Up at the top of California, Humboldt Countertops is thriving. The small shop has 10 employees, does about 7-10 jobs per week, and has rave reviews on google, yelp, Facebook, etc – you name it! This is thanks to Kelley Montana and Kari Chalmers, owners of Humboldt Countertops, and their team.
The Growth Mindset
Kelley and Kari’s father started the company years ago and passed down his talent for always looking at a new and better way to do things. You could call him a countertop software pioneer. He had an old estimating system but it was eventually too basic for their growing business.
Over the last ten years, while Kelley and Kari were managing the business, they’ve worked really hard to keep this mentality up. When they saw Moraware at an ISFA event, they were convinced to give us a try.
Since adding both the scheduling software and the estimating software in 2014, they’ve continuously worked on their processes – refining and adapting as they grow. In fact, they make a point to note that things are always going to be changing. It’s important to be able to adapt and learn so the company can keep improving.
And now, years after upgrading from the basic estimating program? They’re busy using a large iPad in the showroom to quote on the spot and impress their customers. They can even provide general scheduling answers for the customer right there as well. Just a few of the many reasons they are a customer fan favorite!
It all began with scheduling
For Humboldt, it made the most sense to start organizing their processes by looking at their scheduling. Which is really smart. This is where the most expensive mistakes happen and is often the heart of your business. Centralizing this part first was really impactful for their shop’s efficiency.
Their main goal? To keep everything in one place. Having all their customer and job information in the computer has “changed the game”. Nothing is getting lost anymore and folks in the field are able to get answers faster because they can log-in from anywhere and view the job’s files.
Kari gave us a few great tips to share for other fabricators looking to revamp their processes.
- Assign a point person. This ensures answers to anyone’s questions about the process will be consistent, keeping everyone on the same page.
- Make sure everyone knows their job. As long as everyone’s doing their jobs correctly, the right information will be entered into the software. Imagine how many mistakes could be avoided by this!
- Remind the team that things are always going to be changing. Setting expectations goes a long way in getting everyone on board with change.
The power of the Change Log
When asked what their favorite feature in either Moraware product was, Kelley and Kari both said it was the change log. It’s by no means the most popular answer to that question, but it sure makes a whole lot of sense now that they’ve said it.
The change log was key in their process overhauls. It was helpful in that it could show you where something went wrong along the way in a job or quote, and it kept everyone accountable. It’s a simple way to gauge how well everyone is performing their jobs, and locating common pain points in your process that need to be changed for the better.
What’s next for Humboldt Countertops?
Since officially taking over, Kelley and Kari are excited to keep growing. The shop currently measures and installs natural stone and engineered stone, but they are working towards fabricating it as well. They’ve already got the solid surface, quartz, laminate, ultracompact, butcher block and specialty surface countertops game on lock.
They are also ISFA members and regularly attend the events to learn from other fabricators. Some of the things they’ve seen and want to implement are installing big screens in the showroom and utilizing the start/stop function for shop users.
Thank you Kelley and Kari for taking the time to share your story with us! We can’t wait to see what impressive things are next for Humboldt Countertops.