Cancun, Mexico—QFloors, maker of a host of flooring-specific software solutions and programs for specialty retailers, welcomed scores of its customers here earlier this month to its QFloors Users Conference. The event marked the first time the conference was held since the fall of 2019—right before the pandemic sidelined so many industry meetings and events.
“It always feels good to meet with our dealer partners face to face,” said Chad Ogden, QFloors CEO. “They’re very interactive, and they’re always looking for ways to get better. Many feel grateful and positive and that this event is well worth their time. It affirms that we’re making a real difference in their business, and that really recharges me.”
The week-long users conference included informative demos on new software releases; educational sessions on effective business management strategies; and members sharing best practices with their peers. Moreover, the conference also gave QFloors management the opportunity to bring dealers up to speed on some of the latest developments aimed at further streamlining and improving various facets of their operations.
Case in point is QPro Pay, a new system that facilitates easier collection of payment from customers, especially big-ticket purchases, minus the hefty surcharges associated with credit card payments. “We’re really excited about QPro Pay,” Ogden said. “Payments are a huge issue for dealers. One of our customers is paying $250,000 a year in credit card fees. The solution that we’ve come out with is going to save that dealer $150,000 a year in surcharges right off the top. I think it’s going to make a huge difference for our dealers.”
QPro Pay addresses several issues floor covering dealers encounter regularly. First, according to Trent Ogden, QFloors CFO, it is tailored to handle charges specifically associated with the typical flooring sale. “Payments are different for every industry,” he explained. “There are quirks that are unique to the flooring industry that go along with payments that don’t apply to other industries.”
The other issue QPro Pay resolves, according to the company, is the discomfort some dealers encounter when paying processing fees to entities they deem questionable. “It’s a pretty sketchy industry and our customers don’t always know who to trust,” Chad Ogden said. “With this solution, they don’t have to worry about that anymore. They know who they’re dealing with, and they know we’re going to treat them fairly. With QPro Pay, it’s one less issue that they have to worry about.”
It doesn’t end there. In the very near future—most likely by the summer—QPro Pay will also have an e-commerce component that will allow it to be used on dealers’ websites. “More and more flooring retailers have websites that they’re trying to sell flooring on, and this will help facilitate that,” Trent Ogden said.
QFloors is so confident that QPro Pay is going to take off that it ultimately envisions creating a non-branded payment system for universal use outside of flooring. “This is something that we believe we can offer to the industry as a generic solution so it’s not just QFloors customers,” Chad Ogden added. “We even think the suppliers are going to help us because they’re facing the same problem.”
Specialty dealers who got a taste of the new system embraced the concept. “It’s a game-changer and I’m super excited about it,” said Brian Erickson, CFO and managing member of Brecksville, Ohio-based Floorz. “The integration aspect and the way they’re doing things is really awesome.”
During the conference, Erickson shared with attendees how, prior to using QPro Pay, difficult it was to accurately track credit card surcharges in his P&L statements. But once the system was fully implemented, the savings were tangible. “When I journal-ticketed the expenses vs. the surcharge income, I went from $16,000 to under $5,000 in credit card fees in one month—and that’s just the first month,” he explained. “And that’s not even talking about the 40% increase in cash, checks and e-checks.”
During the conference QFloors also shared with attendees its ongoing strategy to integrate various facets of its software functions to provide a one-source solution for a host of retailer needs. This includes a combination of internally developed programs and tools as well as partnerships through outside organizations and vendors with expertise in different areas.
For example, QFloors has partnered with Mobile Marketing (digital services, websites and e-commerce); Zoho (customer relationship management); fcB2B (business-to-business services); Swell (messaging and reviews); and Measure Square (estimation). The company also offers scheduling tools via its Qsched program. According to QFloors, all partners are thoroughly vetted to ensure they share the same customer-centric focus.
“We’re seeing an industry trend toward all-in-one solutions,” Trent Ogden said. “That’s why we brought in Mobile Marketing, MeasureSquare, Swell—these other technology pieces that do things better than we do or that we don’t do at all. We can connect with these other technologies to create a full technology solution. That’s a really exciting part of what we’re doing.”
This novel approach, according to the company, has positioned QFloors as not just a well- rounded software provider but also a business consultancy. “We get a lot of people coming to us from other solutions,” Chad Ogden said. “We constantly hear the recurring theme of ‘You care; you don’t just treat me like just another person.’ In fact, 80% of our programs are based on feedback and requests from customers.”
Dealers like Gainesville Carpets Plus ColorTile, which has been with QFloors for the past 16 years, can attest. “It is the most user-friendly, flooring-specific software that I have found is all encompassing,” said Josh Elder, president of the Florida-based retailer. “It does all my invoicing, inventory, accounts receivable and accounts payable and all my financials. I only need one program to run my entire business.”
In terms of the new QFloors programs, Elder said he is very intrigued by the cloud-based tools. “The biggest takeaway for me is how mobile I could potentially be using the QCloud with QFloors,” he explained. “I am currently using a server and VPN, but the QCloud could be a game-changer for my associates being more mobile. The other takeaway would be seeing the advancements in the B2B and how it works seamlessly with QFloors, so I will be setting that up shortly.”
Christina Besore, vice president of operations at Atlas Floor Co., San Antonio, Texas, is another satisfied QFloors customer. “It’s easy to navigate, and my salespeople love it,” she said.
Chris Coleman, who handles billing and accounting at Infinity Flooring, based in Draper, Utah, also effectively employs QFloors software at her store. “We’ve learned a lot of new tricks with QFloors software, especially when it comes to job costing,” she shared with attendees. “Some of the new things we’ve learned is how to add the freight and surcharges correctly in each individual invoice.”
As QFloors continues to expand its service capabilities, it is also steadily expanding its customer base. By its own count, the company has grown by 80% over the past five years, adding roughly 15 new customers per month. Not resting on its laurels, the company is reinvesting in the business, expanding its customer service teams and accelerating new product development initiatives.
“Our customers help us stay on course, maybe make a turn when we need to,” Trent Ogden said. “It’s about making businesses and other people successful.” Chad Ogden concurred, adding: “It’s a challenge when you’re growing as much as we’ve been growing and not letting your standards slip. With growth comes new issues and challenges.”
Challenges also breed new opportunities. For QFloors, that means tapping into the universe of flooring dealers who are not currently using flooring-specific software in their operations. As Chad Ogden explained: “There are certain dealers who are doing $200,000 or $300,000 in sales a year; for them, it’s probably not going to make that big of a difference to use floor covering-specific software vs. generic business software. But as you start to approach $1 million a year in sales, you’re going to have to start hiring people to continue operating your business efficiently.”
QFloors estimates that about half of the floor covering retailers in the U.S. are below $2 million in annual sales. Furthermore, the company estimates that 80% above the $2 million mark already have flooring-specific software. “That means those who don’t have software are competing against those who do have it, and they’re shooting themselves in the foot,” Trent Ogden said. “If you fancy yourself a dealer who wants to grow, you want to have the software system that can grow along with you.”