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It's 6:00 p.m. on a Wednesday and most office workers in Columbia are already home for the day. But for Chip Salak and his team, the workday, or "work-night", is just getting started.
That's because it was the start of a flooring installation project, a process that takes place during off-hours in order to keep business disruptions to a minimum. The McWaters team worked until nearly 2:00 a.m., removing the old carpet and using a hydraulic lift to elevate the furniture a few inches off of the ground, just enough for the team to install the new carpet tiles before lowering furniture back to its original position. In the morning, the only sign the furniture was ever moved was the brand new carpeting.
Before lift technology was available, replacing the carpet in an existing business was a big headache for the customer. They would have to shut down their business, communicate with their customers, and find a temporary space for their employees to work. Now when Salak says his team can install the flooring without disrupting day-to-day operations, it seems like a no-brainer to customers.
"Not having to disrupt a business is a big seller," Salak said. "Some of our customers could be losing thousands of dollars per day if they had to shut down to let us install the new flooring."
Cost-savings isn't the only benefit McWaters can offer their flooring customers. McWaters is a full-service business, which means it has expertise in flooring, furniture, A/V, and design. So, if customers wanted their carpet to reflect an update in their brand or emerging design trends, the McWaters flooring and design teams would work together to choose a piece that is both functional and beautiful. It also means if any unforeseen issues come up with the furniture or the A/V during installation, the team has the expertise to fix it without causing a major disruption to the customers.
One of the most valuable benefits McWaters can offer is the company's project management skills. Flooring installation might sound easy, but there's a lot of coordination that needs to happen to ensure the project runs smoothly. Although McWaters doesn't have to remove any desks, employees might need to clear their desks of personal items or secure any loose papers. Since this type of installation doesn't typically happen all in one night, McWaters prints out schedules and maps to display in common areas so employees know exactly what to expect each night.
It's a lot of hard work and careful planning, but in the end, it's worth it.
"It's a very precise process," said Salak, "We're always on schedule because of the way we manage the project, which means we can complete the project with very little interruption."
Ready to get started on your new flooring?