Workshop Follow-up

Discussion in 'Industry News, Training & Organizations' started by Elmer Fudd, May 12, 2008.

  1. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Well we all had a wonderful time, but now it not the time to quit. We still need to get the word out about what went on.

    Any volunteers to write a press release?

    Also volunteers to write a longer review for the guys here on TFP?

    I would hate to have to have Tandy assign someone!;)
  2. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Well, I still don't know yet if I can be on the committee, but I sure would volunteer to do just that. I have been gathering the info and already plan to do a press release for TFP, but I would also like to send it out to the various media so they can report about it in their publications and websites.

    Of course, anyone who was there would be an excellent choice to write a full and more formal report. And I do need a complete contact list of the attendees so that any media can contact individuals for comments - I will only give out those names and contact info that are approved by the individuals. It might be best to limit the contacts to the moderators. My press release will also include selected quotes of the messages posted already.

  3. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Excellent idea, the sooner the better!:):):good:

    You can let them contact me if they wish.:zzz:
  4. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson O2bkytn

    I took a few notes during the discussions. Here is what I jotted down:
    Professional installers, inspectors, and retailers coming together to unselfishly share years of experience and knowledge. Each one coming to the table with an incessable appitite to educate themselves and others hungry for this knowledge. We stand for honesty and professionalism. We implement detailed craftsmanship on installs, conclusions based on facts of inspections, and customer service like no other. We do this for ourselves because we know no other way, and we do this for our customer who deserves no other way.

    The question was asked, "What is your main objective"? Some of the responses were, "To address the specific issue as directed by the Commisioning party." "Determine what the actual issue is, sometimes it is different from the inspection request." "What do you do when additional issues are brought up by the end user"? Some indicated that they would not discuss them, others said they should be included as "notes" included in the report, and some thought they should be kept with their own personal notes. One example discussed was during a "Side Match" inspection, the presence of seam sealer (or not) should not be a contributing factor in the report.
    All agreed that showing professionalism was very important for both inspectors and installers.
    The "Roll of the Inspector" SHOULD NOT be to "hang the installer", as many installers believe. "Find the Facts".

    Question was asked, "What Are The Standards"? The discussion included CRI 104 and 105. It was noted that disclaimers are included, and that manufacturer standards/requirements would supersede in all cases. Copies of CRI 104 and 105 were provided to all in attendance.
    Comments included that Industry Standards were similar to "Pirate Law", "More like guidelines".
    Resources for Standards related to wood flooring were presented, and it was noted that many manufactures' "Standards" for prefinished wood are available on line at the specfic manufacturer websites. Other resources were mentioned including NWFA, and NOFMA.
    Ceramic tile standards were touched upon, and resources mentioned were CTEF and TCI.

    Daris spoke about CFI, and what the CFI "PRIDE" logo represents: Professionalism, Responsibilty, Integrity, Dependability, Education. He noted that "If one is missing, you have none of them".
    Some other subjects discussed were:
    Just as there are what might be referred to as "hack" installers, there are also inspectors who might be less educated, less ethical, or less concerened with a good inspection, and more concerened about their own ability to "get paid" or maintain accounts/clients, (Mills). It was suggested that "Getting to Know Your Inspectors" was critical.
    It was discovered that many installers are not aware that they can contest conclusions they believe to be incorrect.
    The topic of "Other parties" (Installers, retailers,etc) being present during inspections was discussed. Most inspectors present at the workshop stated that they would not necessarily encourage this, but also would not object. The general feeling was that although these other parties may be able to provide the inspector with information relevant to the inspection, they could not offer them a conclusion or discuss findings.
    "The Impact of Inspectors/Inspections" on installers was a discussion that drew a lot of input. Talking about how an incorrect conclusion can do a great deal of harm to installers and/or retailers, both financially, and emotionally.

    Unfortunately, I have to admit, my notes don't contain a lot about this segment, other than discussion regarding being very familiar with Industry Standards and proper procedures. I remember that much of the discussion revolved around discovering the facts, and the idea of not "trying to guess, or come to a conclusion just for the sake of coming to some sort of conclusion". "It's OK to say I don't know".

    There are many resources available to Installers and Inspectors.
    CFI has several programs in place for Installer training and certifications. Thet offer training and certification programs for Inspectors.
    They can create and present custom curriculums if requested.
    FITS, FCITS, NWFA, NOFMA, CTEC all offer training for both installers and inspectors.
    Many training resources are found in FCI magazine, presented by mills, manufacturers, and different training organizations.
    Often, training can be found for little or no expense to students. The comment was made that with some, "you get what you pay for" and it was noted that "Some of the more expensive classes are not much better". It was generally agreed that education is paramount for all segments, and well worth the time, money and effort.

    A few of the proposed notions included:
    "To build a bridge, we must put some part of it in place, and use it to construct the rest of the bridge". "It is up to those of us at the workshop to provide the first part".
    "Often, a bridge begins as the idea of a single person. Then a few work on designing the bridge. A few more work on building it; some may risk much in the process. When it's finished, a great many may cross effortlessly, and it's left in place for many generations."
    We must challenge misconceptions from all sides of the industry. Many people may have difficulty relinquishing misconceptions because the false concepts may be deeply ingrained. We are working to build a bridge across them, and to knock down the walls misconceptions have built.
    We need to work toward "Finding Common Ground". "Finding common ground is not about settling for the lowest common denominator - it's generating a new "highest common denominator". It's not about having two sides meet in the middle, but having them identify something together they can aspire to and work toward. When people who really care about an issue come together and bring their best thinking from various perspectives, ther is potential for new options to be generated."
    We should work toward eliminating stereotypes. A first step toward this is becoming aware of the tendency to hold negative stereotypes of other segments, and then making a concious effort to correct the inaccuracies. Often this is done by increasing person - to - person contact between people from different groups. Usually, when people meet each other, talk together, and/or work together, they soon learn that "the other side" is not nearly as awful as earlier believed.

    That was my "shpeel", and again, I have to admit (and am a little embarrased to say) that while Dan Schultz was speaking, I was distracted by taking pictures.

    It was agreed by all in attendence that this workshop was a great success, and that planning for the next workshop should begin as soon as possible.
    A "Steering Commitee" was decided upon, and a date was set for late April or early May of 2009. It was agreed that Tulsa should remain the location. It was also agreed that the next workshop should include representatives from manufacturers, distributers, and any other industry segments if possible.
    It was decided by all that any "surplus"money left after expenses from this workshop be donated to The Floor Pro.

    I'm sure this is a somewhat incomplete report, and others can add quite a lot, but thought I would kick in what I had.
  5. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    That's excellent information, Bill, thanks. I'll be busy with the current contest today and tomorrow morning, but will get the press release ready for approval by tomorrow night. I'll use some of what you just posted and some of the various comments and I will make the full size images sent to me available to any media that might want them.

    Still not sure of my role for the 2009 committee. Can I be on it? Who is the committee chair - who do I need to bribe? :D

  6. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson O2bkytn

    Am not really sure who the commitee chair is, might be RG or Tandy.
    HMMM, I've never been bribed before.... Whatcha got? :shifty:
  7. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Too late, Bill. Roger tells me he and Tandy are co-chairs. I have access to Tandy's website, so I could trash it real easy if he don't let me in. Roger has me over a barrel though, so I told him, "check's in the mail." :shifty:

  8. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson O2bkytn

    Thanks for keeping me honest Jim. ;)
  9. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Following is the second draft of my press release. With your approval, or any changes we deem necessary, it can be published here right away. I will contact industry media sources to try to get this published in magazines and other websites.

    Let me post the release separately and then I have a couple comments to make in the next post.

  10. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    This is a report to be released to all flooring related media outlets, [date], from The Floor Pro Community. Permission is granted for copy or reprint rights to any news media or website.

    The second weekend in May 2008, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, bridges were built and walls were torn down. This was the first "Building Bridges" workshop for flooring installers and flooring inspectors.

    Influenced by an important article, by Selva Lee Tucker, in a popular floorcovering magazine and the discussions it spawned in The Floor Pro Community™, an idea came to life. Flooring Inspection Training Services, Inc. (FITS), in association with, gathered flooring professionals from the installation and inspections segments of the industry to organize a training symposium to improve the education and understanding between two groups that often times find themselves at odds with each other. They agreed on this mission statement:
    A symposium of floorcovering professionals who gather for a single purpose: to further the education and understanding necessary for the proper installation and fair assessment of flooring materials. The goal is to bridge the gap in the relationship between the installation and inspection disciplines. We agree that the end user deserves the service and performance warranted by the products purchased. This will be assured by adhering to a set of standards and recommendations established through the cooperation of each of the relevant segments of the floor covering industry.

    This workshop addresses a diverse group of important issues regarding professional installation of floor products and finishes and how these processes are examined by qualified inspectors in cases of failure or fault. Education and communication are our highest priority. We dedicate the study and practice of these issues to the furtherance of our own professionalism and to the assurance of equitable performance for the end user.
    The first "Building Bridges" workshop brought nearly 2 dozen flooring professionals together to discuss a wide range of topics, such as The Role of the Inspector; Standards for the Flooring Industry; Ethics for Installers and Inspectors; Educational Resources; and Changing Industry Attitudes: Building Bridges, Not Walls. These and other subjects were discussed for two days, with each segment led by accomplished installation and inspection professionals, working as a team. The education and networking continued through meals and breaks and the concensus appears to be unanimous: the workshop was a great success.
    "It was a great time and experience, there is no doubt about it. I'm sure next year will be even better." (Daris Mulkin, Installer)​
    "Quality not quantity. A bunch of really professional attendees." (Curt Durrand, Inspector)​
    "I definitely felt some walls were knocked down for me and replaced with bridges." (Tony Lamar, Installer)​
    "They were hands down the most educated and professional people in their trade. It was the best [money] I ever spent." (Danny Ferguson, Retailer)​
    "Everyone was working to the same goal and there was a lot of frank, open, and meaningful discussions both in the workshop and after hours." (Mike Currin, Inspector)​
    "This was one of the best and most productive workshops we've ever attended and that goes back a lot of years. Those of you unable to come really missed out. Please join us next year." (Patricia Harts, Inspector)​
    These are just a few of the glowing reports from attendees as they checked in to the discussion at The Floor Pro forums. Tandy Reeves, FITS CEO, organized a great group of leaders and the workshop attendees voted overwhelmingly to do it again next year. Look for the announcement soon for The Second Annual Installer-Inspector Workshop.
    Last edited: May 15, 2008
  11. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    I think I need to comment on why I included Selva's name in the release. First of all, we all agree that it was in fact his comments in the discussion about his article that sparked the idea. But more importantly (and some of you may not be aware of this), Selva dropped out of the workshop and then spent considerable time and energy trying to discredit the workshop and defaming FITS. He bragged about sending out a lot of emails (I have seen the list and it is quite long) and he bashed the workshop, TFP and/or FITS at every opportunity. Now we have to do damage control.

    Selva has mentioned that it was his idea. Well, a search here will show that he had some thoughts and he made some comments that influenced and sparked the idea that culminated in the workshop. I would like to give credit where it's due, but we also have to remember the target audience is installers and inspectors. The largest installer oriented magazine published Selva's article and has agreed to consider more. If we hope to be able to promote the next workshop at FCI, we better pay our dues now. It will also make many others take pause at some of the harsh comments Selva has leveled against FITS and the workshop. How bad can we be, if after the thrashing he has given us, we still give him credit for energizing us into action?

    I kept the release short because the publications we will be dealing with will be taking a chance on something very new. They won't want to give us a lot of space. Not right away. Small steps, big gains. One publication probably won't even edit the release. They have proven their lack of interest in making their freelance writers look good by editing grammar, spelling and writing style. So, it's best to keep it short and sweet. I'd still like to see Bill Watson put together a more comprehensive report for our members here though.

    When I contact the publications, I will also provide links to all the images that have been posted (I will upload them to a special directory to make it easy for the media to view and select). I wouldn't expect to see any of the pictures in print though. I just don't think they will go that far for us yet.

    I selected a few quotes above, but I also put some out of context to make them look more appetizing. I also corrected a couple errors in spelling and punctuation, etc. I hope those minor changes will be okay - none of them change the meaning the author intended.

    Okay, that's it for my comments. I may feel different tomorrow. I forgot that Tuesday was my medical treatment day in Reno when I said I would get this to you Tuesday night. But I think it'll be okay for a second draft and you'll let me know if I need a third or fourth. :D


  12. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson O2bkytn

    I'd still like to see Bill Watson put together a more comprehensive report for our members here though.

    It would be my pleasure.
    Please be a little patient with me though, as at this point, I am putting a lot of hours in at work.
    I should be able to get something together in the next few days, if that is OK.

    It would be great if we could get some others that were in attendence to offer their thoughts and comments as well.
  13. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

  14. Chris Mha

    Chris Mha Charter Member Senior Member

    Good job Roger.
  15. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Thanks, Roger. That was just a draft though and 2 errors have been corrected since you copied the release. Is it possible you can correct at least one of them (the spelling of Pat's last name is Harts - with an s)? If it's not too much more trouble, the corrections I made were the spelling of "attendees" in Chris Mha's quote and the name, "Patricia Harts" in place of "Pat Hart."

    Also, the logo you have isn't the workshop logo we used. If you can, replace it with the one below, which is a little smaller and a lot lighter in file size too.



  16. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    I worked on the certificates and this is a preview of what I have so far. Your suggestions are welcome. Be sure to click on them to see a larger image. These are designed to fill a standard size document, 11x8½", so the size you see here will be a little different when they are printed.


    Attached Files:

  17. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson O2bkytn

    Very nice looking Jim.
    Only one thing I would change.
    The spelling of Recognizes.
  18. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    It's that damn dictionary, I swear. :shifty:

    Hey, whata ya 'spect at 1 AM, hu???

  19. Chris Mha

    Chris Mha Charter Member Senior Member

    By the time we get it sent around to get all those signatures it might get caught up in the X-mas rush. Just kidding. I don't know if anyone saw the other post I made in the other thread but Tandy is going to Oklahoma City to address the CFI chapter there on June 10th. Charles Pruitt contacted him yesterday about it and Tandy was happy to oblige.
  20. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson O2bkytn

    Ya just need more of this:

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.