Every flooring contractor has racks of attic stock that they have accumulated over the years. Often, it is material that could be useful to someone else. To help connect installers with these materials—and potential labor—Dale and Don Jarmer, owners of Jarmer Flooring in Severn, Maryland, discuss how their experience in the flooring industry led to the creation of their app, Floor Swap. The brothers sat down with Floor Trends to share how they hope this new app can help flooring contractors save time and money.
FT: Tell me how you got into flooring.
Dale Jarmer: My dad was a union flooring installer. He worked his way up from installer to superintendent to project manager. With our dad's industry knowledge and our business backgrounds we decided to open up our own commercial shop eight years ago.
FT: Tell me about your business today.
Dale Jarmer: We are a commercial flooring vendor servicing the Maryland; Washington, D.C.; and Virginia area. We can pretty much handle anything in the flooring industry: carpet, LVT, wood, tile, polished concrete.
FT: What inspired you to develop Floor Swap?
Don Jarmer: Well, in our business we are always looking for an extra box of base, certain type of adhesive, etcetera. We usually call some other vendors we know and do the same old song and dance, asking, “By any chance, do you have a box of ABC or XYZ laying around”? If they don’t, I call the next guy. Sometimes we are successful and sometimes we are not. I get the same calls weekly from vendors as well. We feel that if we can get all flooring contractors on the same platform we could help each other. So that’s how the app started. Once we got into developing this and asking contractors their opinions everyone said we need a section for labor as well. So we developed the labor section. Subs can post their resume. Contractors who are looking for labor can search for installers by their area.
FT: What problems are you looking to solve?
Don Jarmer: We are looking to solve lead time issues on the one-off items needed on a daily basis. Looking to help flooring contractors get unwanted items out of their warehouse. Every flooring contractor I know has racks of attic stock that they have accumulated over the years. Well, someone out there probably needs something they have. Why pay retail price and wait four weeks for something that is sitting on another contractor’s shelf? We also have a major labor shortage in our market. So on one app, you can sell, search, look for materials, and post job openings and labor availability for your area.
FT: Tell us how Floor Swap works.
Dale Jarmer: Once you have downloaded the app, you can post excess materials that you would like to sell. You can post a request, such as: “I am looking for one box of Johnsonite 4" straight base.” Installers can post their job availability: “Carpet installer in St. Louis looking for work.” You can search items for sale by key words or color numbers. Flooring contractor can post job openings. It’s basically a social media feed with flooring products and job opportunities.
FT: Can you give us an example of how this is being used in the field?
Don Jarmer: If an installer runs short on adhesive, they can post what they are looking in a specific area or mile radius. Connect with that person, go pick it up. Most subs are paid by the square foot and supply their own adhesives. If a specific glue is not available from their distributor this will cause a delay and add cost to the installer.
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