Distributors’ perspective: Driving productivity and profitability

November 03, 2014

October 27/November 3, 2014; Volume 28/Number 10

By Kevin Gammonley

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 2.46.39 PMGrowing your business requires a number of important efforts, not the least of which is educating your people and building a quality network. Education is key to staying ahead of industry trends, and networking is about making connections and building enduring, mutually beneficial relationships. Ask any senior executive, politician, community leader or successful salesperson who has excelled in his or her career what the keys to success have been. An overwhelming majority will say that to succeed, you must continually educate yourself and your team, and leverage your network.

Facilitating business connections amongst distributors and manufacturers is the most apparent role of the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) due to our valued events throughout the year. In addition, a core driver that initially attracts distributors to the association is a desire to learn from other distributors and be exposed to leading-edge training on how to drive productivity and profitability within their distributorship. There are many options for distributors to simply listen to professional speakers, but within NAFCD events they are exposed to trainers, consultants and educators who specialize in wholesale distribution and/or the flooring and building product industries. The opportunity to learn from these individuals as well as from peers, competitors and trading partners is invaluable.

NAFCD is continually monitoring trends that are growing in importance to wholesale distributors as well as talking with other associations both in our industry and across other distribution channels to see what is emerging and what is impacting their members—either negatively or positively. We are also always seeking ideas about new and different topics, presenters and training mediums. Our ultimate goal is to continually refresh our menu of member services and programs with new education and information offerings.

Last year, we introduced the NAFCD Quarterly Sales Trend Survey to give our members insight into how their companies and the marketplace are performing compared to their competitors and fellow distributors in other markets. This year, the report was expanded to include the insights and forecasts of the manufacturer community. These quarterly reports continue to increase in participation while fast becoming a valued data resource.

The 2014 NAFCD annual convention is just weeks away in Dallas, Nov. 18-20. This event is the largest concentration of floor covering distributors and features many opportunities for distributors to learn from each other while being exposed to top-notch speakers covering both distribution management and general business topics. Scheduled on the front end of the convention is the NAFCD Distribution Management University program designed as an exclusive one-day training session for general, sales and branch managers from within floor covering distributorships.

NAFCD represents the premier distributors in the industry. These firms have continued to grow and prosper due to their commitment to educate their people, learn from their peers and enhance their communication to their suppliers. If you are a distributor interested in learning more about how to take advantage of these opportunities, join us in Dallas.

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