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Unread 10-19-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
John Bridge
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Schluter's Western Distribution and Training Center

Wednesday night (Oct. 17, 2012) Janie and I attended the official grand opening of Schluters new distribution and training center just outside Reno, Nevada. The center stocks all Schluter products, and the training center currently conducts 3-day sessions every other month. Next year training will be once a month.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet Herr Werner Schluter, the founder of Schluter Systems, and his family, who had flown from Germany for the event.

I had visited the center earlier in the year and was given a tour by the very gracious Marti Anderson, who is general manager of the facility.

I've got some pictures. I'm sorry to say some of them are not the best due to the low light at the gathering and my own photographic ineptitude.
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1. Janie, Marc Schluter, John Bridge, Werner Schluter and Frau Schluter
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2. Marc Schluter' Herr Schluter, John Bridge
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3. Marc, John, Herr Schluter, Reinhard Plank (president of Schluter North America), Greg Gelston (National Sales Director), Larry Horton National Sales Manager)
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4. John, Udo Schluter, Janie Smith (I'm helping Udo to suck it in)
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5. John, Udo and Paul Kiss who runs Schluter's retail department -- Home Depot, etc. (I'm sucking it in. )

Last edited by davem; 10-20-2012 at 07:38 AM. Reason: Put descriptions inline
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Unread 10-19-2012, 01:46 PM   #2
John Bridge
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1. Larry Horton, John Bridge, Andy Acker. Andy is in charge of Schluter's training efforts. Larry and Andy were among the crew that first trained me at the Tile School in South Carolina, 2002.
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2. Marti Anderson, General Manager of the Western facility and John Bridge
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3. Steve Slutzah (owner of Westside Tile and Stone in L.A.), John, Janie and Andy
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4. Schluter put us up in the Grand Sierra Casino Resort, a first class place. The tile work, which is also first class was done by Sparks Tile of Sparks, Nev. The hotel has nearly 2000 rooms, all featuring Schluter Kerdi showers.
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5. Marble Detail

Last edited by davem; 10-20-2012 at 07:39 AM.
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Unread 10-19-2012, 01:56 PM   #3
John Bridge
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In addition to these pictures from my camera there was a professional photographer in attendance who took hundreds of shots. Marti told me I could have access to those as well. I will post some of them here when I get them. There were a lot of note worthy people there that my camera didn't capture. I regret that I didn't get a picture of Mrs. Plank nor of daughter Irene Plank, who is Schluter's marketing director.
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Unread 10-19-2012, 02:38 PM   #4
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That's crazy that all the Schluter guys showed up with the same tie.
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Unread 10-20-2012, 09:37 AM   #5
John Bridge
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I probably could have gotten one of those ties, but then I would have to have worn a suit.

All you guys and gals out west who have not gone through the full three-day training session should start pestering you reps for a spot in Reno. It's much nicer than Anaheim.
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Unread 10-21-2012, 09:28 AM   #6
Bellsfloors
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Ah man! I was just in Reno 5 weeks ago for the Reno Races. Had i known I would of stop by to chat with them and maybe see their facilities if they were willing to show it off.
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Unread 10-21-2012, 05:00 PM   #7
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Count me in!!! Maybe Levi and I can play a lil Blackjack again
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Unread 10-21-2012, 06:20 PM   #8
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Looks like it was a nice trip John!
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Unread 10-21-2012, 07:34 PM   #9
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It was a whirlwind trip, four airplanes in two days. From Houston we flew to L.A. Changed planes and flew from L.A. to Reno. We had about a three-hour rest period before the event. While on the shuttle headed out to the center we were halted by police because Joe Biden was on his way through town in a motorcade. We were held up over half an hour.

At the end of the event we somehow missed the last shuttle back to the hotel, a trip of 15 miles or so. The center is out in the boondocks. Fortunately, my buddy Andy Acker had a rented mini-van and was able to give us a ride.

Up in the morning -- flew to Phoenix, changed planes and then flew back to Houston. Talk about jet lag. Reason? Doing it the way we did cost about $600. Using direct flights over $1200. If I had it to do over I'd spend the larger amount.

But we thoroughly enjoyed the doings and getting to meet the Schluter family -- and also renewing old friendships. I am very grateful for the invitation.

The building is self-sustaining. Through a combination of technologies they save about 70% of what it would cost for heating and cooling by conventional means. I was there in August, and the interior of the building was kept quite comfortable without the use of mechanical air conditioning, for example. The outdoor temp was nearly ninety. The Schluter headquarters building in Montreal works much the same way. Schluter is green.
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Unread 10-21-2012, 07:52 PM   #10
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Count me in!!! Maybe Levi and I can play a lil Blackjack again
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Unread 10-21-2012, 10:22 PM   #11
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My local distributors don't stock Ditra, my last order was 7 rolls. It got shipped from Reno, much closer to us than Plattsburgh

Looks like an awesome facility. If they can just move Disneyland to Reno my kids would love for me to attend a training class there.
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Unread 10-21-2012, 11:37 PM   #12
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Looks like a great event, though they should have paid for your airfare. Schluter's green building's are a model to be emulated.

Picture #5 Marble detail. What? No rondec?

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Unread 10-22-2012, 01:28 PM   #13
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I normally bevel the edge of the marble so the grout will match from the tiles edge to face but whatever. long as they don't leak. maybe now that theres another distribution center out west some of the local distributors like dal will stock something other than the jolly. like multiple colors of the jolly.
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Unread 10-22-2012, 03:01 PM   #14
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Wasn't complaining about the airfare, Jim. You know nobody does that. Besides, my own company reimburses me.

There is a huge amount of marble tile in that hotel. It impressed me that all of the exposed edges had been polished. All of us have seen some real garbage work in hotels, even high-end hotels. Not this one. The work is excellent for commercial work.

As to stocking parts, Schluter has hundreds of SKUs. Nobody is going to stock all of them. But you can order anything and get it in short order. The Reno center stocks everything, and they can get it out the door quickly. I know the expediter. His name is Roy. And you saw Marti Andereson, the general manager, in the photos. She is top notch. Runs a tight operation.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 08:46 PM   #15
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Hello John

I was able to go to the grand opening as well, it was a nice event we actually met while You an Your wife waited for the shuttle that never came back.
The good thing is we got a ride back to the hotel in Reno with Jeff Stiles,


It was a pleasure meeting You, like I said I been reading your forum for about a year or so, I find it very informative.

About the flight your are right it is pricey, luckily for me I was able to fly non stop, but had to pay extra though.

Hope to meet again sometime to share some war ( tile ) stories.
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