Archive | July, 2014

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Fabricator Profile: Rocky Mountain Custom Countertops

Posted on 28 July 2014 by cradmin

RMCC kgallery1Rocky Mountain Custom Countertops (RMCC) was founded in 1996 in Salt Lake City, Utah, as a small, private countertop fabrication and installation business, but its success attracted the eye of larger fish in the sea. In 2011, the company was acquired by Chris & Dick’s, a large retailer also located in Salt Lake City.

RMCC fabricates a variety of countertop surfaces, including natural stone, quartz, solid surface and laminate, for retail clients, builders and commercial developers from its fabrication shop, which was relocated to the Chris & Dick’s facility. The general manager of RMCC, Curt Harrison, attributes its success and track record of customer satisfaction to the company’s ability to embrace new computer and software systems.

Harrison states that early in the company’s history, countertop layout and design was done by hand and recorded in spreadsheets, but this method was too time consuming to accommodate its growing customer base. Now using software, RMCC is able to install orders approximately 14 days after templating has completed.

In addition to software technology, RMCC employs digital, high-pressure waterjet cutting in conjunction with a water reclamation system and a state-of-the-art polishing system.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here: Rocky Mountain Custom Countertops

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Countertop Backlighting Process

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Countertop Backlighting Process

Posted on 25 July 2014 by cradmin

This video, which was produced by Tylerco Inc. (makers of the SLABlite backlighting panel system), takes the form of a slideshow that depicts the process of backlighting a countertop on a yacht. The video starts out showing the bar with a subtop and then walks the viewer through each step in laying the 12- by 12- by 0.375-in. lighting panels and cutting them to shape on-site, including the small area around a sink edge. It then shows an onyx countertop, which has obviously been fabricated in a shop and brought to the location, put down over the lighting panels. It also gives a look at how the system is powered, before showing the completed top all lit up, adding a sophisticated ambience.

A great article on the subject of backlighting translucent materials recently appeared in ISFA’s Countertops & Architectural Surfaces magazine, and more information about the SLABlite backlighting system is available here.


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Aristech Surfaces Adds New Avonite Solid Surface Color

Posted on 24 July 2014 by cradmin

Aristech Avonite Alpine ShimmerAristech Surfaces has added a new color – Alpine Shimmer – to its Avonite Foundations Line of solid surface. The new color has a whitish base color with a subtle shimmer of reflective particulates.

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Eurosoft Inc. Offers InStock Inventory Software

Posted on 23 July 2014 by cradmin

eurosoft instock remnant managment softwareEurosoft, Inc. offers InStock, an inventory and remnant management software that gives the user the ability to optimize, organize and track full-sized sheet goods and reusable scrap pieces in a materials database. The contents of the database can be pulled directly into optimization software such as ARDIS allowing optimizations to be run against the current material quantities and sizes on hand. This makes the software a suitable intermediary between storage and retrieval systems and engineering software or ERP systems. Remnants that are saved to the database can then be used later when an optimization is run and a correct-sized remnant exists. The operator is notified to retrieve the remnant from storage and confirms that the remnant has been used.

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Wilsonart Rolls Out 25 New Laminate Designs

Posted on 22 July 2014 by cradmin

wilsonart shadow trellisWilsonart is rolling out 25 new laminate designs. The new design introductions to the Wilsonart Contract Laminate Collection fall under three categories: Woodgrains, Abstracts and Solids. These patterns will be part of the “Wilsonart® Cre8ivity Tour,” a nationwide roadshow sponsored by the company that will visit cities across America this summer.

The new Woodgrains include: Truss Maple, Old Mill Oak, Oiled Chestnut, Raw Chestnut, White Cypress, White Barn, Blue Barn, Red Barn, Zebrawood and Landmark Wood.

The new Abstracts include: New Denim Tracery, Gesso Tracery, Faded Trellis, Shadow Trellis (pictured here), Basket Weaving 101, Basket Weaving 201, Urban Bronze, Urban Iron and Tweedish.

The new Solid Colors are: New Linen (which is also available in Wilsonart Solicor Laminate), as well as Flamingo, Island, Sunshine, Orange Grove  and Ocean.

The 2014 collection will debut summer 2014 in a nine-city Wilsonart Roadshow that includes Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta and Houston. The tour will include guest speakers from the design community, interactive discussions and an exhibit of the winning chairs from the 2014 “Wilsonart Challenges…” Student Chair Design Competition.

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KB Express Introduces New Selection Centers

Posted on 21 July 2014 by cradmin

KB ExpressKB Express introduced  a new display system called “The Revolution,” which is designed to assist customers  in visualizing countertop, backsplash and cabinet options. The interactive display system works to simplify the decision-making process for potential customers by rotating on multiple levels, allowing shoppers to combine their favorite countertop, backsplash and cabinet choices to instantly see how they look together.

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LG Hausys Posts 2 Job Openings

Posted on 19 July 2014 by cradmin

LG Hausys, maker of HI-MACS solid surface and Viatera quartz surfacing, is looking to fill two job openings. The positions are for Specification Manager in the Dallas, Texas, region and Territory Manager in Northern California. Candidates for both positions should be familiar with solid surface and quartz surfacing and would work with both of these countertop materials.

More information about the positions at LG can be found here, and interested candidates can submit cover letters and resumes by emailing them to [email protected].

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Lampedusa’s Razor: Distinguishing Good Change from Bad Change

Posted on 18 July 2014 by cradmin

“Beware of con artists!” is good advice, especially if they can jeopardize that which we value. How good are we at recognizing a scam when it crosses our path? Here’s one that’s making its way through business corridors:

“Change is good, and resistance is bad.”

Unquestioning acceptance of that advice will get you into deep, perhaps catastrophic, trouble. Not all change is good, and resisting bad change is more than a good idea, it’s the act of a responsible business owner, executive or manager.

This is the great trap for those who embrace the idea that we must change or die: Unless we find some way to distinguish between good and bad change, we are compelled to change when faced with each and every innovation. In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, there is a sad character known as the White Knight who’s taken the advice “change is good” too literally.

The White Knight believes in embracing anything that’s new. His mistake is to accept that all change is mandatory. His sturdy horse is festooned with gadgets. There’s a small box in which he keeps his sandwiches, but it’s turned upside down “so that the rain can’t get in,” he says proudly. Until Alice points out that the sandwiches have fallen out, he was totally unaware of this significant flaw.

He’s also attached a beehive to the horse in the hope that bees will take up house and provide honey, not realizing bees never set up house on a moving horse. Then there’s the mousetrap he’s strapped on the horse’s back to keep the mice away, and the fancy anklets on his hooves to keep away the sharks – both of which seem to be working…

Yes, we must change, otherwise our organizations fall so far behind the competition that we lose effectiveness and fade into obsolescence. On the other hand, to embrace every change is the path to chaos.

Our problem, despite the many dinosaurs lumbering in the tar pits of yesterday, is not the lack of recognition that change is necessary. It is that there is far too much change to choose from. We suffer from an abundance of choice and a shortage of judgment.

Organizations must become adept at three seemingly contradictory skills. We must become brilliantly effective at resisting bad change, equally effective at embracing good change and wise enough to decide between these two alternatives.

In case you missed my outrageous statement, I’ll repeat it in its pure form:

Organizations must become brilliantly effective at resisting Change.

We should not, and must not, embrace all the change placed before us.

“But we must change!” is the cry from the back of the room. Yes, I agree. We must change, otherwise the world will pass us by, but the statement “Change is good”, does not advise what type of change is good… it even suggests that ‘all’ change is good. And that’s the problem. “Change” is not by definition “good.” It merely represents a difference between what was and what is. A better restatement of this mantra might be:

“Some Change is good, and sometimes resistance is necessary.”

Or… if you value a quote more when it comes from someone famous, here’s what Viscount Falkland had to say about this:

“When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.”

All of this is fine, but there’s a snag. How do we distinguish the good from the bad? Since I’ve been using quotes to power this article, let’s try another one. Giuseppe di Lampedusa was a part time astronomer and Sicilian prince. He stated,

“If things are to remain the same, things will have to change.”

This humorous and seemingly self-contradictory quip contains more wisdom than is apparent at first glance.

To better see the idea snuggled inside Lampedusa’s quote, it is worthwhile dissecting it a little bit.

“If things1 are to remain the same, things2 will have to change.”

things1 – Refers to that which is important to our mandate. These are the things that are of value to our constituents, our superiors and us.

things2 – Refers to all the other stuff that surrounds us, stuff we might have become attached to, but which in the final analysis, contributes little to the achievement of things1.

That’s the key. By slicing the status quo into those two categories, Lampedusa provides us a means by which to examine the value of any change in front of us. Does the proposed change reinforce, support or extend a previously established organizational objective? If it doesn’t, then enthusiastic acceptance is incorrect, improper and ill advised. To paraphrase Lampedusa:

“To embrace what we value, we must release what we don’t.”

These then are the two steps towards rational change. Identify what is valuable to us, and then measure every proposed change against what we have found.

Identify, as clearly as possible, why we’re here. What exactly is the role of our organization and what must we do to continue fulfilling that role? We can give this a variety of labels, from “Statement of Purpose” to “Vision Statement” to “Services Offered.” It doesn’t really matter what we call this as long as it becomes something we believe in, and against which we can measure all proposed changes.

The second step is to determine how the proposed change will fit into the context of our organization. In other words, what must change in order to protect what we value? If you’ve made it this far, then you are well into the first stages of implementing the change.

You now know why the change is necessary, i.e. what core values it is designed to protect, support or extend. This knowledge, properly communicated, will go a long way in reducing resistance to the proposed change, especially if you are willing to make public all the information that went into your decision. Nothing is more effective at reducing resistance to change than full disclosure… except perhaps being involved in the actual decision making process itself.

You now also have some idea what impact it will have on your organization, i.e. what will have to change to accommodate this change. With all of this in hand, changing shouldn’t be too difficult.

The issue of change is tricky. On one hand, you cannot avoid all change; on the other hand, you cannot embrace all change. This means we must resist the bad, embrace the good and know the difference.

Good luck.


About the Author

Peter de Jager is a change management consultant, seminar leader and speaker. His presentations use humor to challenge the myths surrounding our understanding of the change process and the benefits of technology.

Copyright© 2014, Peter de Jager. All right reserved. For information, contact FrogPond by email at [email protected]

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Tags: Releases Mobile Website and App

Posted on 17 July 2014 by cradmin released its mobile website and mobile app for Android and iPhones. The app will have special pricing and pop-up sales on different items every month that will not be seen on the site. It can found by searching “specialtytools” and can be downloaded for free. New app users can save on their first mobile purchase by using the code “saveme10” at checkout.

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Hanwha Launches 3 New Colors of HanStone Quartz Surfacing

Posted on 16 July 2014 by cradmin

Hanwha Serenity HanstoneHanwha L&C Surfaces launched  three new colors of Hanstone quartz surfacing. The  new colors are designed to have a stone-like appearance, according to the company. These new colors are  are: Fresco, which is a white color with light and translucent particulate; Harmony, with brown, white and grey veining; and Serenity (pictured here), which has creamy background tones of limestone with a umber vein indicative of marble.

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