The Belle Isle Metropolitan Library is one of oldest libraries in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A landmark of mid-century modern architecture, it has served the city for 59 years. The renovation was a huge undertaking, but the Starnet Dream Team of Monty Dolph, vice president of commercial sales of Bryan’s Flooring, and Brittany Cast, senior account manager, Milliken, made it happen. 

Dolph and Cast have been working together for more than seven years, growing their business to over $1.4 million with strong margins. Performance products are the foundation in their relationship, but reliability and trust are the cornerstones.

The Belle Isle project is part of the Metropolitan Library System (MPS), which has 19 locations throughout Oklahoma City. Their locations span urban to rural portions of the city, and many have deteriorating building structures. Library management had a multi-year plan to renovate every location. The Dream Team set out to create a strategy that would position them both for this annuity business. They utilized a purchasing contract to create an avenue to which the library system could stay in compliance from a competitive bid standpoint but ensure they were getting the best flooring provider and flooring product available.

Bryan’s Flooring took Milliken into this account with preferred pricing during the standard material search. Together, this Dream Team secured the building standard for the MPS which gave them access to every project, including the Belle Isle Library. Local architecture firm ADG spearheaded the project, and the library client was looking for a product that would have a 20+ year life cycle and long-term availability as their projects would be phased and acoustical properties. Milliken’s cushion-backed product and Printworks technology met all these expectations.

“This is a crown jewel for the Metropolitan Library System,” Cast said. “It's a really big renovation and public initiative, so the architect had the opportunity to submit something different. With Monty's relationship with the end user and my relationship with the architecture firm, Bryan’s was awarded the winner.”

See Photos of Belle Isle Metropolitan Library Here

This Dream Team works together closely on tenant improvement, corporate, government, education, and more recently, multifamily housing. Dolph has done an exceptional job networking with the most reputable general contractors in Oklahoma, and he is in constant conversation with Cast.

“Being a new rep in a market, and being introduced to the key stakeholders and drivers of business in Oklahoma, we already had an existing partnership—it was an opportunity to grow that partnership," Cast said. "Monty pulled me in to help in developing a strategic plan and mentored me, suggesting where he thought I should focus my time and here’s what trends we’re seeing in the market."

They meet at job sites for walk throughs and Milliken puts together product presentations for their direct work. Training has been another key component to growing their business together. Cast regularly regularly schedules informative lunch and learns with the project managers and estimators to encourage product knowledge and selling strategies. In addition to these lunches, the Dream Team hosts biannual industry continuing education events at Bryan's Flooring, bringing Milliken's leadership team in to speak. This has positioned this Starnet Dream Team as industry experts and a resource for solving complex project scenarios.

The George Washington Elementary School Project

Education was a key component to winning another project at The George Washington Elementary School. The year prior to kickoff of this new construction project, the Durant Public Schools superintendent attended a leadership academy at Milliken’s headquarters. As a result of learning about the company’s first-in-class performance and commitment to installation success in older buildings, the superintendent began working directly with the Milliken on renovation projects that following summer. 

A competitor’s project was initially specified for the LVT at George Washington Elementary. Dolph and Cast worked together to pitch Milliken’s new education-focused LVT product. The red in standard collection did not match the district's red, so Cast worked with Milliken’s design team on a custom effort. Once the switch was approved, the new product proposed came in over budget. They worked together to set a stable price to make the Milliken’s LVT the best option. 

The next challenge was maneuvering a condensed timeline to bring 30,000 square feet of material into the United States—during a global shipping crisis. The field tile arrived first while the custom red floated in a container off the East Coast. The red was to be used in every corridor, so the majority of LVT installation had to be paused. In order to keep the project moving, Dolph continued to seek opportunities on this project to partner with the Milliken. This effort led to a switch of ceramic tile to LVT in all the restrooms. 

When the material switch was made for the additional spaces, the architect required all areas to be redesigned with the new flooring. The Dream Team worked together to create a new layout incorporating designs used in other district buildings and intent from the original plans. This process was initiated and led to complete order in just a matter of months. The project met all deadlines and came in under budget overall. As a result of the huge success of this project, Durant Public Schools is now standardized on this Bryan’s Flooring product for carpet, LVT and entrance flooring.

"One of the things one of the things, that makes my job easier is that Milliken has done a really good job of upgrading their product line to some really innovative looks," Dolph said. "That has helped us to entice customers to go in the Milliken direction. The other thing is they've always had is cushion backs on their carpet tiles, which helps with wear, softness and sound—all the things customers are really interested in."