About CRT Flooring Concepts
Family owned CRT Flooring Concepts strives to be your premier flooring center.
Although it was actually incorporated in 1988, CRT Flooring Concepts has more than 60 years of experience in the floor covering industry. That’s because this family owned company is currently managed by two generations of the Barton family, including Jay Barton, the company’s founder, as well as his wife Patty and his son Jim.
“We have three offices at the top of our building — one for me, one for Patty and one for Jim,” says Jay Barton, President.
“Sometimes family owned businesses have problems and they don’t survive. All three of us are very proud that we’ve done this as a family. To be able to take our business form a half-million dollar company to a projected $14 million company in the span of eight years, and do it with a father, son and mother, is very important to us.”
The Barton family’s pride is understandable; CRT Flooring Concepts is the largest floor covering company in Central and South Texas, providing an extensive selection of carpet, wood, area rugs, and tile flooring materials. Well diversified, the company focuses on retail flooring customers, multi-family apartment complexes, and commercial, custom and production builders.
“Our primary products are carpet, tile, wood, vinyl — any type of material that goes from the floor to ceiling,” says Barton. “We have a number of large-production customers that build anywhere from 500 to a thousand homes per year. And in a weeks time we generally service 300 retail customers in our five locations from Austin to the Rio Grande Valley.”
Complete Flooring Experience
CRT’s philosophy (in the company’s own words) is simple: “We strive to be your premier flooring center.” Whether serving the needs of customer homebuilders, commercial contractors, or the individual do-it-yourselfer, the company aims to please. Barton feels that much of CRT’s success is directly attributable to its expert associates how are trained to provide personalized service and, at the same time, offer competitive prices with the latest styles and fashions.
“Our goal is to provide unmatched customer service at an affordable price. We strive to fulfill the customers’ every expectation,” Barton says. “We offer cash-and-carry materials, or we can provide full turnkey installation.”
CRT’s varied customer base means its service runs the gamut from supplying production builders to installing custom floor coverings for luxury multi-million-dollar homes. “The same basic principle applies to both, whether it’s a $100 sale or a $100,000 sale,” adds Barton. “Our service is what we have stood on for years.”
Barton points to CRT’s size as another advantage. As the largest floor covering company in its market, CRT is able to leverage the advantages of increased buying power to provide a price advantage to customers.
“Our size allows us the benefit of not being associated with national buying groups,” he explains. “When you are part of a buying group your costs are higher and you are more regimented in terms of what the group wants you to do. Our buying power is strong enough so that we are able to negotiate prices more aggressively. We can supply our customers the same products that are offered from national buying groups at a more affordable price.”
Barton says the fact that CRT is a private, family-owned company enables it to forge relationships with manufacturers that some competitors simply do not have. “National buying groups don’t have as strong a relationship with manufacturers on a local level. That’s really important. We can negotiate with them, and that makes our company stronger.”
Another distinct advantage CRT customers enjoy is the company’s exclusive lifestyle installation warranty, which covers all labor and is “unusual in our industry,” according to Barton. “We also offer our customers a no-pressure atmosphere to shop in, as well as free in-house measurements.”
All five of the company’s store locations feature an extensive selection of flooring products, and CRT offers free home estimates, guaranteed installation services, as well as six-month, same-as-cash financing. “It goes back to customer service,” Barton says. “Our facilities are state of the art, especially our new location in San Antonio where we’ve taken the concept floor covering to the next level. It’s an inviting and no-pressure environment.”
Asked to account for CRT’s continuing growth, Barton stresses service and price. “By choosing us, customers are going to get a fair and competitive price, unmatched customer service, and a unique lifetime warranty,” he says. “From the first moment you walk into our store, to the final clean-up our crews perform after we install your flooring, you will always have consistent service. That’s CRT’s promise to our customers.”
Barton feels strongly that CRT’s family owned culture gives the company another distinct advantage. This attitude percolates throughout the organization and ultimately sets a tone and direction that fuels the company’s ongoing success, he feels. Treating its managers and sales associates “like family” empowers them to extend the same caring and attentive attitude to customers, according to Barton.
“We treat everybody like family, and we expect our employees to treat our customers like family,” he states. “From the guys in the warehouse to the installers in the field, to management — we treat them all like family and I think that’s one of the reasons that we are so successful. Our people like working for us, and that trickles down to our customers and gives us the ability to excel at what we do.”
Barton points to low turnover as an important stabilizing factor contributing to CRT’s success. “Our service level has exceeded our expectations over the last few years because, in our upper-level management, we have had zero turnover, which gives us better consistency in driving our corporate mission.”
Its management continuity also reinforces CRT’s ability to forge and maintain relationships with both customers and suppliers.
“Everything is based on relationships in our industry,” Barton stresses. “If you don’t have a relationship with your customers, whether it be a retail customer or your largest builder, you can’t provide them with great customer service.