On a trip that coincided with the Great American Eclipse, a select group of CBUSA members—including the organization’s CEO, Bill Smithers—celebrated the announcement of CBUSA’s national contract with Kohler Co. with a special two-day, multi-city learning experience in late August.
“As a follow up to the announcement of our national contract with Kohler, our team has been working with both local distribution partners and the team at Kohler on the ‘heavy lifting’ of contract implementation,” Smithers explained. “As is the case with each national agreement, we look to our most influential builder members for the input and support needed to put these agreements to work in their markets.”
The trip included stops at both the Sterling manufacturing facility in Huntsville, AL, as well as comprehensive tours of the design studio, marketing/ communications center and manufacturing plant at Kohler’s world headquarters in Kohler, WI.
“Our members got a first-hand view of what makes Kohler such a unique company and were able to gather critical information needed for their evaluation of Kohler’s family of brands,” Smithers said. “Seeing the level of attention and respect that was afforded to our group while they were on the Kohler campus was impressive, and it served as an apt endorsement of our network’s growing influence in the market.”
To say the group was impressed with their experience would be a huge understatement.
“Kohler’s world headquarters is as impressive as it is inspirational,” Smithers emphasized. “Their state-of-the-art, multi-level design studio features hundreds of products from their current faucet and fixture portfolio. In addition to robust displays showing products in every available color and finish, the center displays a dozen fully-featured and meticulously designed kitchen and bathroom vignettes that showcase Kohler’s beautiful products in the context of finished spaces. It was as if you were immersing yourself in a high-end designer magazine.”
They were equally dazzled by the massive marketing/communications facility.
“Kohler’s corporate communications headquarters is housed in a 79,000 square foot LEED-Certified facility that is home to all of Kohler’s creative assets, including public relations, digital communications, print and video production, “Smithers marveled. “The center is known as ‘The Beacon’ for the guiding role it plays in the company’s future. Our members were treated to a full marketing and branding presentation by senior managers within the marketing team, and we were able to walk through the 32,000 square foot state-of-the-art video, television and photography studio that is housed within the complex.”
But the ultimate highlight of the trip proved to be the members’ visit to Kohler’s flagship manufacturing facility at their world headquarters.
“As impressive as the visits to Kohler’s customer-facing facilities were, the pinnacle of our trip was our tour of Kohler’s manufacturing facility,” Smithers emphasized. “An enormous, thriving facility like this is not what you’d expect to find directly across the street from the five-star accommodations of The American Club. Known to visitors as the ‘Industry in Action’ tour, this two-hour behind-the-curtain look into the nation’s largest plumbing-ware manufacturing facility was incredible. The blending of old-world craftsmanship with modern technology in the making of world class pottery, brass and foundry products showed all of us why Kohler has such an impeccable reputation for quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail.”
Ultimately, the two-day learning trip provided the group lucky enough to experience it with the unique opportunity to forge an intimate partnership with Kohler that will benefit each and every CBUSA member builder for years to come.
“Professionalism, open-minded evaluations and candid discussions about a company’s products have been hallmarks of the CBUSA program since our founding in 2004,” Smithers explained, “and all were on full display from the builders who represented CBUSA on this important trip. The Kohler agreement is another tool for helping CBUSA members gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, while also growing their bottom lines. We look forward to continuing our work in delivering strong programs to our members by aligning with the best brands in the industry.”
If you’re interested in benefiting from unique partnerships with elite manufacturers including Kohler, contact us today to see how together, CBUSA can help you achieve a new level of success.