2009 was a challenging business climate for our industry. Where do you see business going in 2010?
We see some of the same uncertainties that were experienced in 2009 being prevalent in 2010. However, we anticipate certain commercial markets will still be strong with the quantity and quality of projects, such as the healthcare & assisted-living markets and the education market. Quality products and innovative designs will still reign supreme and the companies that possess these qualities will be able to overcome the challenges of 2009 and have a successful 2010.
Innovation is the key – both in product development and aesthetic design. Rubber flooring is one of the very few flooring product segments that have had consistent growth for each of the past five years. This is from the maturation of rubber flooring from just a utilitarian floor to a floor that offers unlimited color options, textures, and profiles that allow innovative design to occur.
As for technology, I think designers, architects, and end-users all want to see what the final floor will look like during the design phase, and thus a digital design tool is almost essential to provide that end user with a true visual of what their product selection will look like. Roppe recently introduced its Flooring Designer program to provide the user with a true and color correct representation of any standard or custom color design they want to create using any Roppe products.
In what way will green products be an important aspect of business in 2010?
Green products will be important in 2010 because one of the largest segments of growth in commercial flooring is in green oriented products. Using recycled contents, developing products from waste streams and having an easy to use recycling program are essential components to meeting the “green needs” of our customers.
Roppe recently introduced the first rubber recycling program in the industry called Impact and in as little as six months Roppe has recycled over one million pounds of material. We strive to make our products and programs for the floor covering industry the easiest to understand and use in terms of our LEED® project impact, our recycling program and the ability to understanding our green message.
What message would you like to give the industry for 2010?
Our message is simple – Roppe is about Proven Flooring Experiences. Roppe achieves this by producing the highest quality products paired with the best customer service. We are committed to providing the newest and most innovative rubber flooring options such as new color systems, new flooring textures, or innovative sample tools that the interior design community demands. Roppe continues to improve the quality of these experiences with new product introductions, new programs like our Impact recycling program, and new technology initiatives such as the new Roppe.com and the new Roppe Floor Designer which provide the solution to all of your commercial flooring needs.