(Kansas City, MO) - Baldwin’s Flooring America packed the training area with flooring installers for their first CFI educational event. Don Baldwin, Sr. started this business in 1947 and is very active today. Joined by his son, Don Baldwin, Jr, the store has grown to one of the largest in the Omaha, NE. The parking lot is filled with trucks bearing the retailer’s name and promoting to the area, their commitment to customer service.
The CFI Team led by Jim Walker, Ed Braile and Alan Ellis spent two days sharing the many aspects of carpet installation. During the opening, Walker said, “You are here because of a commitment you share with Baldwin’s Flooring America to become one of the best in this trade. CFI is here to assist you in enhancing your skills to achieve the top levels of customer service. The installation of carpet requires a great attitude, superior skills and knowledge and a commitment to yourself to do that job right every time.”
Twenty-one installers who possess above average skills in the installation of resilient flooring tackled every task at hand with the same diligence. Through their expressions and involvement, it was evident they were excited to learn the new techniques and use new supplies and equipment. “We have been planning to host this event for several years and we see the difference it has made in the installers’ pride. This makes our store more successful. The CFI training is organized and brings the latest information to those who represent our store. I feel certain we will feel the impact of this for a long time,” said Don Baldwin, Jr.
“Baldwin’s Flooring America has been servicing the flooring clientele of Omaha, NE for over 65 years. We are known for outstanding customer service. Adding the value of the CFI installation training gives us the cutting edge in this area. We have always been proud of those who represent us, but knowing that they now possess this additional training and skills, brings satisfaction that we can share with our customers,” said Baldwin, Sr.
Alan Ellis, President of Alan’s Carpet and Floors of Council Bluffs, Iowa and Vice-President of CFI said, “This is a great group of caring individuals. Several members of the group represent my company also. I share the Baldwins’ commitment to customer service and I know of no other training that brings everything to the installers. Some hit major points, but the CFI team involves the group in seaming of various carpets, powerstretching, pattern alignment, unique stair upholstery, direct-glue procedures, substrate preparation and the list goes on. We spend two days and really get to know the installers. They ask questions and offer ideas that have worked for them. Those tips are shared nationwide with others. This is what makes CFI training stand out. The organization is always open to new ideas and keeps its members informed of the many changes in this industry. We all know that carpet backings never remain constant and sometimes, it appears the manufacturers are attempting to disguise them which creates an installation nightmare for the installers. By sharing these details with others, quality installations can occur.”
“Alan is correct. I know from the numerous calls we receive at the national office daily that the carpet backing issue is forefront in the lack of information that reaches the installers. We have discussed many of the new entries, but there is not sufficient time to bring everyone up to date. Often, the carpet installers have no information and it is missing from the rolls and yet, the installation is scheduled and must be completed. We do our best, but the knowledge of carpet backings is critical and yet, it appears that this information is not readily shared with those who need it the most. CFI created from the initial days of CFI, the carpet backings were included in the tests. And yet, because of the constantly changing manufacturing introductions, it is next to impossible to keep this information current,” said Ed Braile, Chairman of the CFI Certification Committee.
“Installers began their day with the many aspects of seaming various types and styles of carpet. Mohawk Carpet ships the carpet used for testing. The installers are required to properly identify the carpet, correctly cut and seam many types in order to pass the seaming test. This procedure requires the largest portion of the first day. We share tips for the creation of the finest seams and techniques that make seaming fun. I always tell the installers that we should sign our name on every seam as a statement of how proud we are of our work. They do this with clothing, why not carpet?” said Walker, CEO of the organization. “This is the type of pride we need in this industry. I commend the Baldwin family in hosting this training. It is evident that customer service is very important to the success of this store. It shows in everything.”
“By the time, we are ready for the powerstretching and trimming modules, the installers are ready to learn the techniques of aligning patterns. There is so much that is unknown that can make a job run smoother. It is always fun to watch the installers as they view the upholstery of a stair without the use of staples. They inspect it thoroughly before taking their turn at the same type of work. They find it is not that difficult, but the overall effect of a fine, upholstered stair stands out and becomes a topic of conversation,” said Braile.
“We appreciate the support of the World Floor Covering Association. Their generosity made it possible for every installer that represents our store to become involved. Working with the CFI office, we offered this opportunity to everyone in this community also. We plan to host another CFI instructional course in the future and highly recommend this training,” said Don Baldwin, Jr.
The CFI website offers a complete listing of events for carpet, ceramic, resilient, laminate and wood flooring. The CFI Convention held August 10-12 in Nashville, TN is also another avenue for knowledge concerning the installation procedures for all types of flooring. The event is held annually and sponsored by the industry manufacturers and is known as a place for installers and industry personnel to share ideas and gain the latest information concerning the flooring installation trade. Contact the CFI office at (816) 231.4646 for registrations and sponsor promotional opportunities.