The good news for Kevin Bertelsman of Mainland Custom Marble in Alvin, Texas is that sales volume is up. The bad news is margins are down.
“In the past it seemed like if you showed up on time and did a good job, you were rewarded with more work,” he says.
“In today’s economy we must have excellent customer service with good communication of expectations, scheduling, responding quickly to quote requests, reacting to job issues and following up on other opportunities. While doing all this very well, we have to be extremely lean and survive on tight margins.”
Getting Better – And Cheaper
It’s a classic case of an evolving marketplace characterized by customers who are better educated (if the Internet can be counted on to provide accurate information), and less willing to compromise on price, quality or service.
“There is no way we could operate today with less people and a higher sales volume without improved work processes, automation and tools like those provided by Moraware,” explains Bertelsman.
“We use JobTracker and CounterGo to manage our workflow and processes. We have gone from a white board, to Excel, and then to JobTracker to manage our installation schedule. Quoting has gone from a scaled drawing by hand in conjunction with a calculator, to Excel/Word, JobTracker and then to CounterGo. What used to take me 30 minutes to quote, I can now do in 5 minutes which, incidentally, includes the slab layout. That saves me time, which saves me money.”
Full Service Countertop Company
Founded in 1982 by Johnny Helpenstill and Darwin Miller as a cultured marble manufacturer, MCM has evolved over the years into a full-service provider of custom countertops for the Texas and Louisiana markets, offering most brands of solid surface, quartz surfacing and natural stone countertops, in addition to its full line of cultured marble products.
In 2006 Kevin Bertelsman assumed ownership of the company, and in 2009, MCM acquired Countertops Unlimited, a leading provider of all types of countertop materials catering to the Texas and Louisiana region.
“Having survived the recession, the next step for our company is to go beyond focusing on managing our processes, to measuring how well we execute, and determining those processes’ impact on the bottom line,” says Bertelsman. “We feel blessed to have worked through the tough economic times with a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck and we look forward to the future with a renewed sense of purpose and motivation.”
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.