Just about everything at Florida Tile is new. A new corporate identity. A new product look. New headquarters. And me. This is an exciting time for Florida Tile and for our customers.
From what I have seen, the industry is all about the consumer and the consumer is about fashion. What can be more fashionable than the artistry of tile? Each piece speaks of craftsmanship, and how each tile becomes integrated into a greater design speaks to the look and durability our customers want, whether they are consumers, architects, designers or facility managers.
From the influence of our international parent company, Panariagroup, we are seeing the results of the forethought and investment that has and will continue to go into our business. This ranges from increasing production capacity in our manufacturing facility to the years of digital printing experience they provide to give us the edge over our competition. We also benefit from a streamlined R&D process that combines a keen eye for trends with a domestic factory that has the technology to produce it.
With these synergies we have been able to modernize the way we do business, from the way we approach distribution and retail sales, to revitalizing our product portfolio. Last year we introduced 11 new lines, with another 11 scheduled for this year, the most recent of which was unveiled at Coverings. With the success of last year’s launches and a growing demand, we are launching a Commercial Sales Team to expand our visibility and drive sales through our distribution.
Just as each piece of tile contributes to the overall look and design of a project, so, too, does each element of the new Florida Tile brand. We have set ourselves ambitious goals and we are determined to meet them. They include not only becoming the most recognized brand in the industry, but also a leader in style, environmental responsibility and opportunities for our customers to make a profit.
Fortunately, we are not a new company needing to establish a brand and a presence in the industry. As one of the few remaining domestic manufacturers it is our responsibility to champion the benefits of products “Made in USA” and never compromise on quality or service. Ours is and always has been a great reputation; together we can make it an outstanding one.
Ambitious as it is, our mission is nonetheless achievable, and we will do whatever it takes to make it so. We will continue to explore new channels and revisit existing ones to see how we can make them more efficient. My plans are to visit as many showrooms and customers as I can, to speak to them personally. I want to hear what they have to say, listen to their problems and their goals, and let them know that Florida Tile’s success is closely integrated and dependent on their own achievements.