Smart and Sustainable Flooring Solutions
CTS Flooring Group
Project management and logistics company CTS Flooring Group serves the flooring industry and focuses primarily on customers with multiple locations. The company manages all aspects of flooring projects from procurement, installation and repairs to floor maintenance, coatings, polishing, and moisture mitigation.
CTS was founded sixty-one years ago but was acquired by RD Weis Companies in 2016. RD Weis, a regional company headquartered in Elmsford, New York, has seven locations throughout the Northeastern United States, and the acquisition allowed it to continue expanding nationally. CTS is now an additional service arm for RD Weis customers outside of the Northeast. It is based in Limerick, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia, and it works with over two hundred installation teams throughout the United States and Canada.
As this is a project management and logistics organization, its project managers are the core of its success, with an average of seventeen years of experience per person. “We have a very experienced group, and we have built a culture around collaboration and communication because as a service organization, you have to be sharing ideas all of the time,” says CTS Flooring President Michael J. Callaghan. “My particular leadership style is simple. It’s to define roles, develop a strategy, provide those associates with direction, and empower, encourage, and coach them along the way.”
For procuring its materials, CTS has been fortunate to partner with the best manufacturers in each product type. It seeks the experts in categories such as carpet tile, broadloom, ceramic tile, vinyl composition tile (VCT), and luxury vinyl tile (LVT).
“Part of my role since I’ve been with the organization is to build those alliances with the manufacturers. Although we’re a service organization, we have to be aligned with those manufacturers from a certification standpoint to make sure that we’re providing the right installation and the right floor care,” says Michael.
CTS had previously been retail-centric, having worked with many big names including Best Buy, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Jared, Kay Jewelers, and Vineyard Vines to name a few. Since joining RD Weis, the company has expanded into other rapidly growing segments such as corporate office, education, and healthcare.
In 2018, RD Weis Companies grew by nineteen percent, and it continues to concentrate on the service aspect of the business to achieve further growth. It quickly discovered that the simplest way to grow is to earn additional business from both previous and current customers. “If we are installing the floor covering for all of a particular customer’s facilities nationwide, we have the opportunity to possibly maintain their flooring; we can do their repair work; or if they have moisture problems, we could get involved with moisture mitigation. We generate organic growth by going back and introducing new services to our existing customer base,” explains Michael.
A high-quality flooring product can only reach its full potential when it is installed and maintained properly. The people performing those services are critical, and unfortunately, there is currently a shortage of quality installers, floor care providers, and polishers due to the ageing of the workforce with few newcomers joining the industry. This dilemma is particularly challenging since the company works nationwide and requires many employees.
To build a network across the United States, CTS spends a tremendous amount of time recruiting and then training new service providers. Investing in creating skilled people helps to guarantee that its quality and service are found in every location.
The FCICA, the Flooring Contractors Association, provides certification for flooring contractors, and although it is long and laborious, CTS considers the process well worth the effort. The Certified Installation Manager (CIM) accreditation helps contractors understand all aspects of project management to create a successful career path. The FCICA is a great resource for commercial flooring contractors by providing useful technical training, networking, and other types of business support.
CTS encourages its employees to reach their full potential. “We have a process where we sit down with each associate on a quarterly basis, to review what we call a performance measurement tool,” says Michael. At the beginning of each year, the senior staff work to develop goals that suit both parties. Specific objectives are put into writing, and there are incentives for those who show improvement and determination to achieve their chosen goals.
After working with a customer, CTS offers a unique service that it calls “reporting compliance.” It uses technology to compile a quarterly executive review that describes all the products and services provided to date and the associated costs versus savings incurred. It can be difficult for customers to weigh the expenses and benefits. The reporting compliance information also has an environmental impact assessment, and the company looks for suppliers that work to reduce their ecological footprint.
CTS is also a member of Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring Partnership, and this association of independent flooring contractors has a strong reclamation program in which the company is actively involved. Flooring is one of the largest contributors to landfills in terms of mass – not surprising when considering the amount of material that must be used for flooring in a building with multiple stories – so it is important to reuse and recycle as much material as possible.
The maintenance division strives for sustainability and can extend the life of products by properly maintaining them. For example, the average life expectancy for carpet is approximately seven and a half a years, but by using the right maintenance system, that life can be extended to ten or twelve years.
CTS Flooring aims to keep up with the new technologies and products developing in the flooring industry and is expecting to continue growing as a result of its integration into RD Weis and strengthen both companies through the partnership. The company anticipates further growth, and it plans to provide additional products and services to its already broad range of customers.
The commitment to service, however, will be unchanged. “The founders of the company were focused on service; while everyone is focusing on just product, we are trying to close the loop with continuous service,” says Michael.