This week, Scott Humphrey, CEO of World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), announced a series of initiatives to enhance the Association’s services to members in the rapidly evolving business environment.
The multi-pronged program includes a new membership structure that allows retailers to select a membership tier level conducive to their business needs; a revamped and redesigned easy-to-read member magazine; striking innovations for the WFCA booth at TISE 2017; a streamlined, easy-to-navigate member website; and WFCA University, an educational program designed to keep retailers at the top of their game.
“The WFCA has made many changes over the past few years,” Humphrey said. “Some might say that we have reinvented ourselves to better suit the needs of our primary members—the independent flooring dealers of America.”
He said the WFCA board, officers and personnel have worked tirelessly to create new opportunities, refresh existing programs and remove efforts that no longer served the needs of those member retailers. “We see ourselves as the voice of the independent flooring dealer,” Humphrey said. “It is our goal to continually ensure the profitability of our members by evolving with the market and creating the change our members say they need.”
For the first time since the WFCA was established in 1959, the organization is offering a tiered membership program with three levels of membership: Sustaining, Leader and Advocate.
Sustaining members have access to all entry-level options, including signage on WFCA Dealer Locator, WFCA Trade Scholarship reimbursement, the Association’s Financial Benchmarking Report, WFCA University, public affairs, Savings4Members business services, complimentary access to legal and business primers, a 20% discount on fcB2B programs and additional scholarship reimbursements.
At the Leader level members get all of the Sustaining level benefits, as well as unrestricted trade scholarship reimbursements up to $500 and a 25% discount on fcB2B services.
Retailers at the Advocate level, the fourth and highest tier of membership, receive all of the preceding benefits as well as a 30% fcB2B discount, CFI Associate Membership, a 20% discount on all WFCA/CFI training programs, CFI technical services support, access to the CFI installer database and a company listing on cfiinstallers.org. The scope and benefits of WFCA Associate Membership program will not change under the new membership initiative.
Additionally, in line with the organization’s mission to help members achieve success and profitability, WFCA has completely redesigned their booth for TISE 2017. The new layout of the space will showcase all that WFCA has to offer its members using the organizations own Six Pillars of Relevance and Success. The segmented areas, which are color-coded include: Research, Education, Member Benefits, Philanthropy, Advocacy and Technology.
As visitors move through the booth they will acquire a complete overview on all of the ways that WFCA enhances the businesses and the lives of its constituents, their employees, and their customers through targeted projects and programs. In addition to refreshing the space for existing members, WFCA hopes the new booth concept will resonate and draw the attention of the next generation of professionals for membership.
The organization also has commissioned a stunning redesign of its national four-color magazine, Premier Flooring Retailer (PFR), to better meet the needs of members. As part of the new roll-out, WFCA has partnered with Margo Locust, publisher of Fabulous Floors, who has been charged with giving the book a new look and feel. The new magazine will debut at TISE 2017. It will publish quarterly and will be almost three times its previous size. For the first time, PFR will also be available online and through a digital app.
Another vehicle the WFCA uses to communicate with its members, the wfca.org website is undergoing an extensive renovation. Historically, the association has supported two websites, one for members and another to reach consumer audiences in an effort to educate them about flooring options. As part of an effort to simplify and streamline communications, WFCA has transformed the company website, gearing it towards both the industry and consumers. Key components of the consumer site, including the retailer locator tool, have been folded into a site that is designed to draw members in with new design and continually fresh content. In addition to containing all of the resources previously available through wfca-pro.org, the new site will also allow existing and new members to join or renew online with all forms necessary to complete the process. Wfca.org will debut at TISE 2017.
WFCA has also launched its own retailer education program called WFCA University. The platform, which is available as a subscriber service, consists of primers, research, online training and seminars as well as on-site regional training. It is designed to give professionals a competitive edge and keep them current on the latest business practices. Through WFCA University, there are learning opportunities available for every member of an organization including sales associates, managers, accountants, merchandizers, operations staff, human resources, even owners. The program modules are both live action and animated and provide testing and certification upon completion. In total there are currently 40 training modules available.
“We are at a turning point in our industry,” Humphrey said. “Independent flooring dealers are encountering critical challenges in today’s business landscape.” He stated that the industry has powered through great changes in the past and that the best way for retailers to thrive and prosper in the current evolution is to come together and level the playing field. “We are all continually evolving. I am certain that existing and potential WFCA members will see our inward and outward changes as a positive evolution,” Humphrey continued. “We look forward to hearing your feedback about our new initiatives and additional ways that we can enhance your business!”
For more information, visit wfca.org.