Fritz Rench, chairman of Host Racine Industries, talks about maintenance contractors that had been servicing a particular elementary school for years where the carpet was in dreadful condition. Rench talks about the attitudes many maintenance contractors have toward carpet and the level of expertise they often have regarding carpet and how regular, effective carpet maintenance can dramatically extend the useful life of carpet in these facilities.
Don Roberts, president & CEO Central Alabama Flooring, talks about the operation and the talents necessary in managing a multi-store operation. He discusses his plans for the future and the three or four most important factors he monitors to ensure profitability for his stores.
Jim Buckles, The Carpet Guys, discusses the problem many retailers have with regard to aging inventory in their warehouses and how these problems develop. Buckles talks about the ideal number of turns annually for inventory, the cost of this practice, and some ideas as to how retailers can best deal with older inventory.
Fritz Rench, CEO, Host Racine Industries, discusses training at the contractor level in the maintenance sector and dealing with a situation that sees a facility select a particular cleaning method only to have the contractor not manage the method effectively, leaving the flooring in less than acceptable condition and reducing the life cycle of the flooring. Also discussed is the process of restoring carpet in schools and other facilities to a spotless and fresh condition.
Derrick Daye, managing partner, The Blake Project and John Simonson, Webstream Dynamics and Five-Star Store Reviews, discuss the fact that many retailer websites are managed by their suppliers or by a buying group, delivering beneficial leads to the retailers but often at the cost of permitting the retailers to build their brand in their local market. Simonson suggests a possible solution is the launching a second website. Daye offers suggestions as to what to include on this second website and on social media to assist in building one’s brand, focusing on how the dealer’s brand can best co-exist with a supplier’s or buying group’s brand.
Derrick Daye, managing partner, The Blake Project and John Simonson, Webstream Dynamics and Five-Star Store Reviews, discuss some of the elements of branding at the retail store level, including the store itself, inside and out, levels of customer service, installation, and the fact that retailers are competing not only with other retailers but with other businesses with other products and services consumers want. Talked about is the experience the customer will experience within the store and with each encounter with personnel representing the store, including social media. Retailers are encouraged to map the customer experience from the customer’s vantage point in their store to identify friction points and eliminate them.
Kim Oderkirk, executive vice president of the Floor Covering Installation Contractors Association, (FCICA) talks about the Contractor’s Town Hall held at the recent annual convention, where attendees talked about challenges in the marketplace, including education and involving other industry players in FCICA programs. There were also discussions concerning the legal issues involving contractors as well as the shortage of qualified installers and efforts taken by association members to reduce the problem in their organizations.