October 13/20, 2014; Volume 28/Number 9
By Ken Ryan
Ed Duncan, the newly appointed president of Mannington Mills’ residential business, said he is eager to proceed in his new role and emphasized the organization’s strong position in the marketplace.
“I’m really enthusiastic about all of our opportunities,” Duncan told FCNews. “A lot of things are just working right now, and I feel better about the near- and long-term prospects for us than I have in a long time.”
During his 27 years in Salem, N.J., Duncan has held a variety of positions across both the commercial and residential businesses, most recently as senior vice president of residential marketing and residential business development.
While he will still have ultimate responsibility for residential marketing, Duncan’s new position will be broader. “It will still include product development and marketing, but also overall management of the residential business,” he said. “I’ll have a more involved role working with operations and financial teams.”
In announcing that Duncan would succeed Kim Holm, who is retiring, Russell Grizzle, Mannington’s president and CEO, noted that Duncan’s experience and understanding of the residential market “offer opportunities for growth as the segment continues to strengthen. His leadership reinforces our commitment to being the best people to do business with in the flooring industry.”
Over the years, Mannington has demonstrated an ability to develop and market innovative products that help lead the industry. Ten years ago, for example, it entered the LVT business long before it became the trendiest segment. There were similarly early and successful entries into laminate, and most recently Luxury Vinyl Sheet (LVS), introduced at Surfaces 2014.
Duncan was instrumental in driving each of these market-changing introductions. Deflecting most of the credit, he said, “It truly is a team effort. From styling to product development, and manufacturing to marketing—everyone involved gives 110%.
“That said, I think I’ve been successful because I take a big-picture approach. I look at the marketplace, and evaluate what makes sense for our business, then consult with the internal teams to make sure we’re all on the same page. We have to consider a lot of things before committing to something—the general state of the economy, consumer trends, style and design, technological innovation capabilities, etc. But when it works, it’s great.”
Duncan noted that oftentimes a bold product introduction requires risk. The introduction of LVS, which featured a new merchandising and selling system, was an example of a launch that proved to be worth it. “We were convinced early on that it would resonate with retailers because it’s easy to sell, and with consumers because it’s easy to shop,” he said.
The rollout of LVS and the continued expansion of its domestic LVT facility in Madison, Ga., are among Mannington’s current product marketing efforts, and there are more on the way. Introductions at Surfaces 2015 will be produced domestically, “so that is exciting,” Duncan said.
“We’re very ‘outward facing’—meaning we continue to be focused on our customers because they’re the ones who give us the energy to do what we do.”