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Bruce Hardwood, Derr Flooring celebrate a 100-year partnership

Lancaster, Pa.—For 100 years, Derr Flooring and Armstrong Flooring have partnered to bring quality, innovative Bruce hardwood products to retailers in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

“We take great pride in being Armstrong Flooring’s longest tenured wood distributor,” said Chester Derr Jr., Derr. “With new and exciting products being introduced this year, we are confident that Bruce Hardwood Floors will remain a dominant brand for years to come.”

As a large U.S. manufacturer of hardwood floors, Armstrong Flooring is able to provide a broad array of products that appeal to consumers’ tastes, décors and budgets under the Bruce brand. Most of these offerings are immediately available from Derr’s vast inventory, thereby assuring the retailer that their choice can arrive at their store or jobsite within a few days.

“This partnership has withstood the test of time and flourished thanks to Derr’s thoughtful leadership and a willingness to adapt in an ever-changing marketplace,” said Vincent Calabrese, sales manager for Armstrong Flooring. “I have been working with the Derr organization for 15 years and know them to be true professionals who work with integrity and value their customers.”

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Tred-Mor Floor Cushion partners with Home For Our Troops

Morris, Ill.—Tred-Mor Floor Cushion and Acoustic Systems has partnered with Homes For Our Troops. This partnership was facilitated by GiveMor, the philanthropic committee at Tred-Mor Floor Cushion.

Homes For Our Troops is a construction-based charity that builds and donates specially adapted homes across the United States for severely injured, post-9/11 veterans. These homes serve as a departure point for these veterans so that they may rebuild their lives and become highly productive members of society.

“The treatment of wounded military veterans is an issue near and dear to all of us at Tred-Mor, Leggett & Platt and to this country,” said Vincent Dimino, hospitality regional manager, Tred-Mor Floor Cushion. “We are proud to do our part by partnering with Homes For Our Troops.”

For more information, visit hfotusa.org.

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Innovations4Flooring, Classen extend strategic partnership

Domotex, Hannover, Germany—Innovations4Flooring (I4F) has extended its strategic partnership with the Classen Group. Effective immediately, I4F obtains exclusive sublicensing rights for one of Classen’s IP portfolios, comprising over 500 patents, covering key flooring materials, specific locking patents as well as important inventions for digital printing and liquid laminate technology (LLT). This extended partnership follows the agreement between I4F and the Classen Group announced in January 2017.

“Our strategic partnership with I4F is now stronger than ever and, we believe, will confirm Classen’s strong technology capabilities as well as contribute to the delivery of strong results for the Classen Group,” said Arne Loebel, managing director of the Classen Group. “We chose to transfer sublicensing rights to I4F for this IP portfolio because Classen always strives to work with the best.”

I4F’s strategic partnership with Classen is key as I4F continues to support the industry with cutting-edge technology and innovation. “To remain competitive and profitable, the industry continues to demand cost-effective, open and more advanced solutions like digital printing and LLT which, as from today, here at Domotex, we can now sublicense,” the company said.

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FloorSoft, Surge1 enter partnership

Dalton, Ga.–FloorSoft and Surge1 have joined a development partnership, effective Jan. 1. This union will allow both companies to focus their talents and product development in mutually beneficial directions.

FloorSoft is a software development company with headquarters in Dalton, Ga. The company specializes in optimization routines for the flooring manufacturers, including Shaw, Mohawk, The Dixie Group, Beaulieu and Phenix. Additionally, over the last 19 years, FloorSoft have developed FloorWizard, a cloud-based scheduling, project tracking, measuring and estimation software for flooring retailers, installers, restoration and renovation companies. With over 1,500 users in 46 states and Canada, FloorWizard has become a world-class solution.

Surge1 is a software development company with headquarters in Nashville, Tenn. It specializes in office automation software that integrates the installation office, field and warehouse functions for PO capture, scheduling, notifications, invoicing, reporting, and QuickBooks interfacing.

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Haines, Belknap-White form partnership

November 20/27, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 12

Deal leverages strengths, broadens opportunities

By Ken Ryan

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 10.16.19 AMHaines and Belknap-White Group, the No. 1- and 3-ranked flooring distributors in annual revenue with a combined $700 million in 2017 sales, announced the formation of a partnership intended to improve the strategic effectiveness of both organizations.

As part of this arrangement, each company will hold a seat on the other’s board of directors, and Belknap will hold limited shares in Haines by virtue of an equity investment in Haines, the industry’s top distributor with 2017 revenue at $490 million (FCNews, Nov. 6/13). The investment will help the Glen Burnie, Md.-based wholesaler reduce debt and continue to invest in new business initiatives. “It is a real win for us,” Michael Barrett, president and CEO of Haines, told FCNews.

Barrett emphasized the Belknap-White investment should in no way be misconstrued. “We didn’t need the money; we saw it as a way to start a collaboration process that allows us to do things at a quicker pace than we could have done on our own. We’ve done a lot of benchmarking and best practices with [Belknap-White] in the past. Through this alliance we are taking benchmarking and best practices to a new level.”

The two distributors, members of the Bravo Services Group, will continue to operate as they do today with no change in the leadership structure at either organization.

Ray Mancini, CEO of Mansfield, Mass.-based Belknap-White, said his company is excited to be working with the Haines team in “creating a flooring platform from Maine to Florida that differentiates us from our competitors while working together to help our customers be more successful.”

Specifically, Barrett said the partnership will help both companies in the areas of logistics and global sourcing. “This official relationship will allow us to work very directly with Belknap-White and opens doors in helping us build a strong distribution business. In some areas, they might be able to help us, and they can learn from us as well. It is really a two-way opportunity.”

Employees from Belknap-White will be invited to spend time with their counterparts at Haines to learn how their internal operation works. Conversely, Haines will send some of its key staff to work alongside Belknap-White employees in areas of strategic importance. “My approach is I don’t have all the answers,” Barrett explained. “They do things on the sales and marketing side that we think we can learn from.”

The distributors formed a six-person steering committee with three members on each side. The idea is to collaborate on ways to make each stronger in their respective markets at a time of consolidation within the distribution industry. “The number of distributors is going to shrink in the industry over time,” Barrett stated. “Having a partner like Belknap helps us become stronger.”

One aim of this partnership is to create added value for its vendor partners. Both Haines and Belknap-White are long-term Armstrong distributors. Earlier this year, they were recipients of the Thomas Armstrong Award, which recognizes wholesalers that exemplify integrity, a resilience of spirit and a deep dedication to their customers.

Don Maier, president and CEO of Armstrong Flooring, hailed both companies as exceptional distribution leaders. “Their collective financial strength has allowed them each to invest in their business, build exceptional sales capabilities and deliver world-class service,” he told FCNews. “We believe their partnership should encourage even higher levels of business excellence.”

Maier said he does not believe the alliance will have any negative impact on Armstrong, noting, “Solid, long-standing relationships with our distribution partners, in every geographic region, allow us to continue our legacy of excellence…We believe the investment and collaboration between these two phenomenal distributors should lead to good results, both for them and Armstrong Flooring.”

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Haines, Belknap-White Group enter strategic partnership

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 12.29.09 PMGlen Burnie, Md.Haines and Belknap-White Group have recently completed an investment and collaboration agreement designed to improve the strategic effectiveness of both organizations. This partnership is expected to lay the groundwork to better position both organizations for the future as the industry continues to consolidate, according to both companies.

“We are excited to be working with the Haines team creating a flooring platform from Maine to Florida that differentiates us from our competitors while working together to help our customers be more successful,” said Raymond Mancini, CEO of Belknap-White Group.

As part of this arrangement, each company will hold a seat on the other’s board of directors. In addition, Belknap will hold limited shares in Haines. Both distributors will continue to operate as they do today and there will be no change in leadership structure at either organization.

“Raymond Mancini and his team are great partners,” said Michael Barrett, CEO and president of Haines. “We are very pleased to begin developing an east coast distributor partnership we believe will create added value for our companies, our vendor partners and, most importantly, our customers.”

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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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Wagner Meters, Sitefotos partner to benefit flooring professionals

meterRogue River, Ore.—Wagner Meters and Sitefotos have partnered to enable the integration of Sitefotos’ photo documentation app with Wagner’s Rapid RH Bluetooth Smart Reader.

This partnership allows flooring contractors and other users of the Sitefotos app to read Rapid RH data via Bluetooth and automatically upload the readings to the user’s account in the cloud. The moisture readings, along with any photos, are tagged to the location and project. They are then time stamped and stored on the cloud for easy and quick retrieval by the project personnel.

Since 2005, the Rapid RH system has been providing flooring professionals with fast, accurate and reliable moisture testing of concrete floor slabs before installation of finished floor products. Now the cutting-edge technology of the Rapid RH can be paired with convenient, digital photo documentation at each jobsite.

“The idea for our partnership started when the developer of Sitefotos noticed many of his customers were taking photos of the digital readings from our Rapid RH Smart Sensors, which measure RH and temperature in concrete,” said Jason Spangler, Wagner Meters’ flooring division sales manager. “After he approached us about integrating his app with the Rapid RH, we soon saw how this could better serve not only our mutual customers, but future customers as well.”

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InstaFloor partners with Duracryl

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 12.30.13 PMFarmers Branch, Texas—Duracryl International B.V. and InstaFloor N.A. have formed a partnership, whereby InstaFloor will support and market Corques Liquid Lino (CLL), a liquid self-leveling linoleum product, in the North American market.

Duracryl is a Rotterdam, Netherlands-based manufacturer of durable seamless and hard floor covering products for residential and commercial use. InstaFloor is the Dallas-based subsidiary of the UK-based InstaGroup, a leading supplier of innovative, high-quality flooring products such as InstaLay and InstaCradle.

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 12.30.16 PM“InstaFloor has been active in the North American market for several years and has a well-established distributor network and relations that are essential for success in this market,” said Jeroen van den Berg, managing director, Duracryl.

Bas van Genderen, managing director of InstaFloor N.A., sees a great future for the cooperation between the two companies as their products are complementary. Similar to InstaLay, CLL fits perfectly into the InstaFloor product mix. “When we tested CLL we were very impressed,” he said. “When we installed it over InstaLay 25 we realized we had an extraordinary and unique floor covering product, so it was an easy decision to add it to our product line in North America.”

CLL is being touted as the first liquid-applied resilient floor covering for commercial and residential use. It is packaged in buckets and is manufactured from a combination of natural products such as resins, linseed oil, wood, cork flour, limestone and natural pigments. It is suitable for use in many different applications including schools, hospitals, retail outlets, offices, museums, homes and apartments, and is particularly suited to high-traffic areas where a hygienic, seamless floor covering with a natural look and feel is required.

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NAFCD partners with JAST Media

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 3.39.10 PMChicago—The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) has partnered with JAST Media, a Portland-based digital marketing agency that offers distributors and manufacturers comprehensive web marketing and branding solutions.

The new partnership leverages JAST Media’s expertise and experience to assist in educating and informing NAFCD members on opportunities to leverage digital marketing to achieve sales goals and execute corporate strategy. JAST will deliver content and training to members via a variety of mediums.

Through the partnership JAST Media will also provide distributor and manufacturer members with discounts on marketing services including website design, branding, direct mailing, trade show materials and video production.

“Partnering with JAST Media will give our members the resources to better market their businesses and stay relevant in a competitive digital landscape,” said Kevin Gammonley, executive vice president, NAFCD. “We hope this partnership will accelerate our member’s digital marketing efforts which will help to drive sales growth.”

More information can be found at nafcd.org.