NAFCD Report: Distributors discuss heavy issues impacting the industry - Dec 2018

By Beth Miller

The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) met for its annual convention in Dallas, Texas at the Hilton Anatole this November to discuss current issues, provide education sessions and reveal new resources to assist members.

Rick Knowles, VP of sales and marketing with PanTim Wood Products of Scarborough, Maine, says, “Distribution is facing all of the same issues that the whole industry is facing.”

Tariffs were certainly a hot topic, along with several other heavy-hitting issues. The general consensus on the topic of tariffs is that there isn’t enough information to go on. Distributors report there is no way to formulate a five-year plan at this point. The industry shift toward rigid-core LVT is causing distributors to take another look at their product mix. Installer workforce and truck driver shortages were another topic of concern-both related to demographics (aging out of Baby Boomers and a 15% smaller Gen X), with regulations also impacting the truck driver shortage.

Brian Beaulieu, CEO of ITR Economics, delivered the economic report with an emphasis on a couple of key takeaway items. A workforce shortage is inevitable due to demographics. The prediction for the next slowdown start will be toward the end of 2019 and into 2020. The economy will experience more growth than decline over the coming nine years.

New officer positions for 2019 were voted on: president, Steve McKenna, McKenna Distribution and Luxury Granite; president elect, Dunn Rasbury, A&M Supply; vice president, Shane Richmond, Fishman Flooring Solutions; treasurer, Geoff Work, The R.A. Siegel Co.; and immediate past president, David Powell, Erickson’s Flooring & Supply Co.

McKenna says, “In 2019, we will continue to drive our strategic objectives of connecting our members and facilitating sharing; offering a stimulating menu of education and training; fully collaborating with partners to address industry issues; and growing our membership base.”

A few NAFCD board of director retirements were announced: Rich Willett, USG; Zach Zehner, Mannington; and Heidi Cronin, The Cronin Company.

Cronin says, “Over the five years I have served on the board, NAFCD has grown and evolved. As a board we recognized where we were weak, how we should grow and what type of people needed to be involved. We have diversified, not only with the size of distributors from small to large but with types, genders and age. We also diversified the manufacturers on the board by including all categories of flooring.”

New board of director members are Kyle Gorny, Blakely Products, distributor director; Dori Blitzstein, Roesel-Heck Company, distributor director-at-large; June Wilson, US Floors distribution division, supplier director; and Dave Wallace, Precision Flooring Products, supplier director.

Hoy Lanning of J.J. Haines received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership and commitment to the flooring industry. Lanning has been in the flooring industry for 42 years and came on board with the NAFCD in 1991. In 1994, Lanning became a NAFCD board member, where he served one term on the executive committee (three years). Lanning served as president in 2001 (one-year term). Lanning says he is “honored, flattered and humbled to receive the award.” He continues, “There are many flooring leaders whom I respect. It feels pretty special to be in that club. I really appreciate NAFCD giving out this award. It’s one of the things I look forward to each year.”

Dunn Rasbury was awarded the Growth Award, which honors members who have made outstanding contributions furthering NAFCD’s growth and development, increased engagement of current members, grew support of industry partners, and made a positive impact overall over the past year. Rasbury has been an NAFCD member for approximately eight years and has served three years on the board. Rasbury says, “One thing I’ve learned being part of NAFCD is the value that it brings to the membership. It is not just simply being part of an association; there are tangible things that we bring to the table that should be important to every distributor.”

The 2019 NAFCD Annual Convention-running tandem with its sister association, NBMDA-will take place November 19 to 21 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Copyright 2018 Floor Focus 

Related Topics:Beaulieu International Group, Haines, Mannington Mills