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Distributors proclaim Ceramix by Raskin a home run

January 22/29, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 16

By Ken Ryan


Raskin Industries’ new built-in grout loose lay LVT, which will debut at Surfaces this week, is a product that must be seen to be fully appreciated, according to distributors who are carrying the line.

“The Ceramix product line from Raskin is a continuation of Michael’s [Raskin, president] gift of style and design,” said Bob Weiss, CEO of All Tile, a top five wholesaler. “Ceramix has a visual unlike any other that is available in the market. The product needs to be seen to fully understand the great job Michael did on the colors and textures.”

Ceramix will be shown at Raskin’s booth, #2613, at Surfaces. The product was shown at last year’s show to get feedback. The advice was to make the grout lines thinner. “A product launch like this is a big investment; you don’t want to launch something without good feedback,” Raskin said.

Based on distributor response, the product is ready for prime time and poised to be a big hit. T&L Distributing, a top 20 wholesaler, previewed the product at its vendor show in Dallas earlier in January. “The reaction was tremendous,” said Scott Carson, director of products and marketing. “The dealers loved the visuals, the tiles and the planks. We see it as helping them with an installation solution.”

With lead time on some ceramic tile installations approaching eight weeks, Ceramix—with the realistic look of the grout—provides dealers with an alternative product that can be installed in a day or two. “The overall visual you get with the plank and the grout line is stunning,” Carson said. “It’s going to fill a need for the dealers because of the lack of installers out there.”

Observers say there have been other products that had grout lines attached to the product but not to the level of realism that is within this product line. “Porcelain tiles that look like wood planks have been very popular over the past few years,” Weiss said. “Ceramix has taken that trend to the next level by replicating the look and performance of the porcelain installation, but offering it in a flexible vinyl format. This allows for easier installation and a beautiful finish.”

Ceramix will be launched with 12 SKUs, including eight planks. Ranging in format from 7 x 48 to 36 x 36, the planks, according to Raskin, “look like they should be in the Apple store. The younger market wants that modern look—a nice subtle pattern that’s suitable for a loft or industrial look.”

Ceramix features a 5mm wear layer and offers the G88 advanced antibacterial/anti-fungal finish. The product is shipping this month, and Weiss is among those ready to go to market. “We are excited to offer the line to our customers so they can be first to market with a great product with a competitive difference from other products in the marketplace.”

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Distributors’ perspective: Driving productivity and profitability

October 27/November 3, 2014; Volume 28/Number 10

By Kevin Gammonley

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 2.46.39 PMGrowing your business requires a number of important efforts, not the least of which is educating your people and building a quality network. Education is key to staying ahead of industry trends, and networking is about making connections and building enduring, mutually beneficial relationships. Ask any senior executive, politician, community leader or successful salesperson who has excelled in his or her career what the keys to success have been. An overwhelming majority will say that to succeed, you must continually educate yourself and your team, and leverage your network.

Facilitating business connections amongst distributors and manufacturers is the most apparent role of the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) due to our valued events throughout the year. In addition, a core driver that initially attracts distributors to the association is a desire to learn from other distributors and be exposed to leading-edge training on how to drive productivity and profitability within their distributorship. There are many options for distributors to simply listen to professional speakers, but within NAFCD events they are exposed to trainers, consultants and educators who specialize in wholesale distribution and/or the flooring and building product industries. The opportunity to learn from these individuals as well as from peers, competitors and trading partners is invaluable.

NAFCD is continually monitoring trends that are growing in importance to wholesale distributors as well as talking with other associations both in our industry and across other distribution channels to see what is emerging and what is impacting their members—either negatively or positively. We are also always seeking ideas about new and different topics, presenters and training mediums. Our ultimate goal is to continually refresh our menu of member services and programs with new education and information offerings.

Last year, we introduced the NAFCD Quarterly Sales Trend Survey to give our members insight into how their companies and the marketplace are performing compared to their competitors and fellow distributors in other markets. This year, the report was expanded to include the insights and forecasts of the manufacturer community. These quarterly reports continue to increase in participation while fast becoming a valued data resource.

The 2014 NAFCD annual convention is just weeks away in Dallas, Nov. 18-20. This event is the largest concentration of floor covering distributors and features many opportunities for distributors to learn from each other while being exposed to top-notch speakers covering both distribution management and general business topics. Scheduled on the front end of the convention is the NAFCD Distribution Management University program designed as an exclusive one-day training session for general, sales and branch managers from within floor covering distributorships.

NAFCD represents the premier distributors in the industry. These firms have continued to grow and prosper due to their commitment to educate their people, learn from their peers and enhance their communication to their suppliers. If you are a distributor interested in learning more about how to take advantage of these opportunities, join us in Dallas.

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Distributors' Perspective: The importance of keeping it simple

Volume 27/Number 24; March 31/April 7, 2014

By David Powell

powell_davidNapoleon Bonaparte once said, “Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.”

Colin Powell’s formula for decision-making is as follows:

“Part I: Use the formula P = 40 to 70, in which P stands for the probability of success and the numbers indicate the percentage of information acquired.

Part II: Once the information is in the 40 to 70 range, go with your gut.” Continue reading Distributors' Perspective: The importance of keeping it simple