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WFCA, ESR Commercial become partners

Dalton, Ga.—The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) has developed a new business partnership with ESR Commercial, the country’s largest trade association real estate broker.

With more than 35 years of experience, ESR offers a multitude of real estate services for clients of all sizes whether opening their first location, expanding or relocating. ESR services include identifying, researching and analyzing potential sites for expansion or new locations, negotiating lease and purchase terms, and guiding clients through the spectrum of issues and concerns in the acquisition process. Access to ESR’s business portfolio of services will be available to WFCA members free of charge.

“As part of our mission to ensure the success of our retail members, WFCA is committed to providing our members with the tools they need to thrive and succeed,” said Freida Staten, vice president, marketing and communications, WFCA. “ESR is at the top of its game, equipped with the expertise and business tools our members can tap into at any time to ensure they are making sound business decisions for their companies.”

Staten went on to explain that growth and expansion are critical components of every business and the new partnership with ESR would enable WFCA to equip its constituents with tools integral to their ongoing success.

For more information contact Garrett Aries at 818.519.5040 or  garrett.aries@esrcommercialrealty.com.

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QFloors, MeasureSquare enter partnership

QFloors logoSouth Jordan, Utah—QFloors and MeasureSquare have entered into an agreement allowing QFloors the rights to market, sell and support MeasureSquare products. Integration between the products will be more closely aligned as well.

Chad Ogden, QFloors president, announced the aligned relationship during the software company’s Users Conference. “This agreement pairs two of the top software solutions for the floor covering industry in a strategic alliance that will provide a more comprehensive and seamless solution for all types of floor covering dealers—commercial, multi-family, builder and retail.”

With the new partnership, QFloors will now sell and support MeasureSquare products, in addition to its other software packages. MeasureSquare will also continue to sell and support its clients.

Measure Square“We have had a long-time partnership with QFloors,” said Steven Wang, president of MeasureSquare. “By far they are the most customer-focused software company. Both of our companies are committed to integrating our products seamlessly, which will significantly streamline the measure estimating-to-sales process for flooring dealers.”

Historically, QFloors had taken a fairly neutral position on estimation products. Ogden explained this is because the company wanted to take the time to completely understand all of the solutions available. “We have a very high standard of quality and wanted to feel confident that products we recommended met that criterion,” Ogden said. “We now can say with assurance that we’re bringing to existing and new customers the best technology in the industry, both in estimation and in business management/ERP. In QFloors’ 18-year history, this is the first relationship of this type, and we are excited about the possibilities. By more closely integrating these products and companies together, it will be a win-win for all involved but most particularly for the end user.”  

For more information, visit qfloors.com.

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Cain & Bultman: True partners in business

April 10/17, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 22

The following feature is the fourth 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 Cain & Bultman, which was founded in 1924 and has been in the flooring business for more than 80 years.

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 11.41.00 AMCain & Bultman, based in Jacksonville, Fla., got its start in flooring in 1935 when it was named the distributor for Armstrong Cork Company. Since then Cain & Bultman has grown its relationship with Armstrong (it is now a separate division) and expanded its reach across Florida and most of Georgia.

Purchased in 1960 by Norwood Sandifer, today Cain & Bultman is a third-generation, family-owned business under the leadership of Mike Sandifer, chairman and CEO; Buddy Faircloth, president; Kirk Sandifer, executive vice president and vice chairman; and Alan Kimball, vice president and general manager.

When it considers its competitive advantages, the wholesaler starts with its people—a seasoned group of professionals that averages 20 years of service, with a sales and an executive team that averages 22 years. That experience has enabled Cain & Bultman to develop long-term relationships with customers, dealers and suppliers. “Within reason and good business judgment we continue to grow this relationship to serve them as a true partner in business,” Faircloth said, echoing the company’s motto “Partners in Business.”

Faircloth said one of the biggest challenges Cain & Bultman faces is obtaining dealer showroom space. As such, the distributor must make sure it has the right products, programs and displays at a reasonable cost. “We can provide the very best flooring solutions for our customers and open up the best selling opportunities for them to sell and service their customers.”

NUTS & BOLTS
Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 11.41.05 AMGeographic coverage:
With the Armstrong product line, Cain & Bultman covers Florida, excluding the Panhandle, and 34 counties in southern Georgia (from Savannah south).With most of its other product lines, it covers all of Florida and Georgia.

Brands: Armstrong, Bruce, Homerwood, VPI, Kahrs, Stauf, Wicanders, Bella Cera, Nature, Floor Muffler, H.F. Designs, Norwood Hill, R B Rubber Krono Original, Aqualok, Struxtur, Pinnacle, Greenfield.

GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND
Cain & Bultman’s north Florida location allows it to provide next day delivery service to customers throughout the state of Florida as well as Georgia. Its cutoff time for next day delivery is 11 a.m., however Faircloth said there are many occasions in which a dealer calls after the cut off time and asks for next day delivery. In virtually every instance Cain & Bultman is able to fulfill that request.

For more information on Cain & Bultman, call 904-356-4612 or visit cainbultman.com. For more information on Bravo Services, contact John Carney at 214.215.2880 or visit bravoservices.com.

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Floorco Distribution enters the WPC category, partners with Johnson Hardwood

distribution_logo_high_resBaltimore, Md.—Floorco Distribution, a division of Floorco LLC, has strengthened its product portfolio and partnered with Johnson Hardwood to distribute premium, waterproof engineered vinyl flooring featured in the Waterfront collection.

“WPC is the fastest growing floor covering category,” said Ron Conley, president of Floorco Distribution. “As we continue to grow and gain market share in the Mid-Atlantic, securing an innovative WPC flooring product assortment was our next strategic move to strengthen our position. Partnering with Johnson Hardwood, a trusted brand name in the industry, to exclusively distribute their high-quality Waterfront WPC with waterproof core broadens our next-day delivery product offering.”

2y_1067JH_Waterfront_headerFor their growing network, Floorco Distribution’s retail partners will now have access to Johnson Hardwood Waterfront WPC with next-day delivery service available. “The demand in our market for a competitively priced upgrade from traditional LVT flooring is huge,” Conley said. “Our customers have been eager for more options and are excited to now have Johnson Hardwood branded Waterfront WPC available at the right price with quick-turn service.”

Floorco Distribution is a subsidiary of a larger global company, Floorco LLC. They provide innovative merchandising, quality customer service and next-day delivery of premium floor covering products.

 

 

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Wood—Inhaus, FlorStar: Partners in collaborative design

October 10/17, 2016: Volume 31, Number 9

By Reginald Tucker

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-11-05-51-amAt one point, Top 20 distributor FlorStar was a large Wilsonart laminate flooring distributor. But when the countertop and surface material company’s parent, ITW, decided to exit the laminate business several years ago, FlorStar had to find a suitable replacement.

“We were looking for a new manufacturer to partner with in the same we did with Wilsonart,” said Scott Rozmus, president. The solution actually came through an alliance with several laminate vendors—one of which included Inhaus, a German manufacturer with a solid reputation in the European marketplace. “Inhaus is focused on a specific category and it is among the best in the world in that category as a manufacturer in Germany. Meanwhile, its team here in the U.S. has the design element.”

But perhaps the best part about working with Inhaus, Rozmus said, is the manufacturer’s willingness to work closely with its distribution partners on the details. “Specifically, they will work with their wholesalers to create designs—or provide designs from their vast library—that folks believe will sell well in their individual marketplaces. That really has been an important attribute of their overall success.”

That makes perfect sense, given the fact that one of Inhaus’ best-selling lines was actually developed by another distributor. “The line had real appeal domestically,” Rozmus recalled. “The collaboration Inhaus formed with the other distributor not only benefitted them within that particular wholesaler’s geography but in many other places. The fact that Inhaus is open to that kind of collaboration is to its credit. It shows the company is flexible and open to input.”

FlorStar began stocking the Inhaus brand in 2016, but it has been working with the manufacturer on product and design development for several years. As Rozmus explained: “We’ve had a private-label laminate program for years, but it was the collaboration with Inhaus on that line that made us mutually decide it made sense to launch the current collection as a separate line. If we had different manufacturers’ collections together, we felt that would preclude us from pushing some of their features and benefits.”

Mutually beneficial
In much the same way that FlorStar benefits from Inhaus’ expertise, the laminate manufacturer gains from the distributor’s insight and experience in serving retailers in the markets it serves. “We’re very pleased to be working with FlorStar,” said Derek Welbourn, CEO, Inhaus. “We view all of our distribution partnerships as long-term relationships. It’s important for both companies to be focused on the future given the dynamic nature of the marketplace where things can change very rapidly.”

Daniel Lang, vice president of sales and marketing at Inhaus, agreed. “The launch of Inhaus laminate with FlorStar this summer exceeded our expectations in both the number of retailers taking on the program and the sales that have been generated. It was very rewarding to see the excitement from the retailers when the new FlorStar program from Inhaus was introduced.”

Both Inhaus and FlorStar are looking for that excitement to continue as new collections and existing product line extensions are conceived. Careful not to divulge too much in advance of the next wave of product rollouts, Rozmus would only say this: “Laminate lends itself to different designs and performance capabilities and strengths relative to other categories. There’s an important future for that category that’s going to be based on elements of high design and enhanced performance. As world-class laminate manufacturers combine high design and improved performance, the category is going to become even more relevant than it is.”

Inhaus is looking forward to the next phase. “We are now working on what we can do for continued success in 2017, 2018 and beyond,” Welbourn said.