Flooring Retailers Guide to Greater Success - Increase Margins with Fashionable Designer Products

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D2 | 2021

The official magazine of the World Floor Covering Association

Premier FLOORING RETAILER Increase Margins with Fashionable Designer Products Streamline Your Processes! Get Automated with Flooring Specific Technology Noncompete Agreements Do’s and Don’ts Facebook Groups are Changing How Businesses Connect


From manufacturer to distributor, retailer to installer, the WFCA is a force that binds the industry together. I believe in the power of membership in the WFCA. Our collective voice is much stronger than any one of our individual voices could ever be. The WFCA’s sole focus and purpose is to use this power to help the individual flooring retailer become better at what they do. Join us. Together we are so much stronger. -

Deb DeGraaf

Owner, DeGraaf Interiors See Deb Talk About the Importance of Membership

www.wfca.org


The official magazine of the World Floor Covering Association

Premier FLOORING RETAILER

D2 | 2021

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The Power of Team

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The World Floor Covering Association Debuts In-House Conrent Studio, Studio 59TM

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What is EDI, and Why is It Used by fcB2B

Scott Humphrey, CEO, WFCA

Lewis Davis, Senior Director of Technology and Research

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Why Leave the installation of Your Beautiful New Floor to Just Anyone

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Presenting Fashionable Products

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The Beautifully Responsible™ Momentum of Resilient Flooring

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Cybersecurity and Cloud Solutions

Tom Jennings, Retail Training Expert

Zach Altneu, Cyber Insurance Broker

On the Cover: NEW DiamondWalkTM Waterproof Flooring from the Christina Collection. Shown here is the Color/Style: Kings Peak

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Good Companions… Custom Area Rugs from the DW Select Collection

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Facebook Groups are Changing How Businesses Connect Lisbeth Calandrino, Flooring Specialist, Associate Publisher, and Director of Social Media for Fabulous Floors Magazine

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Carpet Padding or Carpet Cushion. There’s a difference

32 Reputation Management Isn’t a Marketing Problem or an Operations Problem— It’s a Problem/Opportunity for the Entire Company Charles Stiles, Business Evaluation Services

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Shepherding Success Through Software—The Unusual Evolution of QFloors Chad and Trent Ogden, Co-founders QFloors

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The Entrepreneurial Vision of Pioneer Floor Coverings Pioneer Floor Coverings, QFloors customer since 2001

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Explosive Expansion—The Floor Store The Floor Store, QFloors customer since 2001

42 Women of the Flooring Business Offers Educational Courses and Support for Members 46

Waterproof Flooring Made Easy

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Noncompete Agreements—A Basic Guide of the Do’s and Don’ts Jeffrey W. King Legal Counsel for the WFCA

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Why Pay Attention to Moisture in Wood? Jason Wright, Wagner Meters

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Introducing… The Christina Collection

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How To Solve Common Flooring Installation Problems Right From Your Phone

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Why Certified Installers are Important

66 Bruce® Laminate is Back!

Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

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TAKING THE LEAD

The Power of the Team

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Scott Humphrey CEO, WFCA

The most important team members are often the least visible. In business and in the world at large, we tend to glorify those on the stage and forget the sacrifice, wisdom, and expertise of those behind the curtain.

here are numerous examples in sports of the importance of teams. In fact, many of the GOATS (Greatest of All Time) were greater because of the team that surrounded them. Would Michael Jordan have been the same if not for Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and the supporting cast of the Chicago Bulls? We will never know… because it is impossible to separate the team from the superstar. But the concept of team is not limited to the world of athletics. Think about Lewis and Clark, Abbot and Costello, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Helen Keller, and Anne Sullivan…and I could go on. The fact is success is easier to attain and simpler to sustain when you don’t get there alone. One of my favorite movies of all time is Apollo 13. Being a history junkie, I love the fact that it is based on actual NASA transcripts from an amazingly harrowing flight into space. It was the 7th manned mission in the Apollo space program, and the third meant to land on the moon. But it didn’t. Instead, there was an explosion of an oxygen tank that changed the destiny of the mission and ultimately every member of the team…including those who weren’t on the flight. Ron Howard does an amazing job capturing the precision required to launch a manned craft into space and the raw emotion that consumes when the unthinkable occurs. Using the true story of this amazing flight, let’s take a deeper look at the power of the team.

1. Teams function best if every member of the team understands their unique role. On the Apollo 13 flight, responsibilities were well defined. The mission was commanded by Jim Lovell. Jack Swigert was command module commander, and Fred Haise was the planned Lunar Module pilot. Each was considered essential for a successful mission, and every individual trained uniquely for their role. Leaders often make the mistake of surrounding themselves with others just like them—same strengths and same weaknesses. This is a slow path to ultimate failure.

2. The most important team members are often the least visible. In business and in the world at large, we tend to glorify those on the stage and forget the sacrifice, wisdom, and expertise of those behind the curtain. If not for those on earth working tirelessly to achieve the impossible and get a disabled spacecraft back safely to earth, there would be no Apollo 13 movie, and I would not be sharing this “success” story. Once the explosion occurred, there was little the crew could do. Success and ultimately survival would depend on the nameless heroes at flight command in Houston. Don’t forget to honor those who make the impossible possible.

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3. The team is strongest when the challenge is greatest. Day in and day out, we face unexpected situations that call on someone on the team to step out of the shadows and step up to the challenge. Previously I mentioned that Jack Swigert was the command module pilot, but that wasn’t the original plan. Ken Mattingly, who was originally selected and had trained relentlessly for that role, had to be replaced just days prior to launch because of his exposure to rubella. I have seen members desert the team when they are not selected for the glory role. Strong teams place value on all members. In the case of Apollo 13, Ken Mattingly went from zero to hero. Had he not been grounded and able to step into the training module and determine the correct power on sequence, it is probable that Apollo 13 would be considered one of NASA’s greatest failures. I still remember that day in April of 1970. Our school stopped to pray for the astronauts. Even experts at NASA felt the chance of a successful return was dismal—and it would have been if it were not for the power of the team. If you desire success, work hard, stay focused, and invest in your team! ■

The team is strongest when the challenge is greatest. Day in and day out, we face unexpected situations that call on someone on the team to step out of the shadows and step up to the challenge. Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

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World Floor Covering Association Debuts In-House Content Studio, Studio 59™

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orld Floor Covering Association (WFCA) has

content. We jumped into action at the outset by provid-

capabilities by opening a dedicated, custom-built stu-

the power and potential of our platform, as well as our

expanded its content creation and production

dio space under a new banner, Studio 59™.

This new initiative provides the opportunity to

create a library of original digital content, including

robust education, leadership training, and additional resources from the WFCA and its many partners to

ing the latest news and resources and demonstrated audience’s appetite for a broad and diverse array of

content. Studio 59’s launch greatly expands the scope

of our virtual offerings and reinforces our commitment to this industry. “

The name Studio 59™ is a tribute to its origins in

better serve its large and diverse membership.

1959 with the formation of the Western Floor Cov-

addressing issues that affect the floor covering indus-

audio, lighting, backdrop, and monitors will host live

“Since 1959, the WFCA has been at the forefront of

try,” said Scott Humphrey, CEO of the WFCA. “We will

now have the ability to create diverse content across

platforms to serve our fast-growing, highly engaged

ering Association. The state-of-the-art studio set with and pre-recorded events across all WFCA’s divisions, partners, and its executive team. ■

audience across every sector in the flooring industry.”

Freida Staten, WFCA Vice President of Marketing,

Communications & Membership, added, “The pandemic has really shined a light on the importance of The official magazine of the World Floor Covering Association

Premier FLOORING RETAILER 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 Stan Michelson, Communications Director Toelke Associates/Ron Toelke, Creative Director

This Issue’s Guest Columnists

Zac Altneu, Cyber Insurance Broker

Contributing Writers

Charles Stiles, Business Evaluation Services;Trent Ogden, QFloors; Jason Wright, Wagner Meters

Editorial and Advertising Offices:

Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC Phone: 678-761-5002 Email: Margo@pfrmag.net Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and timeliness of information, Premier Flooring Retailer Magazine cannot be held responsible for discrepancies, typographical errors, discontinuance of product nor color reproduction.

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WFCA

Scott Humphrey, Chief Executive Officer Freida Staten, VP of Marketing Communications & Membership Steve Abernathy, Chief Financial Officer Kay Wiley, Executive Assistant to the CEO

Contributing Columnists Lisbeth Calandrino, Lewis Davis, Scott Humphrey, Tom Jennings, Jeffrey King, Stacy Eickhoff

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 2021.

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 and digital by Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC located at 572 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.


We Want to Hear from You! We are developing a new Strategic Plan to guide our organization through 2025. Your input is crucial for achieving our vision and ensure we are headed in the right direction. We appreciate your feedback!

Take the Survey Now!

Everyone who completes this survey will receive free access to the WFCA University for the remainder of the year and be entered into a drawing for a $500 American Express gift card.

Tom Jennings

Champion Award

Tom Jennings, a lifelong champion of the floorcovering industry, has made a lasting, positive imprint, most notably with his mantra, “They say that champions don’t do one thing a 100% better than their competitors, rather they do a hundred things 1% better.” In recognition of his many contributions to improving the industry, the Tom Jennings Champion Award will be given annually by the WFCA to an individual who captures the spirit of Tom’s commitment toexcellence in customer service. Learn more and nominate someone today!

The WFCA debuts an in-house content creation and production with a dedicated, custom-built studio space under a new banner, Studio 59™. The name Studio 59™ is a tribute to its origins in 1959 with the formation of the Western Floor Covering Association. The state-of-the-art studio set with audio, lighting,backdrop, and monitors, will host live and pre-recorded events across all WFCA’s divisions, partners, and its executive team. Learn more about the new studio!

Steve Abernathy, CFO of the WFCA, leads this virtual series sharing financial benchmarking tools to help floor covering retailers improve the operational and financial management of their business. Click below to watch the first episode and watch our site for upcoming webinars! Learn more about Profit Matters! Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

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TAKING THE LEAD

What is EDI, and Why is it Used by fcB2B?

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Lewis Davis Senior Director of Technology and Research

hat is EDI or Electronic Data Interchange? Let us start with a bit of history; in the early 1970s, companies looked at ways to communicate business documents in an automated fashion. Back then, communication was done using modems (precursor to today’s routers). Companies like Montgomery Ward and Kmart defined their format to send purchase orders to their suppliers. This was great if you were the sender, but each supplier had to support multiple formats to process PO’s. This was very inefficient and costly for the suppliers. The industry came together and requested help from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and after a period, EDI was born. When the fcB2B standards were created, EDI was well established and heavily used within the supply chain. This made the decision on the format very easy. The EDI documents are somewhat cryptic if you are not familiar with the format. Each document has a number that identifies what information is contained within. For example, the 810 is an electronic invoice, whereas the 832 is a product catalog. Each document is broken down into segments and elements. The elements define what data is stored, and qualifiers are used to identify the data further. For example, X12 EDI is used throughout the United States, whereas EDIFACT is the standard used everywhere in the world. Although they differ in context and document name, a Purchase Order is an 850 in X12 and ORDERS in EDIFACT; both still use segments, elements, and qualifiers to identify the sent data. I know this is techno-speak, but it helps to explain why EDI was used to create the fcB2B standard. Things move much faster in today’s IT and life, and we have gotten accustomed to instant access and instant delivery. One question I get is why are we still using EDI to send these critical documents; why not a newer technology or web services to request a catalog and receive the data? One reason is the volume of data in a complete catalog from some suppliers, although small compared to some

The EDI documents are somewhat cryptic if you are not familiar with the format. Each document has a number that identifies what information is contained within.

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files on the internet. Another reason is the investment suppliers have made in EDI, which large retailers still require to conduct business. The big online retailers (Amazon, Wayfair, etc.) look to EDI to provide stock levels to keep products on a website and supplier analytics. There are other options for sending this information, but they require additional effort to define and get an industry agreement. EDI may be getting some gray hairs, but it’s still useful and has a role in automating business-critical documents. Visit our website at www.fcb2b.info and click on the Resources tab to learn more about fcB2B. In addition, the Organization tab has a listing of the members that support fcB2B. Do you B2B? If not, Why? Contact me to find out how to be more efficient in your business. ■ Lewis Davis can be contacted at 706-217-1183 ext. 132 or via email at ldavis@wfca.org.

One question I get is why are we still using EDI to send these critical documents; why not a newer technology or web services to request a catalog and receive the data? One reason is the volume of data in a complete catalog from some suppliers, although small compared to some files on the internet.

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FLOOR ED

Why leave the installation of your beautiful new floor to just anyone For a floor that has a 15-year warranty, you want the installation to be perfect. Otherwise, you’ll be living with someone else’s mistakes every day for those 15 long years. Professional installation makes sense.

Responsible installation services stand by their work for at least a year...

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he key to a flawless installation is an experienced crew with specific knowledge of the material and expert in its placement. In addition, each of the flooring categories has its installation requirements that the installer must fulfill to meet the manufacturers’ comprehensive warranties and guarantees. When you buy flooring, the retailer may offer installation services in-house or have recommendations for the local professional with the skills the flooring requires. If you choose to work with your retailer on the installation, a sales or design associate will schedule delivery and the installation. This takes a burden off your shoulders and ensures a good experience. Even as affordable as resilient flooring is, it’s an investment in your home, both financially and aesthetically. Using the retailer’s installation service may cost you a bit extra, but it is offset by the assurance that there will be someone on the end of the phone should a problem arise.

Installers standing by their work When you are selecting an installer, ask if they warranty their work and for how long. Responsible installation services stand by their work for at least a year, some for the life of the flooring. Make sure that the terms of the warranty are included in the estimate for installing. And ask for and check references. If you are pricing installers, the estimate should include all related costs beyond labor, including adhesives, membranes or underlayment, moldings, trims, transitions, sub-flooring repair, and any pre-installation work like moving furniture or removing old flooring. ■

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YOU CAN’T SELL WHAT YOU CAN’T INSTALL... BE A PART OF THE INDUSTRY WIDE SOLUTION. WHEN RETAILERS STEP UP MORE RECRUITS TRADE UP

RECRUITMENT, SCHOLARSHIPS & PLACEMENT FOR TOMORROW’S FLOORING CRAFTSMEN

Donate today and find out how flooring retailers can be part of the solution at FCEF.org

Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

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IT’S YOUR UP

Presenting Fashionable Products

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Tom Jennings Retail Training Expert 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. He may be reached at

tomg.jennings@gmail.com

aving spent my adult life engaged in flooring retailing, I have observed that many store owners and managers have given a great deal of thought to what results they want to see their respective businesses achieve. They can tell you what products they wish to sell. They know how much margin they wish to gain from the sale and even when they want to sell them. They decide how they would like their store displays arranged, how the staff should dress, and what music they would like to hear playing in the background. They often say that they want to sell better quality goods than in the past. They feel that they have properly planned for favorable business results from each customer sale. While this may appear impressive and certainly beats failing to plan, I find this “store-centered” business philosophy flawed. Why? Because no one bothered to ask the customer if any of this was relevant. Have you ever asked your customers what are indeed the essential elements of a sale to them? What is it that turns an ordinary product into an extraordinary fashion in the customer’s eyes? I have found that a profitable use of time is to tour businesses successfully specializing in fashionable products not sold in our industry. These businesses may be selling anything from clothing to home décor, kitchenware, to eyewear. They do have one common goal — to make the customer’s buying experience fun and fulfilling. They have learned that customers will gladly pay more for unique, well-designed, innovative, and well-displayed products. They have learned that this customer places a high value on their time and will not allow it to be wasted. These merchants understand that there are “category killers” or “big boxes” in virtually every phase of retail that will appeal to a certain percentage of potential customers. They also understand that the promise of mass retailing turns off a healthy percentage of potential customers. This customer wants to see the product in a comfortable setting with correct lighting. They want to hear relaxing background music — not a public address system with frequent ads mixed into the rotation. They want

They feel that they have properly planned for favorable business results from each customer sale. While this may appear impressive and certainly beats failing to plan, I find this “store-centered” business philosophy flawed. Why? Because no one bothered to ask the customer if any of this was relevant.

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A famous saying states, “When they say that one size fits all — what they mean is that one size fits nobody!” to work with a sales professional that is professionally dressed and groomed — not by someone wearing an apron with a collection of service pins attached to it to prove that they are “trained.” They want to have their purchase properly handled and placed into their car for them — not be forced to use a self-service kiosk “for their convenience”! Finally, they want to feel that what they have to say matters and that their business is valued. They are getting this feeling from their other favorite stores. Would they get the same feelings from yours? A famous saying states, “When they say that one size fits all — what they mean is that one size fits nobody!” Unfortunately, mass marketers have adopted a “one size fits all” philosophy. A customer at their store must comply with their systems and policies. While this works for these retailers at their scale, don’t mistakenly think it will work for you. What works well for commodity products will not work as well for fashionable ones. Remember that they don’t care if one size fits everyone else, their size is the only one that matters to them, and it has to fit them perfectly! The odds of them finding this level of service at a mass merchant are remote, giving independent retailers an excellent opportunity to prosper. Find what your customer wants and then strive to see that they get it. When you focus on making a more discriminating customer happy — they will make you happy in return! ■

Find what your customer wants and then strive to see that they get it. When you focus on making a more discriminating customer happy — they will make you happy in return!

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

The Beautifully Responsible™ Momentum of Resilient Flooring It’s the winning combination of research, message, media and support to help flooring retailers sell more

I

f 2020 was the year of the sudden pandemic, 2021 is the year of the slow and

steady recovery. The home improvement fervor that began during lock-down

continues even now, fueling replacement flooring sales–especially for resilient. Resilient flooring has a number of advantages that consumers have become aware of, thanks in part to the Beautifully Responsible™ campaign launched by the Resilient Floor Covering Institute.

“Beautifully Responsible is both the name of our new consumer digital cam-

paign and a very apt description of resilient flooring in general,” observed Dean Thompson, president and CEO of RFCI. “Our organization, representing 22 resil-

ient flooring manufacturers in North America, believed the time was right to spread the word.”

What does resilient flooring encompass?

A Beautifully Responsible floor made by any of the RFCI member manufacturers (including flexible luxury vinyl tile and planks (LVT/LVP), rigid core luxury vinyl, lino-

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“42 percent of Americans want to be seen as someone who buys eco-friendly products, but they don’t want to have to make tradeoffs. Beautifully Responsible™ meets the need perfectly,” said Suzanne Shelton, CEO of Shelton Group… leum, heterogeneous and homogeneous sheet vinyl, rubber, cork, and vinyl com-

position tile (VCT), must meet very stringent standards for qualification to assure a responsibly made and performing product.

The purpose of the Beautifully Responsible campaign

“42 percent of Americans want to be seen as someone who buys eco-friendly products, but they don’t want to have to make trade-offs. Beautifully Responsi-

ble™ meets the need perfectly,” said Suzanne Shelton, CEO of Shelton Group, the leading marketing communications agency focused on sustainability and cor-

porate social responsibility. Shelton Group, along with the top marketing profes-

sionals from the RFCI member companies, developed the campaign based on

three communication ‘pillars’: Mindful Manufacturing™, Living Well™, and Made for Life™. Research indicated that all three mattered to floor covering consumers and were easily satisfied by resilient flooring. “Flooring is a considered and heavily researched decision, so our job is to point the consumer to resilient flooring as the easiest and best answer as a starting place for a new floor,” said Thompson.

“Beautifully Responsible is both the name of our new consumer digital campaign and a very apt description of resilient flooring in general,” observed Dean Thompson, president and CEO of RFCI. “Our organization, representing 22 resilient flooring manufacturers in North America, believed the time was right to spread the word.” Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

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Reaching consumers with our message

To reach floor-buying consumers with the Beautifully Responsible message, RFCI is employing popular social media and sharing platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube to display inspiring room scene photography from resilient manufacturers and informative video content.

To reach floor-buying consumers with the Beautifully Responsible message, RFCI is employing popular social media and sharing platforms such as Pinterest, Ins-

tagram and YouTube to display inspiring room scene photography from resilient manufacturers and informative video content. Everything is linked to the Beautiful-

lyResponsible.com website with even more information and links to manufacturers

websites to dig deeper… to ‘learn what matters to you.’ Google display ads have also been deployed to broaden the reach even further. “As the campaign devel-

ops, we are not only adjusting and improving from the data we collect, but we are also sharing those analytics with our members,” commented Thompson.

Our own design idea book

In addition to the social media campaign, RFCI will be introducing a design print and digital magazine in late

fall called Beautifully Responsible Luxury Flooring. This glossy idea book format will showcase new products and

design trends, sustainability advancements, and all the benefits of Beautifully Responsible resilient flooring. Over

10,000 copies will be on newsstands and sold in 1500+ bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million

and Hastings, where well-educated, affluent customers shop for home décor books and magazines. In addition, Beautifully Responsible Luxury Flooring will be available to 20,000 op designers, architects and specifiers. Online, it will be linked to RFCI.com, FabulousFloorsMagazine.com, and BeautifullyResponsible.com and be readable and interactive on Magzter.com, joomag.com and issuu.com. 14

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How Does the Beautifully Responsible Campaign Add Value to Your Sale and the Consumer?

Sales training help

1. Commit to educating your customers on resilient products and

ing and retail expertise of indus-

how the campaign has impacted the industry. Customers don’t know what questions to ask, so YOU will have to take the lead.

2. Commit to educating yourself on what the campaign means and the changes that are taking place in our industry. Let consumers know that resilient flooring is an environmental leader in our industry.

3. People buy from people who they like, who are trustworthy, and who have expertise. This is your opportunity to grow your industry knowledge and become an expert.

4. The only way we will be able to move the recycling issue forward is to educate ourselves and the consumer. Salespeople need to

help their consumers change their behavior. Remove the barriers between “I want to, and yet I don’t.”

5. Realtors are becoming certified through the National Association of Green Realtors®; green products have value. This would be an

excellent group to invite in and introduce the Beautifully Responsible Campaign or offer to be a speaker at one of their meetings.

6. Look for opportunities to share your knowledge and grow your

business with architects, interior designers, and builders who are unfamiliar with industry changes.

If the consumer buys a resilient floor, we must educate them on the

RFCI has also tapped the floortry icon Lis Calandrino to produce

a video tutorial for retailers and

sales associates on understanding and communicating the Beautifully Responsible campaign messages with their floor covering custom-

ers. “Today’s flooring consumer is becoming just as cognizant of

sustainable manufacturing prac-

tices, recycling and healthy and safe environments as architects and designers for commercial proj-

ects,” observed Dean Thompson. “That’s why it is so important for the

sales associate to relate to those concerns when getting to know the customer and close the sale.

Lis can help them do that.” The

video is free to download and use in your sales training. The

Beautifully

Responsible

Beautifully Responsible Program and thank them for their commit-

campaign is a researched, fact-

would make sure they received a certificate thanking them for buy-

and trade campaign that truly res-

ment to the environment and our world. If it were my customer, I ing responsible. ■

based, comprehensive consumer onates with the needs of everyone

when it comes to shopping for, selecting, buying or even selling a new floor. “Resilient flooring is the fastest growing floor category

there is. This campaign is designed to ensure that momentum contin-

ues.” For more information on RFCI

and all of its programs, visit RFCI. com or RFCI on LinkedIn. To expe-

rience the campaign for yourself, visit BeautifullyResponsible.com ■

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THERE’S NEVER A COMPROMISE FOR STYLE, BUDGET, FUNCTION, WELL-BEING OR SUSTAINABILITY... EVER.

That’s the promise with a Beautifully Responsible™ resilient floor. Today’s flooring customer wants it all. With a Beautifully Responsible™ resilient floor, you’ve got what they’re looking for. From a floor that’s made responsibly, with safe and sustainable processes and materials, to a floor they can live with confidently–knowing that it contributes to a healthier indoor environment with FloorScore® certification, resilient flooring is the answer. And not to mention a floor that’s durable, easy to care for, and retains its beauty as well as its value. They get it all and more. Beautifully Responsible resilient flooring comes from these leading manufacturers who maintain the environmental sustainability, well-being and durable performance of the floors they make for the uncompromising trust of you and your customers:

®

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Sharing the message of resilient flooring in a BeautifullyResponsible.com way. Today’s shopper is online by the millions, looking for a new floor. That’s why we’ve not only launched a new consumer-facing website, but we’re also engaging consumers with social media, bloggers, videos and more.

For expert sales training about the key motivators for Beautifully Responsible™, we’ve released a video for retailers hosted by Lisbeth

This Fall, we’re launching a new idea

Calandrino.

book available at retail in top bookstores and as a digital version online with the latest Beautifully Responsible™ resilient flooring inspiration.

Beautifully Responsible™ is exclusively by Premier Premier Flooring Flooring Retailer | Retailer TISE Edition | D2 2021

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COMING IN EARLY DECEMBER The Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) and Fabulous Floors Magazine Presents

Beautifully Responsible Luxury Flooring—Your Design Resource for Luxury Vinyl tile, planks, sheet vinyl and more...

W

e are all about educating the consumer on resilient

TOPICS TO INCLUDE

flooring! It is all about sustainability, durability, afford-

Resilient Education • Resilient Innovation • Resilient

ability, and style. The Luxury Resilient flooring category

Language • Rigid or flexible • Comparatively Speaking

includes vinyl sheet flooring, vinyl composition tile (VCT), rig-

• Waterproof vs. Water-resistant • Flooring Where

id-core, SPC, WPC, luxury vinyl tiles and planks, linoleum,

Appropriate: commercial applications • Luxury Flooring

rubber, cork, and other types of synthetic flooring.

Tools of the Trade: Premium materials and underlayment • The Finishing Touches: Radiant heat, decorative grates,

FOR RETAILERS

matching trims and transitions • The Responsible Flooring Choice: The importance of Certification

● Use LF in your store to educate your customers ● Help salespeople with new products ● Show product applications with room scenes

Celebrating its 18th year, Fabulous Floors Magazine is

● Create a label “Compliments of…” with your store name

uniquely positioned with RFCI to create this magazine

and information. Place magazines in local waiting areas ●The 1st and only consumer magazine devoted to

(Doctors’ and dentists’ offices and salons )

flooring styles as a key design

● Staple a coupon/offer from your store on the cover

FOR MANUFACTURERS

Beautifully Responsible

Winter | 2021

LUXURY FLOORING Your Design Resource for Luxury Vinyl Tile, Planks, Sheet Vinyl and More...

AND AFFILIATES

element in home decor. ● Published by owners of a specialty floor store serving both residential and commercial ● First-hand knowledge of what

● Get your brand in front of your

consumers and the A&D

customer

community need

● 10,000 copies on newsstands and booksellers across North America ● 20,000 digital copies distributed to top designers, architects, and specifiers ● Available online at MAGZTER, JOOMAG.COM, and ISSUU.COM

Resilient Flooring is… ✔ Made for Life ✔ Mindfully Manufactured ✔ Helps You Live Well beautifullyresponsible.com

Contact Margo Locust at margo@fabulousfloorsmag.com or call (678) 761-5002 for advertising rates and PRE-ORDERS; $1.50 per copy plus the cost of shipping.

Beautifully Responsible Luxury Flooring 18

Your Design Resource For Luxury Vinyl Tile, Planks, Sheet Vinyl, and more…

Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021


Keurig K-1500 ™Office Single Serve Brewer and Merchandiser for $1.00 with the purchase of 8 boxes of K-Cups *Coffee Subscription Required*

K-1500 Brewer is ideal for offices with up 15 Employees Recommended K-Cup Assortment Green Mountain Breakfast Blend SKU# 864750 Green Mountain Nantucket Blend SKU# 864715 Green Mountain Breakfast Blend Decaf SKU# 837499 Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa SKU# 713447 The statements and claims made herein belong solely to Keurig Dr Pepper and their accuracy is the sole responsibility of Keurig Dr Pepper

Green Mountain Dark Magic SKU# 479415 Green Mountain Hazelnut SKU# 864673 Original Donut Shop Regular SKU# 464025 Celestial Seasonings Green Tea SKU# 864743 Products sold at Office Depot

Valid at business.officedepot.com or by phone at 888.2.OFFICE and fax at 888.813.7272 only. Office Depot updates pricing, product and service assortment on a regular basis as a result of a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, market and competitive forces, and reserves the right to change pricing and product assortment at any time without notice. Offers are non-transferable. Office Depot reserves the right to limit quantities sold to each customer. We are not responsible for errors. Office Depot is a trademark of The Office Club, Inc. ©2021 Office Depot, LLC. All rights reserved. BSD102.20_1PG_A

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RETIREMENT SERVICES

Retirement options for business clients Deciding Which Plan Is Right The most common types of small business retirement plans include SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, and 401(k) plans. When helping your clients decide which retirement plan offering is right for their business, consider their business size, their self-employment income, and preferences regarding the plan’s design and features. Let’s take a look at how the different plans compare in 2021:1 SEP IRA

SIMPLE IRA

401(k) plan

Business Size Available to any size business

Available up to 100 employees

Any

Contribution type(s)

Employer only

Employer

Employer (optional)

Employee (contributions optional)

Employee elective

Annual Employees Deferral Limit

Not Applicable

$13,500

$19,500

Vesting

Contributions 100% vested immediately

Contributions 100% vested immediately

Various vesting schedules allowed

Potential fits

One-man S corps, family- owned businesses with no other employees

Small businesses (under 10 employees)

Businesses desiring both plan design flexibility and ability to maximize contributions

State-sponsored retirement plans Several states now require that employers participate in a retirement program sponsored by their state if they do not already offer a retirement plan for their employees’ benefit. The plan-type may vary by state, so it is important to be aware of each state’s provisions. As of July 1, 2021, the following are the first states to enact legislation requiring employers to either offer their own employer sponsored retirement plan or participate in the state sponsored plan. California Colorado Connecticut Illinois

Maine Maryland Massachusetts New Jersey

New Mexico New York Oregon Washington

State-Sponsored Plans

VS.

Vermont Virgina

Employer-sponsored plans

No employer contributions

Eligible for employer contributions

Employee pays all the plan costs

Typically paid for by employer

Limited education and support

Flexible plan design

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Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

FOR FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY – NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC.

PwC’s 2021 Financial Wellness survey found that 63% of full-time employees say that their financial stress has increased since the start of the pandemic.


SECURE Act Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act or SECURE Act contains several changes designed to expand and facilitate retirement savings, and provides new incentives for businesses to offer retirement plans. These changes will take effect for 20211 retirement plans. Important changes introduced with SECURE Act

Increases limits for start-up tax credit – employers are eligible to an annual start-up tax credit for three years. You could get credits of up to $5,000 per year for the first three years just for starting a plan2 Automatic Enrollment tax credit3 – allows employers who adopt the automatic enrollment feature in their retirement plan to receive a credit of $500 per year for three years New eligibility requirements for part-time employees – employees that complete 1000 hours of service in 1 year or 500 hours in each of three consecutive years are now permitted to participate in 401(k) plans Penalty-free withdrawals of up to $5,000 for expenses related to the birth or adoption of a child Required minimum distribution age increased to 72 from 70 ½

1 All limits in this chart are as of 2021. 2 Amount of the actual credit is limited to 50% of actual plan startup and administrative costs. The maximum credit shown is only available to plans that cover at least 20 non-highly compensated employees and that offer automatic enrollment - your tax credit may be lower depending on your situation. ADP does not provide tax advice, and you should consult with your own tax professional. 3 Plan must meet requirements of Eligible Automatic Contribution Arrangement (EACA) as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 414(w)(3).

Help your clients get more from their retirement plan If you would like more information about ADP’s retirement plan offerings, please contact a licensed ADP Retirement Services District Manager. This information is provided courtesy of: Dave Bevan

801 671 5839

Dave.Bevan@adp.com

SIMPLE IRA and SEP are offered through ADP Broker-Dealer, Inc. (ADPBD), Member FINRA, an affiliate of ADP, Inc., One ADP Blvd, Roseland, NJ 07068. Only registered representatives of ADPBD may offer and sell such retirement products and services or speak to retirement plan features and/or investment options available in any ADP retirement product. ADP RETIREMENT SERVICES 71 Hanover Road Florham Park, NJ 07932 ADP, the ADP logo and Always Designing for People are trademarks of ADP, Inc. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners. 99-5741-ADV-CPA-0721 ADPRS-20210726-2309 Copyright © 2021 ADP, Inc. All Rights Reserved. FOR FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY – NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC.

Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

21


By Zach Altneu, Cyber Insurance Broker

FLOOR ED

Cybersecurity and Cloud Solutions The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of cloud solutions and other remote access tools, with many businesses choosing to put aside previous concerns about potential security risks to accommodate a remote workforce.

H Stacy Eickhoff Stacy Eickhoff is senior vice president for Risk Strategies Company. She has worked in the insurance industry over 25 years with a focus on property and casualty within the floor covering and construction industries. Ms. Eickhoff holds licenses in over 40 states. Risk Strategies Company is the endorsed provider for the World Floor Covering Association.

owever, hasty adoption of any new technology not combined with robust security frameworks, policies, and controls can leave businesses vulnerable. A formal vendor management process and having specific controls in place can mean the difference between a cloud solution being a considerable advantage to agile operations or leaving the business open to attacks and unauthorized access.

Cloud Technology Cloud computing solutions give companies greater flexibility, help reduce costs, and improve security ­— just a few of the reasons companies are migrating at least part of their operations away from traditional servers. Even if you are working primarily on a physical server connected to the network, you can still utilize cloud solutions to back up your data on a remote server. Backing up data on a cloud server separates the data from the core network and servers, providing an extra layer of protection if a bad actor were to access the network. The logic is that with the right password and credential management policies, even if that bad actor makes their way onto the network with stolen credentials, hopefully, the credentials for the cloud solution are different than those of the network, stopping them in their tracks. Most cloud providers also can easily set up multifactor authentication as an additional layer of security, which we recommend taking advantage of whenever possible. As decentralized systems, cloud backups and servers are not on network devices, making it more difficult for someone outside of the company to gain access to them and potentially your data. Some believe that the cloud must be inherently less secure because it is accessible through the internet. Still, it is precisely that remoteness and disconnect from the core network, in tandem with the additional correct controls, can protect your company.

Cloud computing solutions give companies greater flexibility, help reduce costs, and improve security ­— just a few of the reasons companies are migrating at least part of their operations away from traditional servers. 22 Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021


Vendors Some larger businesses can set up their own data centers and manage private cloud servers for themselves, but they are in the minority. Most will turn to what is known as the “public cloud” and prominent vendors to set up servers for their company. There is always an inherent risk in that relationship, as there is with giving data and network access to any vendor that you choose to do business with. We constantly tell our clients that vendor due diligence is critical, no matter what service or solution you’re seeking. So make sure you are doing your research with your cloud provider. Here are some common questions to ask: ● Are they using the right security solutions, and do they have the proper security controls in place? ●W here will the data be stored? ●W hat systems are being used, and are they up to date? ● Is my company’s data separated from other entities’? What are the access and security permissions/controls? ●A re they using encryption?

There is always an inherent risk in that relationship, as there is with giving data and network access to any vendor that you choose to do business with. Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

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You are entrusting this provider with your company’s data, and if there is an incident on their systems, you will be held responsible for the liability that could arise, not them. So, whether they’re one of the behemoths that dominate the space — Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud — or a lesser-known enterprise, make sure you have done your homework. In addition, many of the providers have contracts with each other. VMware, for example, has a partnership with AWS which means that while your contract might be with VMware, your data is likely being hosted on an Amazon cloud server. Therefore, it is essential to know precisely where your data is stored as you are responsible for it.

Regardless of how reputable Cybersecurity Policies your cloud Regardless of how reputable your cloud provider may be, a strong cybersecurity polprovider may icy is imperative and should be updated to reflect any new cloud-based tech that be, a strong you’ve implemented. Due to the rampant increased severity and frequency of ransomware attacks, the cybersecurity cyber insurance market is rapidly evolving and hardening. Underwriters are more policy is discerning when it comes to specific security controls, and there is a real emphasis imperative on putting measures like multifactor authentication in place. MFA specifically has and should become almost a prerequisite for obtaining coverage with many carriers. They are be updated to also asking more questions – for instance, they will ask if you’re using cloud backups, reflect any new what provider you’re utilizing if they are using encryption, and so on. Carriers are cloud-based tech that you’ve implemented.

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looking particularly fondly on businesses that have offsite backups for their files and servers. Larger companies may set up their own private data centers for this purpose. Still, for smaller to medium-sized enterprises, this is exactly why cloud computing exists: a cost-effective and fast way to set up, backup, protect and restore data and servers without incurring the costs associated with setting up and maintaining a data center offsite. Going forward, we expect many businesses to remain open to housing an increasingly remote workforce permanently, which certainly means that cloud computing in many forms is here to stay. Moreover, with a strong cybersecurity policy and the proper controls in place, businesses should feel confident about embracing cloud solutions, and insurers will look more positively on their risk profile as well.

Want to learn more? Connect with the Risk Strategies Cyber Risk team at cyber@risk-strategies.com. Email Stacy Eickhoff for more information at seickhoff@risk-strategies.com. ■

Going forward, we expect many businesses to remain open to housing an increasingly remote workforce permanently, which certainly means that cloud computing in many forms is here to stay. Moreover, with a strong cybersecurity policy and the proper controls in place, businesses should feel confident about embracing cloud solutions, and insurers will look more positively on their risk profile as well. Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

Good Companions… Custom Area Rugs from the DW Select Collection

W

ith the popularity and success of DW Select, Engineered Floors announced our new comprehensive rug program exclusively within our DW Select collection. DW Select customers can now capitalize on this line’s styling, design, and natural colorations in an area rug. These rugs will be offered in 4 of the most popular area rug sizes and are serged, not bound, delivering more elegant and sophisticated options that will complement any room. In addition, DW Select rugs feature the underfoot comfort of twistX and the stain resistance of Engineered Floor’s PureColor solution-dyed fiber system that won’t fade in sunlight and can be spot cleaned with bleach. As a result, they can withstand even the most active homes and families. Along with this new rug offering are four new DW Select styles. DW Select Coastal Escapes New from DW Select, Coastal Escape introduces a small-scale artistic pattern complementing contemporary or traditional styling with a subtle striated color palette. Couples with our PureColor solution-dyed fiber and proprietary twistX technology, this new style is sure to wow designers and end-users alike. DW Select Mojave Mojave introduces a new larger-scale wave pattern that offers a relaxing coastal vibe and visual dimension to complement any aesthetic theme. The influence of blues and teals invites natural harmony into homes that are now busier than ever.

DW Select Davos Davos introduces a soft, subtle pin-dot pattern showing off striated colorations accentuated by an earth tone pallet offering an uplifting cozy feel for any room.

DW Select Westminster Westminster introduces a ribbed loop construction with a color palette that creates a warm ambiance focusing on layered textures and organic neutrals that maximize natural light.

DW Select Chelsea Chelsea introduces a handcrafted woven texture in a loop block pattern adding a clean and elevated aesthetic to complement the soft, muted color palette. ■

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Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021


DW Select Rugs. Introducing the new DW Select area rug program, each of our serged area rugs provides a sophisticated option to any room. With the quiet, soft comfort underfoot and stain resistance of our PureColor solution dyed fiber system that won’t fade in sunlight and can be spot cleaned with bleach, you will be confident that your DW Select area rug can withstand even the most active families. Offered exclusively within the DW Select Collection.

Scan to discover DW Select®

engineeredfloors.com


FLOOR ED

Facebook Groups are Changing How Businesses Connect

C

onnecting in a Social Media Group for our Industry puts you on the fast track to expand your network. Just like you might ask for referrals to other businesses you can network with in real life. A significant shift is taking place within some of these discussions; people are connecting more quickly and collaborating in real-time. Paula Anselone, Owner, Anselone Flooring in Mansfield, Massachusetts, speaks to the power of this method of networking within the Women of the Flooring Business group.

Lisbeth Calandrino Flooring Specialist and Associate Publisher and Director of Social Media for Fabulous Floors Magazine

“ These are women struggling with the same decisions that I’ve had to make over the years, as well as women who are sharing new ideas, which have been so useful to me.” This is exactly why Michelle Winters, owner of New Braunfels Flooring & Design Center—together with Rachel Berlin, Sales Manager at Precision Floors & Décor, and Business Consultant and Columnist, Lisbeth Calandrino, started the Women of the Flooring Business Facebook group. They felt women needed a place to vent, share and grow. “ At least two of us get together daily, says Calandrino, examining what is happening in the group and what we can do to add value to the discussions. We contribute to the conversations, notice who is participating, and note which issues are at the forefront. We believe it’s our job to see that the group members are being heard and which questions aren’t being answered.” Floor Academy Podcast host Kyle Hedin opens that (virtual) door with every podcast episode. Listeners have the ball in their court when each guest shares their contact information. In addition, the podcast has a corresponding Facebook group where people who might never cross paths offline are connecting with these guests and discussing the episodes. Hedin explains how valuable this level of online networking has been in his installation business.

Connecting in a Social Media Group for our Industry puts you on the fast track to expand your network. Just like you might ask for referrals to other businesses you can network with in real life. 28

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“ Social Media flooring groups gave me access to an abundance of successful individuals from a variety of backgrounds from across the country and, better yet, the world. I could pick and choose my relationships and work with what I considered the “cream of the crop.” As a result, I have learned the trade in just over six years and built a full-service installation company that provides a generous 100k salary and at least 25k per annum in profit. I could not have done this if I had not been networking outside my local area.” Established as a place to grow and be challenged, says Winters, “My vision is for all the women of the flooring business to have access to whatever they need to be as outrageously successful as they want to be.” Active Member Deb DeGraaf, the owner of DeGraaf Interiors, Grand Rapids, MI, echoed just how powerful that access is, “Talking with other women and learning from their experiences is one of the key components to success,” says DeGraaf, “Alone, none of us have the perfect formula. However, the combining of ideas and best practices get us closer.” It seems the real magic happens in the discussions. Go online and join an industry Facebook group, but don’t stop there. Find a post that you can relate to and start commenting—when you engage in the discussion, it opens doors well beyond your local area, and there is no limit to how powerful your network can become. ■

It seems the real magic happens in the discussions. Go online and join an industry Facebook group, but don’t stop there. Find a post that you can relate to and start commenting…

Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

Carpet Padding or Carpet Cushion. There’s difference Carpet Padding oraCarpet hen it comes to carpet, people tend to focus what they see and feel—that is Cushion. There’s a ondifference

W

the top side of the carpet. After all, it’s why we select carpet, right? Well, not entirely. Carpet,people unliketend any to other type floorthey covering, a cushiony hen it comes to carpet, focus onofwhat see andprovides feel—that is the topsoftness side underfoot. But that cushiony softness is not totally attributable to the fiber, pile denof the carpet. After all, it's why we select carpet, right? Well, not entirely. Carpet, unlike any sity,covering, or tuftingprovides style. A alotcushiony of that enjoyment of carpet actually beneath other type of floor softness underfoot. But thatemanates cushionyfrom softness is it—from the carpet cushion itself. not totally attributable to the fiber, pile density, or tufting style. A lot of that enjoyment of carpet To beneath be sure,itcarpet cushions aren’t the glamor actually emanates from — from the carpet cushion itself. part of choosing and buying a new carpet, but aren’t they are bitpart as important. most carpet customers To be sure, carpet cushions theevery glamor of choosingHowever, and buying a new carpet, but (and surprisingly carpet retailers for that matter) don’t give carpet cushion its just they are every bit as important. However, most carpet customers (and surprisingly carpet retailers due. To carpet its cushions areTo pretty the same. They for that matter) don’t givethem, carpetallcushion just due. them,much all carpet cushions arebelieve pretty they muchare begrudgingly but certainly much (outattention of sight, (out out of the same. They believe they arenecessary begrudgingly necessarynot butworth certainly notattention worth much mind).Even Eventhe theterm term"carpet “carpet padding” still persists, just like those bizarre multi-colof sight, out of mind). padding" still persists, just like those bizarre multi-coland chips of foamelse) (andwelded whatever else) welded together withand heat, ored recycled bitsored andrecycled chips ofbits foam (and whatever together with heat, pressure, pressure, and glue. are Thank goodness thingscarpet! are hidden under a beautiful carpet! glue. Thank goodness those things hidden underthose a beautiful Because under-appreciation of this common under-appreciation for thecushions benefit of carpet cushions Because of this common for the benefit of carpet (stemming from (stemming from an uninformed consumer and a retailer anxious to make a quick an uninformed consumer and a retailer anxious to make a quick sale), significant opportunities significant opportunities arekind often missed. REAL carpet cushion, likebythe are often missed.sale), A REAL carpet cushion, like the made withAhigh-density memory foam made with advantages high-density foam by Healthier Choice, Healthier Choice,kind creates several formemory the carpet retailer. Here are just a few:creates several advantages for the carpet retailer. Here are just a few:

W

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A REAL carpet cushion, likelike thethe kind made withwith A REAL carpet cushion, kind made high-density memory foam by Healthier Choice, high-density memory foam by Healthier Choice, creates several advantages for for thethe carpet retailer. creates several advantages carpet retailer. Increased customer satisfaction. Perhaps noPerhaps greater,no long-lasting advantage advantage to the Increased customer satisfaction. greater, long-lasting retailer is a retailer happy, satisfied customer. foam carpetfoam cushion ensures a better to the is a happy, satisfiedMemory customer. Memory carpet cushion ensures installation, longer-lasting and easier to and clean carpet, as well as luxurious a betterainstallation, a longer-lasting easier to clean carpet, as well ascomfort luxurious your comfort customeryour will customer brag about. will brag about. Easier customer education. Most people understand the concept memory foam There are Easier customer education. Most people understand theofconcept of memory and equate it with the itunrivaled premium and pillows. foam and equate with the comfort unrivaledofcomfort of mattresses premium mattresses andUsing pillows carpet pads, the same for unrivaled comfort underfoot is an easyis“dot-connecting” Usingtechnology the same technology for unrivaled comfort underfoot an easy “dot-conare andThere then there moment in themoment sales associate’s presentation. necting” in the sales associate’s presentation.

arecarpet carpetpads, and then Opportunity for customer up-sale.up-sale. So the customer has already invested in a incushions Opportunity for customer So the customer has already invested likethere beautiful, qualityquality carpet.carpet. For just that customer can now their their are carpet a beautiful, Fora little just amore, little more, that customer can protect now protect the kind made enjoyment and purchase with with a state-of-the-art carpet cushion worthy of their newnew enjoyment and purchase a state-of-the-art carpet cushion worthy of their by cushions Healthier like purchase. purchase. the kind made Choice. by Healthier Empathizing with customer quality concerns. As people spend more and more more and Empathizing with customer quality concerns. As people spend There is a big time more in their homes during the during COVID-19 pandemic,pandemic, there is a growing time in their homes the COVID-19 there is aconsciousgrowing conChoice. difference. ness of the quality of flooring and other home improvements that go intothat thego home sciousness of the quality of flooring and other home improvements into the There is a big as they relate to general health andhealth wellbeing. A quality,AU.S. madeU.S. memory foam You owe it to home as they relate to general and wellbeing. quality, made memory difference. cushion-like Healthier Healthier Choice isChoice the ultimate, responsible choice. choice. Not only foam cushion-like is the ultimate, responsible Notdoes only yourself to offer owe it to the memory cushion softness, Healthier Choice also does thefoam memory foamprovide cushioncomfort provideand comfort and but softness, but Healthier Choice thisYou difference prevents andmold mildew Ultra-Fresh … and it’s…even and also mold prevents andgrowth mildewwith growth with Ultra-Fresh andsustainable it’s even sustainable yourself to offer to your valued recyclable! and recyclable! this difference There are carpet pads, and then there are carpet cushions like the kind made by carpet-buying to your valued Healthier Therepads, is a big You it tocushions yourself to offer differThereChoice. are carpet anddifference. then there areowe carpet like thethis kind made customers. by ence Healthier to your valued carpet-buying customers. ❚ You owe it to yourself to offer this differ- carpet-buying Choice. There is a big difference. ence to your valued carpet-buying customers. ■ customers.

Premier Flooring Retailer | TISE Retailer Edition 2021 61 Premier Flooring | D2 2021

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FLOOR ED

Reputation Management Isn’t a Marketing Problem or an Operations Problem — It’s a Problem/Opportunity for the Entire Company

A

t Business Evaluation Services, we’ve been helping brands manage their online reputation for over several years. If there’s anything we know after working with companies from dozens of industries, reputation management cannot, and should not, be owned by a single department within a business. Instead, for reputation management to work, it needs to be a priority for every department and person within a company.

What is Reputation Management? Charles Stiles, Business Evaluation Services Business Evaluation Services was founded by the current President, Charles Stiles. Charles comes from a background in retail; owning several retail gourmet food and gift stores in national malls for over 8 years. Quickly realizing the only way to differentiate his stores and stand out from the competition was to develop a consistent service culture and create a process for measuring the success of the training that was implemented. Through this process in 1996, Business Evaluation Services was founded. Today, BES is an International Mystery Shopper Company with over two decades of experience, serving a variety of industries. 32

Reputation management is the act of monitoring, influencing, and protecting what’s being said about your brand. Today, most of this takes place online. Reviews, social media, images, news articles, and blogs are all places a brand’s reputation can be influenced.

Offensive vs. Defensive Reputation Management Strategies

There are two ways to approach reputation management , either from an offensive or defensive standpoint. A great reputation management strategy will include both. Offensive reputation management considers things like the brand’s online visibility, social media marketing, and surveys. The goal of an offensive reputation is to lead and control the conversation around your brand. Defensive reputation management considers things like customer service and image monitoring. The goal is to prevent the spread of negative or inaccurate information about your brand.

Reputation Management for Marketing The marketing department often owns reputation management initiatives. In addition, social media and PR initiatives naturally lie within the marketing team, while reviews and surveys provide much-needed insight for marketing strategy. It’s a marketer’s job to make sure consumers can easily find and choose their brand over the competition. Reputation management allows marketers to promote the brand organically and provides valuable insight into how customers feel about the brand.

Reputation Management for Operations Reputation management is a key part of operations. Brands can receive thousands of customer questions and complaints in reviews and social media comments daily. Responding to those reviews and comments is vital. Responding gives brands a chance to make things right and take the conversation off of a public platform. Additionally, consumers find that businesses that respond to reviews are 1.7x more trustworthy than those that don’t.

Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021


The operations department can also use reputation insight to deeper understanding the in-store experience at scale. Reviews are filled with unbiased feedback about the customer experience. Using Reputation Management can help brands identify the true sentiment about essential topics such as customer service, staff, cleanliness, and more.

Reputation Management for Human Resources There are apparent reasons why human resources should prioritize reputation management. For example, customer reviews and comments frequently highlight employee behavior and performance. But in today’s job market, reputation management goes a lot deeper than getting feedback on current employees; it plays a key role in recruitment and hiring. Just like consumers, prospective employees are reviewing your online reviews to determine whether or not to work for your company. No one wants to work for a company with a bad reputation. HR should be committed to protecting the brand reputation from the start by providing onboarding and training that will set them up to deliver exceptional customer service every time.

Reputation Management for The C-Suite Let’s talk about how the C-Suite plays a role in reputation management. To get genuine buy-in for a company-wide initiative, the C-Suite needs to be invested in the results. Keeping the C-Suite engaged comes down to providing consistent reporting and insight into the progress of your reputation management goals.

Reputation Management Insights to Share: ● Star Rating Growth ● Growth in Positive Review Volume ● Increase in Listing Actions Compared to Revenue ● Common CX Themes Found in Reviews ● Top Performing Stores ● Opportunities for Growth ● And more…

Reputation Management for Frontline Employees The most important people to get invested in your reputation goals are your frontline workers. These are the people who will be interacting with your customers daily. Therefore, the actions of your frontline employees will have the most significant impact on your reputation. Set frontline employees up for success by implementing comprehensive training around delivering positive customer service. Most importantly, measure your customer’s experience to make sure your required deliverables are being followed. Get frontline employees even more invested by offering incentives for reaching reputation goals. Recognizing how employees go above and beyond to deliver an exceptional customer experience can go a long way. Managing your online reputation is not as simple as responding to a few reviews now and then. It indeed requires commitment from the entire company for your reputation management strategy to be successful. Therefore, our PRISM platform has partnered with the leader in online reputation management. Discover how we can help your brand by scheduling a time with one of our experts. ■

888-300-8292

https://www.mysteryshopperservices.com/solutions/ https://www.mysteryshopperservices.com/ Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

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GROWTH, SUCCESS, AND SOFTWARE

Shepherding Success Through Software — The Unusual Evolution of QFloors

I

ronically, it all started with sheep. But not

in a sheep-makes-wool-makes-carpet

way. Dale Ogden, the paternal grandfa-

ther of QFloors founders Trent and Chad

Chad developed a passion for com-

tunate string of particularly bad winters

the flooring industry. He spent a decade

was ready for a new career path. And so,

34

were there to measure for carpet.”

puters, obtaining a degree in Computer

killed off a large number of his sheep, he

“I could see a need, not only in my dad’s business, but in a lot of small businesses, for being able to have good controls, and good policies and procedures. I could see how vital it was for a floor-covering business to be able to produce meaningful, timely, and accurate financial statements.”

doorstep telling the homeowners we

Ogden, owned a sheep ranch in the mountains of rural Utah. After an unfor-

Co-founders Chad and Trent Ogden.

fluffy 80’s prom dress, standing on the

in 1954, he loaded up the family, moved to Southern California, and opened the Broadloom City carpet store.

Years later, his son Steve followed in

Engineering and temporarily leaving working as a programmer and engineer in the tech industry, eventually becom-

ing the Director of Engineering at a firm specializing in cutting-edge mass spectrometers.

In the meantime, Trent continued

his footsteps. Steve founded Ogden’s

working with his father, finding his

& Design) in 1974 and the business

He earned a bachelor’s in Accounting

Carpet Outlet (later Ogden’s Flooring

quickly grew and expanded. Today, there are 13 Ogden’s Flooring & Design franchises in the Intermountain West.

Both Chad and Trent grew up help-

ing in their father’s stores. When they

weren’t playing hide and seek among the rolls of carpet or attempting to

spin “donuts” with the tow motor, they were working. From about age 12, they worked in the warehouse, rolling remnants. At 16, they were delivering furni-

ture to customers or measuring homes

for flooring. Chad’s wife, Chris, who knew him in high school, remembers

what a hard worker he was even as a teenager. “Chad and I dated some in

high school, and I probably should have clued in that he was a bit of a workaholic

niche as an accountant and controller. and eventually an MBA. As he learned more about business, he realized that his

father’s flooring company did not always

realize profits despite high sales. As they incorporated better tracking, job cost-

ing, and reporting, Trent could see how important those things were to overall

success and profitability. “I could see a

need, not only in my dad’s business but in a lot of small businesses, for being able

to have good controls and good policies and procedures. I could see how vital it

was for a floor-covering business to be able to produce meaningful, timely, and

accurate financial statements.” The need

for good software to facilitate those objectives became apparent.

Trent and Steve asked Chad to help

when he decided we needed to stop

them find the right software for Steve’s

prom! He was in his tux, and I was in this

chised. They went to Surfaces multiple

and do a carpet measure on our way to

Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

flooring stores, which were now fran-


years in a row, looking for a system that could produce

ler for, ‘Is that going to help our customer?’ That was

ware that was user-friendly enough for even non-com-

going to be beneficial to our customers?’”

accurate numbers and reports. They also wanted soft-

puter-savvy employees to be able to learn. Chad

always his question to the employees and me: ‘Is that

That customer-centric focus allowed the brothers

became frustrated at what was available and what he

to press on and helped QFloors grow a large and

ware at the time. So one night in Las Vegas, after another

company has averaged 30% growth each year over

saw as a lack of vision and progression in flooring soft-

fruitless day of searching, he took a pen to paper. He stayed up all night, sketching out the main screens of

remarkably loyal client base and staff. As a result, the the past decade.

“The best part of our company is our people,” says

QFloors and how they would all work together. And

Chad. “We’ve always had great, loyal employees who

office, eventually became flooring software that would

agree. Their google reviews are filled with effusive

that sketch, framed today at the QFloors corporate be embraced by well over a thousand businesses.

Of course, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Like many

care about our customers.” QFloors clients seem to shoutouts to the support staff.

Ron Cluff, who joined the brothers shortly after

owners, Chad and Trent experienced peaks and val-

QFloors was formed and played a vital role in the com-

There were sleepless nights, significant sacrifices,

have the best customers in the world. We really do.

leys in their journey to build a thriving business. and missed paychecks along the way. But through it all, Chad remembers telling Trent, “I think we’re helping people. We’re making a difference for these busi-

nesses.” And that understanding gave them the hope and stamina to stay the course.

Trent recalls, “Throughout the years, even when

we were struggling, Chad was always just a real stick-

pany’s success, explains the shared philosophy. “We

And we’re not there just to sell them software. We’re there to be a partner. To help them grow as they help us grow.”

Trent Ogden agrees: “It’s making other people

and other businesses successful, that’s what we’re all about, and I think that defines our success.” =

“The best part of our company is our people,” says Chad. “We’ve always had great, loyal employees who care about our customers.” Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

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GROWTH, SUCCESS, AND SOFTWARE

The Entrepreneurial Vision of Pioneer Floor Coverings QFloors customer since 2001

A

s CIO of a multi-billion international company, Rob Wankier did not initially

envision that floor covering would be his future. His work at Nestle Waters

of America was exciting and financially rewarding. But he longed to get back to

his roots in the West, and the idea of owning (and growing) a small business was appealing to him. So after searching for the right fit, he purchased Pioneer Floor Coverings 22 years ago and hasn’t looked back.

Pioneer Floor Coverings started in the college town of Cedar City, Utah, over

40 years ago. When Rob and his wife LeAnn purchased it, it was a small store, with revenues of around $1M. Today the company has two locations, with revenue

“At the time I bought the business, I was lucky to have really good people working for me. I increased their pay and promised to take care of them, and in turn, they helped get me through the rough learning curve of understanding the business,” Wankier says. 36

exceeding $11M in 2021. It’s an understatement to say the company has experienced significant growth under Wankier’s leadership.

Wankier quickly shares the credit with his employees, highlighting talented

general managers and the best installers in southern Utah. He says his employees helped educate him when he purchased Pioneer Floor Coverings as a newcomer

to the flooring industry. “At the time I bought the business, I was lucky to have really good people working for me. I increased their pay and promised to take care of them, and in turn, they helped get me through the rough learning curve of understanding the business,” Wankier says.

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The company started primarily as a retail operation, but now 60% of the busi-

ness is new builder/construction. Wankier says they’ve distinguished themselves

through their integrity and customer service. “We do what we say we’re going to do. And we only say what we can do. We may not always be the cheapest, but we are competitive, and we will always take care of you. So when people come to Pioneer, they know what they are going to get. That’s the bottom line.”

Wankier also credits his ERP software, QFloors, with contributing to his growth

and success. “When I purchased the business, Pioneer did everything manually. I’d used an integrated ERP (enterprise resource planning) system at my previous

job, and I knew I needed software to integrate all accounting, inventory, and sales

functions into one system. I found QFloors early on, and it’s been invaluable. We simply would not have been able to grow the business without it.”

Wankier explains, “You just can’t do very much business if you’re running things

manually. You’re locked into a certain level and can’t expand beyond that. So to be able to automate sales invoicing and receivables and have that integrated into inventory is huge. And we turn inventory so quickly that without a system to track

it, there’s just no way we could grow. With two stores and two warehouses, having a handle on inventory is absolutely essential.”

Wankier also says the real-time reports QFloors generate have been helpful.

“Everything just becomes easier because you have all of this integrated reporting, and you can pull out just about any information you need at any time.”

“I like that QFloors is integrating so many wonderful things to its core system,

like Document Manager and QProPay. So not only are they developing a great program, but they integrate with other really useful programs. And the QFloors help desk is phenomenal.”

Pioneer Floor Coverings plans to continue to grow, and Wankier says QFloors

will be a part of that. “I’ve touted QFloors for a long time,” Wankier says. “It’s a great system.” ■

Wankier explains, “You just can’t do very much business if you’re running things manually. You’re locked into a certain level and can’t expand beyond that. To be able to automate sales invoicing and receivables, and have that integrated into inventory is huge.

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37


GROWTH, SUCCESS, AND SOFTWARE

Explosive Expansion — The Floor Store QFloors customer since 2013

L

arry and Kelly Flick started The Floor Store in Richmond, CA, in 1986. Today, the Bay Area

business has expanded to include nine retail stores, three distribution centers that also act as

wholesale hubs, and an area rug fabrication center. In addition, the company has added 9 Costco

stores through their partnership with Shaw. Annual sales this year will be $54M, with projected sales of $60M in 2022.

With the explosive growth of their company, the Flicks could easily kick back on a quiet beach

for a well-deserved rest. But they aren’t finished yet. New regions and new opportunities are waiting. “We try to open new stores every 12–24 months,” Larry Flick explained. “And our employ-

ees are a big part of the reason we do it. The Floor Store is not a stepping stone for them — it is

a career. In fact, if you haven’t been with us for 15 years, you’re considered a rookie. We have so many amazing people in this company, and as we grow, greater opportunities become available for them. We don’t want anyone to feel stuck.”

The Floor Store’s business is about 95% residential replacement, with 5% Mainstreet commer-

cial, including the University of California Berkeley and several other Bay area universities. They

install about 70% of what they sell and feel passionate about the white glove customer service. That standard is foundational to the company’s success. “We have always been committed to being the Nordstroms™ of the flooring business. ‘The customer is always right’ can be an expensive philos-

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ophy, but we’re committed to it. We empower our sales force and managers to do whatever it takes to make sure things are right with the customer.”

And while the global pandemic locked down California tightly, it proved to be an

opportunity for The Floor Store. Many businesses, gripped by fear and shackled by shutdowns, closed down operations and canceled marketing campaigns. The Flicks

did the opposite. “We advertised very heavily during the pandemic,” Larry shared. “We stayed open, by appointment only, and we were extremely busy. Advertising

became very inexpensive during that period because everyone else put a hold on

their campaigns, so we took advantage of that. We were able to get great rates and really built our brand through advertising during that time. It turned out to be a great move because everyone was home, watching TV, listening to the news, and looking around their house at all of the things they wanted to renovate. So the pan-

demic was a stressful time, but ironically, our business grew. And, because we didn’t shut down, once things opened back up, we had everything in place, and we didn’t miss a beat.”

The Floor Store says that their flooring software, QFloors, has been an import-

ant tool as the company has scaled so dramatically. “Years ago, we looked at a lot of different software systems and ultimately chose QFloors because we are a sales

organization, and QFloors is extremely intuitive and easy for our salespeople to use.

The Floor Store says that their flooring software, QFloors, has been an important tool as the company has scaled so dramatically.

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GROWTH, SUCCESS, AND SOFTWARE

With our old system, it would take months to train salespeople. But with QFloors, we can literally train a new employee in 3–4 days. And our people love the system. It’s very easy to navigate.“

Flick continued, “One of the nicest features is that when salespeople are build-

ing an order, they can see exactly how much commission they are going to make. So they can make small changes to increase their commission and the sales price,

“One of the nicest features is that when salespeople are building an order, they can see exactly how much commission they are going to make.”

if needed, right there on the spot. They have the information right in front of them.” “Our accounting department really loves the system as well. Before having

QFloors, it would take us 30, 45, even 60 days to close a month out. And I wouldn’t get any reports until months after the fact. Now, with QFloors, we literally close the

month out on the last day of that month. So I have all my sales reports by the next morning. Every one of them! It’s been super helpful. The financial reports are on

my desk by at least the 10th of every month. That’s huge. You can’t steer a ship after the fact. Before QFloors, I always looked in the rearview mirror, trying to figure out what happened in my business months earlier. And that never happens anymore. I

can adapt and make any necessary changes within 10–15 days after a month ends.” Flick says that easy access to information is something that all of The Floor

Store’s staff appreciates. “I have permissions set so that at any time, they can see how any of our stores are doing for the day, gross margins, what is selling and what isn’t selling, what other salespeople are doing, etc. So that healthy competition is a good motivator.”

The Floor Store’s ordering department also finds

QFloors very helpful. “We have an order department of 3 people, and B2B is a big time saver for them. They

tell me that the automatic file updates, price changes, and drops save them a ton of time and work.”

As The Floor Store empire continues to grow, Kelly

and Larry Flick remain committed to the importance of

extraordinary “white glove service” and the personal

touch. And Flick sees that same passion for customer

service in QFloors. “One of the things I like the most about QFloors is that, like us, it is a family-owned busi-

ness. I just think when you’re a family-owned business, you care more.” ■

Kelly and Larry Flick remain committed to the importance of extraordinary “white glove service” and the personal touch. 40

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NEVER LOSE MONEY ON A JOB AGAIN QFloors business software job costs instantly and accurately, as proposals are created.

Learn about other money-saving features of QFloors. Reach out for a free demo. www.qfloors.com sales@qprosoftware.com 801-563-0140

Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

41


FLOOR ED

Women of the Flooring Business Offers Educational Courses and Support for Members There continues to be an ongoing debate about business groups that cater only to women and whether they harm or help women entrepreneurs. Since the business model was developed through male business owners, the question is, do these groups do women a disservice by cutting them off from the group that has blazed up the trail? We all know that the world is changing, and according to this year’s Small Business Trends survey results, twenty-seven percent of all small business or franchise owners are female, and the number keeps rising. As a result, there is more information available from women about business ownership. https://bit.ly/3lEAUGP

A

ccording to Michelle Bayer, President, Floor Studs, Remodel Concierge and Online Flooring Business, Women of the Flooring Business (WoFB) deserve high marks: “I find the multifaceted female perspective extremely useful that only women business owners, “who have been there done that” can provide. Women are looking for women to help mentor and provide their business experience through the female perspective.” “When I first started consulting,” says Lisbeth Calandrino, “I was assigned through Mohawk Industries’ Mohawk University to teach numerous business classes

From left to right: Dana Teague, VP, Design Group at Informa Markets; Emily Morrow Finkell, CEO at EF FLOORS & Design, LLC; Lisbeth Calandrino, President of Lisbeth Calandrino & Associates; and Janelle Edmonds, Wisenbaker’s Design Center.

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Michelle Winters, Managing Partner of Texas based New Braunfels Flooring, who launched the Women of the Flooring Business Group on social media last year, conducts a seminar for realtors about new flooring products.

to business owners. At that time, I don’t remember working with any female business owners. The men never pulled any punches about how they felt having a woman consultant. At times, it was challenging; I often overheard owners saying, Who sent her or what is she doing here? I doubt if she can help me! Armed with cutting-edge business tools, pertinent information, and a history of owning several flooring stores, I left their stores with a new level of respect and business owners who still call me. These business owners definitely built my confidence and a belief in my abilities.” Two years ago, Michelle Winters and Lisbeth Calandrino talked about developing a Facebook group for women in flooring. Winters went off with Rachel Berlin to lay the groundwork and invited Calandrino to join. By this time, the group had over 400 members and was growing rapidly. Today they have built the group to include over 1200 women. Rachel Berlin manages two retail stores and provides constant information on business from “the trenches” of the flooring business. At first, the group had both male and female members. However, they later decided to focus on only women members. This was a huge decision and according to Winters and Calandrino. It created some backlash. “It wasn’t that we didn’t want male input, but we realized certain issues such as dealing with sexual harassment, how to be taken seriously as a female, blazing your path, and childcare were women’s issues,” says Calandrino. “Women still report that customers and suppliers are always looking for the man who is responsible and aren’t sure how to handle these comments.”

We all know that the world is changing, and according to this year’s Small Business Trends survey results, twentyseven percent of all small business or franchise owners are female, and the number keeps rising.

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Lis Calandrino, Business Coach, trainer and FC News columnist, speaking at the International Surfaces Event about the advantages of attending these trade show venues.

Taking the group to another level has been exciting, challenging, and time-consuming. Calandrino and Winters speak daily to format ideas and review conversations with members. Adds Michelle Winters, “The more comments we read and conversations with our participants, the more we realized how powerful our platform was becoming. We also realized that the group was looking for more information, and we felt a responsibility for providing these services. Surveying our participants has been very helpful in showing what our members were looking for. There are also many members with great skills that we are going to utilize for seminars. However, the most important information was those who told us they wanted “more, we got together with them and created an executive membership that will provide the additional benefits they were asking for.” Taking the group to another level has been exciting, challenging, and time-consuming. Calandrino and Winters speak daily to format ideas and review conversations with members. The group continues to increase its membership and is beginning to be recognized by manufacturers and other service providers in the industry. Watching the group posts and having one-on-one discussions helped 44

Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

the leadership team realize that members have varying levels of interest and support needs. Because of this, they are creating an exceptional Executive Membership level. This fee-based membership will help Executive-Level members move ahead of their competitors and be on top of their game. Unfortunately, the game isn’t getting any easier; there are more competitors out there, and women in the flooring business need to be at the forefront of the industry. The group also includes an Advisory Team of industry leaders, which has been a tremendous asset to moving the program forward and designing their Executive Level Membership offer. Members who join their Executive Level will have access to courses from everything to product knowledge seminars, professional training videos, books, “hot seat” mastermind groups, peer accountability coaching, and numerous other benefits. In addition, they are developing fun onsite events and are planning a mixer for TISE2022. They have also met with suppliers of business software and web developers and are negotiating exclusive reduced-price offers for their members.


“One of the things that are most valuable to me,” says Melissa Bender... “is the different age groups in our group. I am inspired by the younger members and am learning a great deal from them about their experiences and challenges. It has helped me managing and working with our employees. I feel like I’m learning every day.” As the number of high-powered women continues to grow in the flooring industry, the more Calandrino, Winters, and Berlin realized there were female role models who could help with a wide variety of issues relating to what is needed to run a successful business. One of the most powerful characteristics of the group is the varying levels and experience of their members, from the under 40 rising stars and owners who are just entering the marketplace to well-seasoned, older industry members. “One of the things that are most valuable to me,” says Melissa Bender, co-owner of Lima Carpet and Design Center and Professional Installer, “is the different age groups in our group. I am inspired by the younger members and am learning a great deal from them about their experiences and challenges. It has helped me managing and working with our employees. I feel like I’m learning every day.” “Paying it Forward” and giving back is also an important focus for the WoFB group. A portion of all membership fees will be donated directly to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation, which gets families back on their feet when battling catastrophic injuries, severe disabilities, or other life-altering medical crises. For more on the Foundation, click here. What’s next for this group? They are currently exploring becoming a certified WMBE (Women-owned or Minority-owned Business Enterprise). They want women to know what this differentiation signifies and how female-led businesses can increase their profits by becoming certified. They have a topnotch expert lined up who will be providing a seminar for their Executive Level on the process of becoming certified and obtaining this valuable competitive advantage. The certification takes time; the

WoFB group is committed to supporting its members throughout the process. Winters, Calandrino, and Berlin also pay homage to two other leaders in online groups: Shannon Vogel, who started Fabulous Females, provides a place where women in the industry can go to get motivated and feel empowered as a community, and Emily Morrow-Finkell, the founder of WIFI (Women in the Floorcovering Industry), provides resources and relationships for women in the flooring industry. “Having spent my entire lifetime educating and providing coaching to people in our industry, I’m honored to be part of the sisterhood that is emerging from our group,” says Calandrino. “Nothing could be more satisfying.” If you would like to apply for membership to the WoFB, click on this link and fill out the brief questionnaire. ■

“Having spent my entire lifetime educating and providing coaching to people in our industry, I’m honored to be part of the sisterhood that is emerging from our group,” says Calandrino. “Nothing could be more satisfying.” Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

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Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

47


LEGAL MATTERS

Noncompete Agreements — A Basic Guide of the Do’s and Don’ts

Y

Jeffrey W. King Legal 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 legal counsel for WFCA and other trade associations, and is a LEED Accredited Professional. For more information, contact him at (561) 278-0035 or

our office manager, that you trained for two years, has just quit to join a competitor. They convinced one of your salespersons to join them, and now they are recruiting some of your other employees. It is not just that you lost the investment in training these former employees, they are now following up on leads developed while they worked for you. What can the flooring retailer and contractor do to protect itself? Many companies ask an employee to sign employment contracts that include a noncompete clause to protect their legitimate business interests. Other companies may have employees sign a separate noncompete agreement. The problem is that many states seek to limit the enforceability of a noncompete agreement. Overbroad or vague agreements are often rejected by the court. There is no perfect noncompete agreement that can always be enforced. There are, however, steps and precautions the flooring retailer or contractor can take to maximize their protection. So, what are the limits, what should a noncompete agreement include, and can they be enforced?

What Are the Limits on Noncompete Clauses? Noncompete agreements can make it difficult for employees to find work after quitting or being let go. Noncompete agreements often prevent employees from working in the same industry as their former companies. If they have spent their entire careers developing their expertise and skills in that particular industry, then such employees will be effectively foreclosed from finding any comparable work on similar pay. Accordingly, they are “disfavored” by the courts so they are strictly construed and, as explained below, are subject to key limitations.

jeffw@jkingesq.com.

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1. Legitimate Interests: A court will usually assess whether a noncompete clause protects legitimate interests of the employer. This includes protecting the confidentiality of trade secrets, preserving customers’ goodwill, and protecting the investment in training and development. For example, a court might consider whether the employee was a key employee, whether the employee possessed significant confidential information, or whether the employer invested significant expense or resources in providing education or training to the employee. These are the kinds of things that employers need to be able to show when justifying that a clause serves to protect legitimate interests rather than simply restrict competition. 2. Scope: A noncompete agreement cannot be too broad. A prohibition for working for another local flooring retailer may be permitted, but prohibiting working for any retail in construction supply business may be too broad. Similarly, prohibiting an employee from working in the flooring industry would likely be too broad and unenforceable. 3. Duration: The duration of a noncompete must be only as long as needed to protect the legitimate interest of the employer. Some states have specific period of restriction, usually one or two years, that will be found reasonable. Even without such a law, most courts will consider a one-year noncompete as within the realm of reason, while a three-year or longer period often will be considered unreasonable. 4. Location: The geographic area covered in a noncompete agreement must not be larger than is reasonably necessary to protect the employer. There is no rule that necessarily defines a reasonable geographic limitation in terms of numbers of miles or borders. Whether a geographic limitation is reasonable will depend on where its potential clients or customers are located as well as on the locations where the employer is doing business. Generally, most courts will not enforce a noncompete that covers an area where the employer has no clients or business interests. 5. Consideration: To be enforceable, the employee must have received something of value in exchange for agreeing to the noncompete obligation. In some states, that value can be simply the continuation of the employee’s employment. In other states, it needs to be something more substantial. For example, to be considered supported by consideration in Minnesota, a noncompete clause generally must be agreed to at the beginning of the employment relationship. If not, then the employee must actually have received an increased benefit (like an increase in pay or new position) in exchange for the noncompete.

The problem is that many states seek to limit the enforceability of a noncompete agreement. Overbroad or vague agreements are often rejected by the court. There is no perfect noncompete agreement that can always be enforced.

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What Should Be Included in A Noncompete Agreement? It is critical to ensure that these types of employment contracts are well-written and comprehensive. While there are no standard noncompete clauses, consider including these minimal requirements.

A non-compete clause should not be used to simply prevent an employee from competing in general. The agreements should aim to prevent an employee from soliciting information, sharing confidential information, taking clients or valuable employees from the business, or working for a key competitor.

Scope: As explained above, a noncompete agreement should clearly and comprehensively identify what the former employee can and cannot do, and is necessary to protect a legitimate business interest. A noncompete clause should not be used to simply prevent an employee from competing in general. The agreements should aim to prevent an employee from soliciting information, sharing confidential information, taking clients or valuable employees from the business, or working for a key competitor. Restricting a former employee from working for direct competitors is generally reasonable; but preventing the former employee working in the general field, such as the flooring industry, will not likely withstand scrutiny. Similarly, a noncompete clause is more likely to be enforced if the employee is prohibited from solicitating clients that the employee has serviced or had direct important information about while employed. Time Frame: The duration of the agreement should be specified. If it is longer than one or two years, the agreement needs to state why the longer period is needed. It is common to set the duration as the length of employment plus six months up to two years. Geographic Area: The geographic area covered in the agreement should be specified. Often the area is defined as a number of miles from the employer’s location or locations, by a geographic area such as cities, counties, or states. The key is to ensure the area is reasonable. Soliciting Customers and Employees: A noncompete agreement should include a prohibition on soliciting customers and recruiting other employees. Non-solicitation provision may be enforceable even if the other restrictions are not. Caution needs to be observed. The employer may not have a legitimate interest to protect if the employee had a pre-existing relationship with a customer before coming to work for the company. Nondisclosure: Similarly, an employer may want to include a nondisclosure clause in the noncompete agreement to prevent the disclosure or use of confidential information and trade secrets by employees. Nondisclosure clauses may be enforceable even if the other provisions in the noncompete agreement are deemed too broad. The bottom line is that enforceable clauses need to be drafted with all of these variables in mind and with attention to the law in the particular states where the restrictions will apply.

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Is A Noncompete Clause Enforceable? Forty-seven states permit noncompete agreements to be used to some extent. Four states (California, North Dakota, Montana, and Oklahoma) and the District of Columbia largely ban noncompete agreements. For example, noncompete clauses are not enforceable under California law, while North Dakota, Montana allow noncompete agreements only with the sale or dissolution of a business or partnership. Some states (Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Washington) prohibit noncompete agreements for low-wage workers. Illinois, for example, recently passed legislation that prohibits noncompete agreements with employees who earn less than $75,000 annually. Even where allowed, the noncompete must be reasonably limited in scope, duration and geographic coverage. Noncomplete agreements are increasingly being challenged, with state legislatures looking to limit them and courts increasingly restricting their applications. While noncompete agreements are normally regulated under state law, President Biden has stated he wants to limit noncompete agreements. On July 9, 2021, President Joe Biden issued a wide-ranging Executive Order that encourages the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to “curtail the unfair use of noncompete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.” The Order does not impact current law regulating noncompete and similar restrictive covenants, but it may encourage further limits by state legislatures and courts on these agreements.

Noncomplete agreements are increasingly being challenged, with state legislatures looking to limit them and courts increasingly restricting their applications. While noncompete agreements are normally regulated under state law, President Biden has stated he wants to limit non-compete agreements.

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What Should a Flooring Retailer and Contractor Do? Employers who have or are considering having noncompete agreements may want to evaluate their practice. Here are some examples of issues businesses may want to consider when reviewing their use of noncompete and similar post-employment restrictive covenants: ●F irst and foremost, every employer should check what their state laws allow and what is prohibited. It would serve no purpose to have a noncompete for two years only to find the whole agreement is void because the state law limits such agreements to one year. It is also key to periodically check any new limits or prohibitions. ●D etermine and identify what needs to be protected, such as customer lists and unique operating systems. A noncompete agreement needs to protect these items and not information that is generally known in the industry. ●R eview the agreements to make sure the activities restricted by the noncompete are narrowly written so they impose no greater restraints than is necessary to protect the business interests identified by the company. ●T he company should also review for which employees noncompete agreements are necessary. For example, a noncompete agreement for employees without contact with customers may be unnecessary or should be limited. For a noncompete to be enforceable, the employer must show it was needed to protect a legitimate interest. ●T he duration and geographic scope of the agreement should be reviewed and ensure the restrictions are reasonable and comply with state law.

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●C onsider an exception for customers that the employee had a pre-existing relationship before coming to work for the company. An overbroad restriction could void the whole agreement. ●C onsider including in the agreement alternative provisions regarding confidentiality, non-solicitation that would provide protection even if the other provisions are not enforceable.

Sample Noncompete Clause Noncompete clauses can be as specific or brief for the particular types of employment relevant to the situation. While the noncompete clause example below may not fit every situation, it will help you understand the basics of what should be included in employment contracts. Noncompete Clause: Employee acknowledges that the relationship with the Company includes the disclosure of trade secrets, customer lists, operating procedure, and other proprietary information. The Employee agrees, for two (2) years following the resignation or termination of employment, shall not, without the employer’s prior written consent: 1. E ngage yourself on behalf of any other person or business enterprise in the flooring industry, which distributes or sells products or provides services similar to those distributed, sold, or provided by the Company, that is within ____ mile radius of the Company offices and any of the Company’s retail locations; 2. D irectly or indirectly solicit, take away, or attempt to call on, solicit, or take away any customer of the Company on whom you have called or with whom you became acquainted directly or indirectly during the term of your employment with the Company;


3. D irectly or indirectly, disclose to any person, firm or corporation the names or addresses of any of the customers or clients of the Company or any other proprietary information; and 4. D irectly or indirectly solicit any employee or independent contractor of the Company on behalf of any other business enterprise, nor shall you induce any employee or independent contractor associated with the Company to terminate or breach an employment, contractual or other relationship with the Company. The clause provided above is generic, and should not be used without first consulting legal counsel.

Conclusion The law in this area is changing as noncompete agreements fall out of favor with state legislatures and courts. It is therefore important that flooring retailers and contractors review the need for noncompete agreements and ensure the agreements are reasonable and meet state limits. Given the complexity of the issues raised, it is recommended that competent legal counsel be consulted regarding any noncompete agreement or clause. ■ The information contained in this article is abridged from legislation, court decisions, and administrative rulings, should not be construed as legal advice or opinion, and is not a substitute for the advice of counsel.

irst and foremost, every employer should check what their state F laws allow and what is prohibited. It would serve no purpose to have a noncompete for two years only to find the whole agreement is void because the state law limits such agreements to one year.

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FLOOR ED

Why Pay Attention to Moisture in Wood? When it comes to the moisture content of wood flooring, ignorance is NOT bliss.

W

ood is extremely sensitive to its surrounding environment. So if you’re not paying attention, your wood flooring could contain too much moisture at

the time it’s being installed. And this could easily lead to a catastrophic flooring

failure due to various issues such as buckling, cupping, crowning, cracking, mold, or mildew. Jason Wright Mr. Wright brings more than 30 years of flooring industry experience specializing in hardwood floor products and installation. Beginning in 1986, with a small sundry distributor in Medford, Oregon, Jason ascended through regional sales, Product Development, Business Development, and Marketing programs within different flooring companies. Jason brings a wealth of experience from starting new companies to supporting the flooring industry within the wholesale and retail sectors. Over many years, the flooring industry has come to rely upon Jason’s extensive experience. Contact him by email at jwright@wagnermeters.com. www.wagnermeters.com.

Why is wood moisture content important? If, at the time of installation, the moisture content of the wood is out of whack with the surroundings, it could spell disaster for your floor.

No one wants a wood floor to fail. However, the risk of a problem is high if you

don’t assess the wood’s moisture content (MC) before, during, and even after the floor installation. That’s because wood is a hygroscopic material, meaning that it will absorb or release moisture depending on ambient conditions.

Wood tends to absorb moisture in wet or humid conditions, and when it does,

it expands. Conversely, wood tends to release moisture if the air is dry, and this causes the wood to shrink.

If the process of expanding or shrinking is severe enough, you may end up with

an uneven floor surface. Or perhaps you’ll start to notice significant cracking or sep-

aration of floorboards. Unless you undertake remedial measures, which are often quite costly and time-consuming to perform, the floor may never recover. Likely, it

will always look unsightly, or—even worse—it may become a potential tripping hazard.

Giving heed to wood’s sensitivity to ambient conditions is an essential factor in the success of any wood flooring installation.

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Accurate measurement of wood’s moisture content helps prevent buckling, cupping, and other serious flooring problems.

That’s no good. So now for the good news: The old saying, “An ounce of preven-

tion is worth a pound of cure,” holds in the case of wood flooring.

Moisture measurement in wood flooring All that’s needed is to use a high-quality, non-damaging pinless moisture meter to take quick-and-easy measurements of the MC of the wood planks. The flooring

professional will want to do this soon after the wood arrives at the location to be

installed. And then continue monitoring the MC while the wood is acclimating to its new surroundings.

The aim is for the wood to reach an equilibrium state where it is neither absorb-

ing nor releasing moisture. Once this happens, we say that the wood has reached

its Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC), expressed as a percentage MC based on the ambient temperature and relative humidity.

Before installing any wood flooring, the wood must have already reached its

EMC in the location where it will be permanently installed. Although the EMC will

vary depending on ambient conditions, typically, you’re looking for a wood MC

of about 6 to 9%. Failure to allow the wood to acclimate correctly could result in a

flooring failure if the wood shrinks or expands after the flooring has been installed.

Why a quality wood moisture meter matters Every flooring professional or contractor should have an accurate wood moisture meter. It’s the only tool that will let you know if the wood flooring has reached its EMC and is ready to be installed. And not just any moisture meter will do. It’s essen-

tial to use a meter that gives accurate measurements and is properly calibrated for the types of wood flooring installed.

It’s also essential to have a meter that can measure in the 5 to 6% range. Many

meters do not read this low or don’t give accurate readings at low MC. That won’t

do for anyone who installs wood floors. Using a quality wood moisture meter ensures quality work and protects the installer’s professional reputation.

Every flooring professional or contractor should have an accurate wood moisture meter. It’s the only tool that will let you know if the wood flooring has reached its EMC and is ready to be installed.

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Pin vs. pinless moisture meters Generally speaking, the flooring professional must choose between two wood moisture meters: pin and pinless. A non-damaging pinless meter uses electromagnetic waves to scan for moisture, while a pin meter measures the electrical resis-

The choice between pin and pinless is quite simple… That’s because pinless meters are 100% nondamaging.

tance between two metal probes inserted into the wood.

The choice between pin and pinless is quite simple for anyone who installs wood

floors. That’s because pinless meters are 100% non-damaging. Unlike pin meters, they don’t require the insertion of metal pins that mar the appearance of the wood. Non-damaging pinless meters have other significant advantages. Most notable

is the fact that they are a big time-saver. You can scan many board feet in just sec-

onds. However, taking multiple moisture readings of hardwoods with a pin-type

meter can be time-consuming and frustrating. In addition, for dense wood, such as oak or hickory, proper insertion of the pins is challenging. This means you risk

inaccurate measurements, defeating the whole purpose of using a moisture meter.

Remember this one thing In a nutshell, remember this: unlike many other types of flooring, wood is highly sensitive to its environment. So if you’re a wood flooring professional, you’ll need

a fast, reliable way to measure wood’s moisture content. The only way to do that is Using a quality pinless meter saves time and won’t mar the wood with unsightly pinholes.

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to use a quality, non-damaging pinless moisture meter that consistently gives you accurate readings.

For more information about preventing moisture problems in wood flooring,

visit www.wagnermeters.com, or call Wagner Meters toll-free at (844) 533-9100.

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y reputation is essential M_______________________________________ I USE A WAGNER MOISTURE METER BECAUSE:

80% of all problems in wood projects are caused by moisture content issues. A quick and simple, non-damaging moisture meter reading can save you from angry customer calls, unnecessary repair time, and a bad reputation. Call today and learn why Wagner’s industry-leading Orion meters may just be the most important tool for your job.

844-533-9100 | WagnerMeters.com | FAST. DURABLE. ACCURATE. Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021 57


SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

Introducing… The Christina Collection HGTV’s Christina Haack from Flip or Flop and Christina on the Coast has launched her own luxury vinyl flooring line… The Christina Collection.

S

ince 2009, Christina has renovated and flipped houses on 11 seasons of HGTV’s “Flip or Flop” and her design show “Christina on the Coast.” Inspired by her passion for design and expertise on flooring, the Christina Collection features 21 colors and styles in the sought-after and high styled 9" wide × 60" plank. The looks were all hand-selected by Christina and can be used anywhere in the home to fit any decor. Christina knows floors are a significant part of home renovations and thought people could use a luxury vinyl collection that was stylish yet affordable. In addition, she wanted it to be durable for homeowners with active lifestyles or that have children or pets. She was inspired to create floors that would uphold quality and style. After much research, Christina chose a waterproof, scratch and stain-resistant but affordable, rigid core SPC for the collection. Creating a durable flooring option as a primary focus, Christina tested the durability against her three children and pets. (See Christina’s Instagram Page) The Christina Collection with a Diamond Walk finish features a 20 MIL wear layer, 6.5mm thick, and a 1.5mm IXPE attached pad. This flooring is also FloorScore certified for indoor air quality and performs well in high-traffic areas, including commercial spaces. The Christina Collection is determined to uphold quality and style for our customers, pushing for commitment and dedication in the growing flooring industry. If you are interested in carrying the Christina Collection in your showroom, please submit the inquiry form at www.christinacollectionflooring.com or email us at service@flooringlines.com. ■

Christina knows floors are a significant part of home renovations and thought people could use a luxury vinyl collection that was stylish yet affordable. In addition, she wanted it to be durable for homeowners with active lifestyles or that have children or pets. 58

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At left: Escalade Center Left: Blanca Center Right: Channel Island Bottom: Camelback

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FLOOR ED

T

How To Solve Common Flooring Installation Problems Right From Your Phone

he most powerful installation tool isn’t a hammer,

saw, or staple gun—it’s your (and your clients’) phone.

Staying on top of everything for an installation —from your warehouse, to gaining positive reviews on a job well done—is best done on the smartphone you have in your

pocket. At RollMaster we work tirelessly to make sure that your team has all of the software tools they need to

do their jobs as efficiently as possible. Here are the best ways to use a smartphone for flooring installation.

Clean Up Your Calendar

When your installation calendar is a mess, mistakes are going to happen. Even if an installation mishap

doesn’t occur, a confusing calendar system makes your team less efficient. A good installation calendar

should let your whole team know who is going where and when. Not only does this help the installation crew, but your sales team, customer service, and your billing department.

It All Starts In The Warehouse

A clean and organized warehouse makes everyone’s job easier. First, your sales team can sell what you have in stock when they have a good idea of what is actually

available in real time. Then when it’s time for installa-

tion, your team can find what they need more easily

instead of hunting through a disorganized warehouse. Then when the job is done, the real-time updates make your accounting and inventory process much easier.

Getting your whole team on the same page is much

easier with the RM Web Installation Calendar. Not only

can your crews keep track of their day-to-day schedule

right from their phone, but they’re also able to store valuable information like photos of the job, customer

signatures, diagrams, cut sheets, even GPS directions to the job site. All of this works together to help your

teams avoid installation mistakes. We also make this technology accessible to subcontractors so you can have organized installations regardless of the crew None of this would be possible without the power

facilitating the job.

of modern barcode technology. RollMaster offers the

Keep Your Clients Up To Date

smartphone. The organizational upgrade is a huge time

customer makes a last minute scheduling change or

latest in barcode technology that works easily with your

saver, plus using an intuitive smartphone device as your barcode scanner makes training much easier. 60

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One of the biggest time-wasting problems is when a cancellation. Keeping your team working on your orig-

inal schedule is helpful in ensuring that their time is


spent wisely. When do customers reschedule? When

they’ve forgotten that you’re installing at a particular date and time.

showing up for an installation to find that your customer is already unhappy.

Make The Most Of Happy Clients

After a smooth installation process, it’s important

to reach out to your happy customers to leave your business a review. Positive reviews online help your

business bring in new customers, and build trust with prospective customers by giving them the social sig-

nals that your business is going to be the best choice. We all know that it can be tough to get clients to

follow through on leaving you a review. It’s why we created RM5Star! As a fully integrated reputation

management software, RM5Star helps you to set up With RM Text Alert you can easily send installa-

tion reminders to your clients via text message. Did you know that on average 99% of text messages are

reminders for your clients to leave you a review wher-

ever it works best for them: via text message, email, or an in-person kiosk at your store.

Set up your business to grow online by connect-

read within 15 minutes of delivery? That is the highest

ing with top review sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp,

messaging works so well because it takes time off your

these positive reviews in one place on your website

open-rate above emails, and even phone calls. Text staff, and makes it easy for your customers to keep you in the loop of any changes on their end.

RM Text Alert allows you to set up installation remind-

ers on a schedule that you plan in advance. This makes sure that your team doesn’t need to add another thing

Angi, Houzz and more. Then you can collect all of

to allow prospective customers to view reviews from all over the web. You can also respond to all of your reviews in one place with our intuitive platform linked from your RollMaster Software.

You and your client both use your phones all day

to their daily to-do-list. Instead the message goes out

every day to stay on top of your daily life, and it’s no

change their installation date well in advance.

tools, flooring installations are easier, customers are

at a specified time, allowing your customer to keep or

Solve Problems Before Installation

Not only does texting help you to ensure that your cli-

different for your business. With the right software happier, and you can grow your business! Contact us today for a free demonstration. ■

ent is staying on track with your installation schedule, but it also makes it easy to solve problems before the installation occurs. Our clients have found that cus-

tomers are far more responsive via text messages than they are on email or a phone call.

Texting allows customers to inform you if they have

changed their mind on their flooring choice, if they

have any special instructions for the installation crews, or any other problems that may arise. This allows your team to problem solve in a timely manner, instead of

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Are your desks covered in huge manuals of pricing information? Do you have notes filled with login information for different flooring vendor portals that you use to source up to date pricing data? Getting current information on pricing your flooring options shouldn’t be such a slog. When participating flooring manufacturers and vendors can easily share their information with flooring dealers, your team can have the data they need at their fingertips without all the effort. What Does fcB2B Mean For Flooring Businesses?

Do Flooring Dealers Using a Custom ERP Need fcB2B?

ness data exchange by saving valuable time searching

become. When multiplied across many stores, tasks

Flooring businesses can benefit from Business to Busi-

for the latest, most accurate pricing data to use in their

stores. Beyond the time savings, it helps to ensure that the information used is the most accurate and up to

date, saving potential headaches down the road. This

includes having valuable information such as dropped

styles and colors so you never have to disappoint a customer waiting for an estimate.

The bigger the business, the more costly time can

that are just part of the routine become very costly. “Business to Business for us has been great...We can

import products under different catalog categories, and bring them into one place. It makes for less key-

strokes and is a big time saver,” says Marcus Torgerson of Independent Flooring, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Flooring businesses that have already invested in

RollMaster has always been dedicated to expand-

their own custom ERP systems can benefit from Roll-

to date and accurate information. As an original mem-

vice: B2B Master. This new integration gives all of the

ing fcB2B to allow all flooring companies to have up ber of Floor Covering B2B, RollMaster helped to define industry standards, and is proud to offer our B2B products to any flooring company, regardless of the business software they currently use.

Can Small Flooring Businesses Benefit From fcB2B?

Businesses of any size can benefit from saved time, money, and reduced errors by automating labor-in-

tensive tasks. RollMaster offers a self-contained B2B

Master’s newest enhanced B2B data exchange ser-

benefits of B2B Exchange, and saves your business from spending the time, effort, and expense of hav-

ing to create this technology from scratch. B2B Master

also gives access to the catalog data via API and SQL, thereby allowing you to build custom automations

into your ERP System to streamline Accounts Payable. You also have the ability to export the data via Excel and customize reports for internal use. ■

product perfect for flooring companies of any size:

Finding ways to save your business time on a daily

software for catalog data import makes it easy to have

those time savings, you’ll save money and boost your

B2B Exchange. This industry exclusive fcB2B flooring the latest information in your team’s hands in real time. The B2B Exchange portal allows non-RollMaster

Flooring Software users to benefit from our B2B Ven-

dor Catalog Import Technology. B2B Exchange allows

companies to easily access full catalog import details, program levels of pricing options and have access to detailed product information from several participating manufacturers and vendors. 62

Premier Flooring Retailer | D2 2021

and monthly basis can be hard! But once you have

bottom line. Using the right tools can make it easier, and RollMaster is dedicated to making fcB2B acces-

sible for all flooring businesses. Contact us today for a free demonstration!


Technology to Streamline Your Flooring Installations

When you combine RollMaster Flooring Software with our powerful efficiency tools, installations go off without a hitch. Create a game plan for your whole team with the RM Web Installation Calendar and keep your clients in the loop with RM Text Alert. With RollMaster you'll make costly time delays or expensive installation mistakes a thing of the past.

Get in Touch to Learn More

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info@rmaster.com | 866.822.4904 | www.rmaster.com


FLOOR ED

Why Certified Installers are Important Installers are an essential part of your business. It doesn’t matter whether they are on your payroll or subcontractors; they are most valuable to you.

A

lthough many retailers hate to admit it, installers will either make or break their business. Since they are the last person the customer sees, whatever impres-

sion they leave with the customer will be lasting. Yet, despite this, how many stores take the time certifying, training, or differentiating their installers?

What if we changed the installation department to “Custom Installation”? There

is no “one size fits all,” … so why not talk about custom. Besides, the word “custom” signifies something made especially for the customer. It also implies that the service is worth more money.

Smart Sales People Don’t Sell Products; They Provide Solutions

Installers Installers provide solutions and turn ordinary products into works of art. They provide should be encouraged to take photos of their jobs and get customer testimonials solutions and and reviews on their completed work. Why not give a spiff to every installer on turn ordinary every excellent review or testimonial they get? products into Adding Value with Certified Installers works of art. Take advantage of all the certifications available for your installers. Many of your They should be manufacturers have classes and training that certify installers as experts with that encouraged to particular product. It allows you to brag about your installers and charge more for take photos of their services. Experts are always worth more money. their jobs and TIP: Mention in your ads that your installers are certified, explain what it means and get customer why customers should hire certified installers. testimonials As your installers receive certifications, send press releases to the general contracand reviews tors, builders, interior designers, and architects you do business with. On your liton their erature, be sure to state that your installers are certified and in what areas. Installers completed that are certified should receive higher incentive pay or perks for their commitment work. to their profession and your business. ■

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SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF

Bruce® Laminate is Back! Introducing Natural World™ and Basic Wonders™ TIMBERTRU™ Laminate Flooring from Bruce

T

hese two new collections offer durable, design-savvy, affordable laminate floors under the Bruce® brand name.

“Bruce laminate is back,” said Chris King, Vice President-Sales, AHF Products.

“We’re seeing synergies across all channels, especially single-family homes. While the SPC/LVT business remains strong, recent import supply chain challenges have

created a new opportunity for our laminate which is predominately made in the USA. We’re proud of our winning portfolio, which includes hardwood, SPC, and

These two new collections offer durable, design-savvy, affordable laminate floors under the Bruce® brand name.

now laminate, but more importantly, we’re excited by the support we’ve seen from our customers.”

Style, functionality, and affordability are just a few of the reasons why the new

Bruce TimberTru floors are right for any home. They offer the realistic looks and

textures of real wood floors, plus unparalleled protection against stains, fading, scratches, and scuff marks. Both collections are waterproof, highly resistant to wear

and tear, and built to last. In addition, since the floors are manufactured in the US, they are an affordable option over most imports.

There are virtually no restrictions to where TimberTru can be installed. From

basements and bathrooms to great rooms and kitchens, TimberTru flooring works in any area of the home, said King. “A beautiful floor sets the stage for the room of

your dreams. RSAs can help their customers know the qualities to consider so they can find the best laminate flooring for their homes.” ■

“Bruce laminate is back” … Style, functionality, and affordability are just a few of the reasons why the new Bruce TimberTru floors are right for any home. They offer the realistic looks and textures of real wood floors, plus unparalleled protection against stains, fading, scratches, and scuff marks.

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BASIC WONDERS | TIMBERTRU FLOORING delivers on style and performance at an affordable price. This line also is waterproof and provides topdown moisture protection for up to 24 hours. Durable 8 mm planks feature a tough AC3* rated wear layer in a range of popular colors and realistic textures, also with simple locking installation.

NATURAL WORLD | TIMBERTRUFLOORING offers true-to-life looks with outstanding performance. Incredibly realistic visuals perfectly mimic the fine detail and texture found in authentic hardwood in a wide range of colors and textures to suit any taste. These floors will stand up to the challenges of a busy home. The planks are waterproof—with top-down moisture protection for up to 24 hours. The sturdy 12 mm planks feature a durable AC4* rated wear layer— tough enough for light commercial environments. The floors offer quick and easy locking installation. * AC stands for “Abrasion Criteria,” and it’s the rating system used to test for durability, abrasion, and impact resistance of most laminated flooring options. It ranges from AC1 to AC5, but there are some AC6 products in the market as well.

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Articles inside

Waterproof Flooring Made Easy article cover image

Waterproof Flooring Made Easy

1min
pages 48-49
Cybersecurity and Cloud Solutions article cover image

Cybersecurity and Cloud Solutions

5min
pages 24-27
Noncompete Agreements—A Basic Guide of the Do’s and Don’ts article cover image

Noncompete Agreements—A Basic Guide of the Do’s and Don’ts

11min
pages 50-55
Good Companions… Custom Area Rugs from the DW Select Collection article cover image

Good Companions… Custom Area Rugs from the DW Select Collection

1min
pages 28-29
Women of the Flooring Business Offers Educational Courses and Support for Members article cover image

Women of the Flooring Business Offers Educational Courses and Support for Members

7min
pages 44-47
The Entrepreneurial Vision of Pioneer Floor Coverings article cover image

The Entrepreneurial Vision of Pioneer Floor Coverings

3min
pages 38-39
Presenting Fashionable Products article cover image

Presenting Fashionable Products

3min
pages 12-13
The World Floor Covering Association Debuts In-House Content Studio, Studio 59TM article cover image

The World Floor Covering Association Debuts In-House Content Studio, Studio 59TM

1min
pages 6-7
Why Pay Attention to Moisture in Wood? article cover image

Why Pay Attention to Moisture in Wood?

5min
pages 56-59
Facebook Groups are Changing How Businesses Connect article cover image

Facebook Groups are Changing How Businesses Connect

3min
pages 30-31
The Power of Team article cover image

The Power of Team

3min
pages 4-5
How To Solve Common Flooring Installation Problems Right From Your Phone article cover image

How To Solve Common Flooring Installation Problems Right From Your Phone

7min
pages 62-65
Reputation Management Is a Problem/Opportunity for the Entire Company article cover image

Reputation Management Is a Problem/Opportunity for the Entire Company

4min
pages 34-35
The Beautifully Responsible™ Momentum of Resilient Flooring article cover image

The Beautifully Responsible™ Momentum of Resilient Flooring

5min
pages 14-23
What is EDI, and Why is It Used by fcB2B article cover image

What is EDI, and Why is It Used by fcB2B

3min
pages 8-9
Introducing… The Christina Collection article cover image

Introducing… The Christina Collection

1min
pages 60-61
Carpet Padding or Carpet Cushion. There’s a difference article cover image

Carpet Padding or Carpet Cushion. There’s a difference

5min
pages 32-33
Why Certified Installers are Important article cover image

Why Certified Installers are Important

1min
pages 66-67
Shepherding Success Through Software—The Unusual Evolution of QFloors article cover image

Shepherding Success Through Software—The Unusual Evolution of QFloors

4min
pages 36-37
Why Leave the installation of Your Beautiful New Floor to Just Anyone article cover image

Why Leave the installation of Your Beautiful New Floor to Just Anyone

1min
pages 10-11