From chatting with CounterGo users, we know life instantly changes when they implement our quoting software at their shop. Still, it’s so nice to capture those conversations and share the nitty-gritty details.
We were honored to speak with Kristian Tharaldson, Operations Manager at Great Northern Granite in Minnesota. In 2013, Kristian brought in CounterGo to speed up the drawing and estimating process. What happened next changed the entire future of the company.
When did you get CounterGo?
A long time ago – probably 2013. I came on in 2012, and everything was done on paper. It was a corkboard calendar with little pieces of paper with the job address and the material going to that address. We then moved everything to Google Calendar and tried to color-code everything. Then, we realized Moraware was a better version of that.
When we switched to Moraware is when everything changed in the company.
What was the immediate before and after of implementing CounterGo in your shop?
My boss and I used to sit in his office and bid everything by hand. We’d always have our calculators, rulers, and blueprints out, and we could usually crank out 5-10 bids per day.
When we switched to Moraware, we always had about 120 active bids going at a time. That’s when everything changed. I was the ninth person hired, and now we fluctuate between 37-42 employees between two locations.
It got to a point where Amy, our lead estimator, got so busy that it almost collapsed our company. It was so much work and was so hard to keep up with. She peaked at 95 bids in one day, and she was averaging 76 bids per day that entire summer. If you don’t have Moraware, you can’t do that at all.
One of our guarantees at Great Northern Granite is a 24-hour turnaround on your bid. With Moraware, you can just draw so quickly. It’s easy to train someone on it, and once they’re immersed in CounterGo, it’s like the back of your hand.
What were the first 30 days like with CounterGo?
We focused on the price list first. We changed our bidding style a little bit because we’re an importer and carry our own stone. That’s one of the things that separates us from everyone else in Minnesota. It’s a messy process to bring material in, but if you can figure it out and do it well, you can make so much more money by doing it yourself and cutting out the middleman. When you have your own stock, you don’t have to charge by the slab for a lot of commodity stones.
The longest part was figuring out what we wanted our pricing structure to be in Moraware. We always want to make sure the stone is covered if something should happen to it. We want enough money there to cover getting more material – that’s how we did pricing at that time.
Once we realized that our pricing was locked in – and that was after just a week or two – it was like a rocket ship. There wasn’t anything slow about it.
I remember there were a few things like figuring out how duplicate sinks that sped up the process. It was finding the little things that shaved seconds off the process. That put us in the position to crank out bids.
I reference it to the difference between having a Rolodex and having a cellphone with your contact information. You don’t have to sit there and try to find that one card – just type in the first couple letters of a name, and everything you need is there.
What’s your favorite feature in CounterGo?
The ability to just draw whatever comes our way. There are very few instances where we can’t draw something in here. A lot of luxury homes have architects that draw up crazy stuff, and there are ways to bid things accurately and there are ways to bid things inaccurately.
Compared to everything else we’ve tried, that drawing tool is far more accurate.
What are some things you know now about CounterGo that you didn’t know at first?
There’s a way to create countertops through reverse notching if you will – it’s almost counterintuitive. You can put notches in, but you can also use that notch tool to create bump-outs that wouldn’t normally be there.
That may be too technical, but there are certain instances where countertops have to wrap around walls, and you can reverse engineer the notch tool to make what you can’t make with the bump-out tool.
Would you recommend CounterGo to others?
Yes – if you’re a smaller business starting out, it can seriously propel you. If you have trouble keeping things in order, it’s a great tool to really start that process of keeping the information in one spot.
I come from a company that when I got there, everything was on paper. Everyone was so used to that, and they didn’t want to get away from it. It’s almost a personal deal – it’s my calendar, this is my job, these are my files. It got to the point where we threw one of my boss’ paper calendars through the drop ceiling so he couldn’t find it and was forced to use Moraware.
It helps build that team aspect where people can access the information they need. They don’t have to stop anyone else from doing what they’re doing to get information. It’s a really good compiler to have the whole company involved. That’s probably the biggest thing – people felt more as a team and more involved in all the projects and not just what was sitting in front of them.
It made them more aware of what was going on in the company. It definitely created unity between sales, fabrication, and install. There was this central location for all of our information that everyone could see.
Want to see how CounterGo can help your shop?
Thanks so much to Kristian for sharing his CounterGo with us all! If you’re inspired to test out CounterGo, schedule a demo today.
Read more about CounterGo and quoting: