Something that struck me immediately when attending the recent National Wood Flooring Association Wood Flooring Expo in Dallas was an insight from Joe Allyn of Powernail. While I was interviewing him at his booth he said, “In the last 12 months, we’ve really seen a lot of changes in the industry. The companies that are still here today are here because of their financial strength.”

That really hit home, because it voices something I’ve been seeing for a while but haven’t really processed into a thought as succinct as his. If you’re reading this and have been clawing your way back to profitability – doing everything you can to make ends meet – then you are a survivor, and now you’re poised to make some serious money.

Like any business that is part of this industry and has made it through some very rocky years to finally be greeted by real signs of a housing recovery, we have been challenged to come up with better ways to serve our customers, which are all of you in the flooring installation and contractor community. In forming our upcoming plans, we took a page from you guys, who have not only accepted the challenges that come your way, but embracedthem and let them transform your business. You kept the ideas that were working, and threw out those that weren’t.

We’ll be doing some retooling of the magazine in the next several months, and we’ll be having some expert guidance while doing so. If you haven’t already read about this online (www.fcimag.com), Jon Namba has joined FCI as editorial director. Does Jon need an introduction? I doubt it, based on the number of times people would come up to him and shake his hand, tap him on the shoulder or otherwise request some time to get together with him during the NWFA show. If you need some more background, look for our announcement of Jon’s new role in this issue, but again, I think many of you already know him well. He’s warm, he’s friendly, he has a great sense of humor, and he is passionate and deeply involved in the installation and contracting business.

I also wanted to mention another way we’re finding ways to collaborate within the industry. FCI, along with sister magazine Floor Trends, is now publishing FCICA’s The Flooring Contractor magazine in our digital editions. The magazine is full of ideas on helping contractors grow their business while remaining efficient and profitable. It’s a great industry resource, and we’re happy to be part of delivering it to a wider audience. For more information, visit our website, and find the Digital Editions link under the Magazine tab.

Things are definitely changing in the industry, but I hope this fills you with excitement rather than fear. There are so many new technologies on the way, and new installation standards in the pipeline that are designed to make all of you professionals even more professional, while setting you apart from those who aren’t. I know I couldn’t have chosen a better time to be writing and reporting on what you guys do every day.