Priority’s Approach: Always Students in Our Own Industry
At Priority Floors, we have a different overall approach to the flooring business. Generally a flooring company focuses on a single market segment such as multifamily replacement, retail, builder, commercial, etc. If a dealer services multiple market segments, rarely are they a dominant player in more than one segment. Of all the market segments we serve, we play a very dominant part in the multifamily replacement market; however, we are becoming a strong contender in the commercial market segment as well.
One of the guiding principles for us as a team is we are always students of our own industry. Learning is a big aspect of who we are as a company.
In an effort to maximize our potential within each market segment (multifamily, commercial and residential) we have separate and distinctly different teams that support each of the markets we serve. Account management, administration and installation teams are exclusively focused on the pursuit, management and servicing of multifamily, commercial or residential business. The expertise and skillset required to pursue, manage and service each of these customer bases is very different and therefore requires a different approach and team.
We have a clear vision of what we want our business to be and how we want it to track. One of the guiding principles for us as a team is we are always students of our own industry. Learning is a big aspect of who we are as a company.
When we entered the flooring industry almost 10 years ago, we quickly became students of the flooring industry. Although much time has passed, we continue to learn and grow and that is what inspires us to do more and be better each day. With just over five years of having a dedicated team focused on the commercial contracting business, we have already built a very strong reputation with general contractors and our commercial flooring manufacturer partners. These relationships, coupled with those relationships as a result of our co-op affiliations, are what we learn and gain confidence from every day.
Our desire to learn gives us a fresh perspective to the industry in general. We are open to ideas that some would view as unconventional. We highly value our co-op memberships with Fuse Alliance and FEI Group/Multifamily Solutions. Typically, the main reason to be part of these networks is for purchasing power. Although purchasing power is a significant benefit, it has been our experience that the greatest benefit to being part of these networks is the access to colleagues who are industry veterans and experts.
Through our involvement in these organizations we are able to learn from some of the best and brightest in our industry. We have developed incredible relationships with the leadership of fellow members as well as member suppliers—which may not have happened through a different path. We share our challenges, our best practices and gain insight and advice from flooring dealers very similar to and different than ours. We have learned from their experiences and their successes (and, perhaps, their failures) in addition to our own. We have gained confidence in the decisions we have made and are making—confidence that we may not otherwise have acquired. By leveraging these best practices and the knowledge gained, we have optimally positioned ourselves as a business and as a competitor in multiple market segments in a challenging marketplace.
As an independent business owner, you are somewhat of an island on your own. With FEI Group and Fuse Alliance, it is as if someone else is looking out for you. We have a built-in resource and an exceptional network that we learn from and leverage on a continual basis. Through FEI Group and Fuse Alliance we have access to visibility and exposure to executive management within the flooring industry’s largest and most successful suppliers.
There have been times when we were not getting what we needed from the local sales representation at a particular supplier, and as a result of our affiliation with FEI Group and Fuse Alliance, we had an escalation point so that we could work with that supplier to get what we needed so we both could be successful.
Every relationship—with our customers, employees and subcontractors—is a building block to our business. We would not have a successful business without each and every one of them. We also view every opportunity from a business perspective. If an employee comes to us with an idea that may be outside of our current model, we are open to it. If a customer comes to us with an opportunity, a need or a request outside of our current offering, we will listen to it. Whether these ever come to fruition or not, our approach is we can learn from every one of these opportunities.
With a collaborative learning approach to business, we believe we win together and we lose together. Each and every member of the Priority Floors team subscribes to this philosophy. Our sales, warehouse, installation, administration and management teams are each keenly aware of the important role they individually and collectively play in providing the highest level of service and value to our customers, while at the same time allowing the company to grow and prosper. Without learning, our business would not grow, evolve or be as successful as we desire to be.