Tucson, AZ, March 10, 2020 — Alliance Flooring held its recent convention in Tucson, Feb 27 – March 2, themed, Clear Sighted: Drive 2020 where members came together to learn, network, share ideas and see new merchandising and product introductions.
The convention included talks about the economy, breakout sessions with several suppliers, presentations from members who have been doing well in their markets, termed a Mini-Summit, and exciting new products and merchandising for 2020.
Ryan Dunn welcomed everyone and asked what they had been enjoying at the resort before the convention started. Someone answered, “Each other.”
That’s one thing this group is known for — the camaraderie between members. It just shows the type of people who belong to this group — family-oriented, friendly and caring. It’s like a family reunion at every event.
Suppliers also notice this family atmosphere and members’ willingness to welcome new people into the group. Not just new members, but new suppliers as well. Newcomer Happy Feet wanted to be part of that and a deal was made to develop and launch the first exclusive program for Alliance members. The product, called Sidewinder, is an SPC with many benefits. A private labeled COLORTILE box was also created to differentiate this product.
Kevin Logue, co-COO and EVP Marketing for Alliance Flooring said, “We’ve wanted to do an exclusive for years. In the past, we couldn’t meet the minimum that I was comfortable with. We met with Casey Johnson, [Happy Feet CEO] and they can work on lower minimums that I felt comfortable hitting in terms of what our sales projections could be. Casey knocked it out of the park with this one. He’s warehousing it, fronting the capital—it’s a nice deal for us. What’s more, this product is uniquely ours. It’s the kind of exclusive deal you would see in the box stores or with larger buying groups.”
Ken Jackson, CFO of Shaw Industries, shared his financial outlook for the coming year during Opening Session. He also shared a few secrets to success.
Jackson said, “Everything you do matters. Make every decision like what you do will be reported the next day to be read by your family, friends and co-workers. Take care of your business as if it’s your only asset.”
One secret Jackson shared was to control what you can control. He said, “There are three things you can control – attitude, preparation and effort.”
Jon Logue, Alliance Flooring’s co-CEO, shared his annual State of the Industry. Some of the key points he shared were:
- New home starts projected to be up 7%
- New home sales up 8%
- Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) forecast to be +2% in 2020
He also shared a few steps to clearer vision in 2020:
- Make sure you have a website and are marketing online. Take advantage of our Web Pro, SEO Pro and Social Pro programs.
- Sign up for our Consumer Credit program
- Train your sales force
Focus on digital marketing will be big in 2020. With the company’s Alliance Digital Marketing program, members have access to all digital needs in one online program. It assists members with a website, SEO (search engine optimization) and social media. “If you’re not visible on the internet, you’re invisible,” stated Logue.
Kevin Logue introduced the new merchandising programs, heavily weighted toward hard surface this year and Ron Dunn spoke to members in a talk called “Baseball and Your Business”.
Alliance Flooring added a “Mini Summit” at last year’s convention where a few successful members shared a few tips and best practices. This year, Bob Pireu and Pat Douds spoke about quality control and how their jobs pass through four sets of hands, among other subjects. Todd Ramsey and Jeremy Wirges also spoke during this segment. “The Hustle Team” sharing how to find business and what they do for their installers and employees to keep their morale up and keep them “hustling”.
At Exhibit Hall, the group unveiled a few new carpet programs with Shaw and Engineered Floors. They also added hard surface programs from COREtec, Shaw, Mannington, Mohawk in addition to Happy Feet and others.
In addition to merchandising, the group launched Alliance Apparel and Alliance Member Connect. The apparel company can provide embroidered and printed polos, dress shirts, t-shirts, and bags as well as promotional items. Alliance Member Connect is a new, completely redesigned intranet website to provide members with supplier information, pricing and training.
Kevin Logue said he felt the members’ takeaway was optimism. “The main takeaway here was our members came with a renewed sense of optimism for 2020. There’s always uncertainty in an election year, but you don’t see that here. They are optimistic.”