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KBISNeXT Stage Brings Business Insights to KBIS 2022

Posted on 08 November 2021 by cradmin4

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), owners of the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), revealed the programming lineup planned for the NKBA presents KBISNeXT™ Stage. The stage will host more than 20 programs, including four awards events and 60+ leading industry voices and personalities throughout the three-day show, February 8-10, 2022.  

Topics for the 2022 programming grid include how the generational divide is impacting design and lifestyles today, how to integrate diversity and inclusion practices into your business, what’s happening in a healthy home and resilient design, how to manage your business for today’s new realities and more. 

“This year’s lineup of programming on the KBISNeXT Stage is stellar,” said Suzie Williford, EVP of Industry Relations and Chief Strategy Officer of the National Kitchen & Bath Association, which owns KBIS. “Each year the team brings forward compelling material and presenters, but for this show, we’ve really dialed it up, including some very different and critical topics.  All are sure to help attendees improve their businesses and maneuver our new reality. The KBISNeXT Stage is definitely a must-attend venue.”  

The KBISNeXT™ Stage is free to all registrants. Here are some session previews:

Shift Forward is a two-part session designed to help comprehensively understand societal shifts impacting our country today.  A 45-minute presentation will set the table, giving panel participants a platform from which to dive into specific topics including how to drive business success and new opportunities through a better understanding of diversity and inclusion, demographic differences, the role of social commerce and more.

The Language of Luxury is a panel that delivers a solid set of takeaways including how to find, engage and nurture the luxury client. Position and market yourself and your business to speak the language that attracts and develops the ultra-high-end client base. The panel discussion will be kicked off with a special presentation by a leading luxury marketing consultant who will establish the foundation of the discussion. 

Responsible Design: Exploring the circular economy and how the K+B industry needs to adapt addresses the concept of designing for permanence and adopting regenerative design practices. Join this panel of experts to learn adaption strategies to build into your projects like the inclusion of upcycled and recycled products and components, managing water, reducing carbon footprints, and selecting responsible products from manufacturers who are making a difference. 

Compound Interests: Designing for the generational divide presents how to design for the generational divide in a time when fading generational wealth and polarizing design sensibilities are instilling different values. Identify what is important to each generation and how to bridge the gap.

Work It: New business models, new revenue opportunities embraces new technologies and alternative thinking to not enhance traditional practices and develop new income streams. It’s the silver lining for your bottom line. Hear from the experts who have adapted and thrived as they share the ups and downs on the way to success.  

Tech Point: The possibilities for total tech integration with leading tech experts teaches seamless tech integration. Whole-home technology integrators identify the brands and products you need to know and understand, discussing how to incorporate them into residential kitchen and bath projects.

Is the Home an Ecosystem? Unravel the confusion of wellness information into a solid plan helps to understand how architecture, design and tech converge for health and wellbeing. What are the latest theories in wellness and how can you support through thoughtful design? Topics include sleep, air quality, biophilia, safety and security, and performance products.

Social Showdown: TikTok vs Instagram vs What’s Next? Are you jumping on the TikTok bandwagon? Join a panel of experts who present advanced thinking behind popular social platforms to determine what’s right for you. Compare the benefits of Instagram, TikTok and more, taking away practical advice to develop your marketing mix. 

Solutions for Converging Design: Urban meets suburban, commercial meets residential and work meets living teaches lifestyle changes, space transformations, regional moves and what new opportunities exist for residential design teams.

NKBA Designer Finds presents savvy design pros that have scoured the KBIS show floor and are bringing their top finds to the stage! Come see and hear what they discovered. 

The Evolution of Social — Social Leaders Group acknowledges the importance of social media in your marketing strategy. We’ll explore the new rules for content, search, tagging, voice and platform best practices.  

Awards and Recognitions will be presented over the three days of the show. The four ceremonies include :

The Best of KBIS 2022 Awards, sponsored by Luxe Interiors + Design celebrates the best new kitchen and bath products of 2022. 

The NKBA 30s Choice Awards recognizes 10 categories of products, selected by the NKBA 2022 Thirty Under 30 class.  

The NKBA Renovation Angel Luxury Recycled Kitchen Awards showcases the brands, products and projects that are upcycled and recycled to keep furnishings and finishes from hitting the landfill.

The Best of KBIS Booth Awards, honoring the most innovative and effective booth presentations.  

Registration is open now for KBIS 2022.

You may also be interested in this article: Coverings Announces Opening of Registration & Award Submissions for 2022

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Health & Safety Oct. 2021

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Health & Safety Watch: A Safe Workplace is Sound Business

Posted on 22 October 2021 by cradmin

OSHA has recently updated the Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs it first released 30 years ago, to reflect changes in the economy, workplaces, and evolving safety and health issues. The new Recommended Practices have been well received by a wide variety of stakeholders and are designed to be used in a wide variety of small and medium-sized business settings. The Recommended Practices present a step-by-step approach to implementing a safety and health program, built around seven core elements that make up a successful program.

The main goal of safety and health programs is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths, as well as the suffering and financial hardship these events can cause for workers, their families, and employers. The recommended practices use a proactive approach to managing workplace safety and health. Traditional approaches are often reactive –that is, problems are addressed only after a worker is injured or becomes sick, a new standard or regulation is published, or an outside inspection finds a problem that must be fixed. These recommended practices recognize that finding and fixing hazards before they cause injury or illness is a far more effective approach.

The idea is to begin with a basic program and simple goals and grow from there. If you focus on achieving goals, monitoring performance, and evaluating outcomes, your workplace can progress along the path to higher levels of safety and health achievement.

Employers will find that implementing these recommended practices also brings other benefits. Safety and health programs help businesses:

  • Prevent workplace injuries and illnesses
  • Improve compliance with laws and regulations
  • Reduce costs, including significant reductions in workers’ compensation premiums
  • Engage workers
  • Enhance their social responsibility goals
  • Increase productivity and enhance overall business operations

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Business Sense Oct. 2021

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Business Sense: Better Data Leads to Better Business Decisions

Posted on 15 October 2021 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

Have you ever heard the saying “garbage in, garbage out”? It’s the perfect description for when you overlook the information input part of your process. If you aren’t thinking about how and why you are entering job info into your job management system, then you won’t be able to pull those insights that will really make an impact.

For this topic, we consulted Kim Duda, an independent consultant that helps Moraware customers get the most from their software for ways that you can get more out of your data.

Uncertainty Is Hard
If we learned anything from the recent pandemic, it’s that not knowing where your business stands in an emergency is scary. Remember 2008? Kim was working in the industry for a fabrication company during the crash of 2008, and she watched a lot of her friends not make it to the other side. That’s why it’s so important to get your shop organized and in a good place sooner rather than later. You don’t want to be left shell-shocked.

“I’ve witnessed this type of thing, and a lot of shops are in reaction mode,” Kim says. Her goal is to help you make it, and one way to do that is to get more out of your data. “If nothing else, the biggest thing I can help with is showing you your data in a meaningful way that can help you make better decisions moving forward,” she says.

Good Data In, Good Data Out
If you’re using software in your shop like CounterGo or Systemize, and aren’t putting accurate information into the system, there’s not a whole lot anyone can do to pull the right information to make meaningful changes.

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Business Sense Sept. 21

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Business Sense: How to Start Streamlining Your Countertop Shop

Posted on 15 September 2021 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

Many of you already know that a growing shop comes with a few growing pains. As more business comes in, your current process (and head) becomes strained. What once worked smoothly, starts to break down. Important details get missed, customers are upset, and the stress is at an all-time high.

This is where streamlining comes in. Taking those processes and creating a system that you can track and maintain is the most important task you can do for your business. Once you organize these, you’ll learn important insights into the way your shop is running. And, you’ll be able to tweak and refine the way you do things to save yourself time and money.

As some very wise fabricators like to say, “you should always be improving.” Refining your processes is a never ending task, but it’s guaranteed to make you and your team better and happier in the long run.

In this post, we’ll talk about some areas where you can start streamlining your countertop shop. Then, you can take your business to the next level and maybe take a well-deserved day off.

Estimating and Sales

It’s pretty common for this area to be the first to get organized in a growing countertop shop. It could be that too many jobs are coming in for one person to bid. Or, that the current estimating process simply takes too long. These situations are stressful and result in losing out on jobs.

The matter of time is an easy fix with technology. With estimating software, you can dramatically cut back on the time it takes to produce a quote while easily training new folks to quote accurately. 

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Business Sense Aug. 2021

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Business Sense: 7 Valuable Things We’ve Learned From Visiting Successful Countertop Shops

Posted on 17 August 2021 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

Over the last 18+ years, we’ve had many amazing opportunities to visit countertop shops. Whether it’s through a tour associated with an industry event or visiting our own awesome customers, we’re always happy to see just how creative fabricators are getting with the way they run their businesses. These visits often include business conversations which really help us understand the changes in the industry and inform our development of new features.

But, it’s not just about us! These tours are so beneficial in creating an open and collaborative tone within the industry. Every time we go explore a new shop, we learn something new and so do other fabricators. In case you haven’t been able to go lately, here are some important themes we’ve learned along the way.

1. There’s not one right way to set up a shop

After visiting so many shops, one thing’s for sure – they’re all so different! For example, some shops have elegant, extensive showrooms allowing homeowners to visualize how great their new kitchen could look. Other shops skip the showroom entirely and opt for a one-on-one consultation.

It’s not right or wrong to have either set-up. If you know your customers and what is going to get them to buy, then you’re doing it the right way. Don’t worry about what your competitors are doing.

Instead, add more activities into your sales process that allow you to understand your customers better. This could be questions that you ask during the first call or a survey you send out after install. The more you know, the easier it will be to (or not to) set up a showroom.

When it comes to machinery, slabs, and equipment, it’s really about your process. How can you arrange your shop so that it shaves off time here and there throughout your whole process? Asking yourself these kinds of questions is really good practice to always be improving. And when you are always improving, you are becoming more profitable. Cha-ching!

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OSHA Safe +Sound Week

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Health & Safety Watch: Safe+Sound Week

Posted on 03 August 2021 by cradmin

Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offers information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe. This year OSHA invites companies to participate August 9-15.

Successful safety and health programs can proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving sustainability and the bottom line. Participating in Safe + Sound Week can help get your program started, energize an existing one or provide a chance to recognize your safety successes.

All organizations looking for an opportunity to recognize their commitment to safety are welcome to participate. Last year, more than 3,400 businesses helped to raise awareness about workers’ health and safety.

Sign up on the OSHA website and then identify activities and events to plan and promote for your workplace or community. The site includes example activities, graphics and other resources. After you’ve completed your events, you can download a certificate and virtual challenge coin to recognize your organization.

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Bus Sense Featured-Image_customer-service

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Business Sense: Good customer service will make you more money

Posted on 19 July 2021 by cradmin

by Katherine Gifford of Moraware

It’s too easy to deprioritize customer service when you’re overworked and you don’t have a large enough team to step in and help. And given today’s market, when the jobs are rolling in with little effort, it’s hardly motivating to put extra work into a part of your business that isn’t production. 

But, the really important, really overlooked fact is that your customers are buying more than new countertops when they sign up with you. They are paying for a whole heap of things: your expertise, their peace of mind, a smooth experience from start to finish, quality products, feeling like they aren’t being ripped off, the list goes on and on. 

The experience you provide will determine if that customer writes a good review, refers you to new customers, and/or books you for future jobs. By offering a less than stellar experience, you’re really only hurting yourself in the long run.

On the other hand, you can choose to provide an amazing experience for your customers and leave them so thrilled they can’t help but refer you to everyone they know looking for new countertops. You’ll reap many rewards, my friends. Like more customers, more money, and less complaints! Let’s discuss some areas for improvement.

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Business Sense Juen 2021

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Business Sense: How to Get Your Time Back With Countertop Software

Posted on 14 June 2021 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

“I am finally able to leave work and go spend time with my family!”

An actual countertop fabricator said that. A few years ago Moraware asked its users how software has helped their business, and their quality of life. The answers were overwhelmingly about the time they were able to get back. The freedom to focus on the important things, whether it’s other parts of the business or more time away from the shop.

So, if you are a countertop fabricator and your days are so jam-packed that you are pulling your hair out, where do you begin? Read on for the first steps to take in reducing the chaos and creating some peace of mind.

Ask yourself, “Where’s my time going?”

When you look at your work days over the last week or so, what projects or tasks have taken up the majority of your time? This is the first step. Any successful countertop fabricator will tell you that knowledge is power. If you track your activities, you’ll easily be able to find areas that you can shave off time from. 

Start with an easy win

With the right software, you can streamline your countertop business all the way through install. Taking a look at your current processes will help you find areas that need improvement. There will always be bottlenecks, so don’t be overwhelmed!  

Many fabricators start by taking a look at their quoting process. It’s an easy, high-reward move that will get you almost  immediate results. When shops switch from quoting by hand to using estimating software, they are able to produce more bids faster than ever. In this case, using software to speed up the bidding process allows for consistent and accurate quoting by anyone on the team and frees up time. Less time wasted on revisions, pricing mistakes, calculations and hand drawing. Extra bonus: because you are able to increase your bid output, you’ll naturally and easily increase your countertop sales. More time and money!

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GSF Stacy

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Natural Stone Institute Completes 36th Home with Gary Sinise Foundation

Posted on 09 June 2021 by cradmin4

The Natural Stone Institute has provided natural stone and fabrication services for its 36th home with the Gary Sinise Foundation through its R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program. The Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program builds 100 percent mortgage-free specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. Natural stone and fabrication for U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy and his family in Poway, Calif. were provided by Arizona Tile and Tony Sciarrino Stone. 

Soon after Kenton and his wife, Lindsey, were married Kenton joined the U.S. Navy. On November 19, 2017, while serving in Syria, Kenton was severely injured by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). As a result of the blast, Kenton became a quadriplegic, was blinded in his left eye and developed issues with speech. Kenton has undergone extensive rehabilitation in several facilities including the TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research) Memorial Hermann in Houston, Texas. Kenton has received numerous awards for his service including a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star Medal and three Navy Achievement Medals. He is proud to have been named the 2010 USO Sailor of the Year. 

The Stacy’s have four children, Logan, Mason, Annabelle and Sadie. Lindsey serves as the primary caretaker for Logan, who has special needs. A specially adapted smart home will significantly improve Kenton’s quality of life as well as provide assistance for Lindsey and their family.

You may also be interested in this article: Stone Machinery & Supply Vendors Form Trade Group

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Laticrete_PROJECT_SAFETY_main_banner

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Health & Safety Watch: LATICRETE Launches ProjectSafety™ Campaign

Posted on 20 May 2021 by cradmin

LATICRETE, a manufacturer of construction solutions for the building industry, has launched the ProjectSafety™ campaign, a company-wide initiative that provides access to safety education and alternative installation techniques to help lower the staggering injury and ailment statistics associated with the construction industry. This industry’s workforce handles tasks that range from carrying heavy loads to performing repetitive tasks to safely navigating often chaotic job sites, manufacturing facilities, warehouses and laboratories, placing workers at risk of serious injury. The ProjectSafety mission is to raise awareness about the risks of construction installations and help educate the industry on ways to mitigate those risks.

In phase one, ProjectSafety is a focused effort toward educating construction workers in all trades, at all levels of projects and general contractors about the risks associated with respirable crystalline silica and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as best practices for back, knee, hand and eye safety in the workplace. Phases two and three will expand with added content to Laticrete University covering health and safety best practices, training and education about products that are safer to handle and install.

Later this year in ProjectSafety phase two, LATICRETE will help increase awareness by providing education about potential issues that can affect construction professionals via access to webinars, data sheets and product information through the ProjectSafety page on the LATICRETE website.
The goal of the campaign is for companies to adopt accountability measures to effectively execute safer installation methods, countermeasures and actions to lessen the risks and impact on the installer and their business, resulting in an improved work environment. These measures include specific practices such as:

  • proper bending and lifting techniques
  • knowledge of what products should be used or avoided on the jobsite
  • types of tools and PPE that should be worn and when
  • education on a variety of certification systems and what they mean in regards to safety protocols
  • how various lightweight and rapid curing product solutions can be implemented
  • how to limit exposure to harmful chemicals such as respirable crystalline silica and VOCs

For more information visit laticrete.com/projectsafety.

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