We co-sponsored the MIA stone industry education seminar last week, held at Daltile’s Seattle Showroom and warehouse. The turnout was good – there were over 50 people there.
This one was a little different that past events; it was much more of a group discussion. It’s amazing that a room full of direct competitors was so open and willing to share about how they run their businesses.
Although the overall theme was “Business Success for Fabricators”, the group covered lots of topics, including:
Quartz versus Granite – how to sell both and still differentiate the products for the consumer? Although there was no consensus on how to present the differences, most of the shops agreed that educating customers about the pros and cons of the various materials is the best approach.
Diversification – Although most of the fabricators just concentrate on countertops, some have diversified their businesses to include wall cladding, flooring, and cabinetry.
Sealers & Resins – Setting customer expectations about how sealed granites or granites with resin will look seemed to be a big deal, too. Especially with lighter colors of stone, staining can be an issue.
Safety – ensuring the health and safety of everyone in the shop is a huge concern. Most of the fatalities in the stone industry are people who have years of experience, so ongoing safety education is essential.
Fabricator Forum – My favorite part of the day was the fabricator forum. Joey from Mario & Son, Bill from Creative Countertops, and Robert of Precision Countertops shared their experiences. They told stories about how they made the switch to having digital templating, the CNC machines in their shops, and how they organize their offices.
After the seminar, Daltile hosted a very nice dinner that included steaks right off the grill, great drinks, and conversation with lots of peers in the industry. Thanks to everyone who attended!
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 free place to buy and sell granite remnants with fabricators near you.