Selling flooring products such as carpet, wood and marble is only part of the process. Careful planning, accurate budgeting, job tracking and a keen understanding of site conditions are the essential activities that make a project a real success.
Even more important, empowering and training your team to be experts in technical areas such as moisture mitigation, floor preparation, adhesives and backing solutions adds even greater value. All of this combined with today’s technology can position your business to be a true expert in the flooring field—before, during and after the project is complete.
At Business Flooring Specialists we have taken full advantage of technology systems that effectively support the flooring industry. A benefit of being part of the Fuse Alliance network means some of the most advanced technology programs are available to us. In fact, we were the original beta site for the JobRunner program.
JobRunner, available to all Fuse members, offers a complete front-to-back program that allows businesses to create quotes from a product database all the way through to tracking the job—once it’s awarded—until completion.
Once the project is a go, JobRunner allocates inventory in our system and our sales team can begin generating work orders. It tracks every step of the project. The program can compare costs verses budgets, create purchase orders, generate invoices, handle commissions and, finally, calculate profitability.
We also utilize the program to check profit degradation against original budgets. As a result, analyzing profit degradation helps our team to continually improve on every project thereafter.
Another technology resource we use is FloorRight, a software program that effectively estimates projects, creates seaming diagrams and produces 3-D views to see materials for floors and walls. Even better, it seamlessly works hand-in-hand with JobRunner. With FloorRight we can incorporate its functionalities with quotes, adding value to our role in the project and to the designer.
Using programs such as these allows our team to know where they are at any given moment, whether it’s reviewing a project or examining their overall business.
However, it’s not just about turning on new software. What’s most critical to using this technology is the extensive industry knowledge and experience that powers it. By incorporating knowledge and technology, we have the ability to transform from a flooring dealership to a true resource for the design community and our customers. Our sales team and project managers are intimately involved in the installation of each project to ensure what was promised to the customer is what is ultimately being delivered.
A flooring dealer should understand every aspect of a project. Our affiliation with the Fuse network means our access to information and state-of-the-art tools helps to bring an even higher level of expertise to every aspect of the project—from the very beginning.
When a designer submits a floor plan, our team puts industry knowledge and technology into action. Technology support allows for more accurate budgeting. With a deep understanding of the industry, we are able to assess the building and its existing floor and then make the right recommendations during the budget process.
This is very important—for the designer, the flooring contractor and, ultimately, the end user. For instance, moisture mitigation may be required in order to meet the manufacturer’s warranty. This helps to avoid what could be costly change orders later.
Even digital tape measures make a big difference. Using digital tape measures allows us to measure accurately—within one-eighth of an inch over 300 feet—resulting in more precise estimating. What’s more, using a digital tape measure means our survey team is less disruptive in an occupied space, or if a plan is submitted that isn’t to scale, there is time saved to generate a new, accurate, scaled plan.
In the end, technological tools such as these when used in conjunction with a knowledgeable team can make a big difference in the end. Today, technology is just as important as every other factor when it comes to maintaining, competing and running a business. If it isn’t integrated properly then maximizing its benefits may be diminished.
Another aspect of the business we don’t necessarily ‘see’ is the planning behind a go-to-market strategy. It’s important to not only understand the flooring industry as a whole, but to drill down into each of the market segments and have a keen understanding of the requirements of each one.
Depending on current economic conditions, each one will be affected differently. For instance, in the last economic downturn, we refocused our energy on healthcare and institutional work. Although we have experience and knowledge in all market segments, aligning a business strategy with economic conditions allows for more precise business development. Ultimately, this business approach allows for a more sustainable business during downturns as well as upswings.
Building strong, solid relationships is key to the longevity of our business. We have always offered a full scope of product and services and continue to expand our offering to include maintenance services and new products such as polished concrete. As a Fuse Alliance member, we can actively pursue some of the most state-of-the-art technologies. Sharing best practices, knowledge and strategy with other Fuse Alliance members is part of sustaining a successful business for the long term. Our relationships inform us on how to build and expand our business.
We continue to add services that customers inquire about or request. For example, we created a residential Floors To Go franchise in order to assist and service our commercial customers’ residential needs as well as other residential requests.
Founded in 2003, Business Flooring Specialists of Fort Worth, Texas, provides a wide range of commercial floor covering solutions and professional installation services. The company has been part of the Fuse network since 2007, and represents the most respected flooring manufacturers in the world, providing selection and service second to none. Owners Jeff Bennett, Dale Walton and Rick Goolsby each have more than 30 years experience in the flooring industry. For more email email@example.com or call (817) 282-1600.