Educating retailers of either the Daltile or American Olean brands is a top priority for Dal-Tile Corp., noted Mike Ferris, director of training and development. “Because retailers are regarded as the frontline experts in all things floor covering-related in their communities, it’s vital that Dal-Tile, as a company, provides our sales partners with all the tools and information they need to provide the best service and support possible to their customers.”
While the bulk of the mill’s training efforts are from instructional support through its parent’s Mohawk University (see below) training programs offered on ceramic tile product knowledge, basic installation techniques and retail selling skills, Ferris said Dal-Tile also supports and partners with aligned flooring dealer groups, such as CCA Global, Alliance Flooring and others, for sales training workshops and seminars.
“However,” he added, “because an educated customer is the best customer, we feel that providing training directly to designers, architects and tile installers is equally important and ultimately beneficial in supporting retailers.” As such, Dal-Tile partners with a number of professional and trade groups, including the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), to provide seminars and education courses to their members.
“Aligning Dal-Tile with industry-leading organizations and leveraging our in-house resources, expertise and experience to educate and support retailers—and their customers—is no small task, and certainly not one that we take lightly,” Ferris said.
To illustrate the point as to how strongly the company feels about this, he pointed out Dal-Tile has signed on as the exclusive national host for TCNA’s 2010 training workshops across the country.
“These workshops,” Ferris explained, “which are free to our retailers and their installers, cover a wide variety of topics, ranging from installation methods for various types of tile products—ceramic, glass, manufactured and natural stone—and sizes—mosaics and large formats—to updates on the latest tools, techniques and products in the marketplace, as well as discussions about TCNA Handbook updates and certification programs.” To find a program near you, visit tile-assn.com/workshops.
For AIA and ASID members, he said Dal-Tile provides continuing education workshops for architects and designers. Topics of these workshops range from basic product knowledge, applications, product selection and design to more advanced discussions involving sustainable products and green building certification programs.
“In the end,” Ferris added, “retailers are the experts in their communities and the lifeblood of our industry. Any investment we can make in helping them grow their business and profitability not only pays off for Dal-Tile, but for our industry as a whole.”
For more on Dal-Tile, call 214.309.4868.