president and CEO, Tarkett North America
How big is tarkett on the commercial side today?
Globally, Tarkett’s end market exposure is about 70% commercial, 30% residential. We hold the No. 1 position in vinyl worldwide. Tarkett also has one of the broadest product portfolios in the flooring industry.
What was the mindset behind combining all the brands under Tarkett? And what have been some initial challenges?
Transitioning to one brand in North America is intended to provide a streamlined approach and enhanced experience for our customers seeking comprehensive flooring solutions. With an ever-changing landscape, being focused in the market with one brand allows Tarkett to be more efficient and positions us to most effectively serve our customers.
With the size of our commercial salesforce and the broad product portfolio we offer, one challenge we’ve faced has been training. Sales reps represent all products. However, this was not an unexpected challenge. Prior to announcing the integration of our commercial sales teams, we developed a comprehensive, year-long training plan, which was launched in March. We just need to give the team time to soak in the information they are learning.
How would you prefer Tarkett be perceived by the A&D community?
We want to be design relevant, meaning we want designers to feel comfortable choosing us not only because of the products we offer, but because we are a true partner to them. We don’t want to chase projects – we want to be a resource. In my experience, this builds a level of trust and also builds relationships that sustain for a long period of time. With our transition to one brand, we are further advancing this position by providing designers with one point of contact who can offer a comprehensive flooring solution that meets their unique needs and specifications.
We need to be active members of the A&D community. Our active participation at a regional and local level in associations like IIDA is critical to sustaining and growing these relationships. And, it’s something to which Tarkett is fully invested and committed.
Johnsonite, Tandus and, to a lesser degree, Lexmark, have long had brand equity with architects and designers. Are you concerned about losing that equity?
We are always concerned about losing brand equity – in this highly competitive market we’d be foolish to not be. With that, we’ve worked very hard over the past several years to build recognition of the Tarkett brand within the A&D, distributor and end-user community.
Explain the Tarkett solution spectrum and its goals.
The Tarkett Solution SPECtrum refers to our broad portfolio of flooring solutions, which allows customers to find all their surface needs in one house and carry a cohesive design aesthetic throughout a space or building. Tarkett’s wide array of flooring solutions has been carefully developed to meet the specific needs of each space for each segment, centered around optimizing human performance. This allows designers to balance the many demands of every space within a floorplan and confidently select a floor covering that supports each one.
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