THE CULTURE AT SUMMIT INTERNATIONAL FLOORING
Where do you want to work? Why do you choose to work with one company over another? Do you feel good at the end of the day when you head out of your workplace? We all love Friday nights, but on Sunday nights are you ready to tackle Monday or do you dread the coming morning?
If you are an employee, the corporate culture has a lot to do with how you answer the above questions. Do you and your co-workers act as a team or do you feel the need to protect your area of responsibility and your output? Will you have to deal with personality conflicts? Will you be scrutinized at every decision? Do you feel you contribute?
Every product supplier has competitors. Choices of which company you pull product from falls somewhere on the buyer, or users, triangle of price, quality, and service. Rarely do all three points fall into place. Sometimes the low price of a commodity product wins the day, but if it does not arrive on time, that low price could prove costly. Once you have decided on the quality-price ratio, service drives your decision.
At Summit International Flooring, our culture serves both employees and customers well. Yes, we are exhausted on Friday nights, but we do not hate or fear Monday mornings either. The reason is simple. Everyone here helps each other. We work a lean staff, so everyone is cross trained so when they have a few moments, or if one person is overloaded, we can delegate up, down, and across. Ours is also a friendly environment, where you will hear laughter throughout the day. Additionally, we congratulate each other for work well done, because we know one person’s success here drives the business forward for everyone’s success. We pull the rope the same direction.
One of the biggest threads of discussion, which starts in the interview process when we hire, is that we work on the high end of the price-quality ratio and therefore all decisions are made by taking the high road and by always telling the truth. By way of example, when we know the import timing is six weeks, we do not say two weeks just to get a deposit and lock in a customer. We say appx six weeks. Of course, we want every sale, but we are less interested in one sale or one specification that we are in having the customer or designer allow us their tenth sale or tenth specification.
Another big thing that is led from the top down is that when problems might arise, we do not walk away. Early in my career, I was told that many initial flooring problems are resolved within a few days because the problem is hidden by something an installer is able to do, or product further acclimates, or other aspects of the project hide the issue. I was told to wait a few days before calling back someone with a complaint. I was taught wrong, and thankfully never took that advice! When something goes wrong, we have some very experienced people here, and with varied experience, be it about product, installation, or logistics. We jump into the issues immediately, we brainstorm ideas, and we made problems go away by fixing them. This is how we build trust and work towards that tenth project.
Finally, because we actually enjoy what we do, as well as the people throughout the industry, we reply to inquiries fast, very fast! We know if we are being reached, it is not to ask how we are that day, but someone has a need. Some of you will recall having messages or emails returned late at night or on weekends, or waking to find answers arrived in your Inbox while you were sleeping.
Summit International Flooring walks the talk of taking the high road, being honest, and staying involved until a project is completed and accepted by a satisfied end-user. In short, we care; we care about the quality of our products, we care about the relationships involved in a sale, and we care that the end-user is happy with their designer or design firm. Our products are in the luxury segment, but our margins are reasonable. With so many different products from numerous brand partners, we could never stock all we offer, so we deal with lead times, but honesty brings realistic expectations, allowing for project planning and a fulfilling experience. We are always sincerely and proudly rewarded by the many emails of thanks for our service. They arrive weekly, but every message brings with it the same warming feeling of knowing we did things the right way. We know those who interview here consistently state they want the job of their interview primarily because of what is noted above, and we believe designers and customers return to work with us over and over for the same reasons.
So now you can believe and know that when we wish you and your loved ones a healthy and safe holiday season, it is more than just end-of-the-year obligatory words, but heartfelt gestures because we do care. That’s our culture. That is who we are. And we are always available to help in your continued success.
Happy, healthy, and restful holidays to all.