ROSLYN, N.Y.—Following a two-year hiatus, Shaw Industries was voted the industry’s Best Overall Manufacturer in the 15th Award of Excellence competition. This was the third time in the award’s history that Shaw took top honors, which it last held in 2008. Shaw also repeated its performance from last year by taking home the Award of Excellence for Environmental Leadership, which was first awarded in 2010.
These awards, along with 13 other honors, were presented at a gala reception and dinner here.
“We are extremely proud to be recognized with these awards,” said John Godwin, Shaw’s executive vice president of sales. “It’s even more gratifying to know we were chosen by the customers and retail sales personnel whom we serve.”
Sponsored by FCNews and the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), the Award of Excellence is a way for manufacturers’ customers—retailers, distributors, designers, installers, specifiers, etc.—to honor the companies they feel consistently provide the best service, professionalism of sales force, management, responsiveness, value, design, B2B,
handling of claims and ease of doing business. In other words, those manufacturers they feel help them the best in running successful, profitable business operations, whether it be a retail operation, distributorship, design center or installation workroom.
During the awards ceremony, Chris Davis, WFCA’s president and CEO, told the audience the association is committed to enhancing quality in the industry, which is why it first partnered with FCNews back in 1997 to develop the Award of Excellence and has remained an active sup- porter. “This competition is designed to recognize and reward quality. And, what makes this honor so special is that it comes directly from your customers.”
To receive an Award of Excellence, readers of FCNews, members of the WFCA as well as any other industry personnel visiting trade shows such as Surfaces and not employed by a manufacturer, voted between October 2010 and the end of February for the companies they felt best met the previously mentioned criteria in the six individual floor covering categories—Carpet, Area Rugs, Resilient, Hardwood, Ceramic and Laminate—as well as the Best Overall mill and the manufacturer that best exemplified Environmental Leadership.
Ballots were featured in full-page advertisements in FCNews (readers could mail or fax them back), as well as on the FCNews website and at trade shows such as Surfaces. WFCA also emailed the ballot to its 3,500-plus members urging them to vote. The flurry worked as people across the country and from all parts of the industry—from installer to store owner and from designers to distributors—voiced their opinions to the tune of nearly 5,400 total votes cast this year.
This marked the fifth year individual category winners were selected in two groups based on their volume. This put companies on a more even playing field based on the fact the industry has become polarized in many ways. This is especially true at the manufacturing level where some companies’ sales in certain categories are so huge they dwarf those of the vast majority of companies.
FCNews and WFCA used groupings to give every company the same chance to walk away with an award.
Once again, the format proved to be a success in a number of ways, as companies such as Quick•Step, Lauzon Distinctive Hardwood and Mullican Flooring were represented on the winner’s podium for the first time in the competition’s history, while others, such as Armstrong returned to the top in the wood category following a three-year absence. The return marked the fourth time it has been honored as a top wood manufacturer and ninth if you count the five times its Bruce brand was voted the honor prior to being acquired by Armstrong. The company also captured the prize for Best Resilient Manufacturer for the second year in a row and third time overall in the competition’s history.
Paul Murfin, vice president of sales and distribution for Armstrong Residential Floor Products, said these types of awards are “very important to us because they are voted on by dealers and Floor Covering News readers. To take home top honors in both the resilient and hardwood categories shows that our focus on design, quality and innovation—and to providing profitable products to our retailers—is paying off. We work hard to be a brand that all our customers can trust, and we strive to attain a high level of product quality and service. We’re extremely proud of this recognition.”
And the winners are…
A total of 15 Awards of Excellence were handed out during the awards dinner. While the category awards were done on a simple, one vote per category/company format, both the Best Overall and Environmental Leadership awards had write-ins to vote for first, second and third. Votes were weighted so that first place was worth five points, second was three points and third was one point. Point totals were added and the company with the most in each was named the winner.
The winners in the 15th annual competition are:
- Best Overall: Shaw
- Environmental Leadership: Shaw
- Carpet, Group A: Mohawk Industries; Group B: Beaulieu of America
- Resilient, Group A: Armstrong; Group B: Johnsonite
- Laminate, Group A: Quick•Step; Group B: Formica
- Ceramic, Group A: Dal-Tile; Group B: Crossville
- Hardwood, Group A: Armstrong; Group B: Boa- Franc/Mirage, Lauzon and Mullican
- Area Rugs: Mohawk
During the awards ceremony, Mike Blick, FCNew’s owner and publisher, gave a tribute to his late partner and founder of the publication Al Wahnon who passed away earlier this year (FCNews, Feb. 7/14).
During his homage, Blick announced the Floor Covering News Lifetime Achievement Award which was first handed out last year, will be changed to the Al Wahnon Lifetime Achievement Award.
“We want to honor those people who have dedicated their life to improving the floor covering industry,” Blick concluded.
To see photos of all the winners and the event, visit our Flickr album.