ATLANTA—The Floor Covering Business to Business Association (fcb2b) hosted its annual meeting here at the Renaissance Concourse Hotel from Sept. 8 to 9. Approximately 60 attendees from multiple companies were present, many of whom where first timers, said Pamela Bowe, executive director. The association, comprised of manufacturers, distributors, association members, industry groups and software providers from all levels of the business chain, work together to make product purchasing more efficient and cost-effective.
“fcb2b technology enables software users to automatically send and receive the documents that are exchanged everyday between manufacturers, distributors, and flooring retailers and contractors, such as purchase orders and invoices, in a fraction of the time it takes when completed manually,” Bowe explained.
In essence, fcb2b pushes the flooring industry to do what many other business sectors have done years ago: go paperless. Over 300,000 companies in North America have done this using EDI (electronic data interchange) to reduce or eliminate paper waste, and the flooring industry is ready to do that, Bowe told FCNews. “We need the support and involvement of all flooring related trading partners and the financial resources to continue to develop this utility.”
Streamlining connections through the supply chain has never been more important, especially in a time when information is available on demand. “It stands to reason the entire floor covering chain will be impacted by the new normal of business,” Bowe said. “We must use the tools that are available now to increase productivity and reduce cost.”
Costs can be cut drastically with EDI. Error, repetitive data entry, costly reporting requirements and paper records—to work with and dispose of—are all eliminated doing business electronically. “Those entities that can enable their business to repspond and react will most certainly benefit,” Bowe explained. “Those who lag behind in technology and find their time consumed by errors will not.”
Moving toward this goal, new technology called web 2.0 or web check was discussed at the meeting. Developed from a member request over roughly one year, it streamlines operations throughout the supply chain, from manufacturer, distributor, retailer and buying groups all via the Internet, Bowe said.
She added there was an addition to the standing committees, with presentations from the document/transaction set committees regarding implementation and adoption over the last year.
Overall, the event was considered a success. “It was the best meeting we’ve ever had,” Bowe told FCNews. “People walked out totally jazzed.”