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Xpress Global Systems opens new service center in Miami

Chattanooga, Tenn.—Xpress Global Systems (XGS) is expanding operations with the opening of a new 20,000-square-foot service center in Miami. The state-of-the-art facility will service the lower region of the state through the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys.

“Miami is the first of several expansion markets planned for XGS in 2018,” said Darrel Harris, CEO, XGS. “We continue to optimize our network to provide more direct service areas for our customers.  Our goal is to continue enhancing our service levels, with the reliability and claims-free handling our floor covering partners have come to expect.”

With more than four decades of experience in serving the transportation needs of the floor covering industry XGS has an extensive track record of success in handling a range of flooring surfaces, including carpet, hardwood, laminate, vinyl, tile and rugs. Harris continued, “We are excited to bring XGS’ commitment to service and its unrivaled expertise to the Miami area.”

XGS, which began 40 years ago as a long-haul shipper for the carpet industry, has expanded to 670 employees in 33 terminals, servicing over 90% of the U.S. population.

For more information, visit xgsi.com.

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Guru-USA names national sales and marketing manager

Ontinyent, Spain–Estil Guru S.L. (Guru), a manufacturer of shower waterproofing products, has named Derick Cooper national sales and marketing manager for the U.S. and Canada. Cooper has early 30 years of experience across several industries covering sales, marketing, technical service, and product management. He most recently served as president of an independent sales agency.

He will be tasked with managing all sales and marketing efforts of Guru-USA, The company markets a waterproof membrane called Waterstop as well as a kit that includes an integrated shower drain. It is now launching Evolux Kit, the next generation in waterproofing products.

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Installments: Vetting a certified floor covering inspector

By Paul Pleshek

 

“We are sending an inspector,” are not always the most comforting words an installer or retailer hears. Some are concerned the inspector has a bias for the manufacturer, others don’t have high regard for certain inspectors in their area. Whatever the concern, how can a materially invested party know the inspector will handle the claim in a fair, thorough and neutral way?

A commonly expressed concern about inspectors is whether they are intentionally biased for the party that is paying; however, that is the least likely cause of bias. It is the prejudice that comes from past experiences as an installer, retailer, manufacturer or cleaner that undermines an otherwise well-intentioned inspector. This is called confirmation or my-side bias. It is the tendency to search for, interpret and recall information in a way that confirms one’s hypotheses while giving less consideration to alternative possibilities. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. This type of bias affects every party involved in a claim, even the inspector.

A qualified inspector avoids bias thorough application of the scientific method employed to make observations, develop related questions, formulate a hypothesis, test the hypothesis and conclude or refine the hypothesis until it is consistent with most/all of available data. Proper application of the scientific method requires an in-depth understanding of the entire flooring industry including manufacturing, specification, installation, maintenance and environmental conditions. The qualified inspector has a network of connections in each of the inter-related industries and attends educational events from a wide variety of sources to avoid communal bias which comes from only interacting with people of the same opinion.

Second, when looking for a qualified inspector, it is important to know his experience, certification and continuing education. Inspector certification can come from private companies or industry associations like the IICRC, NWFA or CFI. Ultimately, the certification is simply proof of the minimal training and understanding required for the inspection process and report writing. For that reason, the most important factor in becoming a professional inspector is continuing education. The flooring industry changes constantly and keeping up with new developments is imperative. Most certifications require two credits per year, which translates to about 12-16 hours of classroom time. That amount of training is insufficient to stay abreast of industry advances and changing inspection techniques. In addition, the greater the number of inspector certifications means more education is required. Therefore, the highly qualified inspector attends training frequently throughout each year and varies that training from different associations, manufacturers and professional organizations.

Ultimately, personal interaction with the inspector is the best way to determine his qualifications, knowledge base, problem-solving abilities and possible bias. Get to know the inspectors in your area. Conduct an interview, debate issues and try to determine the inspector’s ability to reason and explain complicated concepts. See if he or she possesses an understanding of all segments of the flooring industry and how each can affect the other. Are they certified for substrates, maintenance, repair/installation or do they just have a few days’ training for several complicated floor coverings?

When investigating the qualifications of an inspector, commissioning parties should look for how long the inspector has been certified, what type of continuing education has been attended each year, how many hours of continuing education, what associations and committees the inspector participates in and whether the inspector is advancing their industry through education with written articles, convention presentations or as a certification instructor. Proper vetting of the inspector’s qualifications will give a materially invested party piece of mind knowing the inspection will offer resolution to a claim, not further complicate matters.

 

 

Paul Pleshek is the president of the National Academy of Floor Coverings Training (NAFCT) and the owner/president of Floor Claim Solutions Inc. Paul has been in the floor coverings industry since 1990 and was first certified by the IICRC as a senior carpet inspector in 1995.

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Mohawk honored by Training Magazine for 12th consecutive year

UG_Campus_LeadsCalhoun, Ga.–For the 12th consecutive year, Mohawk Industries has earned a spot in the 2018 edition of Training magazine’s annual Top 125 rankings, the training industry’s premier awards program. Mohawk was recognized for outstanding training and development programs that help employees expand their skills and inspire their ambitions.

Mohawk has placed in Training’s top 10 on four occasions and is the only manufacturing company to repeatedly achieve such prestigious positions on the list. The numerical rankings will be formally announced in February at a black-tie event preceding Training magazine’s annual expo and conference.

“At Mohawk, training doesn’t stop when people learn the skills they need to perform their jobs,” said Becky Redd, Corporate Learning Director. “We train our sales force and customer support functions to exceed expectations through product knowledge and problem-solving skills, our technical teams to drive process innovation on the plant floor and in our warehouses and our line employees to deliver quality while maintaining a safe workplace.”

The company’s dedication to workforce development throughout the business is a way of creating value for customers and ensuring the continued success of the organization.

“One of the most exciting things about working at Mohawk is the potential all people have to expand their skillsets and to grow personally and professionally through company-provided resources,” Redd said. “Each day, hundreds of men and women throughout the company formally and informally train, coach and mentor employees so that they can fulfill their potential while helping the business achieve its goals. Our 12 years in Training magazine’s Top 125 reflects our commitment to continuously improving all aspects of the business, and I am so proud of the exceptional work that has gone into making our teams the best they can be.”

Now in its 18th year, Training’s Top 125 recognizes the world’s elite learning organizations. All companies are eligible to enter as long as their primary business is not selling training products and services.

 

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Anderson Hardwood, Tuftex Carpets unite to create Anderson Tuftex

Anderson Tuftex_StrollDalton–The strategic merger of Anderson Hardwood Floors and Tuftex Carpets of California will take effect Jan. 1, 2018, the company announced. Both of these brands have a long heritage in the flooring industry and are a natural fit to bring together into one premium brand: Anderson Tuftex.

Anderson Tuftex creates floors that are designed with intention and crafted with care. The brand will take a holistic and consumer-centric approach to marketing and product development. Today’s consumer demands a simplified shopping experience both in-store and online and Anderson Tuftex said that is listening to the expectations of consumers.

“The entire consumer journey is changing and has been for quite some time. Consumers are finding inspiration everywhere and are more directly connected with brands than ever before,” said Carrie Edwards Isaac, vice president, Anderson Tuftex.  “But purchasing flooring is complicated and consumers feel pressured to get it right. At Anderson Tuftex, it’s about simplicity. We don’t want to overwhelm consumers with options but, rather, craft intentional designs that serve as a canvas for their lives.”
Anderson Tuftex will be showcased at Shaw Connect 2018 winter markets and will unveil the new premium brand at Surfaces in Las Vegas. The future of these two legacy brands will focus on their new, collective brand identity by working with their valued retail partners to drive premium floorcovering sales.

“We’re committed to elevating the discussion with our customers and providing them with a beautiful product mix that they’re eager to sell,” said Trey Thames, vice president of sales, Anderson Tuftex. “By offering bold, yet timeless patterns and foundational colors in both hard and soft surface flooring products, we’re empowering our customers to create a seamless shopping experience for consumers.”

Anderson Tuftex is designing and producing coveted hardwood, carpet and rugs that enable retailers to take consumers from refined to rustic, with handcrafted products that offer a cultivated charm. There are many exciting things on the horizon for Anderson Tuftex, with several new styles making their debut in 2018.

“I am excited about the momentum around this new premium floorcovering brand and our ability to inspire discerning consumers by creating a meaningful experience,” said Tim Baucom, executive vice president, residential business. “The timing is perfect with the increased sophistication of today’s consumer and her desire for a brand like Anderson Tuftex that offers transparency and authenticity.”

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Mohawk names Karen Mendelsohn to executive marketing post

Karen_MendelsohnCalhoun, Ga.–Marketing strategist Karen Mendelsohn has been named senior vice president of marketing at Mohawk Industries. In this position, Mendelsohn will be responsible for the overall creation and implementation of marketing strategies to drive dynamic new growth across Mohawk’s North America Flooring businesses.

Mendelsohn steps into her role as chief marketing leader of Mohawk North America Flooring with a wealth of experience in corporate and operations planning, brand development and management and eBusiness strategy.

“We are pleased to have Karen Mendelsohn on our team,” said Brian Carson, president of Mohawk Flooring. “As a proven leader, Karen brings exceptional business experience and drive to take Mohawk even further on its journey as the pioneer in flooring, product innovation and digital marketing. She is a great fit for Mohawk and our culture of perpetual innovation.”

Mendelsohn, a 30-year veteran of the building products industry, earned an MBA from Columbia University and spent more than 15 years in strategic, sales and marketing leadership at Masco, a supplier of brand-name building products and services. Before that, she was vice president of marketing at Delta Faucet Co. for a period of 12 years.

Mohawk is already a leader in digital within the flooring industry. Under Mendelsohn’s leadership, the company will further innovate its digital strategy and social presence to resonate and build connections with consumers to drive increased traffic to Mohawk retailer locations.

“Today’s consumers are shifting the way they research and select products,” Mendelsohn said. “It is important for senior executives to fully embrace eBusiness as one of the most critical levers for strategy deployment. That is just a part of what I will be doing at Mohawk.

“On a larger scale, I will be helping to shape a vision and build a marketing plan to further position Mohawk as the supplier of choice with customers across complex and fragmented distribution channels,” Mendelsohn continued. “This will involve leveraging brand management, integrated marketing communications and digital and insights-led customer engagement tools to help Mohawk evolve and engage customers and end-users across new and traditional marketing channels. It is an exciting mission, and I thank Mohawk for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Mendelsohn is the 2014 City of Hope Spirit of Life Honoree, the hardware/homebuilding industry’s highest honor. She serves on the executive council of City of Hope and sits on the board of directors of HomeAid America. She is also a founding board member of the Homebuilding Community Foundation.

FCNews recently sat down with Mendelsohn for an exclusive interview in its Sept. 5 issue.

 

 

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DriTac names Verble new business development director

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 9.57.10 AMClifton, NJ–DriTac Flooring Products LLC has announced the appointment of Wade Verble to the position of new business development director.

Verble is responsible for expanding sales with the development of new business opportunities through a variety of evolving channels that include new product categories, industry segments and overall business strategies designed to focus on company growth. His targeted business objectives will emphasize market needs and span the domestic and international marketplaces.

Verble previously served as Southeast Regional sales manager before being promoted to national sales manager and then leaving the company to explore other interests more than a decade ago. He has over 25 years’ experience in the flooring industry with a strong background in manufacturing and distribution platforms.

“Wade brings a lot of experience and industry knowledge to the DriTac team,” said Myrna Block, executive vice president. “He will undoubtedly represent DriTac with professionalism and help steer us towards new growth opportunities.”

Verble returns to DriTac with a vast range of flooring installation experience, which he initially established during his first tenure with the company. His experience in the industry includes other prominent adhesive manufacturers and major flooring producers.

 

 

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NAFCD to host Distribution Management University

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 4.59.49 PMChicago–The 2016 Distribution Management University (DMU) will be held in conjunction with the NAFCD + NBMDA annual convention on Tuesday, Nov. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

The 2016 DMU is a unique opportunity for general, sales, branch and operations managers to expand their industry knowledge and enhance leadership skills. The 2016 DMU is focused on the real world of the market level manager. Sessions are fast paced, interactive and fun, and provide real tools to grow profit and market share.

Sam Richter, internationally recognized expert on sales, marketing, and leadership, will lead the 2016 DMU. His award-winning experience includes building innovative technology, sales, and marketing programs for start-up companies and some of the world’s most famous brands. Richter has been featured in thousands of television and radio programs, national and online publications, and he presents his customized Know More! keynote and training programs to audiences around the globe.

In this program, Richter will give attendees insights on how to build relationships and enhance your personal brand. Attendees will learn how to use information to make a big-time impression with prospects, deepen relationships with clients and differentiate themselves from the competition. They will also learn how their personal brand can make or break their business brand.

“After record DMU attendance in 2015, we are thrilled to offer the DMU again this year,” said Kevin Gammonley, executive vice president of NBMDA and NAFCD. “Sam Richter’s expertise on sales and marketing will provide DMU attendees with the tools they need to positively impact their companies.”

Enroll your managers in the 2016 DMU today to see immediate cost savings and productivity boosts to your business. Register by Sept. 15 and save $100.

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Online registration now open for TISE 2017

PrintDallas–The International Surface Event (TISE): SURFACES I StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas I TileExpo, North America’s largest floor covering, stone and tile industry event, has now opened attendee online registration for the 2017 event. Industry professionals are encouraged to register early for the first pick of events, experiences, and education sessions, as space is limited for many options.

Surfaces will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Wednesday, Jan. 18 through Friday, Jan. 20, with education starting on Tuesday, Jan. 17. For hours, tickets and additional event information, visit TISEwest.com.

With a few short months to go, the TISE exhibit hall is nearly sold out, setting the stage for the 2017 exhibit hall to be the biggest and most engaging event space yet. Products and services are represented from just about all corners of the globe from upwards of 700 exhibitors spanning more than 400,000 square feet.

Surfaces will feature the latest floor covering products, tools, trends, services and technologies. A few exhibitors to note this year in the Surfaces event are the return of the Mohawk brands, Couristan, Mannington, Armstrong, Dream Weaver Carpet, Tarkett and many others.

Featuring specialty stone and machinery areas with exhibitions of stone and stone supplies from seven countries, plus stone tools, equipment, services and demonstrations from leading manufacturers and 
associations, StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas is the stone event for stone industry professionals.

Leading tile manufacturers and suppliers will be on display in TileExpo offering attendees products from artisan to ceramic, decorative to glass and beyond. Attendees can meet with representatives from Emser Tile, Daltile, Marazzi, American Olean, Eleganza Tile, Crossville, and Bedrosians.

On the floor, attendees can participate and experience stone cutting displays, all types of surface material installations and techniques, participate in digital marketing consultations, and all while working directly with experts who can answer specific questions to solve and offer business solutions. Show features such as the Installation Showcase, the Social Media Learning Lab, The Cage, The Trends Hub, Tool Alley, as well as, in-booth exhibitor demonstrations are just a few of these offerings at TISE 2017.

Off the floor is a suite of education in the IGNITE Education Program and bonus education opportunities from key association and industry partners. The IGNITE Education Program is constructed in partnership with a high-profile, targeted industry group to produce 55 sessions of the most engaging, hot topic and inspiring information, all instructor led by over 100 experts in their fields. Defined into easy to search career tracks, the IGNITE program is a must-attend for any industry professional. See online a full listing of the IGNITE, Certifications and Bonus Education offerings at TISE 2017.

With over 25 million monthly visitors, Houzz offers homeowners inspiration, advice, and connections to pros who can turn their dreams into reality. As a leading platform for home remodeling and design, Houzz will bring their unique industry perspectives and curated information into multiple education opportunities at TISE.

The Retailer Experience is a specialty experience hand-crafted just for retailers. This event, spanning across the three days of TISE, is an all-access pass to everything retail. The package includes an exhibit hall pass, plus the full IGNITE education program, the Off-Site Culture Tour @ Zappos, the Speed Trending Tour: An Eye on the 2017 Trends, along with coffee and light pastry bites. For retailers with very busy schedules, an edited version of the Retailer Experience is available, the Retailer Day. The Retailer Day is Thursday, Jan. 19 and includes an exhibits day pass, an IGNITE Education day pass and the Off-Site Culture Tour @ Zappos.  Limited space available in some events, first-come, first-served in packages.

 

 

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NeoCon East announces speakers

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 3.36.39 PMPhiladelphia—Marc Kushner, architect and co-founder of Architizer, and Ayse Birsel, industrial designer, will keynote this year’s NeoCon East, Nov. 9 to 10.

The northeast edition of NeoCon will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Kushner will speak Nov. 9 at 11:00 a.m. and Birsel will speak Nov. 10 at 11:00 a.m.