Dalton—The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) has purchased the Floor Covering Business To Business Association (fcB2B) and all of its assets. The decision was made on June 3 at an off-site meeting of the WFCA Board of Directors. The Board’s vote was unanimous in favor of the acquisition.
“The WFCA has been a visionary supporter and a financial backer of fcB2B since conception” said Scott Humphrey, CEO, WFCA. He explained the association’s mission is to enhance the business landscape for the flooring retailer. “Placing ourselves 100% behind a next-generation initiative that will streamline business transactions—thereby increasing efficiencies and reducing costs—was a logical next step for us.
“Technology is one of the six pillars on which WFCA’s foundation stands,” Humphrey continued. He identified fcB2B as a key component of that pillar. “We recognize that our member constituents will not be able to compete and thrive in the 21st century business landscape without the proper tools to streamline transactions and keep pace with the market. FcB2B is poised to change how we do business and the WFCA stands squarely behind this initiative.”
Through fcB2B, the groundwork has already been laid to move the flooring industry into the digital age. The task at this point is industry-wide adoption of the system. Once wide acceptance is secured, business transactions and the pace of doing business will be streamlined and new efficiencies will become the norm. It has been calculated that the fcB2B model could save flooring companies over $20 million annually. Manufacturers could save about $12 million and independent dealers may save about $8 million.
“A standard of doing business already exists in today’s e-commerce world and our industry has not kept pace,” said Phil Zolan, executive director, fcB2B. “Through our new association with WFCA, fcB2B will receive a much-needed infusion of support and credibility to take it to the next level. WFCA gives us a much broader platform for directing operations as well as the exposure and horsepower to push fcB2B through to all levels of the industry.
“What might surprise some in our industry is that they are already using the very technology that comprises the fcB2B platform,” he continued. “Users are not utilizing and tapping into the full potential of the technology they already have in place.”
Zolan added that fcB2B offers the same efficiencies for the retailer that exist in the B2C (business-to-consumer) market today. “Could you imagine going on Amazon.com and going back and forth with their customer service department for days to order a book?” he asked. “That is essentially how our industry is conducting business right now.”
He explained fcB2B technology brings the efficiencies of B2C to B2B. “Right now we are on the ground floor rolling this technology out into our industry,” he said. “Our estimate is that within in the next 12 months we will have doubled the adoption rate.” Zolan said retailers getting on board with fcB2B right now are part of the solution and these early adopters are helping to shape how the system will work moving forward.
For more information on fcB2B please visit www.fcB2B.org.