Posted on

Mohawk accessory program aims to complete the package

March 5/12, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 19

By Reginald Tucker

 

To many retailers, Mohawk is regarded as a supplier of all manner of hard- and soft-surface products, including hardwood, laminate, LVT/P, ceramic and carpet, to name a few. But the supplier is looking to remind dealers that it also provides a vast array of accessories.

Among Mohawk’s line of complementary installation products are: transitions and moldings, flooring adhesives, underlayments and care/maintenance items such as cleaning products and tools. “We sell these items for all our products; it’s a full program,” said David Moore, senior director of accessories.

But these are not me-too products, according to Mohawk. Rather, the accessories program is built on the idea of innovative products that differentiate the company from others in the market. An example of that innovation is a new technology utilized across its moldings/transition programs. This entails a multi-functional molding whereby the installer is able to handle multiple types of transition needs with one piece of inventory.

“For example, in a typical installation you’ll need a T-molding when you’re bridging floors of equal heights; a reducer when you’re going down to a thinner floor; or an end molding when you’re going up to a sliding glass door,” Moore explained. “We offer a product called a ‘5-in-1’ molding that we have in our laminate, hardwood and vinyl assortment. In essence, it’s one item that needs to be inventoried, one item that needs to be ordered or sold; and the installer can convert it to any configuration he needs.”

Being a full-service, vertically integrated supplier also brings other advantages compared to the host of standalone accessory suppliers in the field, according to Moore. By managing the accessories programs holistically, he said, the company is able to leverage best practices from all the different groups and provide focus and consolidation. “As our sales force goes out to sell those products holistically, having that single point of contact and consistency throughout all the different flooring types is something we thought was very important to our customers.”

This strategy applies to other accessory products, not just moldings. Take Mohawk’s V 1 glue, which is engineered to address different scenarios. “This adhesive, depending on the way it’s installed, acts as a pressure-sensitive, but it can also be a permanent bond adhesive,” Moore explained. “It’s an innovative product that will accomplish everything you need it to do, but at the end of the day it’s still just one item.”

Technological bells and whistles aside, Mohawk’s accessory products and add-ons also provide an opportunity for retailers to make more money. “Dealers can improve their profitability in a variety of ways—from the multi-functional standpoint, they are able to order less SKUs and keep a lower inventory, which translates into fewer items they need to send out to the job site,” Moore explained. “That means less risk to the dealer in terms of inventory that might go out of style. In addition, from a pure revenue standpoint, accessories provide retailers with an opportunity to really look at their margins and charge a premium for products that offer more innovation and that consumers are going to value.”

Posted on

Karndean hurricane relief program raises $16,000

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 10.59.20 AMExport, Pa.—After announcing hurricane relief plans in September, Karndean Designflooring has raised $8,000 to assist with rebuilding efforts following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the company for a total contribution of $16,000. The proceeds will benefit the Houston Food BankCity of San Antonio Animal Care ServicesUnited Way of the Florida Keys and United for Puerto Rico.

In addition to implementing an internal gift-matching program, Karndean Designflooring used its US-based distribution centers in Pittsburgh, Dallas and Las Vegas as collection centers for goods requested by the Houston Food Bank and City of San Antonio Animal Care Services.

“Through the generosity of our employees and the outside community, we sent a total of seven pallets of supplies to our partner organizations,” said Bill Anderson, chief operations officer. “Our goal was to get supplies to the affected areas to be put to use as soon as the next pallet was filled.”

Members of the surrounding communities contributed to the company’s program as well. Students at St. Edmund’s Academy, an independent Pre-K through eight school in Pittsburgh, raised nearly $1,100 for the program by paying for “dress down days” and the Westmoreland County Humane Society contributed excess pet supplies.

“The response from both Karndean Designflooring employees and the surrounding communities was extraordinary,” said Larry Browder, chief sales and marketing officer. “Our employees have taken our core value of ‘people matter’ to heart, and we hope that this allows people to get back on their feet.”

Posted on

Target Estimating assists contractors with net quantity calculations

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 4.40.59 PMSt. Petersburg, Fla.—Target Estimating aims to make determining net quantities faster, more affordable and more accurate for flooring contractors. The company was created by Skip Bendig, a flooring contractor of 15 years.

Target Estimating uses Estimate All, a software program developed by Safe Harbor, to complete all of its net quantity requests. The program was designed specifically for flooring and can handle all aspects of net quantity estimating.

“I started the company in August of last year,” Bendig said. “I can do any take off as long as I know the materials.”

As a seasoned flooring contractor, Bendig also knows what to look for when estimating net quantities. This includes transitions which are often left out of requests, he explained.

Target Estimating software takes on jobs of all sizes—nothing is too large or too small, according to Bendig. Most projects are completed in under two days and are completed at a rate that won’t break the bank.

The company’s client list is available upon request.

For more information, visit targetestimatingllc.com.

Posted on

Beyond flooring: Daltile countertop program—A new revenue stream for retailers

October 9/16, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 9

 

Floor covering retailers are constantly seeking fresh ways to boost their bottom line, whether it’s expanding product offerings or entering new businesses altogether. To that end, with this issue FCNews launches its exclusive partnership with Dal-Tile, a major player in the countertop segment, in producing an ongoing editorial series that demonstrates how retailers can make money via this lucrative category.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.47.13 AMA profitable market opportunity. The U.S. countertop industry—which includes anything in traditional countertop or the new, large-slab format—is estimated to be about $5 billion in sales annually, with roughly half of this coming from stone, quartz and the brand new category of porcelain slab. Quartz continues to grow at double-digit rates, and the new kid on the block, porcelain, is quickly becoming a significant part of the slab market and is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years. So, there is obviously money to be made by providing countertop products to retail customers. Also, consumers are already coming into flooring retailers’ showrooms to buy floor and wall tile for renovations, so why send them elsewhere to purchase their countertops? By adding countertops to the total sale, retailers can easily increase their profits.

Daltile: Your trusted partner. The fastest-growing countertop categories (stone, quartz and porcelain) are the product lines that Daltile is already an expert at producing. Daltile, a player in the stone and slab space since opening its first slab yard in 1999, has grown into a leading supplier of countertops over the years, spearheading innovation and evolution in the industry. The brand’s nationwide network includes high-end showroom/warehouse locations that stock and display an incredibly broad range of natural granite, marble and quartzite slabs as well as Dal-Tile’s One Quartz offering. By recently supercharging its existing business in countertops with renewed focus, new investments and innovations, Daltile is giving retailers the opportunity to win an even larger portion of the lucrative countertop market.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.47.24 AMBy providing superior countertop solutions under the trusted Daltile brand name, the company is making it easier for retailers to execute a “complete sale,” comprising both tile flooring and countertop products.

Sales support, training. Success entails more than providing retailers with trendy products. Daltile’s newly enhanced countertop offering also comes with a comprehensive support package. “This includes training and certification programs for fabricators as well as effective merchandising vehicles for all customer segments,” said Paij Thorn-Brooks, vice president of marketing. “Extensive literature has also been created to effectively educate the retail sales associate, guide the consumer through the selection process, accurately convey the levels of style and design inherent in all of our large-format slabs and train the installer. We have put everything in place to help our retailers successfully add countertops to their existing businesses, and we also have the infrastructure to support them for continued success in this lucrative and fast-growing arena.”

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.47.32 AMAs Daltile further invests in the countertop industry, the brand will continue to be the customer’s leading resource for her product needs. Regardless of the vision or application, Daltile offers customers across the nation the products and resources they need to bring their designs to life.

Leadership in innovation. “Daltile’s new countertop focus is being driven by product and technical innovations,” said Matt Kahny, executive vice president. “We have launched porcelain slabs that deliver the incredible beauty of natural stone along with the durability and performance of porcelain. We have introduced proprietary, high-style granites and quartzites as well as new One Quartz products that cover a diverse array of designs. Innovation in style, design, technology and performance in everything we do.”

Thorn-Brooks credits Daltile with revolutionizing porcelain slabs. “We took countertops to the next level through investment and innovation, and style and design leadership in the porcelain slab arena. Daltile’s new Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces offer the ultimate in design and style flexibility.”

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.47.42 AMInvestments pay dividends. Daltile is investing significantly to develop and implement the tools and technologies needed to offer the products with which retailers can make more money in the countertop segment. “Our greatest investment is the new plant we are building in Tennessee to increase participation in quartz countertops,” Kahny explained. “This facility will be operational in 2018. Our investments also span several additional areas of our business, including establishing new Daltile Stone Centers to expand our network and get closer to our customers. We currently have centers across the country and will continue expanding in 2018.”

Posted on

EarthWerks unveils new products, technologies at distribution meeting

2017 EarthWerks Distributor Meeting Group PictureHouston—EarthWerks revealed its latest flooring innovations during its distribution meeting in Houston. Among these innovations is a rigid core flooring to be introduced in the coming months.

“We have long been known for our research into the production of these amazingly realistic flooring products and continue to push for advanced designs and manufacturing techniques,” said Jonathan Train, president and CEO. “Getting it right matters, and we believe we have achieved that.”

Distributors were also introduced to sales opportunities for 2018 as well as the company’s new advances in WPC and HDC flooring technologies. In addition, they learned about various marketing advances including EarthWerks’ newly launched website with user-friendly innovations.

“2018 will be a very exciting and successful year with the launch of our premium high-density clic program, Noble Classic Plus, coming this fall,” said Lindsey Nisbet, head of marketing and product development, EarthWerks. “We have also just released a completely new CEU program, available now through local A&D representatives.”

Posted on

NeoCon 2018 calls for program submissions

NeoConChicago—NeoCon is seeking innovative thought leaders for the 50th edition of its prestigious conference program to be held June 11-13 at the Mart. The official call for presentations application is now available online at neoconcfp.com. Applications are due Oct. 30.

NeoCon programming is known for its diverse assortment of dynamic and timely seminars across leading tracks and categories. The 2018 offering will build on this legacy and include a special new programming designation on the “Future of Design.”

Now is the chance to join thousands of industry experts who have shaped the educational conferences of NeoCon. Selected speakers will gain visibility in the industry and contribute to the advancement of their profession at the momentous 50th edition of NeoCon.

Submission guidelines and specifics can be found at neoconcfp.com or neocon.com.

Posted on

NTCA completes first year of apprenticeship program

NTCAFlowood, Miss.—The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) has completed the first year of related content for its apprenticeship program. Year one of the two-year online training program is composed of 64 courses that serve as an introduction to the tile industry, beginning with the basics of cutting, mixing and grouting, and moving to surface preparation, underlayment application and other installation processes.

With 500 enrollments for the first year of curriculum, these courses are intended to support contractors in training by serving as a training resource for employees who are new to the industry, or as the related learning for the contractor’s Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship program.

In addition to proper training for new hires, these courses may also serve as continued education for tile professionals who would like to refresh their memory on basic knowledge of the industry. “When we started developing these courses, I knew very little of the actual tile installation process including materials, tools and all of the steps required before installing tile,” said Becky Serbin, training and education coordinator, NTCA. “We worked with experienced contractors and manufacturers to simplify the courses so that someone such as myself, who is new to the installation process, would be able to understand industry terminology and apply course information on the job.”

The second year of the apprenticeship program is currently under development, and will continue to be announced in six-month increments. It will be available for viewing and purchase online as each course is completed.

For more information contact Serbin at becky@tile-assn.com, or visit tile-assn.com.

Posted on

Inspect Solutions launches tuition incentive program for new flooring inspectors

inspectFort Lauderdale, Fla.—Answering a demand to bring new, trained, certified inspectors to the flooring industry, Inspect Solutions is introducing a tuition incentive program for new inspectors.

“Like many other segments of our industry, we see an aging inspector population and a need to bring more, well trained inspectors into our industry,” said Ron Gould, president/CEO of Inspect Solutions. “We have decided to offer a financial incentive to attract new inspectors along with providing all our inspectors on-going technical information and education opportunities to help develop their skills and provide consistent on-the-job training.”

As part of the new program, Inspect Solutions will provide constructive, real time data to approved training facilities on the challenges commonly encountered with new inspectors trained in their programs. Gould explained, “There has never been on-going feedback within our educational system. This information will help the schools strengthen their curriculum and give them the ability to teach their students what is required in the real world and will enhance their success in our industry.”

For more information contact Inspect Solutions at (888) 854-0946 or inspector@inspectsolutions.com. You can also visit Inspect Solutions at Booth 6431 at The International Surfaces Event.

Posted on

NTCA hires new staff for advertising, PR, marketing and social media, plus Five Star Contractor program

Amber Fox.
Amber Fox.

Jackson, Miss.—NTCA has hired Allison Morris as advertising, marketing and public relations specialist and social media manager; and Amber Fox as Five Star program director, effective Jan. 3. Morris will work out of NTCA’s Mississippi office. Fox will office out of the San Diego area, and will oversee the growth and development of the program.

Allison Morris.
Allison Morris.

Morris is finishing her Master’s Degree in Marketing and Communications at Mississippi College. In her previous position, she was the director of public relations for Hinds Community College and their six campuses here. Morris will attend shows like Coverings to help NTCA increase its social media and social media presence and hold press conferences.

Fox is the daughter of Five Star Contractor member John Wirtz in San Diego. For the past several years, she has been an executive assistant to the president of a large electrical contracting firm, and she has added this experience to a strong knowledge of tile contracting. She will work closely with the NTCA staff, as well as its Five Star Contractor members, to grow the NTCA program on all levels.