Category Meetings & Conferences

FSN Benchmarking Reveals Surprising Numbers

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Barry Coyle made operational and financial benchmarking an annual practice for the FSN member companies when he first agreed to serve as the group’s executive director. Now, many years later and almost 4 years since Barry’s passing, benchmarking remains a core activity for Facilities Services Network. FSN devoted the first day of its pre-NeoCon 2014 meeting in Chicago to reviewing and discussing the results of the 2013 operational performance and financial benchmarking. The session was facilitated by Carl Clappison*, a successful business advisor based in Ontario who now manages the FSN benchmarking process. Benchmarking is a vital activity for FSN members because of its proven ability, through meaningful quantitative comparisons, to identify a company’s strengths and weaknesses and indicate paths for measurable improvement. Careful analysis of the benchmarking data enables owners to make the particular decisions and investments necessary to help their companies achieve higher ...

Partnering A Focus As FSN Looks At State Of The Industry

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David Solomon was the featured guest speaker on the second day of Facilities Services Network's mid-year meeting, held June 7–8 at Hotel Monaco Chicago. He presented the latest update of his firm's state of the industry research to the principals of the FSN member companies. David is the managing principal and founder of Solomon Coyle, LLC, a research, consulting, professional development and peer group management firm specializing in the dealer space within the contract furniture industry. Like many other companies involved in commercial interiors, FSN members are continuing to absorb and synthesize the lessons of the furniture industry's last three downturns. Solomon Coyle's highly regarded state of the industry presentation is a vital resource for this effort because it enables business owners to look at current data in the context of the industry's 40-plus year history and better plan for the future. "I think my FSN colleagues would agree that the combination of Solomon Coyle's ...

FSN Companies to Meet in Chicago June 7-8

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Facilities Services Network (FSN) will hold its 41st meeting at Hotel Monaco Chicago during the two days leading up to NeoCon 2014. Many of the principals attending the meeting are expected to stay on in Chicago for NeoCon 2014. Contact information can be found in the member profiles at the FSN website. The group will kick off their half-day session on Saturday with product updates and Q&A with Allsteel wall specialist Dan Paquet. Most of the afternoon is devoted to analysis and discussion of FSN's 2013 financial benchmarking report. The Sunday agenda includes a roundtable discussion of market conditions and competitive challenges, a briefing on proposals for a next-generation work order management system, a look at the state of the industry with David Solomon, the managing principal of Solomon Coyle, a market development presentation by Maria Fernandes of Jezet Seating, consideration of a new member candidate, review of the group's social marketing program and planning for ...

Southern (California) Hospitality With an Education Focus

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General meetings of Facilities Services Network have become even better opportunities in recent years to learn how the member companies operate. This educational focus is achieved by holding two of the three annual meetings in the home market of an FSN member. Environments Plus and Service West were the host members for FSN's recent meeting in Los Angeles. Host Members for FSN's 40th Meeting Environments Plus (EPI) is based in the San Fernando Valley and serves Southern California through a primarily non-union business model. Service West, with branches in Sacramento, the East Bay and Orange County, performs union furniture projects throughout California. Each company had a major portion of the agenda for the second day of FSN's Los Angeles meeting. Both are founding members of FSN. A tour of each company's Los Angeles-area facility would have been the preference of every meeting attendee. However, due to the long distances involved and the metro area's famously sluggish daytime ...