Notes from the Digital Stoneworking Expo – Austin

Feb 27, 2012 | Business

A part of the crowd at the digital stone expo in Austin TXOn February 16th, I got to attend Park Industries’ Digital Stoneworking expo, held at Austin Countertops in Austin TX.

As usual, it was a great learning experience, and the turnout was very impressive. Austin Countertops was kind enough to slow down their production for a day to make room for over 60 attendees.

The digital countertop shop

The agenda covered the flow of an entire job through a countertop shop beginning with the sales process. We went through using software for estimating, scheduling, and layout. Next we covered digital templating, fabricating on CNC saws, waterjets, and routers, and finally evaluating the impact on the bottom line.

This was the first time I’ve presented our new countertop drawing software, CounterGo in front of a big group, and the reaction was great. It really sparked some interesting conversations and questions.

Making the change

Looking at the Park Industries waterjetSome personal anecdotes were interspersed with the technology – Stuart Young from the Granite Shop, John Daiber from K&D Countertops, and Mark Raby of Austin Countertops all described their journeys from running manual shops. Really what sounded like the key for all of them was having control and predictability. Without automation in the office and shop, none of those companies could have grown.

All of the shops that “went digital” reduced their material costs, had better interaction with their customers, and were able to increase production. In addition, the biggest intangible benefit was being able to manage the business, rather than focusing on fixing production problems .

It was great to be a part of this countertop industry education, and we’re looking forward to the next one, coming this summer.

Want to know more? At Moraware, we make software for countertop fabricators. CounterGo lets you draw, estimate, and layout countertops in just minutes. 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 stone remnants with fabricators near you.