Tag Archive | "Fabricator"

How to Be a Sought-After Contractor

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How to Be a Sought-After Contractor

Posted on 28 October 2019 by cradmin

Recently, Western Specialty Contractors, the self-appointed largest specialty contractor group in the nation, released an article titled How to Avoid Common Mistakes When Selecting Your Contractor. This is not only great information for consumers but also for contractors. This article is perfect for contractors, showing you a few great ways to, in the colloquial, not be “that guy”.

The six points brought up in this article provide a good start for anyone who wants to go above and beyond for their consumer customers.

  1. Don’t make yourself a commodity. According to Merriam-Webster, commodities are goods or services that are so ubiquitous that price is the ultimate factor. You don’t have to be the lowest priced fabricator/installer around to get customers. In fact, thinking of yourself as a commodity only leads to imperfect work with no follow-up. Savvy consumer will look at all of the benefits you add before considering price.
  2. Be an expert at what you do. Literally, any unskilled worker can fabricate and install a countertop. However, doing it well is in the realm of expertise. Often, hiring an unskilled contractor leads to more problems than the money is worth. For instance, if you provide a guarantee, fixing errors and conducting repairs could very well put you out of business. Consumers are urged to research their contractors’ qualifications by asking for referrals from previous customers. Will they have to hire a different contractor to fix all your mistakes? This is where reputation comes into play. Make yourself a reputable contractor in your area of service, and price will play less of an importance.
  3. Be dependable. If you offer a warranty, like most contractors do, always see it through, and try not to be difficult about it. If repairs or adjustments are necessary, fix the issues. The longer you are in business, the better your reputation of dependability will be. Never run away from a problem. In that way, you offer your customers security.
  4. Be proactive in your communications. Good contractors always communicate with the customer. They go above and beyond to provide all the information a consumer will need before it is asked of them. No one likes to track down a contractor over a situation that was never explained to them, especially if it is a fairly common situation.
  5. Don’t ignore your reputation. Every tip in this article helps you build a reputation, which is not something to be ignored. Always provide your customers with lists and examples of whom you have worked for in the past. Case studies and testimonials also help a great deal. Offer references that are verifiable. Allow new customers to talk to your older customers.
  6. Stand out from the crowd. Consumers are being taught to not “treat all possible solutions the same”. Other than price, make it known to your customers what other services you provide. This includes materials, safety, scheduling and much more. Remember, if you do quality work the first time around, expensive repairs will not be needed, thus degrading your reputation. Value comes from many different areas. Sell on value and not on price alone.

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Stone Installers Discuss Their Jobs – Warning Strong Language

Posted on 26 February 2018 by cradmin

EDITOR’S WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE NOT SUITABLE FOR ALL VIEWERS! Ever wanted to know what some fabricators/installers honestly think about their jobs? Well, here’s a video that may provide some insight. These two stone installers, who apparently work in Virginia, decided to record their drive to an installation site and post it on YouTube. From how they talk, they aren’t very happy with their work, they don’t care much for their customers and they feel overworked and underpaid.

While we don’t agree with the sentiments nor approve of the language and didn’t have to post this video, we felt it makes a strong statement about the countertop industry, and is something that should be addressed, particularly when the pool of available workers is nearing a 20-year low. We are not sure what this says about the company these men work for (which is not identified in the video), but their advice to any young people watching is to “get a job at McDonald’s” instead of being a stone fabricator and/or installer. In the midst of a market that is faring well and facing a growing labor shortage, this doesn’t bode well for the future of the industry.

We would be quite interested in hearing how you are dealing with the lack of available workers to fill your needs and how you keep your staff happy with their positions.

Once again, be warned they use what can be deemed as vulgar language in their discussion, so if you are offended by that, DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO.

You may be interested in this article about labor and effectively handing your human resources.

You may also be interested in this article about hiring veterans to fill your countertop shop needs.

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Fabricator Profile: Cutting Edge Stoneworks

Posted on 05 April 2016 by cradmin

BrittanicaKitchenEven though Cutting Edge Stoneworks is hidden in the back of a standard business park in Mooresville, N.C., with virtually no signage, the company remains a local success. What’s even more intriguing is the fact that owner Mike Giordano believes the company’s success is directly attributable to flying under the radar and not following the crowd.

Cutting Edge Stoneworks has done what many other fabricators are now shying away from, which is building a successful and profitable business by specializing in only one market segment: wholesale. Most of the company’s clients are commercial builders and remodelers, but a smaller portion are residential kitchen-and-bath dealers, remodelers and general contractors.

Giordano has 22 years of experience fabricating and installing countertops, and he founded Cutting Edge Stoneworks in 2007, right before the economy started its downward spiral. Giordano and his wife say they were able to grow a strong business at this time despite the recession because of their passion, attention to detail and emphasis on quality work and the success of their customers.

At the business park, Giordano operates a 15,000-sq.-ft. fabrication facility decked out with state-of-the-art technology, including a five-axis CNC saw, advanced router, waterjet cutter and an inline detail machine. At the same time, he employs skilled crafters who perform detailed work by hand on a full range of countertop materials.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here: Cutting Edge Stoneworks

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StoneTalk Episode 17: Marty Gould

Posted on 28 December 2015 by cradmin

In episode 17 of Moraware’s StoneTalk podcast, host Patrick Foley interviews Marty Gould, marketing consultant for The Customer Store.

Listen to the full podcast to learn all of the following:

  • How marketing differs from selling
  • How to collect valuable information about current customers
  • How to discover new customers just like your best customers
  • Why marketing is an investment in relationship building
  • How to jump-start your marketing plans

A full transcript of this episode of StoneTalk can be read at the Moraware website.

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StoneTalk Episode 16: Jordany Nunes

Posted on 10 November 2015 by cradmin

In this episode of StoneTalk, produced by Moraware, host Patrick Foley speaks with Jordany Nunes of NF Granite, a countertop fabrication shop that has two locations and works primarily with big box stores and contractors.

Listen to this episode to learn

  • How to use Big Box stores to grow your business
  • How to grow your word-of-mouth business and depend less on Big Box stores
  • How to hire the best people – especially installers
  • Why to give your people the best tools
  • What it will take to do more in-home sales

A full transcript of this podcast can be found here on the Moraware website.

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Fabricator Profile: United Stoneworks Distinguishes Itself from the Competition

Posted on 30 June 2015 by cradmin

IMG_16651Before meeting Mary McGarrity, co-founder of United Stoneworks, Curt Richter was a general contractor who learned early on that he had to differentiate himself from the competition. At that time, he gave his clients tickets to local cooking classes, and it was such a hit that the waiting list grew to six months long.

When Richter and McGarrity formed United Stoneworks in 2009, the cooking class concept continued, but they took it one step further by hosting them in the working kitchen in their showroom. They hold the classes twice each month, and professional cooks are invited to teach and promote their restaurants in the process.

McGarrity and Richter bring years of experience to the company. Before beginning this endeavor, she was an architect working for the largest countertop fabricator in New Mexico, and she was head of the installation department of Home Depot for several years. Before Richter became a general contractor, he worked in the office equipment industry.

United Stoneworks, located in Albuquerque, N.M., receives about half its business from the commercial sector with the other half coming from retail residential customers. Nearly all of the work they do involves granite and quartz countertops paired with tile backsplashes.

Soon after opening, the company became recognized for its high level of customer satisfaction. It hired only qualified professionals, kept the showroom attractive and well organized and became active in the local community in several ways, one of which has been holding parties open to the public at every opportunity.

Richter and McGarrity recognize that their financial model is not popular in the countertop industry, but they say they have been able to keep costs down and production high by encouraging employees to take ownership of the business and take pride in their work.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here: United Stoneworks

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MIA Fabricator Benchmarking Survey Deadline Extended

Posted on 18 November 2014 by cradmin

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) has extended the deadline for participating in its annual Fabricator Benchmarking Survey. The new deadline to participate is December 15, and those interested may get more information or participate in the survey HERE. Participants will receive financial benchmarks and metrics for their business in comparison with other fabricators, and all information will remain anonymous. Fabricators completing the survey will also be entered into a drawing for the following prizes: a Moxie® Showerhead+Wireless Speaker by Kohler; a hand grinder and set of pads from Granite City Tool; $250 in MIA bookstore credit; a TENAX variety pack;  a WEHA variety pack; and a. $100 Visa gift card. The organization encourages all fabricators of granite, natural stone and quartz surfacing to participate. The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) has also endorsed participation in the survey.

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Fabricator Profile: Schneider Stone

Posted on 25 August 2014 by cradmin

Swing-1Schneider Stone, located in Asheboro, N.C., is a fabricator of custom natural stone and quartz. The company had been operating for six years when Paul Boger and his brother Brian, both employees, purchased the business. About 85 percent of Schneider Stone’s business comes from the residential sector, and the other 15 percent is commercial.

When Brian Boger started working for Schneider Stone, the company had only six to eight employees, but today, Paul Boger says there are more than 40. In addition, Schneider Stone now has four additional locations, all of which are in North Carolina: Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.

When the Boger brothers first bought the company, they were using an out-of-date software system that was made for glasscutters, and it couldn’t keep up with the amount of business they were bringing in.

When it was apparent that new software was needed, the Bogers looked for a developer that put the same emphasis on customer support that they do. Now, Schneider Stone is able to service all of its customers in a timely manner with a minimal risk for mistakes and misinterpreting design plans.

Schneider Stone supports its local communities and strives to share its success by sponsoring benefits, food drives and more.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here: Schneider Stone

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Fabricator Profile: Trindco

Posted on 06 June 2014 by cradmin

trindco 1Hunter Adams, owner of Trindco, understands that success can be more easily achieved when the employer and the employees are all working towards identical goals. Adams has put a system into place for his installers whereby they are evaluated through the use of metrics in order to increase efficiency and reduce mistakes, which increases company profits and the wages earned by each installer.

Adams said that by using metrics in the areas of efficiency and accuracy, he can get the greatest returns from his installers. He breaks the information down by employee and evaluates the performance of each according to customer feedback and callbacks. If an installer has to visit a client several times on a single callback, he knows that the job is not being done in the most efficient manner possible. Once the monthly statistics are analyzed, the installation manager then sits down with the installer to review his or her performance.

The efficiency of each installer then determines the amount of compensation they receive for their work. This allows talented installers to rise quickly through the ranks based on performance rather than years of experience.

Founded in 1987, Trindco is a surfacing fabricator of numerous products such as granite, quartz surfacing, soapstone, solid surface, recycled materials, wood and more. Based in Suffolk, Va., it focuses on residential customers in Southern Virginia and North Carolina. The company fabricates around 400 sq. ft. to 500 sq. ft. of surfacing materials per day and has showrooms in two cities: Suffolk and Virginia Beach.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here:
Trindco Uses Metrics to Boost Accuracy and Productivity

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Fabricator Profile: Incounters

Posted on 27 May 2014 by cradmin

incountersIncounters is a family-owned countertop fabricator that also “played a key role” in the development of PhotoTop, the popular digital measurement and templating system. The company is headquartered in Abilene, Texas, and is a founding member of the Artisan Group. However, another interesting innovation of Incounters is its system for compensating installers.

According to Ed Wright, president of Incounters, “We pay our installers on a sliding scale based on feedback from the customer and from the Incounters management team. It’s in the installers’ hands to determine whether they are paid at the highest level or something less than that, depending on their performance.”

This sliding-scale compensation plan is reset every two weeks, so each installer has a chance to start fresh and work his or her way to the top from a level playing field, but at no time are installers competing with each other. Each installer has the potential to earn the highest pay rate every period.

The compensation system used by Incounters has helped the company raise the level of service they provide to customers, and it has provided installers with incentive to do the best work they can.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here: Incounters

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