WASHINGTON, D.C. -- CCA Global Partners and Armstrong announced a new partnership this morning at the Carpet One convention in Washington, D.C. Armstrong will begin directly selling new Armstrong products and programs to CCA retailers through a dedicated field sales team. At the same time, distributors of Armstrong products will take on "a logistics only function," according to Paul Murfin, vp sales, Armstrong Floor Products,
"Armstrong will handle customer service and credit, and a field team will call on member stores. Relative to our distributors, this is definitely a change," Murfin acknowledged.
Charlie Dilks, chief product officer of CCA Global Partners, said the plan will require a measured roll out to the different divisions which include Carpet One Floor & Home, Flooring America, Flooring Canada, ProSource Wholesale Floorcoverings and International Design Guild stores.
"We have a plan to roll out the transition with certain divisions starting over others," he said. "It's a work in progress to get out and line up all the elements of this partnership."
Murfin added a pilot program will roll out to selected members in February, and the direct sales model "should be systemwide by the second quarter."
Frank Ready, CEO of Armstrong North American Floor Products, explained the new partnership as offering "on time delivery, effective set up, training and after-sale followups."
"Armstrong is putting our field sales team in your stores, and will work locally with you to execute our [programs]," he said in announcing the new partnership to retailers at the convention. "This direct basis of sale, I believe, will improve communication and eliminate redundant costs."
Dilks said the partnership will also result in lower prices for members, enhanced product execution and rebates, and "[financial] terms on all Armstrong products."
"There is no doubt distributors are going to have to adjust," Dilks added. "Products will still be supplied and shipped through local distributors. But in the long-term, we believe this [partnership] is a beneficial change."