Tag Archives: Hardwood Flooring

Technology and Your Business- Are you Keeping up or Falling Behind?

April 30, 2012
By Dan Simon, Social Media Marketing Manager

Information…  Getting it, sharing it and distributing has changed over the years.  I remember as a kid watching ‘The Flintstones.’  The daily newspaper was chiseled in stone and you better duck for cover and not get hit in the head.

Because of technology we’re getting information at an alarmingly fast rate of speed with so many places to get it from that it seems like you’re swimming in an ocean hoping you make it to the right island so you don’t drown.

Back in the day you tore out a magazine page and brought it in to your hair stylist to show how you wanted to get your hair cut and styled.  Remember that embarrassing time when you walked into a record shop and when you wanted to know the name of the artist and song and you had to sing it to the store clerk in front of everyone?  For those of you in younger generations… yes that is how we gathered our favorite music… iTunes had not happened yet.

It’s a new frontier.  While you have to be high-touch you also need to be high-tech.  The personal touch is often forgotten because it’s very easy to automate technology and make it easier.  But no matter how much we become more advanced in tech, people still want to have that human touch.  Think about it…  do you like calling into your bank on the phone and having to deal with multiple automated menu-after-menu, push this number-push that?

Here is the point.  An old world way of building relationships with customers must collaborate with a new world way of high-tech.  Unavoidable and balance is key.

www.urbanfloor.com

An example of current relevant media and technology that can be used to personalize service with tech without taking the human aspect out. Enter:

iPad and Pinterest

As a dealer imagine this: Customer walks into your showroom.  Obviously you ask how you can help them.  You show them around to your various selections.  You have samples of wood species and brands… But your sales rep also can carry an iPad (or tablet) where they can show a flooring sample with an image of how it might look in an interior designed room.  And using Pinterest from your account and on a tablet you can feature flooring collections on-the-fly as they shop, walk and you consult.  Sometimes it is a challenge for clients to imagine floors in a home but if you can paint a picture it is easier to see potential.  This is an opportunity for personalized service while providing cutting-edge technology to give your customer total client care. 

As a homeowner imagine this: You walk into your local dealer with your iPad and your own Pinterest account.  Not only are you able to show your consultant exactly what you like from your tablet but you also have the ability to show other design ideas you love so that there is better understanding for what you want.  After all “a picture is worth a thousand words,” right?

Times are changing and how we do business is evolving rapidly.   Here is a story I heard years ago early in my career but remember to this day.  In business no matter how small, medium sized or fortune 500 large… the axe needs to be and must be sharpened to survive now and grow in the future…

“Rodger, a woodcutter, worked for a company for five years but never got a raise.  The company hired Bill and within a year he got a raise.  This caused resentment in Rodger and he went to his boss to talk about it.  The boss said, “You are still cutting the same number of trees you were cutting five years ago.  We are a result-oriented company and would be happy to give you a raise if your productivity goes up.”  Rodger went back, started hitting harder and putting in longer hours but he still wasn’t able to cut more trees.

He went back to his boss and told him his dilemma.  The boss told John to go talk to Bill. ”  Maybe there is something Bill knows that you and l don’t.”  Rodger asked Bill how he managed to cut more trees.  Bill answered, “After every tree I cut, I take a break for two minutes and sharpen my axe.  When was the last time you sharpened your axe?”  This question hit home like a bullet and Rodger got his answer.”

 

Ron Call’s Tip of the Week #003

Tip of the Week
March 30, 2012 
by Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

When purchasing your new hardwood floor it’s a real good idea to make sure when the job is done you have a few extra boxes left over as an insurance policy.  I have replaced many floors over the years because of a small amount of flood damage caused by a dishwasher or a washing machine that leaked.  Although the damage was limited to a small portion of the kitchen or the hallway, the entire home had to be replaced because the homeowner had no left over material from the original install.  Manufacturers are constantly changing products, colors and styles of flooring from year-to-year.  If your hardwood floor has been discontinued by the manufacturer and you cannot match the original floor you may be forced to replace hundreds of square feet because of damage to a very small area.  Having a few left over boxes of wood stored in your attic or basement could save you thousands of dollars in the future.  So when your job is done if you have very little left over  material go to your retailer and buy a couple extra boxes of wood.  This is cheap insurance for your very expensive investment.

Introducing Our Brand New ‘Downtown Series’

Great news everyone!  We just launched a new series of flooring in our Urban Lifestyle Collection called the ‘Downtown Series’ and it is made from one of the most beautiful woods in the world, Acacia which combines a wide blend of rich colors and unusual grain patterns in each plank.

It is available in four colors.  Both in genuine Handscraped or a smooth texture and is sure to bring uniqueness and sophistication into any home or office.

Can we get a  drum roll please?  Introducing the brand new Downtown Series:

Albany:  Mid Brown with warm, creamy grain tones. Smooth Texture.

Albany

Broadway:  Mid Brown with warm, creamy grain tones. Genuine hand- scraped finish with mild chattermarks.

Broadway

Manhattan:  Dark Chocolate with milk chocolate grain tones. Genuine hand- scraped finish with mild chattermarks.

Manhattan

Rochester:  Mid Brown with a hint of red grain tones. Smooth Texture.

Rochester

Can the use of wood as a building material provide substantial economic and environmental benefits? You betcha it can!

Urbanfloor provides sustainable products by acquiring raw materials from ecologically well-managed forests and suppliers. 

The U.S.D.A. Forest Service recently released a report summarizing the scientific findings that support the environmental and economical benefits of using wood and wood products in green building construction.

According to the USDA Forest Service, “The use of forest products in the United States supports more than a million direct jobs and contributes more than $100 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.  The sustainable use of wood products supports forests, jobs, national income, and a healthy environment.  It also contributes to green building by reducing environmental burdens with constructing, operating, and decommisioning many other types of buildings.”

So how can using wood products be better for our environment?

Let’s look at some facts from industry peers and published reports:

  • Using wood plays an important role in mitigating climate change and is a renewable resource.
  • Harvesting, transporting, manufacturing, and using wood in lumber and panel products contributes to reducing air emissions and greenhouse gases (GHG).
  • North American forests help with climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere however what many don’t know is using wood products continue to store carbon dioxide, keeping it out of the atmosphere in the first place and indefinitely.
  • Less environmental emissions to construct commercial and residential buildings using wood than using concrete and steel.
  • Fossil Fuel consumption which contributes to increased GHG emissions into the atmosphere and quantities of solid waste tend to be less in the manufacture process of wood products.
  • Over 100 years, net GHG emissions are 20%-50% less than alternative construction materials such as steel and concrete.

These are just a few examples but we don’t want to bore you with a huge list.  Take a look at the full USDA Forest Service report HERE

What are your opinions?  Leave us a comment and share your thoughts.

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