Level Up Your Countertop Quoting with Slab Layouts

by | Feb 3, 2021 | CounterGo

Slab layouts are critical in making sure your estimate is accurate. Some fabricators rely on guesswork, some do complex math based on square footage, and others spend hours in CAD for a prospect who may never even spend a dime! 

None of these are great solutions for quickly and easily doing a slab layout. Lucky for you, CounterGo has a handy slab layout estimating feature. Here’s everything you need to know about solving your slab layout headaches.

An Inaccurate Slab Layout Can Cost You Thousands

Picture this: you meet a new prospect, and they need new kitchen countertops. You calculate the square footage and figure you only need one slab. You give them your quote, and they send back a deposit.

All is good, right?

Once you start on the fabrication, you realize the veining isn’t going to match up – no matter how you lay it out. Do you move forward and hope the customer doesn’t notice the mismatched veining? It could result in a remake, and you can’t afford another one of those.

But is going back to your customer and telling them you actually need a second slab – nearly doubling your price estimate – any better?

Most fabricators have been burned by not estimating for enough material and either eating the cost or eating crow with the customer.

A professional yet quick slab layout at the beginning of the estimating process is an ideal solution, and for several reasons:

  1. You can ensure you have enough slabs and materials for the job.
  2. You can include a professional-looking drawing on your quotes, boosting your reputation and customer experience.
  3. You can even sell an extra slab in these instances where it’s clear the veining isn’t going to match up without that second slab.

Slab Layouts and Customers

When you’re in a competitive industry like this, extra customer service goes a long way. Using the slab layout feature in CounterGo allows you to add images of the slab to your design. Our software superimposes the slab image onto the countertop. You can drag the slab image around and match up the veining and seams.

You can show this to your potential customer as you create the quote (which only takes 3 minutes, start to finish). For a customer to see and understand how the slab will fit onto their countertop design – that goes a long way in helping you seal the deal. It’s even more impressive when your competitor down the road is doing everything by hand.

Jennifer Boles at Nelson Tile & Stone explains:

“We don’t have the big, expensive slab program where you can take a picture on it, but Moraware does allow us to go take a picture and import it into Moraware. […] [It] really does connect people with what their piece is going to look like, and give them confidence that we’re going to bring something out that’s fitting well together.”

Watch her full good to great story:

Use Visuals – Not Words – to Seal the Deal

Showing a customer what their finished countertop will look like with accuracy is incredible. What’s even better is the improvement to your communication with your potential customers.

Trying to explain how this big hunk of stone will be put together with words and hand motions is hard. When you can just turn your tablet and show the customer how the stone will fit together, you’ve communicated the same thing in seconds.

Plus, the communication around price is so much smoother. It’s a lot easier to describe why two slabs make sense vs. one when you show them how this doesn’t fit or how it looks terrible. If veins don’t match up, you might want a second slab, and customers might push back until they see it for themselves.

Why Not CAD or Hand Drawing for Slab Layouts?

For fabricators who aren’t using CounterGo, the most common ways to do a slab layout include:

  1. Guesswork
  2. Doing the math to figure the square footage
  3. Hand drawing or using cardboard templates
  4. CAD

Perhaps the best option out of these is CAD because it sort of solves the issue of where the veins should line up, but it’s a lot more work. It takes hours to draw something in CAD. Why waste hours of labor to find out you didn’t sell the job in the end?

When you’re early in the quoting process, you want a quick solution, but you also want something that’ll be accurate. Slabs can be thousands of dollars, so you don’t want to go back to a customer and say you need another slab. Your estimate will be thousands of dollars off, and now you have a dilemma of an unhappy customer.

Keep in mind this software is built for estimating, and we consider the slab layout feature to be a nice perk! This speaks volumes to just how much time and effort this slab layout feature saves fabricators every day.

Example of defining the seams in CounterGo

Why CounterGo’s Slab Layout Feature?

CounterGo is so simple and easy to use. It’s really as simple as getting an accurate material estimate in 3 minutes. 

The other significant component is having this nice, professional-looking image for the customer. If you can show the customer what their countertop will look like when it’s done, it goes a long way towards helping you win the job versus someone who doesn’t. After all, it’s something they’re paying thousands for potentially – they should have confidence in their buying decision.

It’s worth noting that CounterGo is not fabrication-level software. You can reference this in the shop, but it’s not for fabrication. 

Some fabricators often use CounterGo in conjunction with other software, such as Slabsmith. CounterGo’s Slab Layout accomplishes the first step in the quoting process quite a bit quicker, while more complex software can help you with the fabrication if needed.

Conclusion

When we show the slab layout feature in our CounterGo demo, almost unanimously, people are excited and relieved. 

We’ve had many demos where fabricators say this is one of their favorite parts. That’s how much of a pain this is for people!

To check out CounterGo for yourself, set up a demo by clicking here!

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