D&WC: What best describes your niche in the marketplace?
Roger P. Woodhour: RollEase has been and continues to be an innovative leader in designing and manufacturing the highest quality operating systems for upscale window treatments. Maintaining focus on engineering excellence has given us the competitive edge. However, innovation does not end with the product, it involves the presentation of ourselves as well.
Marketing and sales initiatives continue to evolve in relation to our corporate growth and, even more importantly, in response to our ability to listen to and address the concerns and needs of our customers.
Reinforcing the leadership position that has defined us in our niche was a key factor in the formulation of our marketing plan. After close examination of our business and the marketplace, we recognized the need for us to draw a closer parallel between the premium product we produce and how we convey that product at market.
Our message is simple, why pay for the ultimate design in window coverings and not ensure that you have the best operating system available to operate it? This concept led to our adopting, "Engineered to be Essential," as the new RollEase theme, clearly underscoring the intrinsic, value-added nature of our systems.
D&WC: How many salespeople do you employ?
Woodhour: We recently increased the total number of regional account executives to seven, nationwide. This reconfiguration of territories was part of our ongoing efforts to provide better service to our customers. Added representation means our sales team travels shorter distances and affords more frequent contact with key customers. We also are extremely pleased with the reaction to our expanded and improved customer service department, bringing our team total to five.
Again, the basic game plan is to cultivate a greater sense of partnership with our customers. Helping our partners become more knowledgeable about the advantages and benefits of our systems helps them be more successful with their customers and ultimately the end consumer. That translates into increased market share, dollar volume and profit. Referrals don't hurt either. Everyone is happy.
D&WC: What are your strengths in the marketplace and the key factors involved in your growth and success?
Woodhour: Over the years we have sought to tailor our business to a specific customer base, thus allowing us to focus on what we do best. We have not attempted to dilute our efforts by trying to be all things to all people but instead, direct ourselves to our core business which is component parts, not finished product.
Our engineering expertise enables us to continuously seek ways to create new and improved operating systems. The extent of the detail involved in the slightest modification is staggering. Although we have an impressive number of registered patents for invention, research and development is still a critical part of the RollEase mentality.
D&WC: What distinguishes you from the competition?
Woodhour: Primarily, it is our commitment to providing the best systems available. We have a healthy respect for competition, but our approach is pro-active and positive. RollEase addresses the competition by continuing to raise the bar and create new standards in innovation, quality, service and partnership.
D&WC: How has your segment of the industry changed since you first began?
Woodhour: We have seen an appreciable change in the level of sophistication of the ultimate consumer. Surrounded by influences from the highly advanced worlds of media and technology, the average consumer is more aware and curious about the pluses and minuses of products available than ever before. As designers and manufacturers, this puts us in the position not only of inventing but also qualifying and educating as well. The atmosphere in today's marketplace is actually quite stimulating. We are not creating in a vacuum.
D&WC: Do you educate your customers?
Woodhour: Yes, very definitely. The only way to reinforce your position is to provide maximum technical support. We have a full-time field services manager who, together with regional account executives, travels to our customers on a regular basis to train and re-train on the manufacturing floor. We can see firsthand what problems may exist and demonstrate how to correct them.
We also support trade shows and workroom seminars, such as we did in North Carolina in August, in addition to providing numerous types of printed literature explaining our systems. We are currently expanding the RollEase identity with customers as our partnership theme continues to gain momentum.
D&WC: What advice would you give to other window covering professionals?
Woodhour: If I may assume by the question that you are referring to our customers, the answer is simple: Specify the best and make RollEase operating systems your standard for trouble-free performance.
Keep in mind that you only need systems that are "engineered to be essential!"
D&WC: Where do you see yourself and your company five years from now? Are there any additional areas within the industry that you would like to get involved in?
Woodhour: Personally, I believe that finding something you enjoy doing and actually doing it is extremely gratifying. Heading the team at RollEase is exactly that.
Corporately, beyond our present status, one of our goals established at RollEase is never to be satisfied with the accomplishments of yesterday to the extent that we loose sight of the need to do better tomorrow. Becoming the industry standard and subsequent increased market share is always at the forefront of our company agenda. There is a world of opportunity out there and we intend to be leading the way for a long time to come. Stay tuned!