This year’s FCICA convention held in Palm Coast, Fla., about 40 minutes outside of Daytona Beach, welcomed a record 174 attendees. The show also featured official recognition of the organization’s “successors”—industry professionals in the FCICA who are 40 or under—as well as a Commercial Flooring Tradeshow with close to 50 exhibitors. The show was rounded out with educational sessions and roundtable discussions on moisture control, finding qualified installers and the healthcare segment.

Among the educational presentations was one by Tom Shay of Profits Plus Solutions, discussing what it would be like “If Patton Ran Your Business.” Drawing from classic strategies on war and Gen. George Patton’s own quotes, Shay shared ways contractors can compete and win.

“Find a niche, whether it’s the way you advertise, a certain type of customer or even a certain market or geographical area...Find a segment of the market small enough for you. Never get cocky. Invest time, energy and imagination.”

Depending on your position in the marketplace and the level of your competition, Shay noted there are four strategies in war you can implement: defending your position, attacking their position, flanking their position or staging a guerilla attack.

Only the market leader should consider playing defense, Shay cautioned. He added, “The best defensive strategy is to attack yourself. Netflix attacked itself when it went from sending DVDs in the mail to streaming movies. Never be afraid to rebuild yourself anew. Strong competitive moves should always be blocked; defend what is most important to you.”

Attacking a position hinges on finding one of the leader’s weaknesses and exploiting it. “Don’t go after everything. Remember, you’re not the only one attacking. So launch your attack on as narrow a front as possible. Be quick, and consider the leader’s strength.”

Flanking a position means not going after the main attack point. “It’s tactical surprise. Find a niche, whether it’s the way you advertise, a certain type of customer or even a certain market or geographical area.”

Staging a guerilla attack means charging in and preparing to pivot at a moment’s notice. “Find a segment of the market small enough for you. Never get cocky. Invest time, energy and imagination. Any independent can perform a guerilla attack.”

Trade show highlights

Jason Spangler, Wagner Meters flooring division manager, displayed the latest addition to the company’s DataMaster product line—the DataMaster app, which sends wireless digital data directly from Rapid RH sensors to iOS devices. “It’s about half the cost of the original DataMaster, and it does twice as much.”

Venita Brown, RFMS systems analyst, discussed the company’s measuring and client management software. Regarding the commercial tradeshow, she stated, “I love the smallness and intimacy of this show.”

According to Seth Pevarnik, Ardex Americas director of technical service, his company’s support of FCICA is in part due to the legacy of the late Bruce Newbrough. “Bruce Newbrough was very involved in the Certified Installation Manager (CIM) program until he passed. FCICA was his favorite association. It feels good to be able to offer CIM scholarships and put his name on it.”

CBC Flooring’s John Kozak explained the new Toli Mature Select resilient sheet flooring. “It’s the evolution of Mature, with a reengineered wearlayer and a reengineered backing system.”

Bill Luallen, XL North national sales director, discussed the post-installation maintenance process. “XL Academy is something we want to boast about. It’s training for both startup and existing companies, all done on-site with their people, equipment and comfort levels.”

Graham Capobianco of Roppe explained the benefits of his company’s Northern Timbers LVT. “It’s a true loose-lay tile. It will go over anything. It’s also a great option if you have vinyl asbestos tile and don’t want to have an abatement or adhesive on it.”

Jurgen Bahlo, president of Tek Stil Concepts, unveiled several electrostatic discharge (ESD) products, including ESD Conductive Euro-Flex Solid Vinyl Tile with an interlocking tooth design for loose-lay installations. “There’s no adhesive underneath and that’s a big thing, especially for installations in FAA towers, specialty projects and the electronics industry.”

Tom Lutz, director of INSTALL Michigan, promoted ICRA (Infection Control Risk Assessment) training offered by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC). “We teach UBC members how to contain pathogens, control airflow and work without interrupting adjacent operations.”

Spray-Lock’s director of technical services, Cory Thomas, said his company is “the original creator of the spray adhesive revolution and part of its legacy. Lots of old-school guys don’t want to change and think using a spray is really hard. But what they find when they start is they become more productive.”

Ryan Jacobs, a sales representative for Protect-All, talked about his company’s Rapid Weld installation system. “It’s a two-part cold weld with color matching, and it is ultra-durable like the rest of the flooring.”

Koster American’s Cody Nelson, technical sales representative, displayed Koster’s latest chip and quartz floor systems. “These epoxy-based broadcast floor systems incorporate different kinds of broadcast media, such as chip and quartz. Both systems can be coated with a urethane-based topcoat to enhance scratch resistance and UV stability.”

Garth Gaffney of HPS Schonox discussed Schonox DSP. “It’s a wear-rated, cement-based, self-leveling compound and concrete topping. It’s a walkable product that can be stained, sealed, ground and polished.”

FCICA plans on holding its Mid-Year 2016 convention Oct. 4-6 in Las Vegas. For more information, visit