Headquartered in GREENVILLE, SC, Bonitz Flooring Group is the nation’s largest independent, employee-owned flooring contractor. Offering a full range of commercial flooring, Bonitz believes that “a successful project begins with understanding the needs of the customer.”
To that end, by providing complete flooring packages, including consultative services to assist in product selection; budget development; specification assistance and maintenance, Bonitz’s ability to offer unbiased product recommendations to accomplish the needs of its clients has helped it retain a position of strength in the floor covering industry.
Harold Chapman, Bonitz Flooring Group president and CEO, has been with the company for 35 years. In his almost four decades of experience, he’s seen, been through and initiated a lot of change.
“Bonitz has a construction division with four locations in addition to the flooring division’s 12 locations,” Chapman said. “We started as a contracting company, installing ceilings and walls. When I started, we expanded into flooring, and that really took off in the late ‘80s; now the flooring group is our largest segment.”
Chapman, who serves as chairman emeritus of the Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring Partnership and also as chairman for the World Floor Covering Association, knows how valuable strong relationships are for building and growing a business. Offering maintenance programs has helped the company maintain an advantage in a competitive landscape.
“We researched what was causing the call backs, and found that most were due to maintenance issues,” Chapman said. “We started offering maintenance programs and found call backs were dramatically reduced. On top of that, we started generating a new revenue stream, a high-profit because it is all labor. We’ve private labeled our cleaning products, and enhance our already-excellent customer service by fixing minor problems we encounter, like re-attaching a loose piece of trim, molding, or even flooring.”
A key component to the commercial sector is the relationships flooring contractors establish with the Architecture & Design community. Chapman puts an enormous amount of energy into his marketing efforts, but he knows that nothing beats a strong reputation.
“Word of mouth is our biggest asset,” he said. “Do a good job on a project, and they’ll come back to us again, and refer us when there a similar project arises. Holding training events in our showroom is also a strong way to show what we have to offer. Our job is to help them succeed.”
The Bonitz showroom is what Chapman describes as a working showroom. Architects and designers come in to work on design boards and ideas with the in-house team in a fully functional setting.
“Our layout gives us a truly unique selling position,” Chapman said. “Instead of having to just imagine or get an idea from a sketch or sample, they can see in an actual hospital room setting how the different pieces work together. It really sets us apart from the rest.”