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Novalis adds E.J. Welch to list of authorized distributors

Toronto—E.J. Welch Co. is the latest distributor tapped to handle the NovaFloor brand from Novalis Innovative Flooring. The distributorship offers flooring, installation supplies, tools and accessories to dealers and contractors throughout Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

“We are very pleased to be represented by E.J. Welch throughout America’s heartland,” said Steve Ehrlich, vice president of sales and marketing for Novalis. “They are a leading floor covering distributor and it’s a great fit for our NovaFloor line. We are excited about the potential for both our companies.”

Michael Welch, president of E.J. Welch Co., concurs. “Whenever you talk about LVT, the one brand that keeps coming up is Novalis. We like their quality and the range of LVT they have, from flexible to rigid core. This gives our dealers lots to work with in terms of LVT sales growth.”

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Elias Wilf receives John B. Campbell award

Calhoun, Ga.—Mannington recently presented Elias Wilf Corp. with its prestigious John B. Campbell Award. This award recognizes the Mannington distributor with the best overall performance in 2017.

Keith Campbell, Mannington’s chairman of the board, made the award presentation, noting the two companies have a decades-long relationship, and working together as partners in the marketplace is what has helped them both thrive over the years.

From left: Todd Lyons, vice president, Elias Wilf; Brian Doucette, vice president, commercial, Elias Wilf; Russell Grizzle, COO, Mannington; Jeff Striegel, president, Elias Wilf; Keith Campbell, chairman of the board, Mannington; Zack Zehner, senior vice president of distribution network, Mannington; Ed Duncan, president, residential business, Mannington; Rich Kearsley, senior vice president of sales, Elias Wilf; and Bryan Campbell, vice president of sales, commercial, Elias Wilf.

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Aspecta by Metroflor partners with Spartan Surfaces

Norwalk, Conn.—Aspecta by Metroflor has appointed Spartan Surfaces as its new distributor for New York City and Long Island, Washington, D.C., and the mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states, effective Jan. 1.

The Bel Air, Maryland–based sales and consulting group is well positioned to represent the flagship Aspecta contract LVT brand, said Paul Eanes, vice president of sales, Metroflor.  “Spartan Surfaces’ unique business model places heavy focus on the contract market, ideally suiting them to carry the Aspecta brand,” Eanes said. “Selling and specifying Aspecta requires a highly technical, commercially focused sales organization, and that is exactly what we have in Spartan Surfaces. To team up with such a powerful distributor-partner is a big win for both companies.”

Kevin Jablon, Spartan Surfaces president, sees many cultural similarities between Spartan and Aspecta by Metroflor.

“Our core values are the same: hard work and integrity. Employees come first and everyone has a voice,” Jablon said. “We look forward to embracing Aspecta into what we call the Spartan Experience: driven by passionate people building longstanding relationships through a collaborative approach, leading with innovative flooring designs and creating successful experiences in everything we do.”

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B.R. Funsten: Single-source solutions provider

December 18/25, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 14

The following is the 12th installment in a series highlighting the 14 distributors that constitute Bravo Services, a group comprising many of the top flooring wholesalers in the country. Here we focus on B.R. Funsten.

 

Founded in San Francisco in 1956 by Benjamin Reed Funsten, The B.R. Funsten & Co. has successfully grown into one of the largest flooring wholesalers in the nation. The Manteca, Calif.-based flooring wholesaler is the parent company of the Tom Duffy Co. and Commercial Solutions; together the group provides the most comprehensive group of products and services across all flooring channels throughout California, Nevada and Arizona.

B.R. Funsten started primarily as the Armstrong distributor for northern California and northern Nevada, and Armstrong remains its premier supplier. Then, 20 years ago, Funsten purchased the Tom Duffy Co., a flooring installation supplies operation. Since then the wholesaler has expanded throughout California, Nevada, and Arizona with 28 branches.

According to Anne Funsten, president, B.R. Funsten’s competitive advantage stems from the depth and breadth of its diversified portfolio, which has expanded over the years to encompass all aspects of flooring. “Whether you are tearing up an old floor, prepping to install a new floor or selecting your finished floor, we have a solution for you. We work with the best manufacturers from all aspects of the flooring industry—Armstrong, Roppe, Ardex, Burke, Diamatic, Bostic and Mapei. We are a single-source supplier for the retailers.”

Going above and beyond
As with any industry, a big challenge is staying on the cutting edge of technology. B.R. Funsten made the decision to convert its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) capabilities to Kerridge Commercial Solution’s K8 distribution management system. K8 provides automation that ensures distributors can maximize their warehouse efficiency without compromising accuracy. The software automates processes such as goods receipt, replenishment, stock movement and stock counts.

Nuts & bolts
Geographic coverage: California, Arizona and Nevada
Brands: Ardex, Armstrong, Bostic, Burke, HF Design, Independence Hardwood, Kahrs, Mapei, Quick-Step, Roppe, Schluter, Sika, TEC, The Mission Collection,  USG, XL Brands

 

For more information on B.R. Funsten, call 800.479.5671 or visit brfunsten.com. For more information on Bravo Services, contact John Carney at 214.215.2880 or visit bravoservices.com.

 

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Flexco names Belknap White northeastern distributor

BWG_FLEXCO_LOGOMansfield, Mass.—The Belknap White Group (BWG), one of America’s leading full-service flooring distributors, will be marketing and selling the comprehensive Flexco line throughout all six New England states and upstate New York.

“We’re very excited about this new relationship,” said Dan Doyle, vice president branch sales and operations, BWG. “When you work with Flexco, you’re working with a flooring partner that has the experience, determination and dedication to make customers’ rubber flooring visions become realities. For more than 50 years, Flexco has advanced as an industry pioneer and innovator by remaining performance-driven, progress-oriented and partnership-minded.”

BWG will carry all Flexco vinyl and rubber wall base products and trim/molding accessories, the complete range of rubber flooring as well as the entire Flexco stair tread category.

“Flexco believes responsible manufacturing goes hand-in-hand with environmental stewardship,” Doyle continued. “The firm is an active participant in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program. During our mill tour last week, Flexco announced it is now ISO 14000 certified, which took over 18 months to accomplish. Most of its products are Floor Score Certified as well as NSF 332 certified. Many of the products also meet the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS). Flexco is able to provide Environmental Product Declarations for many of its product categories. And, its products are all made in the USA.”

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William M. Bird: A preferred partner for 152 years

The following feature is the eighth installment in a series highlighting the 14 distributors that constitute Bravo Services, a group comprising many of the top flooring wholesalers in the country. Here we focus on William M. Bird.

July 31/Aug. 7: Volume 31, Issue 4

Screen Shot 2017-08-07 at 11.41.53 AMHeadquartered in Charleston, S.C., William M. Bird has been delivering the goods since 1865. The company’s first product was whale oil, but soon expanded into paint, glass, and hardware supplies. In 1936, Bird began distributing Armstrong floor coverings and by the 1980s made flooring its single focus. Today, William M. Bird is one of the leading flooring distributors in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic with 10 branch locations in nine states.

One way the company strives to separate itself from competitors is through advanced online marketing and services. More than 50% of customers actively use WM Bird Online to place orders. “We also differentiate by the products we provide our customers,” said Maybank Hagood, CEO. “We purposefully partner with manufacturers Screen Shot 2017-08-07 at 11.41.48 AMwho are aligned with our company’s vision, mission and core values.” Hagood believes the corporate values set them apart. He continued, “Our No. 1 value is ‘We care about each other.’   Our simple view is how will we ever care for our customers if we don’t start with caring for each other?”

Looking ahead, Bird is going through a transition phase. As Hagood explained, “Three years ago, more than 50% of our sales reps were within 10 years from retirement age. We need to work diligently to transition to the next generation. Consequently, we work closely with each associate to understand personal career goals and timing. With that in mind, we are hiring new associates, at the right time, to effectively pass the baton.”

Going above and beyond
From the time an order is placed to the point when it is delivered, Bird’s entire team is dedicated to going the extra mile. If it is past the delivery cut off, it is not uncommon for Bird’s sales reps to personally drive a sample or an order to ensure customers have what they need in a timely fashion. For example, when a hurricane barreled down on Charleston last fall, a team of customer service reps traveled to Atlanta to set up and take calls.

Nuts & Bolts
Geographic coverage: Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
Brands: Armstrong Flooring, Aspecta, Azalea Lane, Bostik, Bruce, East Bay Supply Co., HomerWood, Johnsonite, Metroflor, Palmetto Road, Protect-All, Roberts, Roppe, Schönox, Stauf, Tarkett, Ultimate RB and XL Brands.

For more information on William M. Bird, call 843.744.8289 or visit wmbird.com. For more information on Bravo Services, contact John Carney at 214.215.2880 or visit bravoservices.com.

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Haines: Large in scale, nimble in approach

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

The following feature is the seventh installment in a series highlighting the 14 distributors that constitute Bravo Services, a group comprising many of the top flooring wholesalers in the country. Here we focus on Haines, the industry’s largest distributor.

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 3.11.18 PMHaines was founded in 1874 by John J. Haines, who used his poker winnings from his time as a prisoner of war (Civil War) to start the company. Casper Marston, his son, helped transition the business into flooring through an agreement with Armstrong—a partnership that remains intact today. Acquisitions such as Peerless and CMH catapulted the company to its position today as the largest U.S. flooring distributor with sales approaching $500 million.

Haines has a new executive management team in place and recently embarked on what company executives say is an organizational transformation focused on improved logistics and providing optimal service over the largest distributor footprint in the industry. “Our East Coast footprint and the service model that is being established will further differentiate our company in the future,” said Michael Barrett, who took over as president and CEO in January.

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 3.13.59 PMTechnology will be a catalyst for this new business model, according to Barrett. “We continue to look for ways to deploy technology in a way that is additive to our service model and ability to successfully run the company. This, combined with a powerful logistics model that is continually evolving and improving, will be key to our ability to provide uncompromised service to our customers.”

Haines by the numbers

  • 700 employees
  • 12 million miles driven by the Haines fleet yearly
  • 800,000 stops per year
  • 25 supply centers
  • 9 warehouse locations

Going above and beyond
The 500-dealer strong Haines Loyalty Club continues to be a true differentiator. “Not only can we create customized product lines and provide first looks at new products coming to market, but it is also a way for us to provide business services to our members,” Barrett said. “Whether it is website development assistance, training on installation techniques, or how to establish relationships in the financial arena, our Loyalty Club is a way for Haines to help our customers.”

Nuts & bolts
Geographic coverage: The East Coast from Pennsylvania and New Jersey to the southern tip of Florida, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Brands (partial list): American Olean, Ardex, Armstrong, Bruce, Columbia, Congoleum, DriTac, FloorMuffler, IndusParquet, Interceramic, IVC, Marazzi, Mirage, Mohawk, Mullican, Quick-Step, Shaw, Stanton and Tarkett.

 

For more information on Haines, call 800.922.9248 or visit jjhaines.com. For more information on Bravo Services, contact John Carney at 214.215.2880 or visit bravoservices.com.

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Tarkett, Gilford-Johnson Flooring expand partnership

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 11.26.01 AMJeffersonville, Ind.—Gilford-Johnson Flooring was appointed as a Tarkett residential and commercial distributor for Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. The distributor has been a long-term partner with the Tarkett family of brands in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee.

“Before Gilford-Flooring and Johnson Wholesale Floors joined forces last year, Johnson had a long-term relationship with Tarkett as one of [its] largest distributors,” said Scott Roy, president and CEO, Gilford-Johnson Flooring. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to strengthen that position with Tarkett across our entire trading area now.”

Affective June 5, the enhanced partnership means that Gilford-Johnson Flooring’s dealer network from Lake Michigan to Key West will have access to a variety of Tarkett products, including Johnsonite, Tarkett Commercial, and Tarkett Residential.

“As a result of the longstanding business relationship and performance by Johnson Wholesale Floors, it was an easy decision to expand the trading area into the Midwest region,” said Jeff Fenwick, president and COO, Tarkett North America. “We are very excited about the future of Tarkett with Gilford-Johnson Flooring.”

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Wickham adds distributor partner in Midwest

logoWickham2Wickham, Quebec, Canada—Wickham Hardwood Flooring announced a strategic partnership with distributor Summit Hardwood Flooring to represent and market the Wickham brand of products in the Upper Midwest.

“We are very pleased to be partnered with such a reputable, established organization,” said Jean-Pierre Nittolo, president of Wickham. “Their management and sales team will do a great job representing our products in the Upper Midwest.”

Chad Lemair, Summit president, noted: “Our entire team is excited to partner with Wickham and offer this exciting line to our customers. We plan on bringing the same level of support and service that has set us apart from our competitors to our existing and new customers in the Upper Midwest.”

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Haines appoints Douglas Drews as chief logistics officer, Reid McCarthy as CFO

HainesGlen Burnie, Md.—Haines has appointed Douglas Drews as chief logistics officer and Reid McCarthy as chief financial officer.

An accomplished operations leader with extensive experience in nationwide distribution, logistics and supply chain operations for top retailers, Drews joins Haines from Dollar Tree. Over the past 14 years, Drews led logistics services and support as well as distribution center operations for North America’s leading operator of discount variety stores where he had responsibility for strategic planning, quality control and operational performance. He and his team drove year‐over‐year productivity improvements, streamlining processes and introducing new technologies. Prior to Dollar Tree, Drews held leadership positions at Circuit City, running 14 distribution centers and 28 centralized home delivery service operations, as well as operations and line management positions at Frito‐Lay North America and AM International.

Reid McCarthy has served as Haines’ acting chief financial officer since September, 2016 and is an expert in business and financial management as well as strategic and organizational planning. Over recent years, McCarthy has led financial performance improvements for several companies implementing growth plans, as a senior executive advisor and acting CFO. From 2006 to 2011, McCarthy was CFO at Topaz Pharmaceuticals where he managed all financial reporting systems, contracts administration, audit functions and strategic planning, bolstering the company’s financial position ahead of a major new product launch. Earlier in his career, McCarthy was CFO at Graphco Technologies; president and CEO at Atlantic Greenhouses, Inc.; and vice president of Finance at Trinity Capital Corporation.

“Doug has an excellent track record of optimizing operations and building high morale, high performing teams,” said Michael Barrett, president & CEO, Haines. “He will play a key role as we continue to fine-tune Haines’ operations and build the most cost-effective, value-added services for our customers and suppliers. Similarly, Reid has a proven ability to improve companies’ financial positions and strategic plans. His business and finance leadership has benefited Haines over the past five months as we have continued to strengthen our business. Doug and Reid bring skills and experiences that make us a better team.”