The International Certified Flooring Installers Association, CFI is in Santiago, Chile this week.  SODIMAC HOMECENTERS, with over 124 stores throughout South America invited the CFI Team for a week of installation training.  During this trip, the latest techniques and current information training will cover the topics of ceramic – porcelain flooring and laminate – wood flooring.  Over 60 installers and numerous SODIMAC HOMECENTER sales associates will participate during the week. 

Bill Haas, CEO of Global Business Insights LLC, was instrumental in arranging for CFI to implement their installation training programs for SODIMAC in Santiago, Chile.  In 2001, SODIMAC purchased four stores in Argentina and five in Chile from the Home Depot.  Bill who has been working as a consultant to Sodimac for several years, promoted the programs. “Based on my past experience with CFI and the difference they made for a company for which Jim and I also worked as consultants, I know this is a perfect match for SODIMAC in their goal to provide the finest customer service in South America,” said Haas. 

“It is so imperative to close the loop between the HomeCenter, Manufacturers, Installers and Sales Associates.  It is a “win-win” for everyone; but the end user, our customer, is the one who should benefit the most by raising the quality in all four elements of this business,” said Haas.

“The training will be identical to those taught in the States, following the manufacturer’s guidelines. SODIMAC personnel constructed the props the hands-on training and the tools and supplies have been purchased by SODIMAC as well as donated by several manufacturers.  Kronotex of the USA donated laminate flooring and South American manufacturers donated the wood and tile products.  Every item that is in the CFI huge training crates has been gathered for this event.  It is SODIMAC’s goal that the correct tools, products and proper installation procedures will be in place. It has been an enormous undertaking for this company and it is CFI’s job to make it happen and we will,” said Jim Walker, CEO.

The CFI Team consists of Jim Walker, Bob Gillespie and John McHale from Missouri, Ben Boatwright from Tennessee, Efren Llamas from California and Tino Nevarez and Chuck Martinez from Arizona.  The CFI Team is prepared to provide installation training that will make an impact on this part of the world.  They began their journey on Sunday, October 7, 2012.  Training commences Monday morning and concludes Saturday, October 13, 2012.

The flooring installers as well as the sales associates will participate.  Programs designed for the sales associates will be taught by Jim.  “As with all CFI Training, those who successfully complete the requirements of the tile, laminate and hardwood training will receive their CFI Certification,” said Jim Walker, CEO.  “Extensive planning has gone into this to ensure that CFI delivers what SODIMAC needs and expects.  The CFI Team has been put together with a group of instructors who are knowledgeable and skilled at the top of their games.  The majority of the instructors converse fluently in Spanish.

“It will be an intensive week, with programs lasting late into the evening in order to share information and allow for an overwhelming amount of hands-on participation.  CFI strongly believes that to learn correctly, the majority of the training must incorporate skills training.  This is accompanied by presentations, demonstrations, discussions and a written test,” said Bob Gillespie, Past President of CFI and a well-known laminate and wood instructor, certified also by NALFA and NWFA.  “We share other organization’s goals and promote their programs.  We are in this together to ensure that the installation segment of this industry is the best that it can possibly be.  It is exciting to have been one of the original founders and be a part of where CFI is today; an organization respected worldwide for the knowledge and skills that are shared with others.  We realize that CFI demands a lot of its members, but that is the reason we continue to grow.  Our members stand proud and deliver the finest in customer service.”

“CFI is prepared to travel the world and carry the banner for quality installation,” said Ben Boatwright, Secretary of CFI and Director of Operations for Romanoff Flooring based in Atlanta, GA.  Through his Spanish-speaking abilities, Ben has been instrumental in training thousands of installers in the United States. He has also carried the CFI banner to England.  “I have been certified since 1994 and I know from experience what a change it can make in someone’s life if they adhere to the fundamentals of CFI; Pride, Responsibility, Integrity, Dependability and Education; PRIDE.  Our futures are exciting because we believe in quality installation and I personally am very excited to share this with others,” continued Boatwright.

According to Allan deWit, Director of Installation for Belgotex of South Africa, “CFI made a tremendous difference in our operations, saving us a substantial sum of money.  Our installation schools are designed according to the CFI.  During their three visits here, we reached over 4,000 flooring installers and the training continues today.

Hiroshi Tsujio of Tokyo, Japan, “We have worked  with Jim Walker for over 18 years and conducted two Japanese – CFI Carpet Installation Competitions, attended numerous installation courses and shared CFI in our country.  We rely heavily on the CFI methods, tool and supply recommendations.  Some of us have attended the CFI Installation for the Inspector Course and also one is planning to be certified at the SURFACES – CFI Carpet Installation event in 2013.  Our goals are the same as CFI; provide the finest customer service and do the work right every time.”

“SODIMAC is expecting real value for the time and money they have spent in organizing this event.  I am taking a team that can deliver and understands what this means.  It is our goal to hear shortly about the difference CFI has made in customer satisfaction for those who purchase flooring in the many SODIMAC stores.  It is our job and one we highly regard.  The CFI Team will make a difference because of the preparation that has gone into this,” Walker continued. 

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