Every two weeks, FCNews seeks out flooring retailers across the country to offer their advice on hot topics of the day. This week we asked: How are you combating the installation shortage?
Here are their responses:
We treat our subs as best we can so they are happy doing work for us and hopefully that will spread the word to others. The biggest thing is making sure they know they are valuable and that our business couldn’t function without them.
—Joe Elder, Hiller’s Flooring America, Rochester, Minn.
We are close to metro Atlanta, an area that keeps growing. As a result, it seems to be pushing more installers into our area. Luckily, this past year we have picked up several really good crews. Most of our new installers have found us. Believe it or not, we have four crews that are all related.
—Chris Kemp, Kemp’s Dalton West Flooring, Newman, Ga.
We have undertaken several initiatives to combat the shortage of qualified installers and started by hiring company installers. Typically, these are seasoned installers who [can train] a crew of inexperienced guys. Essentially, we are attempting to create our own pool of installers through an apprentice program.
—Palmer Johnson, Johnson Floor & Home, Tulsa, Okla.
As a company, we strive to operate as efficiently and as organized as possible and offering above-average labor rates to keep our existing subcontractors happy. Therefore, by keeping a good reputation in the labor industry, new installers will approach us through word of mouth.
—Mark Straunch, Floor Craft LLC, Colorado Springs, Colo.
We have several approaches. Our old installers give us leads; vendors give us names; some installers come by our showrooms and give us their references. We pay more than the average, which attracts many experienced installers to Myers.
—Rick Meyers, Myers Carpet Company, Dalton