QFloors celebrated its 20th Anniversary recently at a pretty unique venue. Employees, customers and partners all converged at the stunning backdrop of Zion National Park. A dinner and program marked the celebration, which also coincided with the company’s Users Conference. “It was a special night” said Chad Ogden.
During the event, the above video was viewed. The video features the company’s beginnings, how and why it started and the ensuing adventures. Brothers Chad and Trent Ogden, QFloors’ CEO and CF0 respectively, are 3rd generation flooring. Their paternal grandfather, Dale Ogden, was a sheep rancher in Utah. After bad years affecting his sheep herd, he decided to pack up the family, and move to California. He opened a flooring store in southern California. His son, Steve, worked for years in the flooring store. As a young father, he worked at his dad’s store before moving to Utah from California (after a family tragedy). After a few brief stints into other areas, he decided to do what he knew, and opened up a flooring store in (date). His boldness in using TV to advertise, along with his name recognition due to being a star football player for Brigham Young University, helped his business grow and expand quickly. Trent and Chad grew up working in the store. They would roll remnants, carpet side out. They would help in the warehouse. When Chad got a driver’s license at 16, they were the furniture deliveryman for the store. They measured and sold. Both worked in the store to support their college educations. Chad’s wife Christy reminisced, “I knew Chad in high school. I should have picked up early on that he was a workaholic, since he felt we needed to make a stop off to do a quick measure on our way to our Junior Prom. So there I am in a big, fluffy 80’s prom dress, and Chad in a tux, and we appear on someone’s doorstep to measure their house."
It all started with Grandpa. He owned a sheep ranch in Utah. And there were some pretty bad winters in a row, where most of the sheep died. About the 3rd time it happened to him, he was sick of it, so he picked up and moved to Southern California and opened up a floor covering store. My Dad continued that on. Steve: There was an old car dealership that had gone out of business. I was installing carpet one day and walked in there and rented the place. And I called my Dad and said, “Send me some carpet!” Trent: I started around 12 yrs old, in the warehouse, rolling remnants. Chad: Trent and I were in charge of replenishing all of the carpet remnants, so that was our job. We’d roll them out on the floor, reroll them fuzzy side out, stand them up on the walls, and that was kind of our job. So as soon as I turned 16, and had a Drivers License, I was in charge of all of the furniture deliveries. So Trent & I would load the truck up and then we’d go and deliver furniture. I would also measure houses after that as well. Back then, computers and that kind of thing were not very popular. But I knew I really liked computers and so I went to college and majored in computer engineering. Sold carpet to put himself through college. “I knew I did not want to be in floor covering. I wanted to do computers. So sold floor covering to get myself through school to my first job. First job was at 3M. Worked at tech companies, many start ups, and Novell, and small and large. Got a lot of different experience in a lot of different areas. Worked for 3-4 years for a company that created and produced mass spectrometers. Very cutting edge. Very high tech. thing were doing were very cutting edge. Eventually became the director of engineering for that company. Loved it. Then company went public. Then the CEO and everyone got replaced. Then there were some dishonest things going on among the senior people (to try to pump up the stock and such) that I knew I couldn’t be a part of that kind of a thing and so I went from it being my dream job to being unemployed. I went out on my own and started doing consulting and realized people would pay me well to consult them on their software and hardware.Trent: When I started going to college, I worked for my Dad and worked as the Warehouse Manager. And I wasn’t very good at it. Working with installers and such. And I decided, “That’s not going to be my future.” Then I was a salesperson. And I was not very good at that either. So I went to school in accounting and thought that the back office might be the right fit for me. When I finally decided on my major of Accounting thought it was something I could help my Dad’s business with a bit. He needed help there.Steve: I was in business for a lot of years and thought I was making a lot of money. Maybe that was a good thing, because I was bold in expanding and opening stores and such. And then I got an accountant that knew what he was talking about, and he was like, “You’re losing money! You’re not making money! And he said, “You’re going to go out of business if you don’t change.” Trent: when I decided on an accounting major it was kind of in conjunction with that because my dad needed some help in that way. And I could see that need in a lot of small businesses. Being able to have good controls, wise policies and procedures set up, and then be able to produce meaningful and accurate financial statements. These were all things that were somewhat lacking in my Dad’s business, so I started working there during my undergraduate. Then I decided to get my MBA. After I got my MBA, I had a lot more confidence in being able to run these businesses. At the same time as I was graduating, my Dad decided to sell these stores as franchises. So I worked with him in our franchise business. And I helped these franchises transition into doing their own accounting. Because each individual store had to do their own set of books. When before, it was all together in one. I helped teach them how to use the program (we were using at the time). Which was no easy task. That’s a difficult task. To train people who know nothing about bookkeeping and accounting how to use a dos-based, menu-driven, really cumbersome program. It was hard to get everyone to produce good financial statements. To even get us sales reports was an effort.
We wanted them to be successful and for me to help them be successful, I needed to get good reports. To help them know what to change. It was difficult. So this also was the impetus for Qfloors. Was I can’t teach these people how to run this We were looking for a program that would help us do this.
Chad: They wanted to do something different. 3-4 yrs went by and they had me come and look at software at Surfaces.
Steve: Well I don’t know that I really wanted software, but Chad said I needed software. And he was disappointed with what was out there.
Chad: Went back to Surfaces. Saw after 3-4 yrs it was still the same story. No indication they were going to go from DOS to a Windows program. I was really bothered the whole day about the lack of progress in the industry. So that night instead of going to bed I just started having these thoughts come and I took some paper and a pencil and all night long I sketched out the 5 main screens of QFloors and how they would work together. Everyone else was waking up in the morning and I am out and gave it to Trent and said, This is what this flooring software should look like and what it needs to do. I think part of the strength of QFloors is the design and that we didn’t go and try to make it into something else already existed. Seems like that is what everyone had done. Just tried to copy the most popular package. Trent & Steve came to him and said why don’t you develop this for us. I resisted at first and then thought, well I am doing consulting and might as well give it a shot. They needed it to happen. I think it was about may of that year that we decided to do it. See what happens. I remember locking myself up in the basement of our house and started to go to work on QFloors. (not showering) 3-4 months later I had at least an initial product that could save a product, invoice, etc. Installed it into an Ogdens. Ever since then, they have been using QFloors.
Trent: I think when we first conceived of QF, we hoped that if maybe this works with Ogdens maybe we can sell it outside of our own system. We hoped that would be the case, we weren’t totally confident that is the way it would go but we hoped it would. Once we implemented the Ogdens group and the Ogdens franchises, it gave us confidence that we could then go outside and sell it to other dealers.
First surfaces – we couldn’t afford to pay people to bring things in, trent