Tag Archive | "countergo"

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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Moraware CounterGo Feb. 21

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Level Up Your Countertop Quoting with Slab Layouts

Posted on 16 February 2021 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

Slab layouts are critical in making sure your estimate is accurate. Some fabricators rely on guesswork, some do complex math based on square footage, and others spend hours in CAD for a prospect who may never even spend a dime! 

None of these are great solutions for quickly and easily doing a slab layout. Lucky for you, CounterGo has a handy slab layout estimating feature. Here’s everything you need to know about solving your slab layout headaches.

An Inaccurate Slab Layout Can Cost You Thousands

Picture this: you meet a new prospect, and they need new kitchen countertops. You calculate the square footage and figure you only need one slab. You give them your quote, and they send back a deposit.

All is good, right?

Once you start on the fabrication, you realize the veining isn’t going to match up – no matter how you lay it out. 

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Business Sense Dec. 2020

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Business Sense: Creating a Work-Life Balance at a Countertop Shop

Posted on 07 December 2020 by cradmin3

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

We talk to many shop owners and managers, and unfortunately, it’s more common than not to be totally and utterly burnt out.

Mental exhaustion. Emotionally drained. Never-ending stress.

It’s no way to live, but it’s the norm in our low-margin, high-speed industry. While it’s easier than not to be discouraged and keep your head down, it’s very possible to have an excellent quality of life with a little life-changing strategic thinking.

Why are we so stressed out?

It’s relatively common in the countertop fabrication business to work long hours.

According to researchers, working more than 10 hours in a day, more than 40 hours of overtime in a month, and 60 or more hours in a week leads to stressful feelings.

Certain times of the year, such as leading up to the holidays, are stressful times for everyone. 

Read more: Avoid Getting Burnt Out During the Holiday Rush

But often, owners and managers are so burnt out because there are too many bottlenecks in their processes. And here’s where things get hard – when you’re burnt out, how can you keep your team motivated?

Whitney Johnson, the author of Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve, says “Your team is picking up on your stress, and it’s making everything worse,”

Understanding your business and its bottlenecks is the first step toward making improvements that’ll give you back some of your time and lift the weight of stress. Your employees will notice the difference.

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Business Sense: 16 Reasons You Need Software in Your Countertop Shop Yesterday

Posted on 16 March 2020 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

Running a countertop shop on paper might make sense when you first open up shop. However, it’s an outdated way of doing business, and as you grow, you’ll quickly run into a ton of problems that could cost you!

Here at Moraware, we’ve spent years developing essential software solutions for countertop shops of all shapes and sizes. Our quoting software, CounterGo, and our scheduling software, Systemize, are designed to make your life easier as a fabrication professional.

Don’t take our word for it, though! We recently conducted a survey of over 200 current Moraware customers. We asked them a simple question: “Why do you need Moraware software for your countertop shop?”

We’ve sorted through those responses to bring you 16 surefire reasons you need software solutions in your countertop shop.

1. Get organized

By and large, this was the most popular response from our survey participants. If you don’t have any kind of software solution in your shop, odds are you’re in a constant state of chaos and disorganization.

To effectively manage your business, you need to have an organized business

Software solutions can help with that by streamlining the entire process – from fabrication to installation.

Further Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Streamlining the Processes In Your Countertop Shop

2. Digitize your business

The second most common response we got from those surveyed was that it’s simply time to go paperless.

Whether it was yellow folders, a scheduling whiteboard, or confusing excel templates for quoting, these countertop professionals were tired of everything being on paper!

Having a fully digital, computerized shop not only makes a statement to potential customers, but it makes your life that much easier. Everything is coordinated, the entire staff has access, and you don’t have to physically be in your office to access the information you need.

3. Combine material price lists in one place

Pricing is a huge hurdle for many growing countertop shops. Using software can help you get all of your pricing lists in one place. 

Again, it’s all about getting organized, and when you have multiple team members, the last thing you want is inconsistent pricing. Which brings us to…

4. Improve pricing consistency between different salespeople

By getting your price lists well-established in CounterGo, you can ensure your pricing is consistent among the different members of your sales team.

Everything from cutouts to radius corners to edge profiles should be addressed! Yes, setting prices can be a challenge, but it’ll help the quoting process a ton.

Read More: The 5 Most Common Issues We Hear From Countertop Fabricators

5. Open up communication between departments

Ah, communication. Sounds nice, yet hard to achieve. 

Worst of all, miscommunication between team members can lead to costly mistakes. Countertop software can help keep your schedule organized so that it’s viewable by the entire time.

If you need a program that’s visible to multiple departments, Moraware can help.

6. Utilize industry-specific invoicing and scheduling tools

While there are different software solutions out there that can be tweaked to high-heavens to solve some of your business pains, there’s nothing like an industry-specific solution.

By implementing software that was developed just for countertop and fabrication professionals, you’re ensuring that your business has exactly what it needs to stay organized and grow effectively.

7. Provide faster estimates

Many Moraware customers say that they’ve been searching for user-friendly quoting software. We’re pleased to say that CounterGo fits the bill!

Not only is it user-friendly, but it provides a countertop estimate in as little as three minutes. Many of our survey respondents commented on the fact that quoting used to take way too much time! Now, you can do a quote in real-time, which makes your job that much easier.

Read More: 4 Key Ways Countertop Fabricators Can Give Better Quotes

8. Improve accuracy

Whether it’s ordering materials or calculating square footage, countertop software has the ability to improve the accuracy in your business.

When you boil it down, improved accuracy means less waste, which turns into higher profits.

9. Do slab layouts

CounterGo, our countertop estimating software, allows you to draw up slab layouts. This was a huge relief for many of our survey respondents who wanted this feature in their quoting toolbox.

Not only does it look nice, but it also allows you to show your clients where the veining will go for their approval.

Layout granite countertops on slabs with CounterGo

Watch: (Video) From Good to Great: Using images and slab layout as a sales tool

10. Track leftover stock

To maximize profits, you need to minimize waste. Countertop software like Systemize Inventory Edition can help you track leftover stock to make sure you’re always in the know.

Stop letting slabs get dusty in the corner of your shop – using countertop software will make sure you always know what you have on hand.

11. Come across as professional to prospects and customers

Let’s face it – first impressions are everything in business. Our survey respondents often replied that professionalism was just as important as staying organized when considering countertop software.

You want to look more professional, particularly when delivering bids and estimates. Great countertop software helps you create quick and professional-looking quotes, which will ultimately score you more jobs!

12. Have a single source of truth

There’s something to be said about everything being in one place. When you have industry-specific software, it can be!

If you’re tired of searching for misplaced paperwork or disorganized job information like many of those surveyed, countertop software is a must. It puts everything – quoting, customer information, scheduling details, fabrication and install details – in one place.

Having a single source of truth also improved communication among team members. Double whammy!

13. Handle growth

If you’re growing, you can’t ignore software solutions for long.

One survey respondent explained, “We were not keeping good track of our jobs and estimates as our business kept growing.”

That statement sums up what most of our customers tell us before they sign up for Moraware’s software solutions! Growth is a great thing, but with it comes some major growing pains. Most of those can be instantly solved with the right countertop software.

14. Keep better records

Having better records was also important to the individuals we surveyed. Record-keeping doesn’t come naturally to a lot of us, and recalling past jobs can be a struggle if it’s not on the computer.

When you use countertop software to track jobs and estimates, you don’t want to worry about filing it away or wondering where it went. You’ll always have that information stored for later.

15. Schedule appointments more efficiently

Scheduling was a huge hurdle for a lot of those surveyed. Thankfully, they’ve found refuge in our scheduling software, Systemize!

We hear stories often about countertop shops that realize they’ve wasted time sending their templater across town when the homeowner is out or the cabinets aren’t ready. By ditching paper and whiteboard systems and implementing the right scheduling software, you can minimize costly mistakes and decrease missed appointments.

Watch: (Video) From Good to Great: Better scheduling and countertop job management

16. Stop things from slipping through the cracks

Finally, things slip through the cracks. It’s inevitable. But it happens a heck of a lot less when you’re using software that streamlines the processes in your business. If you want to start keeping track of the little things, countertop software is the answer.

As they say, the devil is in the details, and trust us – your customers notice these things!

Read More: How to Increase Countertop Sales with Better Customer Service

Which Countertop Software Is Right For Your Shop?

Print or email a countertop quote directly from CounterGo

If your biggest pain point right now is quoting, you should consider CounterGo, the fastest and most effective way to deliver quotes.

use the calendar to keep up with templates, fabrication, and installs.

If you’re a growing shop and need help scheduling and tracking jobs from start to finish, you’re a prime candidate for Systemize, our scheduling software.

Issues with quoting are typically some of the first concerns countertop shop owners face. With growth, disorganization takes its place as the biggest hurdle. For that reason, we find that many Moraware users start with CounterGo and grow into Systemize.

To find out what countertop software is right for you, schedule a free demo! We’re here to help countertop shops grow, so don’t hesitate to lean on us for help.

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Business Sense: 4 Key Ways Countertop Fabricators Can Give Better Quotes

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Business Sense: 4 Key Ways Countertop Fabricators Can Give Better Quotes

Posted on 05 December 2019 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware 

As a countertop fabricator, putting together countertop quotes is a daily part of the job – for better or for worse.

If you’re the owner of a countertop shop, you likely have years of experience with countertop estimates, and you understand why it’s so important to get it right the first time.

If you’re on the sales side, you want to make sure your estimates meet a few key criteria:

  • Quotes are fast
  • Quotes are professional
  • Quotes are communicated well to the homeowner

In a perfect world, all of your quoting would be spot-on, and every quote produced would turn into a sale. Ah, let’s all bask in the idea, shall we? In reality, quoting can be a complicated process with the potential for error along every step of the way. Our goal at Moraware is to make countertop quoting easier for your business so that more of your quotes can turn into sales.

That starts with learning some key ways you can give better countertop estimates – and here are 4 we’ve found to be extremely beneficial for countertop professionals.

1. Include a countertop drawing
If you make a countertop estimate and forget a part of the job, you’re on the hook to make it right for the customer. Depending on the language you use in your quote, you could be legally on the hook, but your reputation is also at stake.

Because modern kitchens are bigger than ever, you’ve got to make sure that you included not just the kitchen perimeter, but also:

  • The island
  • The office area
  • The butler’s pantry
  • The raised bar

…and all of the other important pieces that are so popular these days.
It’s possible to do that by just being diligent about your work, but most successful countertop fabricators also include a drawing with their quotes.

That way, your customers can visualize what they’re getting and make sure that nothing important is missing or wrong.

Two quick tips for countertop drawing:

Add pictures of slabs

Adding pictures of slabs is a huge wow factor when you’re doing demos. And if you’re a CounterGo user, a great feature is being able to add pictures of slabs when you’re doing the drawing and layout of a countertop.

This not only helps your clients visualize what they’ll get, but it also increases the likelihood of the quote turning into a sale.

Adding the pictures will help you predict if seams will look right – especially if you’re doing natural stone with lots of movement – and if you’ll need additional slabs.

Add text to your countertop drawing

Being clear in your quote is much easier when text accompanies important aspects of your drawing. Help your clients visualize what’s what, and include important notes where it makes sense to do so.

2. Make sure your sales team is aligned
If your countertop shop has multiple salespeople, are you sure you’d get the same price for a kitchen countertop from all of them?

If the answer is “no” or “I don’t know,” it means that you’re probably leaving money on the table. Granite countertops are a luxury item, and you should be making sure that your salespeople aren’t playing fast and loose with your prices in order to close a deal.

Most of the time, pricing is inconsistent because there isn’t a great tool or process to make it standard in your countertop shop.

With Moraware’s CounterGo countertop estimating software, you have the ability to control exactly what prices a salesperson can change on each quote. This gives you the option to lock everything down so there’s no flexibility.

You’ll also want to make sure your entire team is trained up on what the pricing should be for everything from cutouts to radius corners to edge profiles.

What you don’t want is a fabrication team that uses shady methods like the parking lot test, or looking at someone’s car and judging what they’re willing to spend.

Setting prices can be a challenge, but you’ll be able to give better, faster, and more consistent quotes when everyone is on the same page.

3. Focus less on the numbers and more on your value
When thinking about the “accuracy” of your quotes, it’s tempting to try to figure out your production costs to the penny.

The problem with trying to account for every minute of your templating, installation and fabrication time is that you’re likely spending way too much time and effort on your estimate. Not to mention the fact that it’s impossible to really know the exact cost of a job before it’s finished.

While your dedication to an exact quote is noble, it’s likely costing you sales. In general, people aren’t willing to wait very long for a quote, and here are two key reasons why:

  • Your competition finished faster, and they’re moving forward with them.
  • Because you took so long on the quote, the potential client has the impression that you’d take way too long on the project, too.

The best countertop fabricators stop focusing on the price and instead focus on the value they bring. Yes, time and effort are spent setting prices, but it’s not to the penny. Prices are reasonable and are aligned with the pricing available in the area.

Remember: 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Knowing this, you can spend less time on making quotes and, instead, spend more time on selling!

Here are four key areas you can set yourself apart to potential clients:

  • Speed to completion, and sticking to the deadline
  • Better service before, during, and after the installation
  • Providing higher quality materials
  • Offering unique materials or utilizing a better process

In a world where more than half of Americans have scrapped a planned purchase because of bad service, it’s essential to promote what makes your company valuable.

4. Utilize countertop quoting software
You didn’t think we’d leave this out, did you?!

Producing a quick, professional countertop quote is incredibly important, and that’s why we made CounterGo. Using our countertop quoting software, you can draw, layout, and quote a countertop in just 3 minutes.

That means you can put together a quote in front of your potential customer… and get instant feedback!

Here are the 3 basic steps to quoting a countertop job fast:

  • Draw your countertops (as easy as using your mouse or touch screen)
  • Layout countertop on slabs (even upload a photo and show your customer how the finished counter will look)
  • Print or email the quote (even find out when they viewed the quote!)

If you’re drawing up quotes without any kind of countertop software, we can tell you you’re spending way too much time on it!

You don’t want to be stuck behind your desk putting together quotes when you could instead be spending that time getting more customers and providing better service to the ones you have. Even worse – you don’t want to spend money hiring someone else to do quotes for you!

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Business Sense: Keep Your Process Moving

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Business Sense: Keep Your Process Moving

Posted on 07 June 2019 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

Working for a company in the stone industry, I’ve heard many stories on how a shop’s workflow can get tangled up in miscommunication and disorganization. While that sounds terrifying and can be very stressful, what this really means is that you’re growingAnd that’s a very, very good thing!

Oftentimes, fabricators start with a quoting problem like inconsistent pricing or losing too much time to hand drawing. Here, they would purchase CounterGo or a similar program that allows them to produce quick, professional quotes. Now you’re selling more jobs than ever because you aren’t losing business to faster shops with better looking quotes. You are that faster, better shop. Hooray!

More Quotes, More Sales, More Jobs

Once a fabricator has solved their quoting bottleneck, the ideal situation would be a bottleneck in the scheduling process. “How can a bottleneck be a positive thing?” you might ask…

Well, think of it this way – As your business grows, you’ll notice that the growing pains will move around. It’s a constant evolution. There should always be a bottleneck in your business if you want to keep growing.

Now that you’ve got all these new jobs, you could be facing multiple new bottlenecks. Is your bottleneck getting their countertops out the door? Is it miscommunication between the office and the field? Are jobs getting overlooked because of disorganized scheduling? To put it simply, you need to keep your process moving….

A New System

If keeping track of all your new jobs is your pain point, congratulations! A great way to keep up with the influx of new business is to get organized. Maybe you’ve always been organized but that same system you’ve been using doesn’t work for the new amount of growth you’re experiencing. That’s normal!

By streamlining all your job information and calendars into one place (and ditching the whiteboards and file folders), you’ll have all the information your team needs at any time with just a few clicks.

Here are some ways implementing a new system worked for other fabricators: 

We centralized the job information, allowing it to be accessible remotely. This improved our workflow by allowing all team members insight on job schedules and the amount of work. It has allowed us to access data easily for shop metrics that was often difficult and inaccurate in the past.

ANDY AT FRESH WATER STONE

The ability to establish such transparency has instilled trust in every department. Our sales team is able to see exactly where the production process is, any ongoing communication from customers, and install/service dates. Our production doesn’t miss a step and communication is fluid. This program allows us to embrace the enjoyment of our work and takes the worry out of processes.

CHRIS AT EXCEL CABINETS

Solve the bottlenecks

This is one of our favorite things to do here at Moraware. We love having a conversation with fabricators to examine ways to better their workflow and create solutions for their pain points. These conversations start with a demo of either CounterGo or Systemize depending on your business needs and basically, they never end. Your business is constantly evolving and we understand that.

 

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Business Sense: How Do You Counter the IKEA Effect?

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Business Sense: How Do You Counter the IKEA Effect?

Posted on 13 May 2019 by cradmin

By Kathleen Teodoro of Moraware

The IKEA Effect
The IKEA Effect is affectionately named for that Swedish juggernaut of home furnishings, where a disposable Allen wrench makes all things possible!

IKEA bias is the tendency to over-value items you have assembled yourself.

The Research
The IKEA Effect was identified and named by a team of researchers from Harvard, Yale and Duke universities. They found that when people were asked to put a dollar value on an IKEA chair they had assembled themselves, and then the same chair that came pre-assembled, they always said that the chair they put together was worth more.

We get emotionally attached to our own projects, the ones that we’ve worked on personally.

Ouch! That one hits home! But we’ve all been there.

We can’t paint over the mural I painted in Joey’s bedroom! That’s going to improve our property value!
What do you mean we’re losing money on that account? I worked hard to make that contact!
I don’t care if CounterGo can draw the Mona Lisa. It can’t be as good as the spreadsheet I worked so hard to create!
While it’s normal to want to protect your ideas, it can blind you to valuable information that could improve a project.

Suggestions for Overcoming the IKEA Effect

Start by noticing the times when you leap to the defense of an idea or project as if it were… precious.

When you notice that your knuckles are turning white as you cling to the steering wheel on a pet project, pull over.

Pause.

Make a decision to allow somebody else to edit your work or to contribute at least one idea to a new project. And then do it. Even if you’re not convinced that any good will come of it.

To free ourselves from bias we have to look honestly at the things we’ve created, and then compare their value objectively to the available alternatives.

There will always be another use for that Allen wrench!

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The Importance of a Software Demo for Fabricators

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The Importance of a Software Demo for Fabricators

Posted on 11 March 2019 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

So, you’re interested in investing in some software to help your countertop shop run smoothly and drum up more business. That is fantastic!

Ideally, you’ve done your research and found the bottlenecks in your process where software can help. You’ve asked around, you’ve checked out the websites, and you’ve browsed helpful forums like the SFAYou’re ready to buy.

When you’re excited, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to wait to give a company your money and get started. We totally get that! Your time is valuable and the quicker you get started, the quicker you can improve your shop’s process. So why wait for a demo?

We are confident that going over the software and your business needs together is so important to your success with the software. In fact, we are so confident about it that we make having a demo a requirement before purchase of CounterGo or Systemize.

The Moraware Demo Strategy

Whether you are brand new to the software or a returning customer, it will only benefit you to have a discussion with the sales team. At Moraware, we have found the discussion about your business that takes place during the demo is key to your success with the software.

These demos are much more than just a demonstration of our software. They include an essential discussion about what you’re doing now for scheduling or estimating, what is working in your existing process, and what isn’t working that you need help with. We want to know what the consequence of you not changing your current process is so we can help you determine the value of this software for your shop.

If you can clearly paint a picture about your bottleneck and the solution you need, our salesperson can give you a better demo. They can show you potential solutions to your specific needs. Even if you are a little hazy about what’s holding your shop back, this discussion can act as a business consultation and find those pain points with you!

And, this discussion allows our sales team to be honest about whether or not investing in that particular software is beneficial to your business. We’re not in the business of taking money for the sake of it, we’re in the business of helping countertop fabricators.

If you’ve already used the software before…

We love hearing this!It makes us so proud to hear that our software worked so well for you that you want to continue using it wherever you go.

However, like any software, updates happen constantly. During your demo, you’ll get a nice refresher on the software you already know so well. More importantly, you’ll get to see what updates and new features have improved the software you already get value from!

Even if you’ve used our software in the past, it’s important that you go through a demo with us. This isn’t just a great way to share any changes in the software that have happened since you last used it.It’s also a great time to chat about why the software didn’t work for you the first time and how it could help you this time.

Maybe your needs have changed or maybe they haven’t and you just never got started on the software in the first place. Either way, talking this through with us will help us better determine your path to success using our software.

And thank you…

Your patience in waiting for a demo with us does not go unnoticed. We have some amazing customers! Starting new software requires time and effort in order to be successful. From taking the time to receive a demo to committing to onboarding, your dedication and feedback is essential to both your success as well as ours.

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StoneTalk Podcast Episode 9: Harry Hollander and Ted Pitts, Co-founders of Moraware

Posted on 08 April 2015 by cradmin

In this episode of StoneTalk, produced by Moraware, host Patrick Foley speaks with Harry Hollander and Ted Pitts, the co-founders of Moraware, while the three were in Boston for a software conference.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • The history behind Moraware’s beginnings
  • Why Moraware transitioned to a subscription model
  • How pricing philosophy is integrated into CouterGO
  • How to track your margin over a period of time
  • Best practices for tracking fabrication data
  • What you can do today (for free) to start tracking your inventory more efficiently
  • The innovative ways of inventory tracking

A transcript of this episode is available Here.

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Fabricator Profile: Mario & Son – Mega Fabricator Limits Human Error Via Software Upgrade

Posted on 11 March 2013 by cradmin

Mario & Son Countertop Fabrication Shop

Mario & Son, in Liberty Lake, Wash., is the largest fabricator in the Pacific Northwest, offering natural stone, quartz, tile and specialty products. The company has a list of clients that are concentrated in the building market, but also serves retail customers, along with handling some commercial work. It operates out of a 44,000-sq.-ft. facility and invests in top-of-the-line machinery and equipment. However, it was having problem with human error in its takeoffs. To solve that problem… Read more about Mario & Sons at Moreaware’s blog


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