Taking Advantage Of Technology

shopper at a retail flooring store selects a Mohawk carpet thats a cut order from a
regional warehouse. The salesperson takes the order, and it is entered electronically into Mohaw’s
communications system, almost ensuring that it will be delivered within 72 hours. The next day, the
customer decides she wants to increase her order to include another room. Is it too late for a
change? It isn’t with Mohawk’s state-of-the-art communications network. In this case, the system
could signal the warehouse almost up until the time the order is actually cut and make the change,
keeping the customer happy and the order profitable.

Mohawk Industries is an avid user of technology, particularly as it provides new abilities to
enhance efficiency, improve customer service and adapt to changing customer demands. And one of the
shining stars is the intricate, redundant voice and data network that keeps Mohawk factories,
distribution and dealers in constant communication. This year, prompted by business growth, a
growing bandwidth demand of systems functionality and the need to create a cost-effective platform
to grow on, Mohawk has made a major upgrade to its data network. The upgrade has created a
multi-protocol label switching network that is recognized for its efficiency and effectiveness.
Taking advantage of lower cost/higher-bandwidth technology, Mohawk has worked with AT&T to
build a highly available data storage, retrieval and management system that updates almost
constantly, giving Mohawk employees critical information that lets them do their jobs as
effectively as possible.

That may mean on-time delivery of an order despite a last-minute change. Or it may mean making
an adjustment in production that saves thousands of dollars.


Mohawk’s website,
www.mohawk-flooring.com, provides consumers with
information about its products.

B2B Strategy

The system is not necessarily a pure business-to-business (B2B) network, but it flows from the
dealer all the way back to production and raw material supply. Tied in with custom applications and
systems developed around distribution including local fleet management, over-the-road fleet
management, warehouse management, plant automation, planning, scheduling and Web-based support
tools, Mohawk’s network is designed to provide accurate representation of delivery dates while
providing manufacturing with the information needed to optimize plant operation, allocation of
orders and production efficiency.

Leveraging The Internet

Through a dedicated website,
www.mohawknet.com, dealers can place orders electronically.
With Mohawk’s Real Time Visibility software, the dealer can know within minutes when an order will
reach his store, plus get e-mail and fax notifications of deliveries. The customer can view the
steps in the order process up to the point the truck makes the delivery.

New Technology Adoption

The key to improved customer service is responsiveness. Mohawk has been very aggressive in the
use of radio frequency technologies in its facilities, along with bar coding to optimize inventory.
As dealers get more access to the Internet and become more accustomed to using it, the system gains
efficiency. Internet tools provide dealers with easier and more personalized access to order and
account information, making it easier for them to manage their day-to-day needs.

For larger
customers, Mohawk also has implemented radio frequency identification (RFID) systems that mesh with
how major retailers manage their flow of goods. And while Mohawk constantly explores making plant
innovations to improve production efficiency and processes, many of which are proprietary the test
of new ideas is how they integrate into the overall system to enhance its effectiveness. Shop floor
systems, sales and operation planning processes, distribution and delivery are all interconnected,
saving Mohawk millions of dollars each year and making it possible for dealers to work small
miracles like a last-minute change in a customer order.

July/August 2006