Floor Covering group appoints director
The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors announced the appointment of Kevin Gammonley as the organization’s new executive director. He has been serving as the interim executive director since April and has a long-standing relationship with the NAFCD board of directors through NAFCD’s management firm.
Gammonley brings to NAFCD 23 years of experience running trade associations, including several other wholesale distributor-oriented organizations. Gammonley’s career has been highly focused on working with distributors and manufacturers across different distribution channels. He has significant experience developing programs and events designed to enhance distributor productivity and effectiveness, as well as establishing strategic partnerships designed to drive organizational growth.
"The NAFCD board of directors is pleased to have Kevin working on our behalf as our permanent executive director. We have known Kevin for several years and have seen first-hand how he can bring enhanced value to NAFCD," said Craig Folven of Herregan Distributors, NAFCD president. "We are excited about the opportunity to leverage Kevin’s deep expertise in serving distributor groups to support the continued growth of NAFCD."
"Implementation of the recently revised strategic plan, which includes enhancements to the annual convention and the overall NAFCD value proposition, as well as finding new ways to advocate on behalf of the wholesale distributor in the channel are among my immediate priorities as executive director," said Gammonley. "I look forward to working with the dedicated NAFCD volunteers, staff and partners to execute these objectives."
Home Depot talks ‘multidimensional’ customer service
Marvin Ellison, EVP U.S. stores for Home Depot, took the mic at the Oppenheimer Consumer Conference Wednesday, where he dedicated his time to discussing the retailer’s approach to ever-evolving customer service needs.
Drawing on a three-legged stool analogy, Ellison outlined the fundamental aspects of Home Depot’s market position: "We start out with what we’re passionate about, which is customer service," he said. "What we want to be best in the world at, and that is product authority for home improvement. And what drives our economic engine, and that’s disciplined capital allocation, and productivity and efficiency. And everything is tied together with what we call interconnected retail."
Interconnectedness, as well as a certain multidimensionality that makes the former a necessity, was a big theme during Ellison’s speech. Customer service is more complicated than it once was, given the rise of new technologies and shopping channels. And yet, there’s never been a greater need to simplify and streamline.
"We have an inherently complex business, because if we don’t keep the business simple, we can’t provide efficiency, payroll leverage — we can’t deliver on our shareholder principles, and most importantly, we can’t serve our customers," he said.
As part of its efforts to achieve this, Home Depot has reduced store reports by 40%, decreased store manager emails by 20%, and eliminated unnecessary meetings and conference calls.
With more resources to turn to customer service, Home Depot is going after the pro market. Part of that means providing unique resources, such as its Pro Xtra platform. Another part of that is understanding the changing face of the pro customer, who, as Ellison said, "is uniquely different than they were 10 years ago."