WFCA Aligns with fcB2B to Bring e-Commerce Business Platform to Flooring Industry

Scott Humphrey, Chief Executive Officer of  WFCA, has announced that his organization and fcB2B have partnered to make the fcB2B’s  digital business model a reality for the flooring industry. The WFCA Board approved this initiative and investment unanimously at recent meetings.

fcB2B has existed since 2000 and the World Floor Covering Association has been an avid supporter of the organization from both a visionary standpoint and in a financial capacity since its inception.

“Our industry has been doing business the same way for decades – in some ways you might even say centuries,” said Humphrey. “Face-to-face meetings, pushing papers, sending faxes, and making phone calls all have their place in our industry – but not when it comes to financial transactions that can and should take seconds.”  Humphrey added,  “No matter what industry you are in – retail, transport, healthcare, education, government, and numerous others – there is no doubt that e-commerce has become the common denominator for doing business efficiently and effectively in today’s business environment.”

The partnership between WFCA and fcB2B comes at a very critical time for fcB2B. Over the past 15 years its team members have assembled and worked tirelessly to create a seamless digital program for the flooring industry.  Once that model gains wide acceptance across the industry, the execution of transactions and the overall pace of doing business will be streamlined and new efficiencies will become the norm.

According to research conducted by Supply Chain Insights, over one-third of all B2B purchase orders and other transactions completed by companies using EDI/XML require no manual intervention.  About one fourth are transacted with minimal interaction.  As an example, CAP Carpet, Inc conducted a cost/time study using fcB2B technology inside the industry.  Through this study it was determined that if only the top 125-250 dealers, which represent $1.6 billion of industry sales in the independent business channel, reached the level of integration that other industries using EDI/XML have achieved, the savings would be vast!  The fcB2B model could save those companies over 17-million dollars. Manufacturers could save about 9-million dollars and independent dealers may save about 8-million. In todays connected electronic communication world this standard of electronic commerce is a must for the independent to survive against their big box competitors.  It will improve business efficiency, business relationships and order management reliability.  Ultimately this system will make customers happier!, said Aaron Pirner, CEO, CAP Carpets and Co-President, fcB2B.

“The WFCA’s Purpose Statement declares that its mission is to “ensure the success and profitability of professional floor covering dealers and to protect their common interests,” said Humphrey. “It’s clear WFCA and fcB2B were completely aligned even before this partnership. With fcB2B’s 15-year turning point comes the opportunity for our industry to take its next step and enter the digital world by way of a fully integrated e-commerce business model. The foundation is set and the pieces are in place to take it to the next level – full implementation – which is what we are going to do.”

As part of the arrangement, WFCA will be covering the costs of a full time Executive Director for FCB2B. “I feel strongly that with a dedicated team in place we can build more support from our industry partners to fully and successfully implement the fcB2B model,” said Humphrey. Phillip Zolan, formerly Director of Continuous Improvement at Mohawk, will be running fcB2B. Mr. Zolan’s extensive background in large scale technology based business solutions makes him the perfect candidate for the role. Phil will be working hand-in-hand with longtime leader and supporter Pam Bowe and her team, who will continue their work in a consulting capacity.

“I am confident that our new partnership will be the platform fcB2B needs to build on our momentum and create the groundswell needed to push us forward,” said Pirner. “Together with WFCA, Phil and his team can align the pieces to bring the fcB2B e-commerce model to implementation, as well as connect the organization with new industry partners that have a vested interest in the program’s success.”

“We are so thrilled that Scott and his team have made this important commitment to fcB2B,” said Mitch Dancik, Chairman Emeritus, Dancik International and Co-President, fcB2B. “I believe that our industry is ready for this critical change and I have no doubt that we will all benefit from it greatly! Thank you again to everyone that has tirelessly brought us to where we are now. We’re finally ready to compete with other industries by using technology that consumers already expect. fcB2B has created the technology standards that can make our supply networks transparent, with inventory positions and marketing materials available in an instant. Isn’t it time for flooring stores to act more like the Apple stores, and for flooring customers to have the buying experience they deserve?”

The next fcB2B annual meeting will take place April 13-14, 2016, at the Renaissance Concourse Hotel in Atlanta, GA.

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