Blog: Stone Fabrication Software and Business Articles

The Oregon Trail of Fabrication Shops

Whoa!” is the first thing that comes to my mind after seeing these shops! I was lucky enough to visit three shops in my first three weeks of working at Moraware.

A Portland tour of Innovative Stone Concepts, Precision Countertops, and Crowley’s Granite was the icing on the cake to round out my introduction to the countertop industry.

First stop was Innovative Stone Concepts. Brent, the owner, was sitting behind his desk working on a quote when we arrived! He had a lot of CounterGo questions for us that Julie was able to help him with. I was able to see someone using it and see some of the tips and tricks that he was really excited about. The zoom and pan in the drawings were a life changer! It reminded me of when I first figured out how to freeze cells in excel!

Brent being an expert CounterGo quoter!

Sometimes those simple, little things really make all the difference in how successful a shop is with software! He had a lot of great questions and work arounds that he has figured out on his own since last November when he became a user. It was pretty inspiring to see how Brent really made CounterGo work for him and his shop.

And, as a new person to Moraware and fabrication, it was really educational to see where they cut the stone and really get a feel for how these shops work! 

Our next stop was a Precision Countertops. Talk about a 180! This shop was HUGE. They had a ton of people using both Moraware products. It was amazing seeing so many people using our software all at once and to see it so integrated into their process.

I also thought it was really neat that they had touch screens in the shop so the guys could start, stop and pause jobs! Steve did a great job explaining their process from start to finish on our tour. I learned so much more about the industry at this shop. 

Steve believes that every shop should have a set up to keep everyone updated on job progress

The third and final shop visit for this trip was at Crowley’s Granite. This was a great shop, felt really calm, and dedicated to the process. It was great to hear Aaron talk about how important having a process is to keep your shop calm and efficient, your employees happy, and reduce stress. He even detailed how Moraware has helped with this!

Aaron has given some amazing talks in the industry and if you haven’t already, check him out as our very first guest on StoneTalk.

We even got to see the No Lift Install System up close and personal…right before it was shipped off to Norway!

Spending some time with Aaron on the No Lift!

Each shop was unique and everyone was very welcoming. It was really amazing to see our software being used and seeing all the back of the house work being done. Thank you to all three shops for all the interesting conversations and most of all, your valuable time!

Meet Katie!

Hi there! My name is Katie Latiolait and I cannot be more thrilled to be joining the Moraware family as the Manager of Support & Customer Success. This is an amazing team of passionate individuals and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be here.

My path to Moraware has had its twists and turns, but one thing has always been consistent. I love using technology and people to make businesses more successful by enabling them to solve their biggest business problems.

My career in customer success started with a consulting firm focused on executive leadership and corporate cultures. I eventually found my way to software products and fell in love the magic that can happen when the right tools paired with the exceptional people who can help make it come alive.

When it’s time to take a break from work, you’ll usually find me enjoying the many wonders the PNW has to offer: including hiking, chasing waterfalls or drinking a glass of Pinot Noir at one of the amazing vineyards that call the Willamette Valley home. But if I’m not out and about, I’m home spending time with my family, my cat and experimenting in the kitchen.

Meet Amelia!

Hello! I am Amelia and I just joined the amazing Moraware team! I am a part of the Customer Support team and will be onboarding new folks into our software to help them get the most out of it for their company. I am really looking forward to helping teach people the ins and outs of our products! 

I come from a diverse customer service background from college operations to guiding rafts down some of America’s finest white water. My past jobs have also come with a variety of learning different software and teaching it to others. With my passion for helping people I feel like Moraware is going to be a great place for me! 

In my free time you can find me navigating rivers and lakes, cross country skiing, camping, hiking or reading a good book by the fire.

I look forward to talking to your teams and helping in any way that I can! 

Meet Evan!

Hi! I’m Evan Mayer, and as of June 2019 I’m one of the newest recruits to the outstanding Moraware team. As Account Executives, both Chase and I aim to help you determine if our tools are the right fit for your business goals. We are proud of the software our team creates, and are driven to help our customers improve and grow their countertop businesses each day. To find out if your goals align, let’s have a conversation!

Born and raised in a small Alaskan fishing town (Kenai), I’ve spent time living in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and now live in Long Beach, California. 

My background includes both restaurant and food truck ownership, commercial fishing, nearly every type of construction, and most relevant for our great customers at Moraware — seven years of software sales and support experience. I’ve learned firsthand how having the right tools can greatly improve a company’s profits and operational efficiency, and take pride in helping others discover new ways to improve their businesses.

In my free time I enjoy road trips and camping, snowboarding, hiking (and climbing trees), and my current challenge is to become less-terrible at surfing. At Moraware, I truly enjoy the company of our team, and look forward to meeting you and your team!

Meet Amanda!

Hello there! I’m Amanda, one of the newest additions to the Moraware team. I’m coming on as a a member of the Customer Support team and will primarily be onboarding new users to our products. I can’t express how thrilled I am to join this group of highly skilled, thoughtful professionals who are absolutely dedicated to supporting our customers business needs.

A little about me and what I bring to the table — I have a background in Graphic Design, Visual Communication, Project Management, and Training & Development in a Software Support environment. This makes me well-suited to helping our newest clients learn to navigate our products and wiggle out new solutions to the issues that inevitably arise for any growing business.

When I’m not introducing our customers to the ins and outs of our products, I like to travel and take my little boy to museums. So far, we’ve checked off the Met, the Getty, the Natural History Museum in NYC, and the Smithsonian in DC.

When we’re chilling at home in Seattle, we like to roam around outdoors or play video games and do art projects when its raining (which is frequent).

I’m very excited to meet you and show you all the advantages of our products and how Moraware can meet your business needs!

Digital Stoneworking Expo Recap: Fabricators Sharing Best Practices is Awesome as Ever

Going to the Park Industries’ Digital Stoneworking Expos is always something we look forward to here at Moraware. We try to take turns so that everyone on our team can attend. It gives us more insight into the needs and business problems that our customers and other fabricators are going through. And, it’s really fun to spend some time together in person.

This time, it was yours truly and Harry attending the Chicago event. And we all know how much Harry loves these!

As usual, I learned a lot listening to fabricators sharing their stories and listening to their questions. So, I thought I’d share some of my favorite highlights from the DSE for you!

What is the cost to do nothing?

A lot of fabricators attend these because they know that something needs to change in their shop. And honestly, we should always be changing if we want to keep being successful.

If you are lucky enough to know exactly what the bottleneck in your shop is and how to fix it, what would happen if you continued doing nothing about it? Would you lose money and eventually go out of business? Would you keep having a high employee turnover, which ends up costing you time and money on training and hiring?

It doesn’t matter what it is that is causing you a big fat business headache, it’s going to cost you more to do nothing about it. Sometimes you have to invest in a solution to see better results. This could be developing a better culture to keep your great employees or investing in technology for your shop.

In order to change, you must have a process

So, you decide to go ahead and do something to better your fabrication business. Huge step! It can be overwhelming and pretty darn scary. As Geoffrey Gran from The Countertop Factory said, “Change can be scary, it’s the owner’s job to lead.”

I feel like a broken record here but it’s too true not to say over and over again – every shop needs a process. And it will change as your shop’s bottlenecks change. In the Identifying Your Shop’s Bottlenecks breakout, Brett Brunson of Evolution Granite said, “Bottlenecks – we fix one and find another.” It’s only circled a couple hundred times in my notes…

Attending these events, touring other countertop shops, and asking your fellow fabricators are some first steps in learning how to improve your efficiency and define your process. These tips will help steer you in the right direction and tracking your metrics will help you fine-tune the process that works best for your team.

Labor pains in the stone industry

I found it really interesting that one of the polls showed Labor as the number one business pain. All of the speakers mentioned retaining talent in some way or another. With a labor shortage haunting fabricators of all sizes, training and culture are more important than ever in a countertop shop.

Creating easy processes and taking the time to develop thorough training allows less experienced employees to be successful. It also prevents mistakes and bad habits that can end up costing you.

As for culture, Sepp Vanderputten from Sarto Granite talked about his employees feeling like family. He found that by caring for and treating his team well, they shared the same level of concern for their work.

Thanks for the love

It was incredibly humbling to hear Moraware mentioned as the “lifeline” for many fabricators at this event. In the breakout discussions I attended, I was amazed at how often Moraware came up in different conversations about best practices. Our goal here at Moraware is to help fabricators in their business, whether it’s our software or highlighting best practices and industry resources.

Attending industry events like these are educational for us, too. We learn what fabricators are facing in their businesses and can continue developing solutions to help. Come say hi to us at the next one!

Want to chat about your process? Shoot us an email, we’re always happy to help!