Posted on

Award of Excellence: Shaw captures its fifth Best Overall Manufacturer title

May 26/June 2, 2014; Volume 27/Number 28

FCNews' Award of ExcellenceGarden City, N.Y.—For the third time in four years—and fifth time in the award’s history—Shaw Industries was voted the industry’s Best Overall Manufacturer in the 18th annual Award of Excellence competition.

It was one of two major awards for Shaw, which also won the Award of Excellence for Environmental Leadership. Shaw has earned the award every year since its inception in 2010.

“These awards are an amazing testament to the hard work of our associates and their dedication to creating a better future for our customers and our communities,” said Randy Merritt, president of Shaw Industries.

“These awards are particularly meaningful because they are based on a survey of customers across the industry,” he continued. “Relationships with our customers are at the core of our success—and every associate has a role to play in ensuring that those relationships are developed and protected through superb service and high quality, innovative, sustainable products.

“Thank you to Floor Covering News for the honor. Thank you to our customers who voted for us. And thank you to all of our Shaw associates for serving our customers well.”

Mohawk Industries won Best Carpet Manufacturer for Group A, one of four awards for Mohawk companies. “At Mohawk, we continue to invest heavily in innovation in the carpet segment,” said Tom Lape,

John Godwin, executive VP, sales and marketing, Shaw Industries, and Piet Dossche, CEO, USFloors
John Godwin, executive VP, sales and marketing, Shaw Industries, and Piet Dossche, CEO, USFloors

president of Mohawk Flooring, residential. “We’re pleased that retailers have recognized these innovations in our products, such as EverStrand Soft Appeal carpets with our patented Continuum technology and our SmartStrand and SmartStrand Silk franchises. We appreciate this recognition from our valued retailers, and we will continue to offer innovative carpets that contribute to their business success and to consumer satisfaction.”

Meanwhile, three of Mohawk’s divisions took home first-place honors in their respective categories. Quick-Step won Best Laminate Manufacturer for Group A, Dal-Tile won Best Tile Manufacturer for Group A, and American Marazzi won Best Tile Manufacturer for Group B. Dal-Tile’s victory was its 16th consecutive; Marazzi has won eight times in a row.

Beaulieu America was honored for Best Carpet Manufacturer for Group B. “We’re a family company, so when we get recognition like this for our new carpet like Bliss Perfection, it’s like having members of your extended family—the dealers who voted for us—say, ‘Nice job!’” said Mike Amburgey, CMO, Beaulieu America Residential. “It’s a very special thing for all of us and we are very grateful.”

In the Best Hardwood Manufacturer category, Armstrong won for Group A.

“We are particularly honored by this award,” said Mara Villanueva-Heras, Armstrong’s vice president of marketing, AFP residential. “It’s not only recognition for our hardwood flooring products, but speaks to our relationships with our customers, our service and the value of our brand. We work hard every day to earn their business and loyalty. Over the past few years, Armstrong has implemented a strategy to drive product innovation, maintain a strong consumer focus and support our customers in their success. This recognition validates that we are succeeding. It speaks to the quality of our products, the level of service we provide and our commitment to helping our customers grow their businesses.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 11.34.16 AM
Mannington corporate communications director Betsy Amoroso is joined by Mohawk’s Mollie Surratt, senior director of public relations, and Elise Demboski, VP of creative services

Mirage won Best Hardwood Manufacturer in Group B for the second year in a row. “We would like to sincerely thank the retailers who voted for Mirage as the No. 1 quality hardwood brand in the industry,” said Luc Robitaille, vice president of marketing at Boa-Franc, manufacturer of the Mirage brand. “This first-place award confirms our constant work during the last year in providing retailers with the best quality hardwood flooring on the market—as it has been for the past 30 years.”

Mannington was named Best Resilient Manufacturer in Group A. “What an honor for Mannington to again receive the Award of Excellence for resilient,” said Ed Duncan, senior vice president of residential marketing. “Resilient flooring has been at the heart of our business since we were founded almost 100 years ago. Today resilient includes sheet vinyl as well as LVT, and of course Mannington’s new LVS line. To be recognized as the best in the industry for those categories means so much. We won’t rest on our laurels, though, so people can expect to continue to see Mannington at the forefront of innovation in both manufacturing and styling. Thank you to everyone who voted, and to Floor Covering News and Hanley Wood for supporting this awards program.”

In the alternative wood category, style and design innovator USFloors won the award for Best Cork/Bamboo Manufacturer. “There is no greater honor than being recognized by your customers,” said Piet Dossche, president and CEO. “We are committed to bringing the best products and solutions to our dealer partners and to remain a leader in innovation and sustainability. Cork and bamboo flooring are strong pillars on which USFloors was built and a prime focus for further growth. I thank the leadership at Floor Covering News for this great yearly initiative, which recognizes and highlights the innovation and performance excellence within our industry.”

Sponsored by FCNews and Hanley Wood, proprietors of Surfaces, the Award of Excellence is a way for manufacturers’ customers—retailers, distributors, designers, installers, specifiers, etc.—to honor the companies they feel consistently provide the best service, professionalism of sales force, management responsiveness, value, design, B2B, handling of claims and ease of doing business. In other words, those manufacturers they feel help them the best in running successful, profitable business operations, whether it be a retailer, distributorship, design center or installation workroom.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 11.35.00 AM
Mirage’s Chris Thompson and Stan Snyder flank Formica’s Mike Havas

Readers of FCNews, as well as other industry personnel visiting trade shows such as Surfaces (and not employed by a manufacturer), voted between October 2013 and the end of March for the companies they felt best met the previously mentioned criteria in eight individual floor covering categories—Carpet, Area Rugs, Resilient, Hardwood, Tile, Laminate, Cushion/Underlayment and Cork/Bamboo—as well as the Best Overall mill and the manufacturer that best exemplified Environmental Leadership.

Ballots were featured in FCNews and readers could mail or fax them back, as well as vote online and at industry events such as Surfaces.

While the category awards were done on a simple, one vote per category/company format, both the Best Overall and Environmental Leadership awards required voters to fill in their choices for first, second and third place. Votes were weighted so that first place was worth five points, second place worth three points and third place one point. Point totals were tabulated and the company with the most in each was named the winner.

As has been done for the previous seven years, individual category winners were selected in two groups based on their sales volume. Also, manufacturers did not pay a fee to be eligible to receive a vote, which has been customary since the first Award of Excellence competition. Any and all manufacturers of floor covering products in the above- referenced categories were allowed to receive votes.

A record number of voters participated this year—an estimated 550 industry professionals—including flooring retailers, distributors, designers and installers.

Posted on

Award of Excellence: Mohawk returns to top spot with Best Overall title

By Matthew Spieler

Volume 26/Number 26; May 13/20, 2013

Taking home the 17th Best Overall Manufacturer Award of Excellence was Mohawk Industries. This was the third time Mohawk won top honors. Holding the custom-made trophy is Mohawk’s David Duncan. With him, are, from left, Floor Covering News’ Steven Feldman, publisher and editorial director, and Dustin Aaronson, associate publisher; Mohawk’s Ken Durning; Scott Humphrey, WFCA’s new executive director; Mohawk’s Jeff Lubinsky, and Mike Blick, president and CEO of FCNews.

Roslyn, N.Y.—Mohawk Industries not only reclaimed the Best Overall Manufacturer’s title in this year’s Award of Excellence balloting, four of its divisions were also honored as being the best in their respective categories of expertise, giving it the most trophies of any company in this year’s competition.

In addition to earning the Best Overall award for the first time since 2009 and third time in the competition’s 17-year history, the company’s Karastan, Quick•Step, Dal-Tile and newly acquired Marazzi divisions were also honored as the best. Karastan took home the Award of Excellence in rugs, Quick•Step in laminate, and Dal-Tile and Marazzi were each honored in the tile category—Dal-Tile for Group A and Marazzi for Group B. Continue reading Award of Excellence: Mohawk returns to top spot with Best Overall title

Posted on

Quality control: Key advantage to local mill production

Volume 26/Number 25; April 29/May 6, 2013

By Matthew Spieler

With production in Barnwell, S.C., Kronotex is able to check for quality control, something extremely important for producing goods under the Formica brand.

Dalton—Mohawk is hitting the road this year and taking its SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona with it. The mill will continue to prove SmartStrand’s performance attributes in the coast-to-coast “License to Spill” carpet showdown tour in partnership with the nationally syndicated lifestyle television show, “The Better Show.”

The tour, which will make at least 12 stops, will showcase the cleanability and performance of SmartStrand at festivals and home show events. Attendees are invited to spill everything from ketchup and Kool-Aid to wine and coffee on SmartStrand carpet to see if it will clean with just water or mild detergent. Mohawk will promote its local Floorscapes and ColorCenter members at each tour stop and encourage consumers to visit their nearest aligned retailers to take advantage of promotional offers. Continue reading Quality control: Key advantage to local mill production

Posted on

Laminate: Neither down nor out

Quick-Step’s quirky vignettes led to a Best of Surfaces award in the large booth category .

Segment gets longer, stronger

By Melissa McGuire

Volume 26/Number 19; February 4/11, 2013

Las Vegas—Laminate may not have been the largest flooring category at Surfaces, but one thing was certain: The product still has a significant foothold in the marketplace. An overall consensus among retailers confirmed that while luxury vinyl tile is encroaching on laminate’s market share, the category not only has staying power, but growing power as well.

“Our business has grown 25%-30% this year alone,” said Doron Gal, CEO of Eternity Flooring. Headquartered in Pacoima, Calif., the company had positive feedback from the show and was very happy with the attendance. “We’ve seen more activity at this show than in years past. Even with the economy still down a bit, we’re seeing people buying.” Continue reading Laminate: Neither down nor out

Posted on

June 2012: Shaw receives second straight Best Overall Award of Excellence title

Volume 26/Number 16; Dec. 17/24, 2012

The 16th Award of Excellence competition proved to be a sweet one for Shaw Industries as it was voted the industry’s Best Overall Manufacturer for the second year in a row, and fourth time in the award’s history.

The company’s environmental initiatives continue to be noticed by the industry as it once again received the Award of Excellence for Environmental Leadership, an honor it has won since it was first awarded in 2010. Shaw Living, the mill’s rug division, was voted as the industry’s Best Rug Manufacturer. Continue reading June 2012: Shaw receives second straight Best Overall Award of Excellence title

Posted on

Latest looks in laminate

Back in the day—a.k.a. the mid ‘90s—when laminate flooring was first making its way to America’s shores, the product’s look was quite unsophisticated. Thanks to advancements in technology, the designs and texture of laminate have become so realistic that mill executives themselves have been so fooled by their own product they’ve had to reach down and touch it to determine whether it was laminate or the real thing. Here are just some of the latest looks in laminate flooring today, including several of the hottest sellers, products new to the marketplace or those just about to make their debut. Continue reading Latest looks in laminate

Posted on

Kronotex names Kelley president, CEO

Barnwell, S.C.—George Kelley, former head of Pergo North America, has been named president and CEO of Kronotex USA, maker of the Formica brand of laminate flooring, effective July 1. Kelley replaces Norm Voss, who announced his retirement from both positions at the end of this month. Continue reading Kronotex names Kelley president, CEO

Posted on

FCNews Awards of Excellence: Shaw captures Best Overall

by Matthew Spieler

Roslyn, N.Y.—The 16th annual Award of Excellence competition proved to be a sweet one for Shaw Industries as it was voted the industry’s Best Overall Manufacturer for the second year in a row and fourth time in the award’s history. Continue reading FCNews Awards of Excellence: Shaw captures Best Overall

Posted on

Defining quality to consumers

by Matthew Spieler

In recent years, manufacturing has gotten to the point where some low-end products have a high-end look and feel. This is especially true in laminate. In fact, there are products that if brought back in time to just 10 years ago, they would qualify as mid- to high-end goods. So what’s a retailer to do to show consumers the differences between a quality product and one constructed not to perform very well? Continue reading Defining quality to consumers

Posted on

Alliance Flooring members urged to take control of destiny

By Matthew Spieler

San Antonio—As the economy picks up steam members of the Alliance Flooring network were encouraged to take control of their destinies by being the driver and making a difference.

The days of just hanging a sign and having people come in are over, noted Ron Dunn, co-CEO of Alliance. “You need to drive to it; it doesn’t come to you.” Continue reading Alliance Flooring members urged to take control of destiny