Fabricator Profile: Granite Source, Inc. Embraces Automated, Online Ordering

Woodland-Sutton-lo-res_12Long before implementing automated processes at his countertop fabrication business in Chantilly, Va., Nicholas Draper, owner of Granite Source, Inc., knew that they would eventually become necessary for keeping an edge in a competitive marketplace, and he has personally witnessed the benefits of automation.

Granite Source, Inc. is in a unique class of countertop fabrication shops. The company has two locations serving Northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C., greater metropolitan area and employs more than 90 full-time granite and stone technicians. Despite the facts that, until recently, the company has had neither a showroom nor reception and only one salesperson, the team completes more than 150 jobs every week.

The above scenario would seem virtually impossible until you understand that Draper has evolved his business to take advantage of online communications. Nearly all of the information they need to complete an order is received via automated forms available to customers on the Internet.

Even though some customers and dealers disbelieve the efficiency of his automated ordering process and put up some resistance to the system, Draper knows from experience that he can complete up to 80 percent of his orders without having to resort to traditional communication methods, i.e. the telephone. And he claims the only reason he cannot accommodate the other 20 percent is because the jobs contain too many custom elements.

Draper says that his greatest challenge in implementing his automated ordering system is teaching his customers how to use it. If customers do not enter the requested data correctly, the system begins to break down, which can lead to delays.

To help stave off frustration, Granite Source, Inc. works only with general contractors who have been trained to use his automated ordering process. Although 50 percent of jobs are for new residential and commercial construction and the other half is remodels, the company never deals directly with homeowners.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here: Granite Source, Inc.