Originally published August 15, 2018. Updated December 16, 2019.
When countertop fabrication shops find us, it’s because they’re seeking out a reliable solution to a business problem.
During CounterGo and Systemize software demos – and throughout the course of our customer relationships – we hear the common concerns of countertop shop businesses every single day. Whether it’s bad communication, dealing with competition, or inconsistent quoting, we’ve heard your complaints!
Thankfully, we have some highly skilled countertop pros on our team, and we’ve gleaned some advice from fabrication experts in the field over the years.
Here are 5 of the most common pain points we hear on a daily basis from countertop fabrication businesses:
- Issue #1: “Miscommunication leads to expensive mistakes.”
- Issue #2: “We’re losing potential customers to competitors.”
- Issue #3: “We’re getting more jobs, and scheduling isn’t efficient anymore.”
- Issue #4: “More people are creating quotes, and there’s no consistency.”
- Issue #5: “Drawing and estimating by hand isn’t fast enough.”
Don’t worry – we have some great suggestions to remedy these common concerns.
Countertop Shop Issue #1: “Miscommunication leads to expensive mistakes.”
Have you ever had a post-it note drop off a customer’s file folder, and it resulted in a huge mistake?
Whether it’s not knowing the status of a job or missing an important detail that was miscommunicated, we can assure you that many countertop shops have experienced similar issues.
Mistakes make you look unprofessional, and they can also cost you money. It could be that your customer doesn’t refer you to others, maybe they don’t hire you for future jobs, or perhaps you even lose money in inventory or supplies.
When things fall through the cracks, it’s time to reassess the way you track your jobs. This leads to happy customers, and happy customers lead to more countertop sales!
So, how do you become more efficient with job tracking? We recommend turning toward technology. We created Systemize, our comprehensive scheduling software, to streamline the processes of countertop shops.
You can schedule a demo to learn all the details, but here’s what you need to know: if your team is never on the same page – and especially if you’re growing – it’s time to upgrade your shop’s tech!
Countertop Shop Issue #2: “We’re losing potential customers to competitors.”
You’ve met with a couple looking to redo all their countertops in their house. It would be a nice job! Everything went really well, and you let them know you’ll draw up their countertops and get them a quote in a few days.
You call, and that’s when you get the sad news… they’ve gone with a competitor who was able to provide them a professional-looking quote – immediately. Their quote is clean, informational, and fast. Did your quote look as good?
Everyone shops around before committing to a big purchase. Consumers trust a professional-looking quote more than a hand-drawn quote or one they can’t fully understand. They appreciate seeing an example of what their countertop will actually look like when installed.
Plus, being able to do a slab layout is a fantastic sales tool, because you can show customers why purchasing two slabs is necessary for veining. A professional quote is all about creating the vision, meeting customer expectations, and being transparent. That’s what CounterGo allows you to do.
Further Reading: 4 Key Ways Countertop Fabricators Can Give Better Quotes
Get ahead of your competitors by giving customers a professional quote in-person or even by emailing them along with a thank you message. Our customers do this straight from our estimating program, CounterGo!
Check out this testimonial from Melanie with Kentucky Solid Surface:
“[…] I can quote immediately, in front of the customer, rather than spending an hour on it after they leave, receiving no feedback from our customer.” –Melanie Bratcher, Kentucky Solid Surface
Can you say the same?
Countertop Shop Issue #3: “We’re getting more jobs, and scheduling isn’t efficient anymore.”
Is it getting more challenging to coordinate your shop schedule to ensure that you’re ready to install?
We hear stories often about countertop shops that realize they’ve wasted time sending their templater across town when the homeowner is out or the cabinets aren’t ready.
This type of inefficiency is bound to happen to a growing shop. Basic scheduling solutions like Google Sheets, Outlook, or Excel can work well if you’re a very small shop. But if you’re growing? Using something like Excel isn’t powerful enough anymore.
It’s like you’re constantly behind and can’t keep up. Sort of feels like this…
Aaron Crowley with Crowley’s Granite Concepts explained to us that in the beginning, he was using a whiteboard with sticky notes to manage installation scheduling. The real problem with this system is if you weren’t right in front of that whiteboard, you had no clue what was going on!
Scheduling changes also became a real issue. You might tell a customer one thing, and someone moves that sticky note 5 minutes later. It wasn’t a sustainable system for Crowley and his team.
Using an industry-specific scheduling software like Systemize will help your growing shop stay organized. No more costly mistakes, inefficiencies, or missed appointments!
Crowley explains that with our software, there’s no asking around, no calling customers back, and no frustrations. That can be a huge differentiator when you stack your shop up against the competition. Are your competitors able to confidently tell a customer when their countertop will be installed the first time they call?
Watch the Video: From Good to Great: Better scheduling and countertop job management
Countertop Shop Issue #4: “More people are creating quotes, and there’s no consistency.”
Generally, when we hear about quoting consistency issues, it’s because a shop is growing – which is fantastic! While the growth is amazing, a huge concern is whether or not you’d get the same quote from multiple salespeople.
Spend some time ensuring your price list is well-established in CounterGo. Everything from cutouts to radius corners to edge profiles should be addressed! Yes, setting prices can be a challenge, but it’ll help the quoting process a ton.
And one big mistake to avoid? Don’t get caught up on figuring costs down to the penny. It’s a huge time-waster, and it’s impossible to know what a job really costs until it’s done. Instead of focusing on 100% precision, place more emphasis on the value and expertise you bring to the table.
By implementing a quoting process that keeps everyone on the same page moving forward, you’ll be able to establish much-needed consistency in pricing, appearance, and measurements.
Trust us – your customers will notice that you’re organized and trustworthy when they receive a quick quote that is accurate and professional.
CounterGo, our incredible quoting software that’s loved by thousands of fabricators, is super easy to learn – you can start creating quotes immediately! And, it’ll be easy to train all those new salespeople you’ll be hiring…
Countertop Shop Issue #5: “Drawing and estimating by hand isn’t fast enough.”
U.S. countertop demand is expected to reach $29.3 billion in 2019, with engineered stone and natural stone accounting for most of that figure.
Kitchen renovations are one of the most popular renovation projects in the United States, and people aren’t afraid to spend big! In fact, homeowners spend nearly $20,000 on an average kitchen makeover (2017 Houzz & Home survey).
Higher demand means more jobs, which means higher profits. Sounds good in theory, but keeping up with demand can be a major challenge.
Your ability to provide quick quotes is essential to securing this growing market. You want to keep increasing your quotes, which will increase your jobs as a result.
Our customers skip the manual work and can produce a good looking quote in a matter of minutes (3 to be exact). This allows them to focus on generating more customers and growing their shop.
If you’re still drawing and estimating by hand, you’re not living up to your full potential. Time spent doing quotes manually could be spent seeing more customers and doing more jobs!
“This software has allowed me to focus more of my time and energy into the production side of things. I am no longer a full-time estimator, and my employees appreciate seeing me take a more hands-on and physically present role. […]” – Sean Keller, Flagstaff Tile & Stone
CounterGo, our quoting software, can revolutionize the way you do business by swapping out the manual work for an easy, digital experience. Countertop quoting takes a fraction of the time, and it can even save you from hiring another employee to help.
“CounterGo is a lifesaver. Over the last year, I’ve been able to grow the company to several jobs per day and haven’t had to hire anyone else to do quotes.” — Robby, Northern Stone
Solve Your Countertop Fabrication Issues With Moraware
Over a decade ago, Ted started Moraware to solve a problem for his brother’s countertop business. That’s really the foundation of what we do here – we want to help solve your pain points!
That’s why we’re not afraid to plug our software products, CounterGo and Systemize. They stemmed from a need, and they now help thousands of fabrication experts with quoting and better processes in their shops.
Plus, our growing team is constantly adding new features to keep up with the many needs of fabricators.
Don’t slow the growth of your shop by continuing to be plagued by the common issues we went over in this article. Take the leap and schedule a demo for our software – we’re confident it’ll completely change the way you run your countertop shop.
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