“We could concentrate on being better at polishing the edges or making great deck seams, which we do as a matter of course,” says Scott Cheeseman, President and CEO of Pinnacle Stone & Tile in Fairfield, Calif., “but we chose to work on improving communication – the way we communicate with our customers and our employees. For that we have two tools: Slabsmith and Moraware.”
Imagine sitting in front of a commercial client faced with a multi-million dollar remodel, and being able to show them what the finished stonework would look like – before a diamond blade ever touched the stone.
A visual communication tool gave Pinnacle an edge over the competition and helped their customer better understand the process to minimize any confusion once the project got rolling. “Just this aspect of Slabsmith alone has been a great marketing tool with both commercial and residential clients,” says Cheeseman.
This approach draws the customer into the whole process and helps get them excited to see the look of their new kitchen. Where Pinnacle Stone & Tile delivers the second half of the communications one-two punch is in how they empower their employees to take ownership in the project by keeping them informed of developments, literally as they happen.
A Shop With A Big Screen
“We have Moraware on a big screen in the shop,” Cheeseman explains. “When changes occur to a job my Stone Division Manager can enter them into the project file using his mobile phone from the field, which instantly updates on the big screen in the shop. Now, instead of walking around and talking to people individually about the changes, everything is right there in front of them. They know about updates at the same time I do. It is efficient and it helps our employees be part of the process.”
Founded in 1992 as a tile installation company, Pinnacle added stone fabrication in 2001. In 2006 the company was purchased by a group of investors. Cheeseman, one of those investors with experience as a developer and who possessed contacts within the industry, came on as CEO to help get it through the economic downturn.
“My challenge was to take some best practices from other industries and implement them in this business,” he says. “Looking at the industry we saw that MIA and TCNA already had standards in place that we could follow to improve the quality of our products and services. We then decided we could excel in the area of communication. It has been a real focus for us.”
And it seems to be working. “It’s hard to quantify something like this,” Cheeseman says. “Perhaps potential customers have increased confidence that our company is well enough organized to handle just about any project. One thing we do know is we have seen an increase in volume of 50% over the past three months in all areas of the business. It appears to be an ongoing trend.”
Want to know more? At Moraware, we make software for countertop fabricators. CounterGo is countertop drawing and estimating software. JobTracker is scheduling software that helps you eliminate the time you waste looking for job folders. RemnantSwap is a free place to buy and sell granite remnants with fabricators near you.