Profile at a Glance: Founded in January of 2005 by Tom Geiser and Tom Tucker, Stone Counters of Arizona has cultivated a strong culture for growth. Currently operating in a 30,000 sq. ft. building, the company fabricates and installs six to nine granite and quartz countertop projects per day. Stone Counters sells almost exclusively to kitchen & bath dealers and selected general contractors. The company employs 43 people in the front office, in the shop and as installers. Stone Counters has set a goal of installing 20 kitchens per day by the year 2010, and is currently ahead of schedule to reach that goal.
The Problem: Originally, Stone Counters used Excel spreadsheets to keep track of scheduling and perform essential job tracking functions. The system was quickly overwhelmed once volume hit three-plus kitchens per day. All information was input and managed by a single person, who also had responsibility to monitor job status and make updates to projects as they occurred. Because only one person had the ability to make changes to the spreadsheets, key personnel had limited access to late-breaking information. Using the spreadsheets required browsing through multiple worksheets for even the most basic tasks. Client and project information was difficult to find and bulky to manage.
“I was pretty much doing all the scheduling at that time,” explains Tom Geiser. “Even though I was the one doing it, there were times I had to figure out which worksheet held the piece of information I was looking for. As we hired in new people, the need developed to find a piece of software that allowed me to offload the scheduling responsibility to someone else. You can’t grow a business if you are in a bottleneck all the time.”
The Moraware Solution: JobTracker has become the central depository for all information relating to clients and their projects. This provides front office and production personnel up-to-the-minute information. Users can add notes regarding a project that are instantly available to everyone using the system. Where only a single person had unlimited access to and responsibility for the system when using Excel spreadsheets, currently nine people regularly use JobTracker to input new data and monitor changes. Communication has improved dramatically and the scheduling “bottleneck” has been removed, thereby positioning the company to take advantage of new growth opportunities as they arise.
“It was last October when we finally broke down and purchased JobTracker. I wish we had done it sooner. There is no doubt Moraware will be able to handle our growth and grow with us,” says Geiser. “It has a lot of features we are just thrilled about. We have nine different people that access it on a daily basis, and I think everyone of us has a different way of extracting the information.”
“I use JobTracker from an accounting point of view and extract the stuff I want. The guys in pre-production use it when the drawings have to be done and sent out to the shop. The shop people use it to find out what they need to cut today, and what they need to put in A-frames for staging. Customer service uses it for scheduling. There are a lot of different ways it can hold information, but it can pull out the bytes you want in seconds.”
“I don’t know how we would run our business at this level without Moraware.”
“You can’t grow a business if you are in a bottleneck all the time. Why mess with that in Excel when you can buy a piece of software that does that already? When we started using JobTracker we took existing jobs (about 130) that hadn’t been completed yet and moved them into Moraware. I ran the dual schedule thing for about 1 1 /2 days. Moraware was working so well we just dropped the Excel method altogether.”
“Moraware enables us to make money, even on the remake side. Our callback rate in the last three months is just over 10%. I know there are other issues – I can’t give Moraware all the credit – but we were running at 20% when we first opened up. So we are running almost at half the callback rate. With Moraware we catch the issues and problems and stay on top of them. Nothing falls between the cracks.”
“The way we put it in our production meetings and how we train new people as we hire them, Moraware is our central depository for everything related to the job. That way we see the issues and get the information we need to close the issue before it ever gets released to the shop.”