US Builders Review

For more than 35 years, Progressive Flooring Services (PFS) has been installing large-scale flooring systems to commercial clients. Performing more than 5,000 installations per year, PFS covers every aspect of commercial flooring and provides expert installation for an array of flooring materials, including carpet, tile, vinyl and concrete. Based in Columbus, Ohio, PFS operates three other satellite warehouse resource centers throughout the country, strategically located in Dallas, Los Angeles and Tampa, Florida. This allows the company to source, store, stage and supply its national clients’ flooring requirements more effectively and efficiently.

Founded in 1978 by Richard A. South, PFS has completed more than 25,000 projects over the years, installing more than 80 million square feet of flooring. By establishing a strong reputation and solidifying lasting relationships with general contractors, PFS is a company that has continued to grow and expand its services. In response to such demand, PFS also maintains a subsidiary company called Progressive Improvement Services, which delivers solely custom enhancement services, such as replacements and repairs of drywall, concrete, waterproofing and plumbing issues, as well as painting, partition construction and even remodels. Whatever we can do to ease the stress and burden on the owner while adding on-site efficiencies, we do,” says Nino Cervi, vice president and partner of PFS.

Lasting relationships

As a result of being in business for nearly 40 years, PFS has created lasting relationships within its strong network of contractors and subcontractors. The company has worked exclusively with many of its strategic partners for more than 15 years. To achieve this tenure, PFS employs master craftsmen, offering customers the unparalleled consistency of the highest professional qualifications in the commercial flooring installation trade industry. Using a quality rating system (QRS) that awards points to subcontractors for skilled work, PFS has been able to identify premium subcontractors for each type of job. PFS craftsmen are rated on three complementary attributes: quality of performance, expertise and duration of trade experience.  “The ratings guide our project managers on who is right for the job year after year,” says Richard J. South, president and partner. “If a company, or individual wants to keep working with us, they will do their best to receive a good score.”

South credits these strong relationships as the reason for the company’s success. “That’s what we as a company take the most pride in,” he says. “We feel comfortable using any one of our clients or subcontractors as a reference.”

Progressive Flooring Services

PFS has also continued to maintain relationships with some of its biggest clients over the years. Since 1997, PFS has been the preferred flooring contractor for AMC Theatres. “We’ve handled all of their facility maintenance work and now they have started a remodel program, which we are intensely involved in,” says Cervi. With many modifications to movie theaters taking place in the industry, PFS has worked with AMC to upgrade its facilities to include stadium seating with larger, more comfortable seats. “AMC kind of started that trend,” continues Cervi. “A lot of other theater chains are jumping on board and doing that as well.”

In addition to the entertainment sector, PFS remains heavily involved in the chain-restaurant industry, often working with names such as Applebee’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and the sturdy portfolio of Darden Restaurant concepts. PFS recently began working with Ovation Brands, a company that owns several national chains of buffet restaurants. “Our relationships with our customers, old and new, center around what we call ‘ceaseless communication,’ transparently and continually keeping them apprised on the project’s progress,” adds Cervi. “This kind of communication let’s our client-brands know we care.”

A multimarket company

In addition to communication, one of PFS’ other assets is its diversification. While continuing to provide high-quality service to its existing clients, the company consistently seeks to expand its market share. “We’ve brought on board a dedicated sales representative for a bit of a rebranding effort as we enter more retail markets,” says Cervi. “Our brand is energized and expanding, as we’ve been working with some of the largest national players in the retail sector.” PFS attributes its ability to adapt and diversify to various opportunities through its 11-step Progressive management methodology, developed over the past 40 years serving its commercial clients. “From discovery to completion, from small to large projects, we apply the same operational principles for total client satisfaction.”

PFS is currently involved in a large-scale mall renovation in Littleton, Colorado with general contractor Whiting-Turner. The project involves replacing 160,000 square feet of ceramic tile. “It’s the largest job we’ve ever been on,” says Cervi. “It’s also interesting because it’s an indoor mall as opposed to the outdoor style of malls that are popping up in Colorado. The property owner chose to invest in the renovation.”

Progressive Flooring Services

Cervi emphasizes the importance of constantly looking to the future when in business. “I’m always expecting change and preparing for it to the best of my ability,” he says. “You never want to be sitting idle.”

As PFS looks ahead, the company is seeking to achieve manageable growth and extend its reach to other strategic areas throughout the country, namely those possessing viable market opportunities, which are also well-aligned with the PFS brand. “These are also areas of the country where it would help us and our clients to have satellite warehouse resource facilities conveniently located nearby,” says Cervi. As the company expands its geographical footprint, Progressive Flooring Services will remain committed to building upon existing relationships, while establishing new clients, exploring emerging markets and crafting quality partnerships well into the future.