May 23/30, 2016; Volume 30, Number 24
By Ken Ryan
Garden City, N.Y.—Mohawk Industries was voted Best Overall Manufacturer—one of six company awards—during the 20th annual Award of Excellence dinner, held at the Garden City Hotel.
Reflecting the strength and diversity of its product collections, Mohawk also won Best Carpet Manufacturer (Group A) and Best Hardwood Manufacturer (Group A). Meanwhile, its Dal-Tile (Best Ceramic Manufacturer, Group A), Marazzi (Best Ceramic Manufacturer, Group B) and Columbia Flooring (Best Laminate, Group B) divisions also took home the hardware.
Brian Carson, president of Mohawk Flooring’s North American division, was on hand to receive the honor on behalf of the company. “I appreciate the outstanding work of thousands of Mohawk employees whose talent and dedication earned our company these prestigious awards,” he said. “I am grateful to our retail partners for their resounding endorsement of Mohawk’s people and products. Honors like this reflect our ability to deliver great products, exceptional value and superlative service for our customers.”
Dal-Tile’s win was its 18th consecutive award in Group A, while Marazzi earned its ninth honor in the Group B category. “The Award of Excellence is particularly meaningful because they reinforce how thousands of customers feel about their relationship with our business as well as how they value our Daltile and Marazzi collections,” said John Turner, president of Dal-Tile. “Each team member plays a critical role in ensuring that we forge relationships with our customers through superior service and products that lead the industry in innovation, design and quality. Our long history of success in this awards program illustrates our commitment to excellence and the meaningful partnerships we enjoy with our customers.”
Mohawk recaptured the top carpet prize the company last claimed in 2014. Mohawk’s laminate award for the Columbia brand follows five consecutive wins for the company’s Quick-Step laminate brand.
“With the realignment of our North American business last year, we have introduced new laminate and hardwood collections to many of our long-time carpet customers,” said Roger Farabee, senior vice president, marketing, Unilin Flooring N.A., a division of Mohawk Industries. “We’re delighted that those retailers are now showcasing the beauty, quality and performance of our laminate and hardwood products in their stores. We continue to offer the most exciting carpet collections in the industry with proprietary technology and exceptional design. Many consumers are recognizing our carpet collections as the next generation in fashion, softness and stain resistance.”
Shaw Floors garnered three awards—Best Laminate Manufacturer, Group A; the Environmental Leadership award, which the company has won every year since it was first handed out in 2010; and its Tuftex high-end carpet division won for Best Carpet Manufacturer, Group B.
“As the sole recipient of the Environmental Award since the contest’s inception, we are honored that the industry recognizes Shaw’s ongoing efforts to positively impact our planet as well as our passion for creating a better future for our customers, our people, our company and the communities in which we live and serve,” said Trey Thames, vice president of marketing and product management for Shaw Floors. “Additionally, this is the first time we received the Award of Excellence for the laminate category, which speaks volumes about the commitment and dedication Shaw has put forth in becoming the industry leader in hard surface products. We thank our valued retail partners for the trust they have put in Shaw Floors and we look forward to continuing earning their business every day.”
USFloors won for Best Resilient Manufacturer, Group B, on the strength of its successful COREtec composite product that has emerged as the leader in the LVT/WPC subsegment. “To achieve an Award of Excellence from your customers is the most meaningful and valuable recognition any company can wish for,” said Piet Dossche, CEO. “I am very proud and honored to receive this trophy on behalf of our entire team of dedicated people who are working hard to provide the best product and service to our retail partners. The revolution our COREtec product has created in the LVT category has been great for our customers who have embraced this exciting new product wholeheartedly. Thank you, FCNews and Informa Exhibitions, for organizing this yearly contest and event. Our industry needs to celebrate more of the wonderful moments, companies and people who shape this industry and make it the best industry to belong to.”
Armstrong Flooring was voted by its customers as the Best Resilient Manufacturer, Group A. At Surfaces 2016 the company introduced Vivero, an LVT offering with Diamond 10 technology, which generated a lot of buzz at the event. “We are really thrilled by the honor because it comes from our retailers, the folks who really know what works when the rubber meets the road,” said Ebeth Pitman, director of brand development and marketing for Armstrong. “Vivero is one of the first of many innovations to come from the new Armstrong Flooring company, and it is produced in our new LVT facility in Lancaster.”
Mannington won for Best Resilient Sheet Manufacturer, Group A. “We are truly honored and humbled to be chosen by the retail community as the best overall resilient manufacturer,” said Dan Natkin, senior director, resilient products. “This award was especially significant to Mannington as we continue to celebrate our 100 years in the flooring business. Thank you, again, to all the retailers who voted for us and we look forward to the next 100 years in partnership with our customers.”
Mirage won Best Hardwood Manufacturer in Group B, its fourth consecutive year winning the award and ninth time overall.
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 and 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.
“It was once again an honor for Surfaces/Informa to co-sponsor the Award of Excellence with Floor Covering News,” said Dana Teague, vice president/Global Exhibitions. “I consider it a privilege to be in the same room with so many innovative and progressive brands that strive for excellence and continue to move our industry forward. Almost all of the award-winning manufacturers participated in Surfaces 2016, giving thousands of retailers, distributors, designers and installers the opportunity to discover new products as they made their purchasing and design plans for the year. I look forward to seeing what they have in store for 2017.”
Readers of FCNews, as well as other industry personnel visiting trade shows such as Surfaces (and not employed by a manufacturer), voted between October 2015 and the end of March 2016 for the companies they felt best met established criteria in the following floor covering categories—Carpet, Area Rugs, Resilient, Resilient Sheet, Resilient Commercial, Hardwood, Tile, Laminate, Cushion/ Underlayment—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 Surfaces.
While the category awards were done on a simple, one-vote-per-category/company format, both the Best Overall and Environmental Leadership awards 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 nine 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.
Nearly 2,000 voters—a record number of flooring retailers, distributors, designers and installers—participated this year, with more industry professionals voting online than ever before.