At A Glance“You have to put some standards in place in order to properly customize a floor for your clients’ needs...”
Flora is a manufacturer and distributor of a wide variety of natural health foods and supplements, and one of their two production facilities is located in Lynden, Wash., just a couple miles south of the Canadian border.
It is here that the company recently responded to growing demand for their herbal tea beverages with a 7,000 square-foot expansion that would house new brewing equipment, a bottling line and some additional office space. To say that the project requires a floor would be accurate, but somewhat misleading, according to flooring contractor HTI Polymer, Inc. “Visually, they require a single floor that is uniform in appearance,” says Damon Paulsen, a project manager for HTI. “Functionally, what they really need is three different floors.”
For HTI, recognizing the unique needs of flooring customers like Flora is part of the differentiation plan that guides the company, according to its president, Chris Campton. Campton is a 25-year veteran of the flooring industry and founded the company in 2005 after identifying a target market that wasn’t being serviced appropriately.
“I saw a sole focus on the bottom line in the industry, and facility owners could recognize it by the inconsistent quality and durability of the floors they saw being installed,” says Campton. “I knew there was a market for a company that focused on the delivery of a high quality product with a substantial service life.
“Granted, it’s always necessary to keep an eye on profitability, but not to the exclusion of delivering the highest quality product we possibly can.”
Campton’s instincts proved correct, and his company hit the ground running, grossing $4 million in 2005, its first year of operation. Clearly, the market liked what it saw out of HTI, as revenues boomed to $12 million by 2008.
“Growth becomes exponential when you do good work,” he says. “Word gets out.”
Campton ensured that all his projects were “good work” when he insisted that all his project managers were NACE-certified inspectors. He also regularly recommended Sherwin-Williams resinous flooring systems in his efforts to standardize flooring installations and performance. The diverse systems offered by Sherwin-Williams ensure an appropriate custom match to the clients’ needs, says Campton.
“Each environment is different, and you have to put some standards in place in order to properly customize a floor for your clients’ needs,” says Campton. “For example, each project manager has a form that becomes part of the project file.