Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Installing Carpet Takes Commitment to Customer and Technique

In the carpet industry, we recognize that we’re all part of a big system. It takes a broad range of people and groups to make our homes, schools, and offices the most pleasing, functional, and satisfying spaces possible. This past week I had a chance to go into great detail with one of the most important participants in this system- the installer community.

I was invited to participate in the curriculum review for the various flooring types including carpet conducted at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters’ Las Vegas training center.
The Carpenters International Training Center is a massive complex with the most up-to-date facilities and equipment for training carpenters and skilled craftsmen. The training center is home of the Carpenters International Training Fund and INSTALL which is responsible for developing the curriculum for the 200 UBC training centers around the US and Canada. INSTALL stands for International Standards and Training Alliance.

John McGrath is the Executive Director of INSTALL and was responsible for organizing and conducting the week long curriculum review.

We began with a review of the techniques and procedures used for the installation of resilient floorcoverings. Not being as familiar with this category of flooring, I found this full day of review to be very instructional. Finally, we did get to the part of the course I was most looking forward to- Carpet! I confess that I was surprised how much more there is to installing these floorcoverings than I had expected- preparation of the flooring, materials, and especially subfloor preparation were all critical aspects of the curriculum.
However, I was most surprised (though I should not have been) at the focus placed upon precision and customer satisfaction.

In our role as the manufacturers of the (carpet) products, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the homeowner is a mutual customer of the installer AND manufacturer. The technical portion of the curriculum was very important and essential for ensuring that we achieve what we want- satisfied customers- but the most refreshing portion was the reminder that we all work to serve the same customer.

I left Las Vegas with a profound appreciation of the training and work conducted by INSTALL and look forward to continuing our partnership with INSTALL in the future.

With the new IICRC/ANSI S600 Installation Standard progressing rapidly, I expect our relationship to continue to grow as this new standard is introduced and accepted around the country. The future of our industry is strong but we can’t do it alone. The professionalism and expertise of the installer community is a key to our success and we are most appreciative of them!

~ Jeff Carrier

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