Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) Announces Research Initiative Addressing Leading Industry Issue, the Installation Crisis

The Floor Covering Leadership Council announced the commissioning of a strategic research initiative to lead the industry through the next phase of resolving the flooring installation crisis.

Installation has prevailed as the top industry concern for several years, and while a
number of initiatives have been undertaken to combat the problem, it is not clear that
there is wide-spread agreement on the root cause of the problem, or the best path to its
long-term solution according to the Council leadership team. A flooring industry
coalition led by FCLC is commissioning the new research project.

Research from the National Association of Home Builders points out that more than 8
out of 10 single-family builders identified the cost/availability of labor as the most
significant issue they face. The current scarcity of labor is all the more concerning given
projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that the construction industry will add
around 790,000 new jobs in the decade leading up to 2024. This data further
emphasizes the point that the flooring industry will be competing for scarce labor
resources and must be strategically organized to do so.

In September, members of FCLC worked with an industry consultant to develop a
Request for Proposal (RFP) for the research project. Four research firms were selected
and made proposals for the program. In December, coalition members within FCLC met
with the contenders and decided to move forward with Chicago-based firm, The
Blackstone Group.

The Blackstone Group brings thirty years of expertise in delivering custom marketing
research and consulting solutions. According to Council members, Blackstone stood out
from the other firms as they offer a full-spectrum of resources for multi-dimensional,
multi-phase research engagements, and they employ advanced analysis tools and out-of-
the-box approaches. FCLC members concluded that The Blackstone Group will
provide crucial insight and expertise as the flooring industry continues its resolution of
installation challenges.

The decision to organize the new initiative was driven by existing research, which
shows that installation issues continue to be the industry’s biggest challenge. The FCLC
decided unanimously that an extensive research initiative focused on uncovering the
underlying causes of the crisis was of paramount importance.

The research initiative includes reaching out to a broad range of stakeholders in all
facets of the industry. This will ensure that all issues and probable solutions are
strategically identified from many perspectives. The Council believes that once the
study is completed its results will serve as the industry knowledge platform for the
pursuit of a long-term resolution process.

Key research objectives of the FCLC commissioned study include an examination of the
evidence for gaps between the supply of and demand for floor covering installers,
including an estimation of the size of this gap now and over the next 5-10 years. The
study also will seek to quantify the financial consequences of the installation crisis on
industry participants and lay out a stakeholder-driven determination of barriers and
potential solutions.

The coalition is now working to gain industry support to fund the approximate $150,000
required for the research project. Floor Covering Leadership Council members
committed approximately $50,000 to kick off the funding.

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