One might think that after 27 years, just about any company would have this business of countertop fabrication completely figured out. If Ripano Stoneworks‘ commitment to continual improvement is any indication, all that experience is really just a jumping off point for fine-tuning what is already a well-run operation.
“I can envision our templater and our installers having a computer tablet that could access all job information electronically wherever they are during the day, instead of working off schedules printed out on paper. It would be more efficient and make everything more streamlined.”
Optimizing Work Flow
Using technology to improve the company’s processes is something Ripano Stoneworks has embraced from the very beginning. Not only was it one of the first stone fabricators in New England to embrace digital templating and automated processing of stone countertops, the company has also installed high efficiency heating and lighting systems in the shop to reduce energy consumption. The next step is to improve work flow through better material handling procedures.
“We are going to add a couple of bridge cranes so that one employee can move anything around the shop himself without the use of a forklift. We will have cranes to move material from slab racks to A-frames, and to load and unload stone on all the machinery with vacuum lifters and cranes.”
It turns out that Matt Laliberte represents the third generation of a family steeped in a tradition of countertop manufacturing. Matt’s father, Dick, started Ripano Stoneworks in 1986 after 17 years in the cultured marble business, where he (Dick) worked with his father, brother, uncle and a friend. Growing up in the industry, it was a natural thing for Matt to migrate towards working in the family business.
“I’ve worked here since I was 14,” he recalls. “I spent every summer through high school and college working here and learning different aspects of the business. For example, one summer I learned templating, the next summer I worked in the shop cutting and processing stone.”
Located about 50 miles north of Boston in Nashua, NH, Ripano Stoneworks fabricates stone products for residential and commercial customers. The fully automated shop, showroom and offices are housed in a 32,000 sq ft facility, which also includes an indoor slab viewing area – something that comes in pretty handy during the harsh New England winters.
Supporting The Industry
Not only is Ripano Stoneworks fiercely dedicated to producing the highest quality stone products for its own customers, the company has a keen interest in helping maintain a strong and vibrant stone industry through interaction and cooperation with other industry players.
“And, if we can make the industry better by helping people out, that is what we do. We have an open door policy with our competitors where if someone will let us into their shop they are more than welcome to come into ours. We’ll talk about best practices and things like that. It’s about always trying to improve and maintain a higher level of quality.”
Want to know more? At Moraware, we make software for countertop fabricators. CounterGo is countertop drawing, layout, 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.