2015 | Comments Off on Distributors' Perspective: Time to prioritize counter sales

Aug. 17/24; Volume 30/Number 5 By Bryan White Flooring accessory and supply distributors are ideally qualified to help customers maximize productivity and efficiency while minimizing downtime and costs. They serve as a one-stop resource, represent a broad range of product lines from multiple manufacturers, provide value-added services and technical expertise, and recommend solutions to meet specific needs. While there are many moving parts to a successful distributor, one of the most overlooked job functions is counter...

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Distributors' Perspective: Technology and trends to look for in 2015

May 29, 2015 | Comments Off on Distributors' Perspective: Technology and trends to look for in 2015

April 27/May 4, 2015; Volume 29/Number 2 By Bryan White There are a number of technologies you are probably already utilizing such as automated warehouse systems that reduce inventory requirements; enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that allow distributors to monitor their overall businesses more closely; PRM software or partner portals, which improve communications between suppliers and distributors, and social media, which helps retailers improve their relationships with customers. In addition to these helpful tools, there...

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Distributor's perspective: Reflecting and looking ahead

January 19, 2015 | Comments Off on Distributor's perspective: Reflecting and looking ahead

January 19/26, 2015; Volume 28/Number 15 By Craig Folven As 2014 came to a close, so did my time as president of the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD). 2015 looks to be another great year for not only NAFCD, but our industry as a whole. Most companies will agree the floor covering market slowed in 2014 after experiencing incredibly strong growth in 2013. We still saw growth, but new home construction levels...

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