Case Studies

Nonn’s Design Showplace: Offering More than Flooring

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Ken Nonn founded Nonn’s Flooring Inc., which is now known as Nonn’s Design Showplace (Nonn’s), in 1984 to offer interior components such as custom cabinets, countertops and flooring. Nonn’s has since grown to become the largest independent flooring retailer in Wisconsin. The company now boasts five facilities in the state, including a granite fabrication shop and a large warehouse in addition to the three showrooms in Madison, Middleton and Waukesha.

The family-owned business has grown exponentially since it began 28 years ago. The company is now operated by Adam Nonn, the second-generation leader of Nonn’s, who heads a team of nearly 100 employees that offers consultation, design, sales and installations across the region. Proudly following in his father’s footsteps, Adam feels as though he was born into the industry.

“I really enjoy the people that I interact with every day and the array of challenges the industry represents,” says Adam. “There is not a typical day in our industry, and I enjoy that. Whether we get a high-profile job to bid, discover new technologies that will keep us on the leading edge or find unique products to offer our customers, there is always something new.”

Actively working in the flooring industry since 1976, Jeff Nehmer, co-owner and vice president of commercial sales for Nonn’s, agrees with Adam. “The best part of what we do here is that there are different challenges every day,” elaborates Jeff. “Different projects, contractors and project managers; There is very little repetition.”

One constant will remain, though, and that is the Nonn’s team’s can-do attitude. The company’s leaders challenge employees on a daily basis by asking: Don’t tell me what you can’t do; tell me what you can. “We think outside the box to service our customers,” expands Jeff.

Custom Solutions

According to Adam, the company is a one-stop shop and it is rare for a single company to execute in a commercial, builder and retail application successfully. Nonn’s is capable of providing flooring, cabinetry and countertops in addition to offering products for each of the stated industries.

“We perform residential and commercial jobs,” says Jason Fish, marketing director for Nonn’s. “About 95 percent of our jobs are in Wisconsin, but we do work across the United States.”

Nonn’s employs a team of experienced interior designers to assist customers in laying out a plan for a remodeled kitchen, bathroom, living room, or any other space in need of a makeover. The design team works with custom cabinet and countertop designers to develop an aesthetic that is functional and consistent throughout a space. If customers purchase through Nonn’s, design services are 100-percent free of charge.
“Our staff installation technicians are trained in all types of flooring installations,” says Jeff. “We pride ourselves on tackling the most intricate installations.”

To cap off custom countertops, Nonn’s has direct access through a company-owned granite fabrication facility. “We import granite from around the world and bring it back to our facility for custom fabrication,” says Jason. “We cut out the middle man.” In-house fabrication saves time and money for consumers, while still offering high-quality, attractive granite countertops.

“Our largest niche may be the fact that we manufacture our granite/quartz countertops,” says Adam. “This has allowed us to be extremely competitive in the home improvement industry.”

The company has built longstanding relationships with several top industry suppliers for all of its products. Nonn’s has access to a vast selection of flooring solutions, including carpet, hardwood and tile. Buyers on staff travel around the world to bring unique, durable flooring options to customers in a range of styles, materials and price ranges. The team is affiliated with several wood flooring mills, including BR111, Chelsea Plank, Anderson, U.S. Floors and From the Forest. Domestic and exotic prefinished floors are available to fit any design theme.

Staying Competitive

Many of the company’s larger clients rely on this level of service to pull off larger remodels and installations. Nonn’s ability to provide a plan that is designed with care and experience is integral to the success of these major projects. “In the past few years we’ve done several high-profile projects,” says Jason. “Those include the Kohl Center and Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin, Dane County Airport in Madison, Kalahari Resort and Water Park in Wisconsin Dells, as well as the Epic Systems headquarters in Verona.”

“The Madison market is very busy in the multifamily sector,” explains Jeff. “High-rise apartment projects dot the local skyline, and we are currently involved in a great number of those.”

After over a quarter century, Nonn’s is not slowing down. The team is working toward continued, steady growth. According to Jason, the team has not set anything in stone, but with business back on the incline expansion is a possibility. In 2014 Nonn’s will celebrate 30 years in business. It is too soon to plan a party, although the anniversary will not go unnoticed.

The crew is focused on making changes to increase efficiency. Redesigning systems will allow designers, technicians and the sales team to streamline the ordering process, synchronizing orders and making projects and finances easier to track.

“Our main focus over the next couple of years is to discover and utilize emerging technologies,” says Nonn. “The technology we use now is great, but one of my goals is to lead our company in implementing emerging technologies that will make us more efficient and effective.”

“We’re trying to get more information to people,” says Jason. “We’re putting QR codes in the showroom, and getting tablets into the hands of our team. We’re pushing for a more mobile-friendly business. We want our customers to be able to sign contracts electronically. We’re getting scan cards. Increasing our technological efficiency is going to make a big difference.”

Even with additional computer-based support, the driving principles behind Nonn’s success will remain the same. Quality products and customer service reign at the company’s showrooms, and these are two factors Adam, Jason, Jeff and the entire Nonn’s team refuse to compromise. Nonn’s Design Showplace will continue to provide the best service and selection in the area.

Published on: April 2, 2013

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