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The Power of Partnership

FOCUS ON TECHNOLOGY

What’s in a word? “Pay-if-Paid” or “Pay-When-Paid”

“Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time.”

Bill Gates


As one of the country’s leading specialty retailers, membership in the WFCA is more important than ever. Our industry has gone through numerous changes and is continuing to evolve. Whether dealing with the installation crisis or big box competition, the WFCA provides a variety of programs and opportunities to help grow your business. For a small investment you will be able to take advantage of numerous benefits designed to improve your efficiency and save you money. With the support of the independent retailer, the WFCA can continue to focus on many important issues to ensure positive change in the flooring industry. - Maryanne Adams Chairman of the Board, WFCA President/CEO, Avalon Flooring

Your Voice. Your Support. Your Resource. Your WFCA.

ONEMOREVOICE

Envision. Engage. Excel.

Learn more at wfca.org or call 855.330.1183 to become a member today.

ONEMOREVOICE

Envision. Engage. Excel.


Q2 2018

2

The power of partnership Scott Humphrey, CEO, WFCA

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A tale of two collections Featuring COREtec Pro Plus and COREtec Pro Plus Enhanced by US Floors

8

Membership has it’s privileges Tom Jennings, VP Professional Development, WFCA

14

Communications technology—friend or foe? Paul Freidrichsen

18 What’s in a word? “Pay-if-Paid” or “Pay-When-Paid” provisions— there may be a big difference Jeffery W. King, Outside General Counsel for the WFCA NovaFloor® Serenbe™ Carrara Marble–Pure LVT with HDC Technology. These are 12" × 24" tiles made with a rigid waterproof High Density Core and protected with NovaShield®, the industry’s most advanced scratch, stain, abrasion and fade resistance with antimicrobial protection.

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Moisture measurement key to Maryland flooring company’s success Tony Morgan, Senior Technician for Wagner Meters

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The floor makes the room—introducing GAME CHANGER StoneTec™ rigid core technology backed with IXPE pad

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Technology and the flooring industry Phil Zolan, Executive Director fcB2B for the WFCA

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Flooring software that generates MBA level insights? It’s real and it’s available now

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Today is the best time to be in the floor covering business Websites and digital marketing solutions to the flooring industry—John Weller, Co-Founder, FloorForce

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Why use industry specific software? Jacob Wheat, Measure Trainer, RFMS, Inc.

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Man vs. Floor—get in the ring! The Schönox fifth annual worst subfloor contest

48 A tale of technology. How it can help with your happily ever after —or anything else you think might work Chad Ogden, QFloors President/CEO

52 Thinking like Bezos: retail flooring stores will face another major challenge after big box stores Steven Wang, CEO and founder of Measure Square

56

CFI training and certification 2018 CFI calendar of events

60 Do your tile installers create mockups for customers? Scott Carotehrs, Director of Certification and Training, CTEF

64

Turn up the HEAT with the highest-performing radiant floor heating system available! Introducing STRATA_HEAT™ System from Laticrete

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TAKING THE LEAD

The power of partnership

S

Scott Humphrey CEO, WFCA

uccess is rarely a solo act. Most all of us can point to someone, or many, who have helped to mold and shape us into the individuals we are today. Whether it be parents, employers, church, or community leaders, all of us have been impacted by the sacrifices of others along the way who have made our path clearer, and our goals achievable. The truth is, relationships are the real key to our success. In fact, if I were asked to pinpoint the one place that you should invest to achieve long term success, without a second thought, I would tell you to invest in people. This commitment to the success of others is the primary principle behind partnerships like the WFCA, where our entire purpose for existing centers around simplifying your life and insuring your profitability. On a personal level, the knowledge that others have invested in you stops at this generation, unless we determine that we too will invest in the next generation of leaders. I realize when I use a word like invest, most minds immediately think about a financial investment. Though that may be required, I would tell you that it is secondary to the investments of time, knowledge, and belief required to elevate someone to their true potential. Let’s take a deeper look at these three:

Time If you are like me, when you look back on those who have had the greatest impact on who you have become, the money they invested in you, while appreciated, rarely comes to mind. Instead, you likely think back to the meetings, encounters, and conversations that took place over weeks, months and years. Those who invested the most in you likely spoke the least. Instead, their time in your conversations centered around hearing your thoughts and reasoning. When they did speak, it was often in the form of a question asked with the intention of helping you evaluate your own thought processes. They understood that true partnerships are not forced; they are allowed to happen. They encouraged you

The truth is, relationships are the real key to our success. In fact, if I were asked to pinpoint the one place that you should invest to achieve long term success, without a second thought, I would tell you to invest in people. 2 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


Those who invested the most in you likely spoke the least. Instead, their time in your conversations centered around hearing your thoughts and reasoning. to discover the answers you were seeking through gentle nudges. Not only did they freely give of their time, they likely gave you back some of your own. Through their gift of time, they helped you simplify your life and refocus on what really matters. Years ago, as a young man fresh out of college in my first sales position, I had a lot more questions than I had answers. Even though I had been through an extensive six month training program to prepare me for this opportunity, I was now in the real world, and overwhelmed to say the least. In the midst of my sales success, I was struggling to remain focused. I am thankful for the counsel of a wise professional I was introduced to through some friends. He dropped everything to speak with me anytime I called. He never complained about my questions, or how often I reached out for guidance. Instead, he was committed to my success. To this day, Mike Dean remains a true friend, committed to my success. I am convinced that without his influence, I would not be the person I am, or in the position I occupy today. Though I can’t remember a single time that he invested in me financially, he gave me something far more valuable: The gift of time! Continued on page 10

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SAVE TIME AND MONEY

On commonly purchased products and services such as credit card processing, fuel, office supplies, wireless services, uniforms, payroll, shipping and more.

SAVE EVEN MORE DURING THE SPRING INTO SAVINGS EVENT

“ We are currently saving $3,600 annually with CardConnect than with our bank. “ “ We saved $1,500 with Exxon Mobil.“ “ Getting setup with ADP was a breeze and the reporting is quite superior to other payroll service providers. “

A Special “Thank You” to all the manufacturers and their marketing departments who provided outstanding editorial to make this publication a success. Publishing Staff Margo Rodgers Locust, Publisher Karen George, Managing Editor Lisbeth Calandrino, Associate Editor Stan Michelson, Communications Director Barry Briskman, Senior Copy Editor Ray Stewart, Production Manager Toelke Associates/Ron Toelke, Creative Director Editorial and Advertising Offices: Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC Phone: 678-761-5002 | Email: Margo@pfrmag.net Columnists Annette Callari, Leah Gross, Lisbeth Calandrino, Paul Friederichsen, Jeffrey King, Brett Miller, Tom Jennings, Scott Carothers, Chad Ogden, Scott McGillivray WFCA Scott Humphrey, Chief Executive Officer Tom Jennings, Vice President, Professional Development Freida Staten, Vice President Marketing + Communications Steve Abernathy, Chief Financial Officer Kay Wiley, Executive Assistant to the CEO The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) Phone: 855-330-1183 | Email: wfca@wfca.org Premier Flooring Retailer is a joint initiative of the World Floor Covering Association and Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC. Copyright© FABULOUS FLOORS MAGAZINE and WFCA 2018. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any way without written consent from Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC or the WFCA. Change of Address: in order to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of Premier Flooring Retailer, notice of change should be made at least 5 weeks in advance. Premier Flooring Retailer is published quarterly in print by Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC located at 995 Main Street, Andrews, NC 28901 and the World Floor Covering Association located at 855 Abutment Road, Suite 1, Dalton, GA 30721. Postmaster: Please send address changes to WFCA, 855 Abutment Road, Suite 1, Dalton, GA 30721.

CALL 844.346.3746 OR EMAIL INFO@SAVINGS4MEMBERS.COM 4 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

WFCA Floor Covering Mag Spring 2018.indd 1

3/27/2018 3:53:39 PM


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By Maud Swalens

SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

T

A tale of two collections

he COREtec Pro Plus Series consists of two collections:

COREtec Premium

COREtec Pro Plus and COREtec Pro Plus Enhanced.

COREtec Pro Plus Enhanced includes all features of the Pro

COREtec Plus Premium is the softer, warmer, and quieter

Plus collection, along with a 4-sided enhanced bevel for added

floor. This collection is the industry and category’s first 12mm

realism!

thick Wood Polymer Composite (WPC) product, and represents the next generation of COREtec Plus. This floor offers

COREtec Pro Plus Series

premium performance.

All planks and tiles feature a 20mil wear layer that protects

COREtec Plus Premium is:

against excessive wear and offers superior clean ability and

• waterproof

stain resistance. This collection offers unique and innovative

• kid proof

visuals on a vinyl that enhances durability. The rigid core fea-

• pet proof

tures special top/bottom layers for stability, and is made from

• durable

a high-density composition for extra rigidity. The “Plus” is the

• luxurious

attached cork underlayment. This underlayment provides

• and the newest top of the line WPC product in the market.

added sound dampening, absorbs subfloor imperfections and naturally resists mold and mildew.

All 14 SKUs in this collection consist of a 20mil wear layer

Its extra-dense, rigid core provides superior impact and dent

and employ Embossed-in-Register technology. All decors also

resistance. This series is recommended for both commercial

feature a 4-sided enhanced beveled edge, and a 3mm attached

and residential use, and can be installed in high-moisture and

cork underlayment. This cork underlayment provides excellent

high-traffic areas. These heavy-duty floors are perfect for any

sound abatement and makes the floor warm under foot.

room in your home or workspace.

All decors in this collection feature the patented COREtec® technology. Since COREtec is 100% waterproof, COREtec Pro Plus floors can be installed in wet areas, and will never swell when exposed to water. COREtec is inert and dimensionally stable; it will not expand or contract under normal conditions. Further, COREtec never needs expansion strips in large rooms. Each COREtec Premium plank has an attached cork underlayment for a quieter, warmer vinyl floor that is naturally resistant to odor causing mold and mildew. ❚

COREtec Plus Premium Reserve Oak.

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STRENGTH, BALANCE...

AND NOTHING TO PROVE. TO ANYONE.

At COREtec, we’re proud to offer the most complete collection of 100% waterproof floors, so you can express what makes you, you.

WHAT’S IN YOUR CORE ?

COREtecFloors.com

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IT’S YOUR UP

Membership has it’s privileges!

M

Tom Jennings VP of Professional Development Tom Jennings is a lifelong member of the flooring business. Since selling his family’s retail business in 2006, he has served the industry as an educator and speaker. He is a past board chairman of the WFCA and is currently the board chairman of WFCA Services, Inc. and WFCA vice president of professional development. He may be reached at tjennings@wfca.org.

uch has been written and said regarding the so-called disadvantages that the local merchant faces in our new economy. On-line shopping, big box retailers, category killers, are all common terms that barely existed in our business lexicon not that many years ago. While it is true that these forms of retailing have minimized some familiar merchandising tactics, they have also brought new areas of opportunity for the independent retailer to focus upon. We just have to look more closely for where these opportunities exist. To compete in today’s market, the first order of business needs to be to focus on what big retailers are doing right. Contrary to our somewhat biased opinions of them, they are doing a lot of things correctly. They didn’t get big by accident! Does Home Depot think that store location is important? Absolutely! How does your location compare? McDonalds realizes the value of having even the most minimally skilled employees present a clean, uniform appearance. What does your customer see when your staff approaches? FedEx spends liberally to have an instantly recognizable fleet when you pass them on the street. They realize the value of both brand recognition and sense of security when they pull into your driveway. What do your customers see at first glance when your vehicles approach? Retailers who are considered to be as pedestrian as Walmart and Target, have website and social media presences that are selling machines. How does your store’s compare? National retailers are taking full advantage of the opportunity to eliminate unnecessary costs using electronic ordering, bar coding, etc. to reduce their cost to market. How are you processing your information? These large retailers have done the research and know what customers want. These outward behaviors have become the standard by which successful businesses are judged. We would all be well served by mimicking them in some fashion. Not doing so, will make us appear to be less than up-to-date in the perception of potential customers. How, you may ask, can a locally owned independent flooring retailer possibly know where to find assistance and solutions to these, and other, requirements necessary in today’s retailing climate? The answer may not be as difficult to determine as you may imagine. We are fortunate that the flooring industry has many organizations that, to the degree desired, have the tools for their members to compete on all of these levels.

To compete in today’s market, the first order of business needs to be to focus on what big retailers are doing right. Contrary to our somewhat biased opinions of them, they are doing a lot of things correctly. 8 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


These groups go by a variety of monikers: Cooperatives, franchises, buying groups, affiliated groups, aligned groups, etc. All of these, including trade associations such as the WFCA, exist so that their members can belong to the profitability group! Before you jump to conclusions, yes, I do feel that it is possible to be a completely independent flooring retailer, but only if you have the resources to: Create marketing campaigns, develop a top notch online presence, negotiate material purchases on a national level, and develop an e-commerce platform. You need a program to train sales, support and installation staff, both in person and online, and have access to a purchasing program that will cut costs on everything from light bulbs to gasoline. With these things, you can probably grow and prosper on your own. But even if you could, why would you want to? Wouldn’t your time be better spent being active in your local market? The good news is that with a membership in the WFCA, and the assistance of one of our industries retail groups, everything that I mentioned that you will need is available for your benefit today! But membership alone will not guarantee your success. To be successful, you will need to implement these new tools into your operations. As an example, simply owning a vehicle will take you nowhere. To get the car to move forward, you will first need to fuel it and then drive it to your destination. In the same respect, membership alone in a group or association will take you nowhere as well. These tools will only work when you fully utilize them. Can these changes seem a little overwhelming? Sure. Is there a cost involved? Yes, but maybe not as great as you may imagine. But remember, there is a cost to not changing with the times as well. Look around at other related businesses in your market. How many unaffiliated hardware stores do you see? How about paint stores? If you do see one, how much money would you invest in its future? Based upon your impressions, likely not much. What do your potential customers see when they are looking at your operations? The answer is up to you! ❚

Get connected... Buying Groups Abbey Carpet & Floor 239-948-0900 www.abbeycarpet.com Big Bob’s Flooring Outlet 844-639-6362 www.floorsandmore.org CCA Global 800-450-7595: Carpet One Floor & Home www.joincarpetone.com Flooring America www.join.flooringamerica.com (CPCT) CarpetsPlus COLORTILE 423-954-1133 www.carpetsplusbuyinggroup.com

Manufacturers Mohawk 706.629.7721 www.mohawkind.com Shaw 800.441.7429 shawfloors.com/why-shaw/for-retailers

Industry Associations WFCA (World Floor Covering Association) 706-217-1183 www.WFCA.org NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association) 800.422.4556 www.NWFA.org RFCI (Resilient Floor Covering Institute) (706) 882-3833 www.RFCI.org NALFA (North American Laminate Floor Association) 202-785-9500 www.NALFA.com TCNA (The Tile Council of North America) 864-646-8453 www.TCNAtile.com CRI (The Carpet and Rug Institute) 706-278-3176 www.carpet-rug.org

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Continued from page 3

Knowledge

True partnerships are built upon the acceptance that the other party has something of value to offer the relationship.

True partnerships are built upon the acceptance that the other party has something of value to offer the relationship. In marriage, this is best explained through the famous movie line from Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise utters the immortal line to Renee Zellweger, “you complete me.” Of course, all partnerships are not that resounding, but any true partnership, by definition, means that both parties gain something through the union. The most powerful partnerships are centered around an openness that allows an ebb and flow of dialogue and knowledge. This knowledge is often the deciding factor for alliances within our industry. For true partnerships to flourish, both parties have to be willing to acknowledge that they don’t have all of the answers. They must be teachable, and open to new concepts and sometimes, radical ideas. During the summer of 1904 an unlikely partnership was formed at the World’s Fair in St. Louis. The summer was unusually hot and people were searching the fair for something to help cool them off. A vendor named Arnold had just what they were looking for… ice cream. People lined up for what seemed like miles to get some of his cool and satisfying ice cream, but there was one problem. Arnold was not prepared for the demand and ran out of paper bowls. Next to Arnold’s ice cream booth was a man named Ernest, a pastry chef, who was making a Persian wafer desert. Ernest also had a problem, his pastry was not selling. He noticed the problem Arnold was having, took some warm pastry and rolled it into a cone shape. He then went over and showed Arnold how the cone could hold a scoop of the ice cream. On that hot day during the World’s Fair in St Louis, the wafer ice cream cone was born because a partnership was formed.

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Belief Last, but certainly not least, successful partnerships are built upon a solid foundation of belief. You are very likely where you are, because someone believed in you along the way. Maybe they never thought you would be in your current position, but they always thought that you could be more. They cheered you on, encouraged you, and believed in you; even when you didn’t believe in yourself. The greatest partnerships are made up of parties that desire success, and believe it is possible; not only for themselves, but for those that dare to partner with them. In 1799, Conrad Reed discovered a seventeen-pound rock while fishing in Little Meadow Creek. Not knowing what it was made of, his family used it as a doorstop for three years. In 1802, his father, John Reed, took it to a jeweler who identified it as a lump of gold worth about $3,600. In today’s value, it would be worth approximately $322,400. That lump of gold, which was used as a doorstop for three years in North Carolina, is one of the biggest gold nuggets ever found east of the Rockies. True partnerships identify the gold inside of you, by believing not solely in what you are, but more importantly, in what you can be. In this issue you will read much about partnerships and their value, and they can hold great value. No matter whether you stand alone, partner with a Buying Group, or Manufacturing Group, we want to partner with you. At the WFCA, we spend time daily committed to your success: We gather and share knowledge that will simplify your pathway to getting there, and we believe in you. We see not only your current success, but what you can be, and we are committed to helping you get there. I trust you will enjoy all of the nuggets of wisdom throughout this issue. ❚

The greatest partnerships are made up of parties that desire success, and believe it is possible; not only for themselves, but for those that dare to partner with them.

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cinch LOC

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IT’S YOUR UP

Communications technology— friend or foe?

D

igital communications technology (and our reliance on it) is growing at a phenomenal rate. A.I., bots, mysterious algorithms, privacy paranoia, and constantly changing policies with

Facebook and Google; it can all seem a bit overwhelming. Just when we think we have a handle on one social media platform, or search engine strategy, up pops another technology shift we must adapt to. It’s an unrelenting virtual game of “whack-a-mole” that requires constant attention, speed to adapt, and skill to master. Without embracing communications technology at some level, regardless of the size of your business, is a little like stuffing your sales flyer into a bottle and chucking it in the ocean, hoping someone somewhere will see it eventually. Yet, even in the face of this reality, many business owners shun the full embrace of technology to drive their ability to reach existing and potential

Paul Friedrichsen

customers, which in turn, drives traffic and resulting sales.

Paul Friederichsen is a partner in The Blake Project, a leading brand consultancy and a contributing writer to Branding Strategy Insider and the New York Daily News.

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Without embracing communications technology at some level… is a little like stuffing your sales flyer into a bottle and chucking it in the ocean, hoping someone somewhere will see it eventually. Mind you, digital communications is not the silver bullet for your overall marketing strategy. But without it, you’ll lack the necessary ammunition to compete in today’s economy, especially for Millennial spending dollars. So, why the aversion to digital communications technology? We hear many reasons: “Too time consuming.” “Too complicated.” “Too expensive.” Or this one: “I really don’t see the connection with (insert social media platform name here) and sales.” Understandably, as a practical matter, it can be difficult at times to see the direct correlation between posting on Instagram, for example, and sales. But the cause and effect of building customer relationships that lead to sales, is a different story. In fact, digital communication technology could be the best friend ever created for the small to mid-tier retailer for brand building, by leveling the playing field with larger competitors. First, you must have an “investment” mindset versus a “cost” mindset when it comes to digital communications technology. You are investing time to understand and master at least some essential components. And you are investing (or re-channeling) marketing dollars to boost your digital campaign, which by the way, is a lot more efficient than traditional media!  Next, set as a goal to learn some new programs that will make your life so much easier. For example, I’m constantly surprised that so many are unfamiliar with Adobe Acrobat software. Many may have Adobe Reader in order to read PDF files, but Acrobat allows you to review, edit, add notes, etc. to PDF’s. For internal approvals and corrections, it’s well worth your time to check into. The same goes for file sharing programs like Dropbox and social media managers like Hootsuite. Technology like these need not be the sole domain of creative types, because they are useful to the entire organization, including you! Then assess your marketing strategy and budget in terms of “traditional” media (anything printed or broadcast) versus “non-traditional” (digital communication). If you’re not devoting at least half to digital, you’re probably missing the mark. Remember, your website is every bit as critical as your physical store. Your social media is every bit as important as your advertising. Your blog is every bit as important as the advice you give out over the phone. And lastly, communications technology can only be your friend if you keep the humanity in it. All brands, yours included, need to be “human” to be relatable to your customers. Never let the new technology get in the way of building authentic relationships, establishing consistent positioning, and justifying true differentiation that gives the customers (that you now reach so much more efficiently) a reason to buy from you. ❚

Never let the new technology get in the way of building authentic relationships, establishing consistent positioning, and justifying true differentiation that gives the customers (that you now reach so much more efficiently) a reason to buy from you. Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

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LEGAL MATTERS

What’s in a word? “Pay-if-Paid” or “Pay-When-Paid” provisions—there may be a big difference Jeffrey W. King Outside General Counsel for the WFCA Jeffrey King has more than 35 years’ experience in complex litigation with a focus on contracts, employment, construction, antitrust, intellectual property and health care. He serves as general counsel for WFCA and other trade associations, and is a LEED Accredited Professional. For more information, contact him at (561) 278-0035 or jeffw@jkingesq.com.

H

ave you ever signed a contract to supply or install flooring that provided you are paid “if ” or “when” the prime contractor is paid? Do you include such provisions in your contracts with installers? These provisions are generally understood to shift the risk of an owner not paying from the prime contractor to the subcontractor. The fact, however, is that there may be a significant difference between a paid-when-paid and a paid-if-paid clause. The courts in most states consider a “pay-when-paid” clause as simply a timing mechanism, and generally will not excuse the prime contractor from paying the subcontractor, whether or not the owner pays the prime contractor. The risk of non-payment is on the prime contractor, and the courts will generally require payment to the subcontractor within a “reasonable time” after the work is completed. In contrast, courts generally have found that a “pay-if-paid” clause constitutes a condition precedent to the subcontractor’s payment. A pay-if-paid provision means exactly what it says: The prime contractor has no obligation to pay subcontractors unless the owner first pays the prime contractor. This can create a dilemma for a subcontractor. Since the subcontractor has no contract with the owner, a court will generally hold that the subcontractor cannot claim a breach of contract against the owner. Some courts have held the subcontractor’s sole remedy is against the prime contractor, who is not obligated to pay until the owner pays it. This distinction recently took center stage in a case in Kentucky. The dispute involved the construction of a 21-floor luxury condominium. The owner hired Corporex Development to design and oversee construction of the condominiums, and Cortex contracted with Dugan & Meyers Construction (“D&M”) to be the general contractor, who would manage the construction of the condominiums. D&H subcontracted with Superior Steel, Inc. to fabricate and install the steel framing and decking for the fixed price of $1,814,000. Superior, in turn, subcontracted with Ben Hur Construction to erect the steel framing and metal decking for the fixed price of $444,000.

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Have you ever signed a contract to supply or install flooring that provided you are paid “if” or “when” the prime contractor is paid? Do you include such provisions in your contracts with installers? These provisions are generally understood to shift the risk of an owner not paying from the prime contractor to the subcontractor.

The subcontract between Superior and D&M contained two sections with pay-if-paid language. First the “Claims Payment” provision stated: No additional compensation shall be paid by the Contractor to the Subcontractor for any claim arising out of the performance of this Subcontract, unless the Contractor has collected corresponding additional compensation from the owner, or other party involved, or unless by written agreement from the Contractor to the Subcontractor, prior to the execution of the Work performed under said claim, which agreement and work order must be signed by an officer of the Contractor. Second, the “Time of Payment” clause provided that: Receipt of payment by the Contractor from the Owner for the Subcontractor Work, is a condition precedent to payment by the Contractor to Subcontractor. The subcontractor hereby acknowledges that it relied upon the credit of the Owner, not the Contractor, for payment of the Subcontract Work.

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During the project, D&H instructed both Superior and Ben Hur to perform extra work. Both Ben Hur and Superior submitted work orders to D&M, who in turn submitted work orders to Corporex. Ultimately, Corporex refused to pay $124,017 to Superior and $284,295 to Ben Hur for the additional work. In addition, Superior claimed it was owed $195,143.40 for retainage, that is, a portion of the agreed upon contract price withheld until the work is substantially complete. Superior and Ben Hur filed a lawsuit against the Condominium owner, Cortex and D&M for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and other claims. The trial court entered a judgment for Superior and Ben Hur including an additional $349,241.70 in attorney fees. An appeals court, however, vacated the judgment. The appeals court held that the contract included a pay-if paid provision. Since D&M was not paid by Cortex, neither Superior and Ben Hur had a claim for breach of contract against D&M. The court also held that neither Superior nor Ben Hur had a contract with Cortex or the Condominium owner, so they could not claim a breach of contract against them, even if Cortex violated its contract with D&M. Finally, the appeals court held that, since the subcontractors had a contract with D&M, their only legal remedy was under that contract with D&M. Superior and Ben Hur could not claim equitable rights, such as unjust enrichment. The two subcontractors appealed to the Kentucky Supreme Court. The Supreme Court agreed that neither Superior nor Ben Hur had a breach of contract claim against D&M, Cortex or the Condominium owner. The Court ruled that the pay-if-paid provision meant that D&M had to pay the two subcontractors, only if Cortex first paid D&M. Since Cortex did not pay, D&M was not obligated to pay the two subcontractors. Fortunately for Superior and Ben Hur, the Court did find that they had a claim against Cortex and the Condominium developer for unjust enrichment, and remanded the case to enter a judgment.

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Given the harsh results of a pay-if-paid clauses, they are viewed with disfavor by courts and will not be enforced if their terms are ambiguous. Courts tend to interpret uncertainties as creating a pay-when-paid clause. Given the harsh results of a pay-if-paid clauses, they are viewed with disfavor by courts and will not be enforced if their terms are ambiguous. Courts tend to interpret uncertainties as creating a paywhen-paid clause. For example, an appellant court in Ohio refused to enforce a pay-if-paid clause. The case involved the construction of a swimming pool at a Holiday Inn. AEM Electric Services Corp. was the general contractor and subcontracted with Transtar Electric, Inc. to perform certain electrical work worth approximately $187,000. The subcontracted provided that: Receipt of payment by contractor from the owner for work performed by subcontractor is a condition precedent to payment by contractor to subcontractor for that work. AEM did not pay Transtar $45,000 that was remaining under the contract, claiming it was not paid the full contract balance by the owner. Transtar sued AEM for the remaining amount due under its subcontract. The trial court granted summary judgment to AEM, finding that Transtar had no remedy against AEM for amounts not paid to AEM by the owner. The court determined that the contract obligated the general contractor to pay the subcontractor, only if it got paid by the owner. An Appeals Court reversed the trial court, ruling that transferring liability from the general contractor to the subcontractor is disfavored in the law. The court found that nonpayment by the owner is ordinarily the responsibility of the general contractor, who has dealt directly with the owner, and is in the best position to collect funds from the owner. The Court found that the subcontract language was not sufficiently clear and unambiguous to transfer the risk of nonpayment by the owner from the general contractor to the subcontractor. The Court concluded that the clause was a “pay-when-paid” provision, and that AEM must pay Transtar the remaining amount due even though AEM had not yet been paid by the owner for the work. Similarly, the Florida Supreme Court refused to enforce a pay-if-paid provision, even though the provision in the subcontract was clear and unambiguous. The subcontract, however, incorporated the general contractor’s agreement, which required the contractor to pay its subcontractors before it would receive payment from the owner. The Court held that the incorporation of the general contractor’s payment provision created an ambiguity when read in conjunction with the subcontract’s “pay if paid” provision. Accordingly, the Court refused to enforce the pay-if-paid provision, and held it simply fixed “a reasonable time for the general contractor to pay” the subcontractor. As states have moved toward protecting the rights of subcontractors, some courts have decided not to enforce pay-if-paid provisions. The courts in New York, South Carolina, Illinois, Wisconsin, and California have declared pay-if-paid provisions to be against public policy, since such clauses are inconsistent with the states’ lien laws. These courts found that, if a pay-if-paid provision does not obligate payment to the subcontractors unless the prime contractor is paid, then the subcontractors would not technically Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

21


Flooring contractor, dealer, and installer should not sign contracts without reviewing them and understanding these types of clauses, and how they will impact them. Given the potential liability, flooring contractors, retailers, and installers should consult with competent legal counsel to review its basic contracts and any clauses that raise concerns to the retailer, contractor, or installer. be owned the money, and therefore could not file liens on the property for money not yet due. The courts found this abrogated the subcontractors’ rights to file liens. State legislators are also rethinking pay-if-paid provisions. North Carolina and Wisconsin have enacted legislation that makes pay-if-paid clauses unenforceable as against public policy. Other states, such as Maryland and Missouri, have enacted legislation limiting such clauses. On the other hand, several states treat both pay-ifpaid and pay-when-paid provisions as creating condition precedent, so a subcontractor is paid only if and when the prime contractor is paid. Flooring retailers, contractors, and installers in those states cannot take comfort in a paywhen-paid provision.

Every flooring contractor, retailer, and installer should be wary of pay-if-paid and pay-when-paid clauses, and know whether its state treats these provisions differently, that is, whether a contract that provides “pay-if-paid” shifts the risk of non-payment, but a contract that provides “pay-whenpaid” does not. Flooring contractor, dealer, and installer should not sign contracts without reviewing them and understanding these types of clauses, and how they will impact them. Given the potential liability, flooring contractors, retailers, and installers should consult with competent legal counsel to review its basic contracts and any clauses that raise concerns to the retailer, contractor, or installer. ❚

Notice: The information contained in this article is abridged from legislation, court decisions, and administrative rulings, and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. and is not a substitute for the advice of counsel.

22 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


The future of retail is now

O

ne of the things we know about retailing and selling is that it is going through powerful changes. Newspapers are struggling and technol-

ogy continues to drastically change how we communicate with customers. Everyone has a cell phone, installers are using iPads to lay out the consumer’s house, and everyone is online. Cities are laying underground cable so everyone will soon be connected.

WANT safer subfloor solutions? Schönox AP, APF and AST are ön It.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the importance of knowing your customers and building relationships. Salespeople used to be the only place consumers could get information; now consumers come into the store with mountains of information. Our job is to be there and help them through the maze of information. We must set new standards. Google continues to tell us in “The Zero Moment of Truth” that the number of opportunities to connect with customers expands every day. If we are going to be successful, we have to follow them around the internet and continue to connect them at every possible avenue. If we don’t, someone else will. The future of retail is now; all of us are setting the stage of what it will be. Consumers have been telling us all along they want more and are setting their own rules. The successful retailer is one that can continually change, seek new opportunities and expand their horizons.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the importance of knowing your customers and building relationships. Salespeople used to be the only place consumers could get information; now consumers come into the store with mountains of information.

SCHÖNOX SYNTHETIC GYPSUM SELF-LEVELING COMPOUNDS AND RAPIDDRYING SMOOTHING AND PATCHING COMPOUND Schönox synthetic gypsum products, AP, APF and AST, offer low VOCs, contributions to LEED credits, recycled content, dust-reduced properties, superior performance, and much more for cleaner and safer subfloor installations. For the utmost in strength, smoothness and safety, you want Schönox ÖN IT.

Take your business to a whole new level. Call 855.391.2649 or visit hpsubfloors.com to learn how your projects run smoother with Schönox Ön It.

Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

23


FLOOR ED Tony Morgan Tony Morgan is a senior technician for Wagner Meters, where he serves on a team for product testing, development, and also customer service and training for moisture measurement products. Along with 19 years field experience for a number of electronics companies, Tony holds a B.A. in Management and has his AAS in Electronics Technology. Call Wagner Meters today at (844) 533-9100 and ask for Tony, or visit www.wagnermeters.com.

Moisture measurement key to Maryland flooring company’s success

N

ick Pistolas, owner of Heritage Contractors LLC, a hardwood floor installation and refinishing company in Delmar, Md., admits he faces a huge challenge at every job site.

“In this area, the Maryland/Delaware coastal region, our biggest challenge is dealing with humidity and moisture. We sit smack dab in the middle of two large bodies of water: The Atlantic Ocean on one side and Chesapeake Bay on the other side.” That’s why he always measures the moisture content (MC) of hardwood floors before, during, and after any installation or refinishing job. “Using a moisture meter is absolutely critical for my business,” he declares. “If not, you’re going in blind and crossing your fingers that the floor’s not going to fail. Many of the old timers relied only upon acclimation, and most of the time it was okay. But there’s always one or more floors that can come back to haunt you, because you didn’t use a meter to check the actual moisture content.” Pistolas says he can’t afford to take that chance. “So having a moisture meter is a no-brainer. It’s one tool every professional should have,” he adds. Pistolas uses a Wagner Meters MMC220 pinless wood moisture meter. He says it’s highly accurate, fast and easy to use, and doesn’t damage the wood planks. He also uses it to measure wood subflooring and joists, as well as to measure the flooring between coats of waterbased finish.

“Using a moisture meter is absolutely critical for my business,” he declares.

24 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


“After doing my research, I selected the Wagner moisture meter. I used to use a pin style meter. It involved puncturing the wood planks and the subfloor to measure for moisture.” “After doing my research, I selected the Wagner moisture

cies selection. You just read what you get. The beauty of the

meter. I used to use a pin style meter. It involved puncturing the

Wagner MMC220 meter is that it allows me to select the cor-

wood planks and the subfloor to measure for moisture. Besides

rect number for each species, including exotics, so I’m always

damaging the wood, it was very time-consuming.

assured of getting an accurate reading.

“You’ve heard the saying ‘Time is money.’ I’m saving time

“It’s a breeze to use. I just select the right species setting,

and money for the customer using my Wagner. The less time

and run the meter across the board. It reads the whole thick-

we spend checking moisture, the more time we can do what-

ness of the plank, 3/4 of an inch deep. Whereas with a pin

ever else we need to get the project rolling.

meter, I’m sticking it maybe 1/8 of an inch for a partial reading,”

“For instance, I always test 2% of the subfloor and 3% of

he declares.

the wood planks for moisture. If I’m installing flooring in a 2,000

Since there are different types of subfloors, including ply-

square foot house, it takes time to push the pins into the wood

wood, OSB, and plank (typically pine), Pistolas also uses his

and then repair the damage. With the Wagner, I simply slide my

meter to select the appropriate setting for the subfloor mate-

meter over the wood to get a reading,” he says.

rial. Occasionally, he has to deal with concrete subfloors which

Since Pistolas works with different species of wood, including white oak, red oak, Southern yellow pine, and a number of

has led him to consider relative humidity testing with Wagner’s Rapid RH®.

exotics such as Brazilian cherry and ebony, he appreciates the

“I’ve been reading up on Wagner’s Rapid RH® product for

fact that his meter also comes with a table detailing the correct

the times there are concrete subfloors. It’s a good product, so

setting for each species.

I may start using that as well to check on concrete moisture,”

“You can’t use the setting for oak when you’re working with

he says.

Brazilian cherry. Yet, some of the cheaper meters have no spe-

Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

25


Customer communication

but failed to check the subfloor MC, I’m going to have problems when it’s time to install. That subfloor reading needs to be

Pistolas, who serves both residential and commercial customers, believes in giving customers as much useful information as possible about the process, and what he’s doing.

determined from the get-go,” he says. He also determines if the subfloor is acceptable for the style of flooring, such as nail down, glue down, or floating floor.

For instance, he educates his customers about floor main-

“With certain subfloors, you can only do certain things. Like

tenance, to ensure their newly installed or newly refinished floor

we couldn’t nail down hardwood floors over concrete. We’d

lasts for a long time. Another thing he stresses is maintaining

either have to float it, or glue it. And, there are certain types of

the proper humidity.

plywood that you can’t nail into,” he says.

“As a rule of thumb, they should keep the humidity between

Once the subfloor MC is acceptable, and the flooring is

35% and 60%. It’s not only good for the hardwood floor, but for

delivered, Pistolas follows the National Wood Flooring Associa-

everything else, including drywall. When you have super high

tion’s installation guidelines. He checks the wood flooring MC

humidity in your house, mold can grow,” he notes.

with his Wagner MMC220 moisture meter, to establish a base-

When a finishing job calls for sanding before staining, Pisto-

line for required acclimation.

las always makes sure the customer signs off on the color of

“For solid strip flooring (less than 3" wide), there should be

stain selected. If not, and the customer doesn’t like the color

no more than 4% MC difference between properly acclimated

after it’s applied, then it has to be completely sanded off. That

wood planks and subflooring materials. So if my oak flooring

adds considerable cost to the job.

was reading 9% MC, then my subfloor could be within 4%

With any refinishing project, Pistolas says it’s imperative to

either way. For solid flooring (3" or wider), there should be no

use a moisture meter. For instance, when re-sanding a wood

more than 2% difference in MC between the wood floor and

floor that shows cupping, he first checks its MC.

subfloor. And, for anything 5" and over, the flooring and subfloor

If the floor to be refinished has a high MC, he either brings in dehumidifiers, or lets the floor dry to an acceptable MC before he sands it. “If we sanded a floor with high moisture and it was cupped,

need to be within 1% MC. “So the wider the plank, the closer you want the wood and subfloor readings to be, because you get more movement with wider planks versus the narrower planks,” he remarks.

we could end up with reverse cupping. So while measuring moisture is critical with every installation, it’s equally critical for

Moisture measurement key

all refinishing projects requiring sanding,” he says. Pistolas says the most important key to a successful installa-

Subfloor moisture measurement

tion, or a successful refinishing job, is closely monitoring moisture from start to finish. Without exception!

When Pistolas meets with the customer to provide an estimate,

“If that moisture is off, it doesn’t matter if you put the right

the first thing he does is measure the subfloor for moisture. If

amount of nail space everywhere, the right amount of expansion

the MC is high, that’s an immediate red flag.

gap, and do everything else right, you’re still going to ruin the

“If I simply measured the area to determine how much flooring to bring in, and then had the wood delivered to acclimate,

installation, or botch the refinishing. That’s why I don’t start or end any job without my moisture meter,” he declares. ❚

“As a rule of thumb, they should keep the humidity between 35% and 60%. It’s not only good for the hardwood floor, but for everything else, including drywall. 26 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


WAGNER METERS WOOD MOISTURE METER LINE

CONCRETE MOISTURE TEST NOW

24

HOURS!

Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

27


We are a small family owned company who is passionate about the happiness of our retailers, distributors and customers. Happy Feet International continues to strive for excellence within the Luxury Vinyl Plank industry. We make it our number one goal to provide our customers with only the best LVP construction and colors. We have a variety of colors and styles to fit your everyday needs, from your bedroom to the kitchen—because we understand the floor is the core of any design. Introducing our new products currently for the 2018 year: Game Changer, which is a StoneTecTM/ Rigid Core Technology - glue down product with IXPE backing for comfort underfoot and acoustical noise abatement with four designer colors. Also, we have our new Northwinds / StablicorTM series with 9”x60” large planks, plus natural cork backing for noise abatement and comfort underfoot. Both of these new products feature a painted beveled edge for a HD plank enhancement look. Happy Feet International will continue to introduce updated LVP technology and high performance products with designer colors, because we value and listen to you! All of our departments are easy to contact via phone or email to help with any needs.

NORTHWINDS - SMOKED OAK HF842

GLADIATOR - EUROPEAN OAK HF551

GAME CHANGER - MVP HF391

ENDURING ELEGANCE - SAWTOOTH GREY HF002

|

706.937.2500 info@happyfeetint.com 28 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

| happyfeetinternational.com


Introducing our HFI App: Check out the NEW HFI App which includes room scenes, product videos, specification needs and more! Available on IOS Apple and Andriod phones. Search for “Happy Feet International” and download the HFI Application today!

STRESS LESS AND SMILE MORE ON HAPPY FEET FLOORS

NORTHWINDS - SEASIDE OAK HF841

BILTMORE - ASHEVILLE HF770

BILTMORE - WILMINGTON HF772

Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

29


SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

SEM Group — manufacturing, innovation, quality, and value

S

SEM Group’s products combine high quality with the best value, while always maintaining environmental responsibility.

EM Group is a privately owned business headquartered in the heart of the flooring industry—Dalton, Georgia. SEM Group manages more than 12,000,000 square feet of inventory in over 200,000 SF of warehouse and distribution centers in Northwest Georgia, and over 3,000,000 square-feet of manufacturing facilities throughout the world. SEM Group is comprised of four different yet synergistic companies: Savannah Stone and Tile, Excelsior Global, and Muchsee Wood. Our vast product offering includes Engineered and Solid Hardwoods, Luxury Vinyl Planks, IWP Engineered Vinyl Planks, Laminate, SPC Rigid Core Planks, Ceramic and Stone Tile, and a full line of Cushioned Underlayments, Adhesives, and Trim for all applications. SEM Group’s products combine high quality with the best value, while always maintaining environmental responsibility. Recent investments in technology, enable SEM Group to ship any of its 2800+ SKU’s quickly, and most often within 24 hours. Which in turn, provides an exceptional customer service experience including order entry, shipment tracking and information reporting. Since inception in 2009, SEM Group’s goal is to become the most recognized manufacturer, importer, and wholesaler in the hard surface flooring market. The formula for success is simple. Adhere to our core business values—excellence, innovation, and integrity—but quickly adapt to changing business conditions and customer demands. ❚

30 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


Luxury Vinyl Plank

Cushioned Underlayments

The SEM Group has over 50 running line colors of LVP in click and glue down versions. We carry thickness from 2mm up to 4.3mm, and many wear layer thicknesses to meet your product needs and price points.

SEM Group offers 18 different underlayments for LVT, IWP, Floating Hardwood, and Laminate flooring. Whether you need an underlayment for a moisture barrier or just for acoustical reasons, we have the products to meet your requirements.

IWP Engineered Vinyl Plank From entry level to high end constructions, we have the Engineered Vinyl Planks to meet all of your consumer’s needs. With and without attached pad, and wear layers all the way up to 22 mils SEM Group has the engineered vinyl planks to meet the most demanding environments.

Engineered & Solid Hardwoods We offer solid and engineered hardwoods in Birch, Hickory, Oak, Elm, European Oak, and Acacia. With appearances from handscraped to wire brushed, and thicknesses from 3/8" to 3/4", SEM Group has the product to fit any type of project.

Laminate

Adhesives SEM Group stocks a full line of Adhesives for engineered woods, LVP, and carpet tiles. We offer trowel applied, roll on, and spray options for glue down LVT installations. Moisture Cured Urethane and high moisture wood adhesives for engineered wood, and also a premium carpet tile adhesive for PVC and smooth backed carpet tiles.

Trim and Moldings The SEM Group maintains inventory of a full line of coordinating trim products for all of our running line colors.

Since inception in 2009, SEM Group’s goal is to become the most recognized manufacturer, importer, and wholesaler in the hard surface flooring market.

For more information on our products, please contact your local sales rep or visit www.semgroup.us (706) 277-0195

Stocking both 8mm and 12mm products, with over 50 color/pattern options. The SEM Group has been manufacturing environmentally friendly laminate with the most durable core material for more than 20 years. Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

31


PILLAR TALK

Technology and the flooring industry You’ve come a long way baby

I

magine if you will, a world where this is your business. Orders are written by hand on three-part carbon paper backed sales slips; sales people and installers are scheduled via that big desk

calendar tacked to the wall; room measurements are done with tape measures and pencils. And, it doesn’t end there. Your books are kept on green 13-column tablets of paper; your customers and business contacts are meticulously filed away in your Rolodex; and the invoices you get mailed from your suppliers are neatly stuffed in a folder, and are paid with paper checks stuffed into envelopes and given to the postal worker who visits your store daily. Flooring samples are carried home by consumers to see what they look like in their home. Your advertising consists of a Yellow Pages ad. If you want to know when an order will arrive at your location, you call the supplier and ask. And training consists of “tribal knowledge” being passed from one person to the next.

Phil Zolan Executive Director fcB2B World Floor Covering Association

Rod Serling (creator of the Twilight Zone TV series) isn’t narrating this, and today for many people, this is only a nightmare. For others, parts of this nightmare are still their reality. If you’re still living parts of this nightmare, fortunately there’s an answer. And for most of us, you know what the answers are, you just have to make the choice to make them happen. Technology is all around us, you see it and use it every day. I read a great article the other day by Ernie Smith, about how technology is impacting everything we do. It was brought into focus at the end of the article. “Technology is the defining differentiator of our times, making it possible to theoretically communicate with anyone around the world in a fraction of a second, to understand them in depth, and then adapt to those needs in real time. And it’s always changing.” Ernie Smith, technology journalist at Associations Now The flooring industry has come a very long way in the past couple of decades. Here’s just a few of the things you can do today to improve your business, and make those nightmares go away:

Technology is the defining differentiator of our times, making it possible to theoretically communicate with anyone around the world in a fraction of a second, to understand them in depth, and then adapt to those needs in real time. And it’s always changing. 32 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


Customer and business contacts are maintained within a variety of electronic systems, sometimes referred to as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. Order taking and submittal to suppliers is being done

Flooring samples are nice, but are being replaced by room

electronically by thousands of retailers today. And that doesn’t

visualization software. You can now have the customer take

mean using the supplier’s website to punch in orders for them

a picture of their room and see what it would look like with a

(although they’re happy to let you do their work for them), it

host of different products, all with a couple clicks of a mouse.

means having your order system transmit each order to their

And look for 3-D and Virtual Reality versions of that to also be

system with the touch of a button, no people involved.

available soon too!

Scheduling sales people and installers is being done

Advertising has completely changed in just the past cou-

online, where everyone can see the calendar, request time off,

ple of years. Retailer websites, social media, and online

and be immediately informed of changes.

reviews are the name of the game. Today, over 50% of mobile searches result in a store visit. Google searches for “best floor-

Room measurements are quickly and accurately being

ing store” filter out locations with ratings of 3.5 or below. And

recorded using readily available software, with the measure-

93% of consumers say online reviews affect their decisions

ments being done with affordable hand-held laser devices, or

on where to buy, so you need to manage your online reviews

even apps on your smartphone or tablet, and are seamlessly

effectively.

incorporated into proposals. Training is now available online for flooring salespeople and Customer and business contacts are maintained within a

managers through the WFCA. Installer training is also provided

variety of electronic systems, sometimes referred to as Cus-

through the WFCA’s CFI group, as well as by other product

tomer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. You can

specific industry groups.

set reminders, follow-ups, and create mailing lists all with a few clicks.

There’s a lot out there, and it can be intimidating. Fortunately, we’re here to help with these areas and a whole lot more. Go

Invoices, payments and order status are also easily done

to our website, www.wfca.org, and/or www.fcb2b.org to see

electronically, you never have to make a phone call, or mail

what’s available, or contact me at pzolan@wfca.org and we’ll

another piece of paper ever again.

get you going!

Today, over 50% of mobile searches result in a store visit. Google searches for “best flooring store” filter out locations with ratings of 3.5 or below. And 93% of consumers say online reviews affect their decisions on where to buy…. Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

33


The Next GIG

Flooring software that generates MBA level insights? It’s real and it’s available now

D

ata Visualization and Business Intelligence are the newest buzzwords when it comes to business growth and management in the flooring industry. Business intelligence creates insights that allow you to turn your data into opportunities, and data visualization gives you the ability to instantly convert those insights into dynamic charts and graphs that can quickly and easily inform your tactical and strategic business decisions. Think that’s something out of reach or years away from being applicable in the flooring industry? Not so. With the use of API’s (Application Programming Interface), those flooring specific business management software companies with the vision and critical thinking in place to be pioneers of this leading edge technology, are already employing these integrative apps to propel forward-thinking flooring dealers into taking action outside the box.

34 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


Business intelligence creates insights that allow you to turn your data into opportunities, and data visualization gives you the ability to instantly convert those insights into dynamic charts and graphs that can quickly and easily inform your tactical and strategic business decisions. “The key to having this technology is to fully implement a flooring specific business management software that has taken the steps to program the use of an API, such as Tableau, that will automatically mine and generate this key data in a streamlined visual form,” advised Kelly Oechslin, Marketing Coordinator for RollMaster Software. She continued, “Imagine instantly viewing your business data in a pie chart or bar graph that would otherwise take considerable effort to search for, query, and merge, and likely require an MBA degree, to pull it all together and deliver it in this dynamic format, all with a few simple keystrokes. That’s what we’ve been able to do for our dealers. It’s truly exciting.” Flooring dealers interested in taking advantage of this and other integrated business software applications, such as online reviews, e-commerce, email marketing, lead management, and more, will need to start by selecting a flooring specific business management software that handles all aspects of their flooring business.

Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

35


“If data is being entered into two or more different software programs, dealers will lose the ability to capitalize on the full power of what a system like RollMaster Software can truly deliver. A flooring dealer should only need to enter sales data once, and then allow the system to pull and disseminate that data throughout all areas of the system, and eventually out to these valuable API integrated programs. At that point, you are truly running your business, rather than allowing your business to run you,” added Oechslin. As with any API, like Tableau or WooCommerce, customization on the main software side is always needed. The benefit of starting with a flooring specific software company already partnered with these types of API companies, is that the programming and development side has already been completed, which represents a huge money and man-hour savings right off the top. “Unless a flooring dealer is already extremely techsavvy and knowledgeable about software programming, there’s simply no way for them to re-create what is already out there and ready for use without spending thousands of dollars and likely hiring a full time developer,” stated

“Our RollMaster dealers vary in size from single locations doing less than a million annually, to multi-location and even multistate operations employing hundreds of people.…” 36 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

Oechslin. “With Data Visualization, for example, RollMaster has developed several default dashboards that work in conjunction with Tableau, to display graphs and charts on branch performance, salesperson productivity, company growth, and more. These can even be further customized to meet each of our dealer’s specific needs.” If you’re thinking this technology is out of reach, because of the size of your business, that also is not so. Any flooring dealer of any size can choose to implement a flooring specific business management software system, and then roll out the integrated API options that make the most sense for the way they do business. “Our RollMaster dealers vary in size from single locations doing less than a million annually, to multi-location and even multi-state operations employing hundreds of people. The one thing all of our successful dealers have in common, is that they run everything through RollMaster,” said Oechslin. “We invite anyone to take a closer look at how we can help you manage and grow your business.” For more information, please inquire at info@rmaster. com or check out their website at www.rmaster.com. ❚


The

RollMaster Solution! Business Management Software

One Software to Manage it All! From its original inception, RollMaster Flooring Business Management Software was built on a foundation of real-time, multi-location, full-integration technology. This benefits our clients by unleashing growth and creating significant new value within their business. RollMaster Software delivers specialized programs, reports, options, and features, available NOW, designed to help you capture and manage business in every flooring marketplace, including:

Residential

Builder

Property Management

Commercial

Installation House

Wholesale

RMCloud Technology RMCloud offers all the benefits of RollMaster Software, without the complexities of owning, managing, supporting, and upgrading the network technology. RMCloud delivers business software and data to you anywhere, anytime, from any internet connected device. Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018 info@rmaster.com | Ph: 866-822-4904Premier | www.rmaster.com

37


The Next GIG

Today is the best time to be in the floor covering business

P

roviding Websites and Digital Marketing solutions to the flooring industry for the last 7 years, has given FloorForce a front row seat to see the industry as a whole. FloorForce interacts

with 1000’s of retailers and hundreds of manufacturers on a monthly basis. Additionally, our combined websites and digital marketing efforts on behalf of our clients, puts us in direct contact with over 3 million in-market consumers a month. Our solutions cover the entire buyer’s journey, and allow us to follow the consumer from their first search for a flooring product, through their interactions with retailers on and offline, all the way to the client leaving a review after the sale. Being the conduit or plumbing for the industry that pushes manufacturer marketing and product data through the retailer to the consumer, has also allowed us to see what products, messaging and marketing tactics are working or not working.

John Weller VP of Marketing FloorForce John brings 20 years

Because we are advocates for independent retailers, we also spend a large amount of time tracking and analyzing the advertising, marketing tactics, and user experiences that the box stores, e-commerce sites and mega retailers are deploying to capture market share in the flooring market. With all of this data and insight, FloorForce has formed many opinions on what are the best

of Sales and Marketing

practices to help our clients grow and thrive in this ever changing, digital landscape, that we are

experience in the floor

all trying to succeed in together.

covering industry to

So first and foremost, I can absolutely say with no uncertainty that “Today is the best time

FLOORFORCE . During

in the history of our planet to be in the floor covering business.” It is easier to target,

his career, he spent 15

reach, engage and sell floor covering to consumers, right now, than it has ever been any other

®

years on the manufacturing

time on earth.

side, 3 years in distribution and 4 years in retail. Johns vast knowledge of all sides of the industry combined with his creativity and sales abilities will aid the company in creating, developing and marketing FLOORFORCE®’S products to the industry.

Because we are advocates for independent retailers, we also spend a large amount of time tracking and analyzing the advertising, marketing tactics, and user experiences that the box stores, e-commerce sites and mega retailers are deploying to capture market share in the flooring market.

38 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


However based upon all the data that we currently have, building individual retailer ecommerce sites is currently nowhere near the best solution for the independent retailer trying to grow or gain market share. Period. This may come as a surprise to many of you reading this. You may be thinking but ‘what about Home Depot, Empire, 50 Floor, Wayfair and Amazon?’ Well, I would ask you, what about them? What makes them a better solution for a consumer looking for flooring than you are ? Yes, they are huge companies that have large marketing budgets, and everyone knows who they are. However, do they offer a better flooring solution for consumers in need of flooring in the local market than your company does?. The team at FloorForce talks to dozens of retailers all day long, and recently there has been a large increase in retailers requesting e-commerce websites. When we respond that e-commerce websites are not something that we currently offer, many retailers ask us when we will, because e-commerce is hurting their business and not having it, is hurting their ability to grow. Every market, every situation and every retailer is different, so my response to the ecommerce conversation is not always the same. However based upon all the data that we currently have, building individual retailer ecommerce sites is currently nowhere near the best solution for the independent retailer trying to grow or gain market share. Period.

It is easier to target, reach, engage and sell floor covering to consumers, right now, than it has ever been any other time on earth.

Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

39


The top 5 reasons why we do not recommend e-commerce for independent retailers ■ Most consumers do not know how or want to install their own floors. ■ Independent retailers have existing assets and core competencies that consumers value, and ecommerce stores can’t compete with. ■ E-commerce marketing is very different than the marketing that produces results for full service retailers. ■ The majority of independent retailers have never fully leveraged technology or advertising, to fully evaluate the sales opportunities in their immediate market. ■ Margins for e-commerce are lower than full service retail. Nevertheless, the budgets and digital marketing skills required to compete in the e-commerce space, are significantly higher. So to be clear, we do recognize that e-commerce is an ever growing segment of our industry and that will continue. At the same time, e-commerce is growing by a few percentage points a year. Floorforce is working with many retailers who are growing their

 -commerce marketing E is very different than the marketing that produces results for full service retailers. 40 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


business by 10, 20, 30 and even 40% a year, and improving margins without adding locations, or significantly changing their business models. Our Website Integrations with Retail Lead Management, Quickbooks, Qfloors, and deploying call tracking with more

Created by flooring professionals for flooring professionals

and more of our retailers, has fully exposed the benefits that just embracing technology is having to help todays motivated

FloorForce was created on the idea of connecting the pil-

retailers grow. They immediately become more productive and

lars of the flooring industry to help brands and retailers

profitable with the existing people, resources and brand equity

transform the way consumers discover, shop and buy

that are already assets of their companies.

floorcovering. We are continually evolving and investing

Also worth noting, the majority of our successful retailers tell us that they invest between 4% and 7% of their total revenue

to empower our clients to thrive in the rapidly changing floorcovering marketplace.

on advertising, and of that, 50% ( on average ) of that budget is now spent on digital marketing. In closing, it is not just our opinion, but the data clearly

Just the facts…. The FloorForce difference

shows that independent retailers will benefit far more by doubling down on their core competencies, leveraging the tech-

Presence The average flooring shopper visits up to 12

nology at their fingertips, and committing to an advertising

websites and spends over 90% of their buyer’s journey

budget that allows them to reach and engage with more

online.... Our solutions make sure you’re everywhere

shoppers in their local market. ❚

they are. Content Winning over new shoppers depends on your ability to gain their attention, keep their interest, answer

So to be clear, we do recognize that e-commerce is an ever growing segment of our industry and that will continue. At the same time, e-commerce is growing by a few percentage points a year. Floorforce is working with many retailers who are growing their business by 10, 20, 30 and even 40% a year, and improving margins without adding locations, or significantly changing their business models.

their questions and earn their trust online. Traffic The only way to grow is to talk with more people. Google, Facebook and SEO make it easier to reach your target customers than it’s ever been since the beginning of time. Conversion To grow your business successfully, you not only need more leads, you need the right tools.

REQUEST DEMO LET’S CONNECT! 888-348-3500 sales@floorforce.com 1680 Fruitville Rd, Suite 400, Sarasota, FL 34236

Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

41


Jacob Wheat, Measure Trainer, RFMS, Inc.

The Next GIG

W

Why use industry specific business software?

hen researching a new business management software

❚ What does it cost to add more user licenses?

system for your flooring operation, we think it is vital that

❚H  ow will the software handle increased volume over time,

you consider the following points. RFMS has been developing

will it still perform well?

business management systems for over 32 years. We have the locations across the US, Canada, Australasia, and Europe. We

What software selection and evaluation criteria should I use?

currently have 82 awesome and experienced team members!

❚R  esearch and qualify software supplier’s scalability, client

largest user base, with over 3,000 businesses in over 7,000

base, industry experience

Why use software?

❚ Integration capability with other complimentary products

Helps automate and control key business functions such as

❚M  easure/estimating, templates, B2B, scheduling

sales, purchasing, inventory control, etc

❚A  ccounting and G/L supports auditable record keeping

Increases productivity by eliminating many manual tasks

❚ Internal controls for A/P, cash receipts, inventory control

Provides ROI by helping to control costs, track job profitability, report sales trends and improve customer service

What type of software system should I consider?

and payroll ❚R  eporting (standard and customized) and internal metrics ❚U  pfront and on-going costs ❚T  raining (on-site, web-based, seminars)

❚ Industry specific (floor covering) versus generic software

❚H  elp desk support

❚ Ease of use

❚D  ocumentation — instruction manuals

❚ Easy to understand

❚A  ccess to updates and upgrades

❚ Fully integrated or multiple applications

❚T  echnical support — network and hardware

❚ Operations, accounting, and HR

❚P  roduct customization and flexibility

❚ One system provides the “full picture” of the business ❚ One system reduces the risk of data errors and inconsistencies

❚U  ser selectable choices for adding stores, product codes, job types, etc.

❚ Client server or ASP/web based ❚ Data ownership, security and portability

❚S  oftware deployment time frame

❚ Customized versus fixed functionality

❚O  n-site training, E-learning

❚ Integration with other applications

❚M  igration of data from previous system

❚ Server stability, network service interruption

❚ Implementation support and training

❚ Complexity of business versus software capability ❚ Automated processes — for repetitive tasks ❚ Import/export routines

❚W  ill my software provider be with me for the long haul? ❚R  eliability, industry leadership, and business track record

Will my business software support my growth?

❚S  ize of client base

❚ How easily can I add more users as my staff increases?

❚K  ey partner in your business success?

42 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

❚P  referred vendor status


General RFMS

Barcoding Technology

Provided by Jerry Miller, Regional Systems Analysis,

Provided by Michael Gile, Regional Systems Analyst,

RFMS, Inc.

RFMS, Inc.

Molyneaux Tile Carpet and Wood has been a customer of

Bar coding with RFMS has been a big help to our business. We

RFMS since 1991. Molyneaux and RFMS have grown together

have four locations and a large offsite warehouse, that houses

over the years, however RFMS was initially just a tool to look

all of our hard surface stock. We started bar coding in that off-

into the past, not manage current business, or help improve

site warehouse, and now are continuing on to the next ware-

business processes.

house. We hope to have all the warehouses switched over by

Recently, Molyneaux changed our order processing and

the end of the year. The immediate benefit is the ease of moving

moved from a paper-dependent process to one that uses tech-

inventory and changing locations from the fork lift, as well as the

nology, specifically RFMS, to help increase efficiency, which has

overall organization. RFMS has been a big help in implementing

led to improved customer service.

the process, and answering questions as we go.

Prior to this change, Molyneaux would experience problems

The long term benefit is what we are striving for. We are

with outdated paperwork, lost information, or slow response

trying to be “paper free by 2020” as a company, and bar cod-

time. By changing our order process system and utilizing RFMS

ing is a huge piece to that puzzle. Once we get all the ware-

as a primary resource instead of a secondary tool, we have

houses tagged for bar coding, we will take the next steps. The

become more efficient. For example, instead of mailing folders

goal is to have scanners for all receiving when material arrives

from each of our locations to our headquarters, we now utilize

at any warehouse. This will eliminate lots of paper and time.

a workflow within RFMS’s Order Entry module, to know when

We are currently printing purchase orders with bar codes, so

orders are ready to be checked, and once checked, they can

we can receive off of those PO’s, but with B2B and the scan-

then be purchased and scheduled.

ners, we won’t need the printed purchase orders in the future

Drawings and contracts are attached to each order so we

to do the receiving. In addition we are using bar codes on our

no longer have to store customers’ information in our ware-

sundries and samples for ease in writing orders and check-

house, or pay for external storage. We also have more internal

ing out samples. Of course one of the biggest benefits will be

control with purchasing and scheduling, which has led to less

cycle counts and year-end inventory with the scanners. We

job cancellations and happier customers. As with any large-

are excited to partner with RFMS to continue this journey to a

scale change, there were some initial growing pains. However,

more efficient, paper free business.

after a few months, there is company-wide consensus that we wouldn’t go back to our old system. We look forward to con-

Shane Sonberg

tinuing to move forward with RFMS and technology advance-

President, Five Star FA, Inc. (d.b.a. Flooring America)

ments to help drive efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Clive, Iowa

Melissa Molyneaux Chief Operating Officer | Molyneaux Tile Carpet Wood Office: (412) 793-7307 | Mobile: (412) 370-2703 melmolyneaux@beautifulfloors.com www.beautifulfloors.com

RFMS has been developing business management systems for over 32 years. We have the largest user base, with over 3,000 businesses in over 7,000 locations. . . . Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

43


Client Management Module

could make changes right away, because Measure made it

Provided by Clarence Fortune,

easy for us.

Regional Systems Analyst, RFMS, Inc.

We can now figure base material, perimeter material, seams, adhesives, and labor all in one step. Not only does the program

RFMS has helped our business by giving us a full process to

have a ton of pattern designs for us to use, we can create our

follow from the moment the call comes in from a prospect, to

own to accommodate those jobs that have ambitious design-

the installation date of the customer. RFMS allows us to view

ers. I’m glad the days of paying for copies of a blueprint are

the progression in real time, and to manage our profitability

over. Importing in pdfs to do takeoffs has changed how we do

with unlimited reporting. Client Management Module (CMM)

business. Measure has allowed us to take people without 20+

in RFMS allows us to track the success of our sales people

years of flooring experience, and make them experts. If they

by closely managing our sales activity, and that leads to con-

can work a mouse, they can become a very capable estimator

verting prospects to customers. We are able to measure how

in no time. I can’t imagine working in the floor covering industry

many calls, walk-ins, and web leads and what we do with those

without Measure.

leads. CMM gives us real sales close rates, and allows us to review lead count by day, week, month and year.

Mark Reay, Master Tile Carpet One markreay.mastertile@aol.com

Scott Junkins, Harris Carpet and Vinyl, Inc.

Measure Mobile App Measure takeoff and estimating

Provided by Venita Brown,

Provided by Debbie Kennedy,

Regional Systems Analyst, RFMS, Inc.

Regional Systems Analyst, RFMS, Inc. I wanted to take a second and relate our experience using Master Tile has been a Measure user for more than a decade.

Measure Mobile (MM3) at the recent two-day Parking Lot Sale

When we first got it, there were several people that were

at our Floors To Go store.

nervous about such a big change. For a while, we did take-

We have this sale the last Friday and Saturday of September

offs twice. Once by me in Measure, and once by someone

every year. We usually write approximately $400,000 worth of

else “the old-fashioned way,” to make sure that we could

sales in the two days. Because of the sheer volume of orders

trust a computer program to do something that was done

written during the sale, we were a little leery of using MM3 for

manually for fifty years. Measure proved itself to be correct

the sale, even though we have used it for the last 6 months and

quickly. We started seeing less waste. We started bidding

are fairly comfortable with it.

more projects. Instead of beating our heads up against a

We are so glad we did not let our fear keep us from using

wall when a job would have addendum after addendum, we

MM3 during the sale. The sale went so much smoother! There

44 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


Measure has allowed us to take people without 20+ years of flooring experience, and make them experts. If they can work a mouse, they can become a very capable estimator in no time. I can’t imagine working in the floor covering industry without Measure. were not hundreds of invoices someone had to sit down and

have seen how much faster waiting on customers will be dur-

enter into RFMS after the sale. They were automatically exported

ing our huge once-a-year sales where we need to close out

after each sale. Also, the salespeople pre-measure a lot of jobs

customers as quickly as possible!

the week leading up to the actual sale. In the past, anytime a

Thank you for helping to train us on Measure Mobile in the

customer would come in and say we had already measured

past! We have salespeople that have been in the flooring busi-

their home, we had to hunt down the salesperson who mea-

ness for years, and were originally skeptical of Measure Mobile.

sured it, go through all his paperwork to find their drawing and

They have said if we ever go back to the old way measuring

room measurements. Since we used MM3, all we had to do was

and figuring jobs, they would quit! No worries! We will never do

bring up their job inside MM3, and we were ready to help them.

away with MM3!

You could tell that impressed the customers. Also, instead of having to figure up the sale price for any

Ted Gregerson, President, JTG Enterprises, Inc

and all items the customer was interested in, all we had to do

dba Abbey Carpet & Floor, Floors To Go

was simply check that product in MM3, which saved the sales

1008 US HWY 431 N. Anniston, AL 36206, 256-231-0008

people a lot of time during the sales process. We also give the customer what the normal MSRP would have been, along with

Schedule Pro

the sale price, so they can see how much money they actually

Provided by Arni Hafdal,

save at the sale. Again all the salesperson had to do was tap

Regional Systems Analyst, RFMS, Inc.

on the MSRP column, give them that price, and then tap on the sale price column. In order to get those prices into MM3, it did

Schedule Pro is the newest module we added to our business.

take some work ahead of time to make sure the MSRP column

We used an Excel spreadsheet for all five stores, and it was a

equation was correct, and the sale price column equation was

one user program, so we were constantly waiting for staff to

correct. But once that work was done, it made the actual Sale

add information to the schedule then save and get out. Conse-

go faster, easier, and better.

quently, there were always delays and mistakes.

In short, we really liked Measure Mobile before this sale!

Schedule Pro, now enables all stores and all staff members

However, we absolutely love Measure Mobile, now that we

to be in the module at the same time. This enables the staff to

Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

45


be more efficient with their time, and less mistakes are made. RFMS. They proactively visit the customer’s store to get to We have experienced some frustrations, but time has enabled

know each one and their business needs. They also keep each

us to get better at using the program, thus the efficiency out-

client up-to-date on new and beneficial software programs as

weighs any frustrations.

they become available. All our RSA’s have decades of flooring

I would recommend this module for any growing business. industry experience, as well as being proficient in all aspects of Just introduce in your slow season, as it will take time to get a rhythm.

what RFMS offers to it’s clients. One core belief at RFMS is that education is the true key to success. No matter what software system a flooring

Jeff Denckla, President, Alliance Flooring Services

dealer uses, it is mission critical that they know everything

1010 6th Ave N. Kent, WA 98032

they need, to use the technology in a way that is easy, inte-

253-856-1288 | Cell 206-200-7625

grative and useful. Our RSA’s ensure that all our clients have

jeff@allianceflooring.com

access to a variety of educational events, including e-learning, on-site training, classroom training, free webinars and

Schedule Pro

regional workshops.❚

Sandpoint Furniture Carpet One uses the RFMS system in

Our list of our RSA experts

many ways. One of the portions of the program that we use

Venita Brown: AL, AR, LA, MS, OK, TX

extensively, is Schedule Pro. The schedule pro helps us keep

Clarence Fortune: FL, GA, NC, SC, VA, WV

our installers schedules updated and organized. It also allows

Michael Gile: CO, IA, KS, MO, MT, NE, ND, SD, WY

us to add additional services easily to the work order. The sales professionals use schedule pro through the order entry side, to easily assign jobs to installers. Our installation

Canada: SK, MB Arni Hafdal: AK, Northern CA, ID, OR, WA Canada: AB

manager accesses the weekly grid to know where installers are

Kim Jacobson: AZ, Southern CA, HI, MN, NV, UT

located, so he can drop by jobs. Our receptionist uses sched-

Debbie Kennedy: IL, IN, KY, MI, MN, OH, TN, WI

ule pro to make sure all work orders are prepared for the fol-

Jerry Miller: CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT

lowing week as well as doing preinstallation reminders. Our accounting department uses schedule pro to split crew percentages, keep track of job completions as well as verifying payment to installers. Schedule Pro is a very integral part of our day-to-day process and we would be lost without it.

Josh Edlund, Sales Manager Sandpoint Furniture Carpet One, Sandpoint, Idaho

Background on the Regional Systems Analysts at RFMS As the industry leader in flooring specific software, RFMS believes that each member of our sales team is an expert in recommending and assisting flooring dealers with their decisions in moving to an industry specific software system. The RSA at RFMS serves a liaison between the client and 46 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

Canada: ON, QC, NB, NF, NB


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Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

47


The Next GIG

A tale of technology How it can help with your happily ever after — or anything else you think might work. Are you aware of the many new mobile technology options available to help you? This story is one scenario, which should give you a general idea of some ways mobile technology can help you run your business more efficiently, professionally, and profitably. The retailer in this story is using the products of QFloors Mobile Suite.

Chad Ogden QFloors President/CEO

Chad Ogden is the CEO/ President and developer of QFloors flooring software. He grew up in the flooring industry, has a BS in Computer Engineering, and worked many years in

J

ustin is a sales rep for Taylor’s Top-Quality Floors, a residential floor covering business. He’s at work one afternoon talking with potential customers, Gayle and Trent. Gayle is

deciding between two different carpets, and two different LVT products. They plan to get carpet for bedrooms and stairs, and LVT for a hall, kitchen and entry. Justin uses his iPad to check stock on the products. Three are in the warehouse. The fourth would need to be ordered. Using fcB2B, he runs an instant stock check and sees that it is available at the distributor’s warehouse. He reassures Gayle and Trent that there will be no problem getting all the products in within their timeframe.

the technology field before coming back to his flooring roots. He currently serves as the Secretariat of the fcB2B committee and is a widely recognized industry leader in floor covering technology. To contact him, email chad@qprosoftware.com

or call 801-563-0140.

48 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


Justin measures their rooms. He quickly sketches the room shape on his iPad. He points the laser to the various walls, and it brings up exact measurements in real time. He selects the products for each room, and MeasureSquare automatically factors in pattern matching, seam placement, and calculates waste. Gayle wants an estimate of the total cost difference between the two carpets they’re considering. Justin starts a quick proposal, by entering in their contact information and the products they are considering. He gives a ballpark price. Gayle really loves the more expensive carpet but isn’t sure they can afford it. She says she’ll need some time to think about it. She asks whether she can get a discount if she purchases everything through Taylor’s Top-Quality Floors. Justin again takes his iPad and clicks a button to see the margins for the proposal and determines that there is some wiggle room. He tells her if she purchases both the carpet and the LVT, he can do something for her. Justin schedules an appointment to come to their home and measure. The next evening, Justin drives up to Trent and Gayle’s home. Prior to leaving, he grabbed the iPad, mobile internet hotspot, mobile credit card processor, and Disto laser from the store. Before walking up to the door, he turns on the internet hotspot, so that when he is ready to use the cloud, he’ll already be connected to the internet. Justin measures their rooms. He quickly sketches the room shape on his iPad. He points the laser to the various walls, and it brings up exact measurements in real time. He selects the products for each room, and MeasureSquare automatically factors in pattern matching, seam placement, and calculates waste.

Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

49


Justin saves the project onto the cloud. He pulls up QFloors on his iPad and finds the original proposal, updates it, and attaches the new PDFwith the cut sheets and drawings generated from MeasureSquare. Trent mentions that earlier in the week, a competitor store

attaches the new pdf with the cut sheets and drawings gen-

had someone out to estimate, and the guy had just used a tape

erated from MeasureSquare. He completes the proposal and

measure. Trent expresses more confidence in the technology

goes over it, line by line, with Trent and Gayle. They agree with

Justin is using.

it and he then emails the proposal for them to sign, via an elec-

Justin brings up seam placements, along with a 3D render-

tronic signature program.

ing of each room, and talks Gayle and Trent through things.

Gayle signs the proposal. Justin makes a few notes on it for

He gives them the totals. Trent mentions he thought the total

the installers. He also writes a sales note that Gayle mentioned

square yardage would be less. Justin explains that some of that

they’ll be finishing their basement in the summer, and to follow

is due to the pattern match on the carpet and shows them why

up with them at that time.

on the iPad. He adds that if they choose to have more seams

Trent indicates they’ll be paying the down payment with a

with the carpet, they might save a little bit of yardage. He illus-

credit card. Justin pulls out the mobile credit card processor

trates where additional seams could be placed.

and runs the card. He explains to Trent and Gayle that a secure

After talking it over, Gayle and Trent decide that they want to go with the original seam placement and estimate. Justin saves the project onto the cloud. He pulls up QFloors on his iPad and finds the original proposal, updates it, and

50 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

token associated with their credit card info is now on file with the store. He reminds them that the card will automatically be billed for the balance within 24 hours after the installation. They agree to this.


After Gayle and Trent’s installation is complete, Kim completes the order, verifying all costs, and then clicks on the payment button and uses the credit card token on file to pay off the balance. Meanwhile, at the very same time, Justin’s manager, Kim, sees on her computer that he has submitted the invoice and processed the down payment. She can see how profitable the job is. Kim knows that QFloors has automatically scheduled the products to be ordered. It will also flag her installation scheduler. Kim’s grateful she doesn’t have to worry about dropped balls. After Gayle and Trent’s installation is complete, Kim completes the order, verifying all costs, and then clicks on the payment button and uses the credit card token on file to pay off the balance. And they all lived happily ever after. ❚ Note this is just a sample scenario. Many profitable flooring companies use a process very similar to this, but procedures and tools can be adapted to fit the operations of any store. We encourage you to explore all the many possibilities.

YOUR SOFTWARE SHOULDN’T BE PAINFUL TO

USE

Nor should it be torture to learn. QFloors software is: · Powerful yet user-friendly · Comprehensive yet intuitive Consider QFloors. Your employees (and your blood pressure) will thank you. Contact us today for a free demo. (801) 563-0140 www.qfloors.com sales@qprosoftware.com QF_PFR_HalfPg_Painful_Ad_Jun2018.indd 1

6/7/18 10:49 PM

Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

51


The Next GIG Steven Wang CEO and founder of Measure Square

Thinking like Bezos: retail flooring stores will face another major challenge after big boxes

“B

ig Box” stores like Home Depot/Lowe’s and specialty flooring stores currently sell flooring to home owners using old school methods: Advertise to attract homeowners to their

stores, sell them the products, and then send a field rep to measure the floors, communicate the estimate to homeowners, sell the job, order the products, and schedule the installation. The entire shopping process takes around two weeks, with multiple trips back to the store, which is time-consuming and confusing. The customer experience also varies substantially over the process: from product selection, to onsite measure/estimates, to price comparisons and installation. First, it is extremely non-transparent (i.e., Home Depot has privately labeled product SKUs that homeowners cannot find anywhere else). Local stores do the same thing, or show a wideranging set of SKUs that makes it hard to compare apples-to-apples. Often sales reps estimate flooring square footage with an inflated waste calculation. A former sales manager of a national flooring chain told me that their field reps measure the floor by adding 20% waste to the actual site measurements, and quote that number to homeowners. Their office estimating staff generally figure out the actual waste and allocate the rest as profit. Kind of inefficient, right? Definitely! If anything, the industry does look poised for a technology disruption. And Amazon may lead the charge. Over the years, the company has been aggressively moving into the home improvement industry, with plumber services, HVACs in Seattle, and other limited locations, as well as investing in a contractor network. There is also the huge growth in smart speakers, which could be leveraged into the home improvement category. And the recent purchase of Ring is another sign that Amazon is looking at getting a growing share of the home. But even on a more basic level, it does seem kind of odd that homeowners cannot effectively buy flooring products. It’s really puzzling.

A former sales manager of a national flooring chain told me that their field reps measure the floor by adding 20% waste to the actual site measurements, and quote that number to homeowners. 52 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


If anything, the industry does look poised for a technology disruption. And Amazon may lead the charge. Over the years, the company has been aggressively moving into the home improvement industry…. Although, it seems like a pretty good bet that Bezos is seriously thinking about it. Consider just some of the things he could do: ■A  cquire home plans from different sources (city planning offices, new home builders, etc.) and put them into a digitized format, so room drawing and sizes can be easily extracted to determine the design (and product estimates). ■S  olicit and/or profile local installers or service contractors, to provide onsite measuring and installation services. The same Amazon review system can be used during the process. In other words, good contractors will stand out with positive comments (82% of consumers buy on favorable reviews). ■D  rive consumers to buy flooring products from Amazon merchants, or from Amazon fulfillment centers, and schedule local contractors for installation. ■U  se advanced software algorithms to match the best professionals, track each step involved in the service workflow, and record the delivery process, so a homeowner can easily track the progress, similar to the way Amazon currently tracks product shipments. Money is captured on the Amazon side, so any disputes and quality issues, will be adjudicated with the service providers prior to releasing funds. I find myself going to Home Depot less often these days, because buying products from Amazon is easier to search, less expensive, and home delivery is fast and free in 1–2 days, with an Amazon Prime membership. After Home Depot added flooring in the early 90s, their total net earnings grew to $8.6 billion in 2017! So are the retail folks in flooring ready to be part of another challenge?

Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

53


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"The Rugs.Shop concept is a great fit for us, as we do not stock area rugs. This gives us an opportunity to encourage our customers to shop on our website for rugs. It opens up a category for us that we were not actively participating in and it gives us an opportunity to better serve our customers." - Jim Macco, Macco's Floor Covering Center

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Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

55


Training and Certification

I am grateful to CFI for a first-rate certification course. It is worth the time and expense of having an installer off the floor for the days of training and certification. - Leigh Bakhtiari, Carpet One and Floor, San Rafael, CA

2018 CFI Calendar of Events CFI programs feature one and two-day events for the installation professional as well as one, two, and five-week courses for those looking to start their installation career or add a new flooring to their repertoire. All courses are mobile and can be scheduled at your facility (space and attendee minimums apply). For more information, visit cfiinstallers.org. April 5-6 | Forney, TX All Levels Carpet Certification

June 12-13 | Forney, TX Commercial Resilient Certification

March 26 | China Subfloor, Substrate Preparation

April 9-13 | Forney, TX Hardwood/Laminate Training

June 21-22 | Forney, TX Woven & Patterned Carpet Workshop

March 27-28 | China Commercial Carpet Certification

April 16-May 18 | Forney, TX Residential Carpet I Training

July 19-20 | Forney, TX All Levels Carpet Certification

May 8-9 | Forney, TX Ceramic I Certification May 17-18 | Nashville, TN Hardwood/Laminate Certification May 23-24 | Wichita, KS All Levels Carpet Certification

August 15-17 | Orlando, FL CFI 25th Anniversary Convention August 28-29 | Forney, TX Hardwood/Laminate Certification September 27-28 | Forney, TX Ceramic I Certification

May 31-June 1 | Forney, TX Hardwood/Laminate Certification

CFI International Events:

June 12-13 | Forney, TX Residential Resilient Certification

March 26-30 | China Residential/Commercial Carpet

March 29 | China Advanced Commercial carpet Certification March 30 | China Resilient Training April 18-19 | Canada Residential Carpet I Certification April 23-24 | Canada Hardwood/Laminate Certification April 25-26 | Canada Resilient I Certification

Call or email John McHale, Director of Operations, today to schedule an event near you: (816) 231-4646 | JMcHale@cfiinstallers.org

56 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


CFI 25th Anniversary CONVENTION & EXPO

Rosen Shingle Creek August 15-17, 2018 Orlando, FL The CFI Annual Convention is an excellent platform for continued education because it provides seminars on diverse topics and demonstrations on installation techniques that everyone in the flooring industry can learn and benefit from. - Don Styka, Tarkett

2018 marks the 25th Annual CFI Flooring Convention and Expo Since 1993, CFI has been the trusted source and #1 destination for the latest information on new products, tools, techniques and training for the flooring professional. The CFI Convention offers extensive seminars, product demos, and handson workshops taught by leading industry professionals, as well as numerous networking opportunities with executives and colleagues from across the globe. There will also be many fun and exciting activities at our CFI Event in Orlando!

REGISTER NOW!

MEMBER

NON-MEMBER

Full Registration $497 Full Registration $545 Member Guest $345

Day Rate $300

Day Rate $250

Let us know if you have any questions. We’re here to help! Register online at cficonvention.com or call for more info: 816.231.4646

Seminars and Workshops Featuring: • Corey Dickerson - Tools for Flooring • Don Styka - Tarkett • Scott Humphrey - CEO, WFCA • Robert Varden - CFI • Jeff King - Legal Counsel, WFCA • Jon Namba - CFI Certification Team Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

57


SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

Superior synthetic gypsum = superior smoothness and strength

S

ynthetic gypsum is man-made from recycled by-products,

reinforcement. It is especially suitable for refurbishment work in

where calcium sulfate is reclaimed, while natural gypsum is

interior areas on wooden floors, and other critical substrates.

mined from the earth. These two products are chemically iden-

APF’s embedded fibers provide a reinforcement making it

tical; yet offer very different performance characteristics.

unnecessary to lay a reinforcement fabric and can be installed

Schönox AP, APF, and AST are made from synthetic gyp-

above 1/8" up to 1".

sum that is created from the by-product of the process used

Schönox AST is synthetic gypsum based rapid-drying

to purify emissions from power plants. This synthetic gyp-

smoothing and repair compound. It provides a smooth finish

sum contains no organic material and does not support mold

on various substrates in interior areas. Schönox AST can also

growth. The fortification and drying process produces alpha-

be installed as a true featheredge.

hemihydrate for superior hardness and strength. Schönox AP is a synthetic gypsum based self-leveling compound that is especially suitable on all gyp-

Schönox synthetic gypsum products dry to an outstanding 5800 to 6200 PSI and do not shrink. As with all Schönox products, AP, APF, and AST contain no fly ash.

sum and cement based substrates, as well as on

Currently, HPS Schönox is taking synthetic

mastic asphalts. Specially designed for refurbish-

subfloor solutions to a whole new level by

ment work in interior areas, Schönox AP can be

launching two advanced products featuring new

installed up to 2".

Hybrid Active Dry Technology within the syn-

Schönox APF is another synthetic gypsum

thetic gypsum family. Schönox AP Rapid and AP

based self-leveling compound that features fiber-

Continued on page 63

Schnöx AP after application.

58 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


Schönox AP and APF synthetic gyspum self-leveling compounds create a surface of superior smoothness, strength, and durability able to support any resilient flooring. Choose Schönox AST synthetic gypsum rapid-drying smoothing and patching compound to achieve a true featheredge. For the utmost refinement and performance on every level, you want Schönox ÖN IT. Take your business to a whole new level. Call 855.391.2649 or visit hpsubfloors.com to learn how your projects run smoother with Schönox Ön It.

Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

59


FLOOR ED

Do your tile installers create mockups for customers?

F

or your customer’s tile remodel projects, do you ask your installers to create a mockup? Just as plans from an architect or designer help determine the best room flow and layout, a tile

installation mockup helps your customers visualize, and agree to, the ideal layout and appearance for tile before the work begins. In the tile world, you should expect your tile installers to use mockups as a tool to obtain your

Scott Carothers Director of Certification and Training, CTEF Scott is responsible for the creation of the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program, involved in the creation of the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) program and provides training to others in the tile industry. He has been immersed in the ceramic tile industry for over 36 years and was the owner of a successful retail and installation firm prior to coming to CTEF. Scott has served as President of the NTCA,

customer’s approval, as the owner, and possibly also your architect, designer and general contractor, all important specifying constituents for the success of your project. The two most critical references for tile installation recommend the use of mockups are:

The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) Handbook The TCNA Handbook calls for mock-ups in several sections of the book. In both the Ceramic Tile and Glass Tile Selection Guides, the aesthetic classes in both the V3 and V4 categories, share this language: “It is recommended that the range (of color and texture) be viewed before selection, and that a mock layout be made.” Similarly, the Natural Stone Selection Guide in the Viewing/Inspection Distance sections states: “It is recommended that samples, range samples, mockups and finished work be viewed for inspection at a distance of 6½' from a position normal (perpendicular) to the stone face, and with natural lighting.”

Chairman of the NTCA Technical Committee, been named the NTCA Tile Person of the Year in 2005, and the Ring of Honor recipient in 2013. He is a voting member of the ANSI and the TCNA Handbook committees.

“It is recommended that the range (of color and texture) be viewed before selection, and that a mock layout be made.”

60 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


Just as plans from an architect or designer help determine the best room flow and layout, a tile installation mockup helps your customers visualize, and agree to, the ideal layout and appearance for tile before the work begins.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

greater than 15 inches (nominal dimension), the running bond offset will be a maximum of 33%, unless otherwise specified by the tile manufacturer. If an offset greater

Although mockups are not an ANSI requirement, they are men-

than 33% is specified, specifier and owner must approve

tioned as follows:

mock-up and lippage.”

“ANSI A108.02-4.3.8.2 Running bond/brick joint off-

Ultimately, the use of a mockup is a really good idea that can

set: For running bond/brick joint patterns utilizing tiles

demonstrate to the end user, who may have difficulty visualizing

(square or rectangular), where the side being offset is

the final finish, exactly what to expect. The mockup shows the range of color and/

Certified Tile Installer

or texture within the tile; the pattern or offset (if applicable); the size, texture and color of the grout joint; the appearance of the sealant joints; and any accessory items that will be used on the project. This way there are no surprises, unhappy customers, unrealistic or unfulfilled expecta-

WANT TO BE THE BEST?

tions, upon the completion of the project. ❚

The Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program is the only third-party assessment of a tile installation professional’s skill and knowledge that is recognized by the tile industry. 864-222-2131 info@ceramictilefoundation.org www.ceramictilefoundation.org

Ultimately, the use of Visit our website and put yourself above the competition. a mockup is a really GET CERTIFIED! good idea that can demonstrate to the end user, who may have difficulty visualizing the final finish, exactly what to expect. Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

61


ESR Commercial Your Cost-Free Real Estate Resource

By Garrett Aries

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR LEASE SAYS?

M

any of you reading this might not know whether or not you have a personal guaranty on your lease. Others might not see why having a personal guaranty is a big deal. After all, aren’t you responsible for the lease no matter what? Why is it beneficial to not have a personal guaranty? The vast majority of landlords ask for a personal guaranty of some kind when signing a new lease. A personal guaranty says that “you,” and not just your company, partnership, or LLC, are liable for the rent and triple net charges of your space. In a perfect world and perfect scenario, this will never affect a tenant. A tenant pays their rent and the landlord never has to go after anyone for unpaid monies. But what happens if something goes south and you are unable to pay rent? Can the landlord then come after you, personally? Can they go after your personal bank accounts, house, or other personal property? The answer is YES, they can.

A personal guaranty says that “you,” and not just your company, partnership, or LLC, are liable for the rent and triple net charges of your space.

ABOUT US ESR Commercial is the country’s largest trade association brokers. With over 30 years of real estate experience, we are your one stop, cost-free real estate resource. Contact Us: Garrett Aries (818) 519-5040 Garrett.aries@esrcommercialrealty.com.

62 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018


Continued from page 58 Rapid Plus combine the benefits from cement and gypsum based products. The Hybrid Active Dry Technology provides rapid-drying and curing, very low shrinkage, and earlier installation of floor coverings for faster, safer, and more

The solution to this is to either try to completely eliminate, or more likely limit, the personal guaranty.

efficient installation. These products can go over many critical substrates allowing most subfloors to be renovated rather than demolished, resulting in a more economical and environmentally responsible project solution. HPS Schönox believes that anything less than a perfect floor is failure. So when you need the most technically advanced subfloor systems in

The solution to this is to either try to completely eliminate, or more likely limit, the personal guaranty. This is something that we try to negotiate in all of our deals. If you have owned your store for many years, have good credit, and no history of being delinquent, why does an owner continue to need to have a personal guaranty of the lease? It’s not something that every owner will go for, but it can be a very important item that you might not think of at the time you’re signing the lease. You want to limit your personal exposure as much as possible, which could make a big difference at some point in the future. ❚

the industry, Schönox is ÖN IT. For more information on Schönox solutions, please contact Blair Roberts at 1.855.391.2649 or broberts@hpsubfloors.com ❚

If you have owned your store for many years, have good credit, and no history of being delinquent, why does an owner continue to need to have a personal guaranty of the lease?

Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

63


SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

Turn up the HEAT with the highest-performing radiant floor heating system available!

The STRATA_HEAT™ System

❚ Patent pending mortar hydration vents accelerate thin-

The STRATA_HEAT™ floor heating system is the most

set curing for faster dry time of porcelain and larger format

advanced radiant floor heating system available in the world.

tiles—grout the next day

Consisting of a high performance floor heating wire, an uncoupling mat, a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat and the world’s first

❚ STRATA_HEAT Mat design maximizes thin-set to wire contact producing a faster heat-up time with even heat distribution

heat conductive thin-set additive—the system provides you

❚ STRATA_HEAT Wire installs easily in mat—lays flat and secure

with the most advanced and efficient floor heating system for

❚ Optical coverage verification—translucent features allows for

your next installation.

easy determination of mortar

STRATA_HEAT Wire

STRATA_HEAT Thermal Pack

STRATA_HEAT™ Wire is designed for use in STRATA_HEAT

Available only from LATICRETE, STRATA_HEAT Thermal Pack

Mat§ or with STRATA_HEAT Spacing Strips. Offered in both

is a patent pending additive designed exclusively for use

120V and 240V versions with cable length options ranging

in select LATICRETE adhesives. Utilizing Thermal Diffusion

from 17 ft to 830 ft (5.2 m to 253 m) spools, STRATA_HEAT

Technology™, heat generated from the STRATA_HEAT Wire is

Wire is UL approved and provides you the most design flexibil-

uniformly distributed throughout the adhesive, providing faster

ity with easy installation.

floor heat-up and a more comfortable and energy efficient installation!

❚ Can be used as primary heat source—allows multiple wire spacing combinations ❚ Heavy duty construction, outer jacket provides exceptional performance and durability ❚ Produces virtually zero electromagnetic field ❚ No minimum on a straight run length like other systems— easier to layout ❚ Highly conductive copper wiring provides maximum heat transfer ❚ Easy to install, lays flat and secure in STRATA_HEAT Mat or

❚ Eliminates cold spots between wires—thermal heat diffusion is increased by 20%—providing uniform warmth for more comfort ❚ Reduces energy costs by 15%—since heat is transferred faster and more uniformly to achieve desired floor temp— number of heating cycles are reduced, saves money ❚E  conomical and energy efficient— STRATA_HEAT Thermal Pack pays for itself in months by lowering electrical utilization costs. ❚

STRATA_HEAT Spacing Strips

STRATA_HEAT Mat

The Next Generation in Floor Heating

STRATA_HEAT Mat is an innovative uncoupling membrane designed to accommodate STRATA_HEAT Wire— allowing for easy and secure wire placement prior to installing tile and stone flooring. 64 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2018

LATICRETE International, Inc. One LATICRETE Park North Bethany, CT 06524-3423 USA 1.800.243.4788 +1.203.393.0010 www.laticrete.com


Introducing

The most advanced floor heating system in the world!

Thermal Pack

Wi-Fi thermostat for total control from your smartphone.

Utilizing Thermal Diffusion Technology ™, heat generated from the STRATA_HEAT™ Wire is uniformly distributed throughout the adhesive, providing faster floor heat-up and a more comfortable and energy efficient installation!

Mat

Uncoupling mat for easy and secure wire placement.

Allows multiple wire spacing combinations.

Wire

STRATA_HEAT™ is the perfect complement to your kitchen and bath tile designs by adding innovative performance and luxurious comfort at an affordable price. You can add incremental sales and profit to your projects by offering these innovative floor heating components and exceed your customer’s expectations, all from a single source – LATICRETE.

www.laticrete.com

l 1.800.243.4788

A-8501-0618 ©2018 LATICRETE International, Inc. All trademarks shown are the intellectual properties of their respective owners.

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