Archive | November, 2013

Fabricator Profile: AMC Countertops

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Fabricator Profile: AMC Countertops

Posted on 27 November 2013 by CRadmin2

In 1999, Axel and Carmina Mendez immigrated to the United States from Mexico City to establish themselves as a pioneer for Silestone. At the time, quartz surfacing was relatively unknown among consumers, and competition with solid surface and Granite was fierce.

In 2002, the couple was able to acquire a fabrication distributorship in Fond du Lac, Wis., and their company, AMC Countertops, quickly gained a reputation as a leader in quartz surfacing. The primary fabrication facility and headquarters is still located in Wisconsin, and nearly all of the company’s clients are located within the state.

The couple tries to work locally in the belief that building strong communities is essential for success and for the happiness of people in general. To that end, they give generously to such charities as Habitat for Humanity and the United Way.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here.

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Glass Bros. Offers Sink Mount Kit

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Glass Bros. Offers Sink Mount Kit

Posted on 26 November 2013 by cradmin

Sink Mount KitGlass Bros. offers its Easy Mount Sink Mount Kit for undermounting sinks. The mounting system connects to the underside of the rough top plywood and allows for easy installation of bathroom vanity sinks, bar sinks and any sink when the combined weight of the sink and its contents are less than 50 lbs. The slotted brackets provide 1/2-in. adjustment of the sink in all directions, which makes alignment with the finished sink cut-out quick and easy. The sink adjustment screw raises the sink up to meet the bottom of the countertop and holds firmly in place while caulking dries. Brackets also rotate to the side, so sinks can be removed from the bottom without affecting the countertop.

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Upselling Countertops Can Make for Happier Customers in the End

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Upselling Countertops Can Make for Happier Customers in the End

Posted on 22 November 2013 by CRadmin2

Cultured Marble Countertop

On a recent trip to visit friends in Russia, I immediately noticed their newly redecorated kitchen. I was duly impressed with everything about it, including the cabinets, the range and oven and the integral sink. However, a closer inspection of the sink revealed dark stains at the bottom and a few chips around the edges. This immediately prompted me to make a closer inspection to confirm my suspicions. The countertop and sink were made from cultured marble, likely with an inferior gel coat. I’ve seen thousands of cultured marble vanities and bathroom sinks, but never have I seen one this new in this poor of a shape.

After admonishing them for not consulting with me first regarding the materials used, I asked what prompted them to go with cultured marble. Several reasons were named, including price, visual appeal and a generous guarantee on materials and installation. They had fallen into an all too familiar trap of buying on price, instead of value. They liked the look of the integral sink, and moving up to laminate would have most likely meant a few more rubles, but also drop-in stainless steel sink, which was not as appealing. However, how happy were they now?

As most who work in the countertop industry believe, cultured marble may be sufficient for bathroom vanity tops and sinks, but most kitchens require a surfacing material that is more durable. The dealer made good on the guarantee, but it ended up becoming a losing proposition for everyone. Their solution was to saw off the original sink flush with the bottom of the countertop and attach a well-sealed replacement. However, the pattern of the new sink was slightly off, and the work left a visible seam covered in silicon, something I doubt would ever fly with consumers in the United States.

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The lessons to be learned here apply not only to consumers (you get what you pay for; do your homework), but also to fabricators and dealers. Educating the customer is important. If they are buying a product that you aren’t sure they will be happy with in the long run, you should let them know it. In this case, had the customer known the sink was apt to stain or chip with heavy use, they may very well have opted for a more durable material (a win-win for both the customer and the fabricator). Upselling a customer to a more appropriate surface may not have been met with immediate satisfaction, but over time, the decision would hopefully be thought of as sound advice, reinforcing loyalty. In addition, the installer would not have had to spend the extra time and effort repairing a lower-grade product covered by a warranty. We all know call-backs aren’t cheap! If a customer wants to go with an inappropriate product, make the extra effort to upsell them to a material that will last and has a low rate of warrantied service requests and will, ultimately, make them happy. This will keep them satisfied, improve your profits and keep your service personnel focused on new jobs instead of fixing those that have already been completed.

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Sealing Concrete Countertops Using Acrylics

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Sealing Concrete Countertops Using Acrylics

Posted on 21 November 2013 by cradmin

In this video, Tommy Cook, well known concrete countertop guru, shows his process for sealing concrete using an acrylic-based sealer. The simple process basically just uses the sealer and a micro-fiber pad.While the demonstration is being performed on a fireplace surround, the narrator makes it clear this same process is applicable for countertops.

This is the first video in a three-part series showing the sealing process with acrylics. The second video shows the process for applying an acrylic urethane wax coating over the sealer and the final part shows how to strip off the acrylic sealer should rework need to be performed.

Please drop us a line at info@countertopresource.com if you have a video or have seen a video you believe we should be sharing with the countertop industry.

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Coverings ETC To Offer Larger Bio-Luminum Tiles

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Coverings ETC To Offer Larger Bio-Luminum Tiles

Posted on 20 November 2013 by cradmin

coverings etc bio-luminum tilesCoverings ETC has announced it will be offering its Bio-Luminum tiles in larger sizes. In the first quarter of 2014 the company will offer these tiles, made from recycled airplane parts, in 8- by 16-in. sizes. The tiles, which are currently available in 3- by 6-in. and 6- by 12-in. sizes, are developed from retired military aircraft, creating a modern and sleek looking design with an industrial feel. The 100 percent recycled product is made from recovered aircraft fuselages that are melted into blocks and sliced to create a lightweight textured tile.

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ETemplate Systems Offers ELaser Templating System

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ETemplate Systems Offers ELaser Templating System

Posted on 19 November 2013 by cradmin

PR ProCT Laser-FETemplate Systems offers ELaser™, the newest addition to its 3-D measuring technologies. ELaser measures both 3-D and 2-D and is suited for a wide range of as-built measuring from complex architectural woodwork to simple countertop templating. Its new fully featured Measure Manager™ software is the heart of the system and available in two configurations – Pro and CT.

The CT version is specifically designed for countertop templating. It auto-draws backsplashes, overhangs, corner radii and cabinet edge to user specifications. It scribes the wall (with auto offset if desired) and auto-calculates linear and square footages. It creates a dynamically editable drawing as measurements are taken and its CAD functions provide flexibility to modify the design after measurements are complete. The Pro version is designed for architectural woodwork measuring and 3-D modeling. It measures complete 3-D spaces and is also suitable for general contractors and architects for building inspection management (BIM).

The ELaser system features state-of-the-art technology in both hardware and software, is fast and easy to use, and has the ability to measure 3-D spaces in multiple planes, and easily measures complex curves, angles and cladding applications. The 3-D laser features real time video, precision crosshair targeting and single beam accuracy. The live video allows the user to photograph the jobsite for documentation purposes. Its built-in wi-fi connects the laser and the laptop controller, is self-leveling, notifies the user if the system has been bumped or moved and has a built-in relocation tool. It will layout level/plumb points, and project DXF points for difficult installs.

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New 1:1 Adhesive Product For Stone, Quartz, Solid Surface Available

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New 1:1 Adhesive Product For Stone, Quartz, Solid Surface Available

Posted on 19 November 2013 by cradmin

SeamBoss AdhesivesGlueBoss Adhesive Company offers its 1:1 SeamBoss seaming adhesive for use on granite and other natural stone, quartz surfacing and solid surface. According to the company, the glue has structural components in its formula, such as acids that allow it to etch into various materials and bond with steel and aluminum. It also has a rubber component that allows it to flex and bend. Additionally, it has impact modifiers to increase its toughness and it is UV stable.

According to the company, the adhesive’s 1:1 mix ratio is less sensitive, helping to prevent wet spots or slow curing. It will also reportedly bond to moist stone without loss of integrity.

It is available in four sizes – 400 ml cartridges, 250 ml cartridges (which can be dispensed with a caulking gun), 50 ml cartridges/syringes and 25 ml syringes.

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Marble Institute Offers Stone/Quartz Fabricator Benchmarking Survey

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Marble Institute Offers Stone/Quartz Fabricator Benchmarking Survey

Posted on 18 November 2013 by cradmin

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) is inviting all fabricators of stone and quartz surfacing in North America (members and non-members alike) to participate in a fabricator benchmarking survey. Participation is free, and all of those filling out the survey will receive some of the results relating to their businesses and their competition.

The survey, which is funded by Cosentino USA and Kohler Co., is confidential, in that no individual company responses will be shared, and it takes about 10 minutes to complete. The deadline for completing the survey is Dec. 1, 2013.

Those interested may fill out the survey by clicking HERE.

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A Different Approach to Marketing

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A Different Approach to Marketing

Posted on 15 November 2013 by CRadmin2

By Victoria Munro and Dave Block

Achieving success in today’s economy demands a different approach to marketing and relating to current and future clients. We can no longer rely on marketing strategies that have worked in the past. Rather, knowing that people choose to do business with those they know, like and trust, we should focus on developing those relationships.

Building strong relationships, based on trust, is key to finding and keeping loyal clients—the kind who will refer you to their friends and colleagues. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines trust as “Assured confidence on the reliability, character, strength, or truth of someone or something.” Building such relationships is especially important to those who work closely with clients, such as lawyers, accountants, consultants, coaches, realtors, financial planners and insurance agents.

Following through on commitments made is essential to building relationships of trust. Finding out and responding to what your clients, and future clients, truly want, need and expect will further strengthen this bond. Ideally, you should aim to become a trusted advisor. The following suggestions will help you achieve this.

Ask these questions to help you understand what your clients really want:

  • What would you expect in an outstanding relationship with a (fill in the blank) lawyer, coach, insurance agent, etc.?
  • Have you worked with a (fill in the blank) before? On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being terrible and 10 being terrific), how would you rate that relationship? If the answer is less than a 10, ask what it would have taken to bring this up to a 10.
  • How do you prefer to communicate: by email, phone or in person?
  • How much explanation and detail would you like when we communicate?
  • What do you consider the most important aspect of customer service? Tell me about your biggest customer service frustration.

Give really good referrals:

  • Find out who would be an ideal customer for each of your clients. Then be on the lookout for these companies or individuals, tell them about your client and suggest they connect.

Cultivate a sincere interest in each of your clients:

  • Get to know and appreciate them personally. Find out what makes them tick. In casual conversation, ask about their family, interests, hobbies, passions, books they enjoy, etc.

Record your clients’ information:

  • Use your CRM (contact resource management) database to keep in touch often.

Keep Top of Mind:

  • Think about different ways to ‘touch’ clients, for example: email, hand-written notes, birthday cards, breakfast, lunch, coffee or a ballgame together.
  • Brainstorm other creative ways to communicate with your clients, and how you can make these ‘touches’ more meaningful.
  • Record your actions and ideas. Each quarter, take a few minutes to review their effectiveness.

Building strong relationships based on trust takes time and effort, but the rewards personally and financially are well worth the investment. Our world is changing rapidly. We can’t depend on marketing strategies that have worked in the past. Solid, caring, trust-based relationships will be key to thriving in the future.

 

About the Authors: Dave Block and Victoria Munro are co-founders of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small business owners through creatively-designed programs and tools. Dave is known as the “Master Networker” in the business community and loves sharing how to become a successful business owner by learning the art of networking. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses.. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at: www.Make-it-Fly.com, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

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Granite Transformations Adds 5 New Colors

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Granite Transformations Adds 5 New Colors

Posted on 14 November 2013 by cradmin

granite transformations st leos copperGranite Transformations expanded its line of granite surfaces with the introduction of five new colors. The addition of these earthy colors further develops the company’s selection of granite, recycled glass and mosaic tile surfaces, all designed to be installed over existing surfaces. The new colors are: St. Moritz, a blend of earthy tones grounded by a background of black; Grigio Dolomite, a blue-black granite against a landscape of volcanic grays; Cortina, umbers and coffee browns amidst a mellow black and soft gray background; Gardena, a balanced color with tones of soft caramel, vanilla and medium browns; and St. Leo’s Copper (pictured here) with black and evergreen areas with clusters of copper.

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