Tour of Aspen Design and Fabrication

May 31, 2011 | Customer Profile

Imagine your countertop fabrication shop adding a million dollars in revenue. Now imagine that increase from a single account… actually a single store at one of your dealers. That’s what’s happening to Aspen Design in Denver, Colorado.

Dan Dugard and John Ragsdale started the business in 2002, and since then they’ve gone through several incarnations of the business. It all started in the 80’s and 90’s, when Dan worked for Makita tools, and one of his customers was a countertop fabricator. The fabricator offered Dan the business, but the deal fell through and Dan went on to work at scaffolding company, where John was the CFO.

Years later, they decided to start their own company, invested in some tools and opened a laminate and solid-surface fabrication shop. Originally, it was just the two of them doing countertop remodels for walk-in customers. Then they created a list of every kitchen and bath dealers in the Denver area, and Dan handed out their cards… which turned into business.

Through a series of personal connections and happy customers, they were offered a chance at a big commercial job and had to figure out how to scale up their business quickly. In 2004, after hiring employees and securing more commercial work, they were steadily growing.

Then, the housing crash in 2008 hit. Rather than worrying about shrinking the business, they used the opportunity to buy the assets of a stone fabrication company. Close to the same time they started using Moraware JobTracker, to help them deal with the growth they were planning. Although there was some pain, being able to offer laminate, stone, quartz, and solid surfaces is a huge competitive advantage for Aspen.

Recently, they’ve been using this unfair advantage to fuel their business. They no longer do any retail work – everything is through dealers, millwork shops, and builders. By focusing on the wholesale segment of their market, they’ve been able to capture new accounts. They’ve even been running a second shift for the last several months to keep up with the demand.

The future looks really bright at Aspen, thanks to Dan and John for telling me about their history, and giving me the tour of their shop!

Want to know more? At Moraware, we make software for countertop fabricators. JobTracker is scheduling software that helps you eliminate the time you waste looking for job folders. RemnantSwap is a place to buy and sell granite remnants with fabricators near you.