Members of the Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) united on April 13, 2018, in Tampa, Florida, to hear preliminary results of the FCLC installation labor force research initiative currently being conducted by The Blackstone Group Inc., a Chicago-based research firm. The initiative will provide an in-depth look at the current and future state of the flooring covering installation labor force.
The FCLC initiative has three primary objectives:
- Estimating the size of the gaps between the supply of and the demand for floor covering installers, now and in five and ten years.
- Quantifying the financial impact of the installer shortage up the supply chain.
- Identifying the key drivers of the installer shortage as well as potential solutions.
Work is complete on the initiative’s first three tasks: resource identification, preliminary analysis of labor force issues, and in-depth telephone interviews with industry stakeholders.
The preliminary analysis of installer labor issues delivered a profile of the floor covering installation labor force; an examination of the gaps between supply and demand; estimates of the size of the gaps now and in five and ten years; and approaches to analyzing the financial impacts of installer shortages on the supply chain.
In-depth telephone interviews targeted qualified stakeholders from key segments of the industry, including floor covering installers, builders, unions, retailers, distributors, and manufacturers. These interviews gathered insights on the drivers of shortages, the importance of training and certification, barriers to recruiting installers, the upstream financial impacts of installer shortages, and potential solutions to the shortages. Participants were asked to comment on the impacts that immigration, globalization, automation, regulatory changes, labor unions, product mix changes, and competition have had on flooring installation in the past five to ten years.
The fourth phase of the research is an online assessment being sent to a pool of industry stakeholders compiled by the members of the FCLC. The assessment has launched and will conclude by June. All who receive invitations to the assessment are strongly encouraged to respond.
The next meeting of the FCLC Communications Committee is scheduled for July 20, 2018, in Chicago. Final results of the floor covering installation labor force research are scheduled to be delivered to the FCLC membership on August 15, 2018, in Orlando, Florida.