Harry and I attended a Park Industries Digital Expo a couple of weeks ago (2/28) in Waco, TX. These daylong events have a great format – mostly fabricators providing insights to other fabricators. Moraware was one of the sponsors of the event, and Harry demoed our software.
There was a reception the night before, and one of the attendees told me that was the biggest value in coming – to talk with fabricators in other markets. Many fabricators have similar challenges – maintaining good prices, hiring good employees, growing, acquiring material, managing inventory, improving yield, choosing the right equipment, etc. – it’s valuable to talk with people who share your concerns but who don’t directly compete with you.
For me personally, it was interesting and useful to hear fabricators talk about our software with each other. Even though there are similarities, every fabrication business is unique – and everyone who uses our software thinks about the problems it solves in slightly different ways. You don’t care about software for its own sake – you just want to run your business well. So the best way to learn how any software can help your business is to talk to someone who’s using it to help their business. I was humbled by the enthusiasm our customers showed when then talked about Moraware to other fabricators. Thank you!
The actual learning event was held at Goldstone Granite and Marble. By my eye there were about 100 people attending, and most spent some time in the shop, observing Park Industries’ products in action, including a Fusion Saw, two Titan CNC routers, an edge polisher, and digital image capture station.
There were several 30-60 minute presentations, all focused on using digital technology to improve your fabrication business. The owner of Goldstone, Keith Richbourg, gave an all-up overview of how they got into the countertop fabrication business, and how going all digital has helped them grow. Scott Hanes from Majestic Marble & Granite talked about using digital advantages in your marketing. (Scott also shared his techniques for reusing scrap material and getting rid of it cheaply – for example, he made fire pits and gave them to all the teachers at his kids’ school … I love that!)
Jami Lamprecht from Austin Countertops spoke about using SlabSmith to improve the customer experience, especially with picky customers. Paul Menninger of Capitol Granite wrapped up the presentations by highlighting how to use technology – and metrics – to drive business results.
One goal of the event was to show how all the components of a digital shop work together end-to-end – and that requires the involvement of several vendors. Product-specific demonstrations and discussions were sprinkled throughout the day with Moraware, SlabSmith, Laser Products, and of course Park Industries. Judging from the quality and number of questions throughout the day, attendees were quite engaged.
All of the fabricators I spoke with got a lot of value from this event. You should consider attending one when you can – the next digital expo is Friday, June 13, at Park Industries in St. Cloud, MN. We’ll post more details here when we know them. Hope to see you there!