June 8/15, 2015; Volume 30/Number 1
By Ken Ryan
Garden City, N.Y.—It was a banner evening for Shaw Industries, which was voted the industry’s Best Overall Manufacturer in the 19th annual Award of Excellence competition. Best Overall was one of three awards for Shaw; it also earned Best Manufacturer in Carpet Group A as well as the Environmental Leadership award.
Shaw has now won Best Overall six times, capturing the award in four of the last five years. It has won for Environmental Leadership every year since the award’s inception in 2010.
“On behalf of Shaw Industries and our 23,000 associates, it was an honor to be recognized as the Best Overall Manufacturer, the Environmental Leadership award winner, the large category carpet manufacturer, and the small mill carpet manufacturer for our Tuftex division,” said Randy Merritt, president of Shaw Industries. “All of us recognize this recognition comes from a vote of our customers, which makes it that much more special as they are the folks who we work hard to service each and every day. So thank you to all of those great customers who voted for Shaw Floors. And finally we thank you the staff at Floor Covering News who, along with [Informa Exibitions], sponsor these awards and take the time to gather the feedback and tabulate the results. We appreciate the efforts you make and again thank you all for this incredible recognition. Please know that while we are honored to win this year, we are hard at work committed to servicing our customers even better in 2015.”
Two Mohawk Industries divisions took home first place honors in their respective categories. Quick-Step won for the fifth consecutive year as Best Laminate Manufacturer, Group A, while Dal-Tile won Best Tile Manufacturer for Group A; it was Dal-Tile’s 17th consecutive Award of Excellence victory.
For the fifth straight year Armstrong won for Best Hardwood Manufacturer in Group A. “To again be recognized by those that interact with and sell our hardwood flooring products everyday, given the competitive choice set available, is a testament to the hard work of our employees to earn our customers’ trust and loyalty,” said Joe Bondi, vice president, residential, Armstrong Floor Products, North America. “It speaks to the quality of our products, the level of service we provide and our commitment to helping our customers grow their businesses. It is our goal to be our customers’ preferred choice for residential hard surface flooring solutions and to continue to earn this business by delivering superior value through design, innovation and service leadership.”
Mirage took home Best Hardwood Manufacturer in Group B for the third year in a row and eighth time overall. “This recognition means a lot to all of us working for the success of the Mirage brand,” said Luc Robitaille, vice president of marketing at Boa-Franc, manufacturer of Mirage. “Reaching the top isn’t easy but staying there year after year is even harder. We are happy that our work and quality are repeatedly recognized by the industry. This first place [win] perfectly reflects our commitment to quality taken toward our customers since day one. We would like to sincerely thank the retailers who voted for Mirage.”
IVC US won the trophy for Resilient Group A after winning the award for Group B in 2013 and 2014. Earthwerks and Karndean tied for this year’s Award of Excellence in Resilient Group B.
“With all the new entrants into the LVT category, it is an honor to win this award,” said Jonathan Train, CEO of Earthwerks. “We have worked hard over the decades to be a trusted brand. It is fulfilling to receive an award of this magnitude.”
Larry Browder, CEO of Karndean Designflooring, said, “[Our customers’] success and well being aligns with our own, and we strive to ensure that they receive the highest quality of service and support from Karndean Designflooring. This award reflects all aspects of our business—it’s a testament to the hard work of both our employees and our retail and commercial customers. We will continue to work together as a team, always with the common goal of providing products and services that are second to none.”
For alternative wood, style and design innovator USFloors won for the third straight year as Best Cork/Bamboo Manufacturer. “We are grateful to our retail partners for their support and recognition as their premier supplier in the cork and bamboo category,” said Piet Dossche, CEO. “Creativity, innovation and sustainability are the trademarks of our company and I am very proud to accept this award on behalf of the entire team at USFloors. I’d like to recognize and thank Floor Covering News for this yearly initiative to highlight the best in products and performance our industry has to offer.”
Sponsored by FCNews and Informa Exhibitions, proprietors of The International Surface Event (TISE), the Award of Excellence is a way for manufacturers’ customers—retailers, distributors, designers, installers, specifiers—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. “Seeing the manufacturers and hearing about the award-winning products was exciting—the winners should all be very proud,” said Dana Teague, vice president, design group, Informa Exhibitions U.S.
Readers of FCNews, as well as other industry personnel visiting trade shows such as TISE (and not employed by a manufacturer), voted between December 2014 and the end of March 2015 for the companies they felt best met the previously mentioned criteria in eight individual floor covering categories—Carpet, Area Rugs, Resilient, Hardwood, Tile, Laminate, Cushion/Underlayment and Cork/Bamboo—as well as the Best Overall mill and the manufacturer that best exemplified Environmental Leadership.
Ballots were featured in FCNews and readers could mail or fax them back, as well as vote online and at industry events such as TISE.
While the category awards were determined on a simple, one-vote-per-category/company format, both the Best Overall and Environmental Leadership honors required voters to fill in their choices for first, second and third place. Votes were weighted so that first place was worth five points, second place worth three points and third place one point. Point totals were tabulated and the company with the most in each was named the winner.
As has been done for the previous eight years, individual category winners were selected in two groups based on their volume. Also, manufacturers did not have to pay a fee to be eligible to receive a vote, which has been customary since the first Award of Excellence competition. Any and all manufacturers of floor covering products in the above-referenced categories were allowed to receive votes.
A record number of voters—representing flooring retailers, distributors, designers and installers—participated this year, with more industry professionals voting online than ever before.