Butler Flooring Services is a commercial flooring contractor based in Louisville, Ky. We sell and install all types of commercial flooring, and also have a full service maintenance department that cleans and maintains any floor we provide.
I am extremely proud of the folks I work with at Butler Flooring Services. They are employees, but many of us have worked together for so long that they are extended family. Our office manager, Vonda Stutzenberger, handles credit, human resources, accounts payable, and all ordering. Dan Rafferty manages our maintenance division business, and Eileen Hornback is our marketing manager. Eileen works with our major end users, A&D and general contractors. We have a group of project managers with whom she works closely. As projects come up, she will hand off to the most appropriate project manager in working on the job estimating and execution of the project.
Our project managers are vital to the business. They do the initial estimate, then do a field visit and site measure. They then give a work order to Vonda for ordering. The project manager also works with our warehouse manager, Tony Kincade, as materials begin to arrive, giving him a job folder for every project or project phase. Tony tags each item as it arrives. Tony will also supervise the loadout of materials for the installation of all jobs, and work with our installation manager as the job progresses to insure materials are ready and delivered.
Our installation manager, Rick West, meets with our project managers to review and schedule each job. He also does site visits to make sure the job is ready so that our schedule doesn’t stall. This is critical in this business especially when working for general contractors. We are also on site doing moisture testing on concrete slabs when it is required. The installation manager and project managers are all trained to handle this.
We work as a team and communication is always the key to a successful project. One thing we do at Butler Flooring is minimize large group meetings. We have meetings, but most of our meetings are small and involve the people doing the work. We have huddles, so to speak, and constantly communicate what’s needed to keep the job successful. My motto is “the most important job is the one that’s being installed now.”
Our installation team is primarily in-house labor who we hire and train. We have crew leaders, of course, but ultimately the installation manager oversees their work and schedule. I believe that gives much more control of the work being performed. The expectations of the quality of installation is my most important issue. We do use several subcontractors who have work for us 25 years or more, therefore they too know what is expected. Labor always has been, and will continue to be, our industry’s biggest challenge.
We have evolved at Butler Flooring Services, and so has our customer base. We currently do work for many corporate end users directly, or at times with the general contractor involved, depending on their needs. We also do a healthy amount of healthcare work; hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living homes, private education, and many physician and dentist offices. We also do quite a few churches and religious organizations, and we have really grown in this area. It’s a fun business to be in. We do bid jobs, but it is not a very large portion of our business and is mostly with general contractors with whom we have a long-term relationship.
I put a lot of value on our mill and manufacturing partners. We have developed very long and trusting relationships with our mill partners. They should all be very confident if Butler Flooring Services is handling and installing their material on any project, large or small. We are quick to speak with the rep or their tech department should any issue arise. If we are working with a mill on a project I consider them a part of our team, and again, communication is the key to success.
Our maintenance business actually began in 1987. We transitioned that business from strictly a dry carpet cleaning business to a full scale flooring maintenance business. We still have customers today from when we began doing work for them in the late 1980s, and they call us for all their flooring needs. Many of our customers are on an annual contract and we put a schedule together to work in their facility to do cleanings monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, etc., depending on their needs to keep the appearance of their floors looking close to new for as long as possible. We do hot water extraction with truckmount units, low moisture cleaning, and stripping and waxing of floors. We’ve done NeverStrip coating, both clear and color coating. The color coating allows for some creativity for certain applications.
We also do water restoration work. Our business has evolved into approximately 50 to 55 percent hard surface, and our main customer base is corporate and healthcare. We are also getting into the epoxy resin business with Spartacote, a division of Laticrete.
And finally, we are very proud to be a part of Fuse Alliance. Being part of Fuse enhances our existing mill partner relationships and opens up new ones. Being part of Fuse allows us to do national contract work and service accounts for other Fuse members across the country and know they will do the same for us. The Fuse network also give us access to very high level technical staff and support. It was an excellent decision to join Fuse.