NTCA Benefits Box – August 2012

The NTCA Executive Committee is currently revising the Association Strategic Plan for 2013/2014. It will be presented to the Board of Directors at Total Solutions Plus, taking place October 27th-30th in Palm Springs, Calif.

One of the main objectives identified for the NTCA is to continue to save our members money and find them work. Our mission is simple: eliminate any confusion or objections about why a tile contractor or business would NOT be a member of the NTCA. Here is a quick snapshot for those who are not yet members of the NTCA to consider:

Total NTCA Membership
Cost Per Year: $500
(Monthly billing of $45 on credit card or direct draft available)
Benefits of your membership: saving you $$$$$$$$

• Partnering For Success: $1,500 of free Product Vouchers (You get to pick the vendors with which you wish to partner. This benefit alone offsets your membership and allows you to actually MAKE money!)
• Free subscriptions to TileLetter and TADA magazines
• Free technical advice from association staff (over 150 years of industry installation, sales and technical experience)
• Strong voice on the development of industry standards (our members fight for the tile contractor)
• Free access to the NTCA Reference Manual (used in both customer and supplier correspondence)
• Discounted registration for  the Certified Tile Installer Program offered by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF)
• Discounted freight on Freightquote.com and Partnership
• Discounted insurance programs in liability, auto, property, workers’ compensation
• A complete low-cost program to assist the tile contractor in developing a marketing plan

These are just a few examples of programs NTCA has established to save you money. We are exploring new programs for 2013 in the health field, discounts on purchases of vehicles for your business, and more. Our staff will continue to strive to find programs that will offset expenses to your bottom line. It does not take a lot of time for you to do the math. Being a member of the NTCA is an easy decision!

NTCA: Dedicated to finding you work

New language in the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation and MasterSpec recognizes approved company recognition efforts like the NTCA Five Star Contractor Program and the CTEF Certified Tile Installer Program as viable resources for designers and specifiers to consider. At a minimum, we strongly recommend that those individuals involved in specifying or hiring installers request proven performance of successful projects of similar size and scope. This effort will only protect all NTCA members who are dedicated to the successful installation of ceramic tile and natural stone. Our staff is working on future partnerships with companies that sell ceramic tile and natural stone to consumers and project owners to be  resources for installation referrals and recommendations. We expect several announcements in 2013 that will result in unique opportunities for you and your business. In addition, we will continue to explore developing national account specifications for Certified Tile Installers and NTCA Five Star Contractors.

To obtain more information on NTCA membership, contact Jim Olson, NTCA assistant executive director, at [email protected] or call us at 601-939-2071.

Join the hundreds of new NTCA members now and see why your association makes perfect sense for your business!

NTCA Benefits Box – June 2012

The Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program

The Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program administered by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) is a comprehensive testing of the skills and knowledge of experienced tile installers which includes a 155-question, multiple-choice, open-book exam and hands-on test. Both are based on current industry standards and best practices for producing sound installations that exhibit good workmanship. The tests – considered validation of ability and not a training program – require that both the observable and non-observable characteristics of a finished installation are executed properly.

Installers who pass the written and hands-on exams receive a certificate, an identification card and most importantly, marketing materials developed by CTEF. For example, certified installers may display the CTI logo on business cards, vehicles, and clothing. Additionally, CTEF provides promotional brochures that encourage consumers and general contractors/builders to use certified installers.

“In less than four years, the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) has validated 750 members through the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program,” said Scott Carothers, CTEF executive director. “While this is quite an accomplishment, we realized that for the CTI program to achieve critical mass, it must move up to the next level quickly. For 2012, the goal is to confirm 200 more CTIs in one year, effectively totaling 1000 qualified installers. The ultimate goal of the CTI program is to provide the end user with a choice of an installer who has the skill and knowledge to install ceramic tile correctly the first time with high quality at a fair price.”

Another benefit of being a CTI is that the 2012 TCNA Handbook includes language that recommends the use and specification of qualified installers, validated through a number of programs and measures, including the CTI test. In addition, similar language has been added to MasterSpec, published by Arcom, that includes references to the importance of qualified labor in the Installer Qualifications section of the Division 9 specifications for tile work. (www.masterspec.com).  Brandishing one’s CTI qualifications sets installers apart from the crowd and sets the stage for lucrative work.

The cost of the CTI exam is normally $295, but current NTCA members in good standing receive a $100 discount, so CTI testing registration is only $195. What’s more, all installers who pass the CTI exam get to pick $300 worth of manufacturer’s free product coupons.

For more information about the testing protocols, visit www.tilecareer.com/Certification.htm or www.tile-assn.com/Member/CTEFCertification.aspx?mid=92.

BENEFITS BOX – May 2012

MEMBER-ONLY INSURANCE DISCOUNTS OFFERED THROUGH SLC

NTCA members can receive free quotes on a variety of insurance needs through Schechner Lifson Corporation (SLC) of Summit, N.J. This members-only agreement for property and liability insurance features many benefits to NTCA member firms including worldwide liability coverage, selling-price valuation on sold inventory, workers compensation, coverage for property at job sites, and employment practices liability (harassment/discrimination). In addition, SLC has numerous loss-control and safety programs that will assist you in controlling your contractual obligations – subcontractor risk-transfer, and hold-harmless agreements. SLC can also help with travel and accident coverage, and international liability-exposure coverage. SLC offers rate discounts for general liability and worker’s compensation, and a convenient pay-as-you-go premium payment option for workers compensation.

Marc Rosenkrantz is SLC’s liaison for NTCA members. He is eager to work with you towards meeting your insurance needs through programs that are specifically tailored to your company and the tile industry.

“We met Marc at Total Solutions two or three years ago,” said Dana Collins, of Collins Tile and Stone, Aldie, Va. “After the show, he followed up with us to give us a quote on our workman’s comp policy.  We immediately made the change to go with Marc, as he was able to save us significant dollars over what we were paying our current insurance broker for this coverage. I believe his focus on the tile industry has allowed him to offer such discounts, and would encourage any contractors out there to at least get a quote, and make some comparisons.”

For more information, contact Jim Olson, NTCA assistant executive director, at 601-939-2071/[email protected] or Marc Rosenkrantz, Schechner Lifson Corporation at 1-800-279-9360/[email protected] for a free quote or to discuss your insurance needs. This one service alone could literally save you you thousands of dollars.

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