Archive | February, 2015

David Carnevale Selected to be MIA Treasurer

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David Carnevale Selected to be MIA Treasurer

Posted on 25 February 2015 by cradmin

New MIA Treasurer David Carnevale

New MIA Treasurer David Carnevale

MIA president Dan Rea (Coldspring) has selected David Carnevale (president of Carnevale & Lohr Inc) to join the MIA executive committee and serve as the 2015 board treasurer.  Carnevale joined the MIA board in 2014 representing MIA’s zone 7 (Pacific: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington). In the past year he has been instrumental in helping with membership recruitment/retention at Marmomacc and is co-chairing an MIA initiative to create a “Supplier to Buyer Stone Manual.” His involvement has also included participation in the MIA pinnacle awards.

Carnevale assumed the role of treasurer  in January. He  has been with his firm and in the natural stone industry for 36 years.“David is deeply committed to the MIA and will do a great job championing the financial oversight of the organization,” said Rea.

Other members of the MIA Executive Committee include:

  • Vice President: David Castellucci, Kenneth Castellucci & Associates
  • Secretary: Jon Lancto, Surface Products
  • Immediate Past President: Tony Malisani, Malisani & Inc

Additionally, the MIA has a board of directors consisting of 13 individuals (nine from the United States and four from outside the United States)

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Fabricator Profile: Weaver Stone Co.

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Fabricator Profile: Weaver Stone Co.

Posted on 24 February 2015 by cradmin

weaver2Two years ago, Eddie Daly, business operations manager of Weaver Stone Co., proclaimed that he and the owners of the company, Brian and Corbey Weaver, loved their technology and were seeking to become the first fabrication shop in the Windsor, Colo., area to become fully automated.

At the time, the business was completely run by a five-person operations team, and they began using iPads in the shop and to job sites in order to help log in and access their Moraware JobTracker and CounterGo software. This allows them to quote new projects and track jobs in progress anywhere they have a Wi-Fi or wireless data connection. In addition, the company uses online applications, such as iSqFt and Blue Book Network to discover commercial projects and issue bids on them.

According to the company’s website, Weaver Stone was founded two years after Brian and Corbey married in 2006. He was a flooring, bathroom and countertop contractor specializing in tile at the time, but he believed that his community was underserved when it came to countertop fabrication.

However, in order to be closer to their families, the couple moved from Windsor to Fort Collins in July 2013. Since then, Weaver Stone has continued to grow, and new, larger location in the same area may be forthcoming.

Daly says that the company’s success has come about because it has two characteristics that sets it apart from other Colorado fabricators: a personal touch and attention to detail.

While Corbey handles sales and marketing for Weaver Stone, Brian and Eddie use their 26 years of combined experienced to provide customer-oriented service. “It’s all about the customer experience,” says Daly. Whenever problems occur, Daly and the Corbeys put their team into full gear and partner closely with customers to solve their problems.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here:  Weaver Stone Co.

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EOS Surfaces Expands GEOS Recycled Glass Surface Colors

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EOS Surfaces Expands GEOS Recycled Glass Surface Colors

Posted on 23 February 2015 by cradmin

GEOS Glacier BayAt KBIS 2015, EOS Surfaces showcased two new colors of its GEOS Recycled Glass Surface, a non-cement-based recycled glass material: Cirrus and Glacier Bay. Cirrus has a bright white background with clear/white glass particulate for a clean white on white option. Glacier Bay (pictured here), with a frosty white background, has larger blue glass particulates akin to deep blue waters in an arctic bay. The design is reminiscent of its earlier Marina or Avalon colors, but with more pronounced recycled glass chips. GEOS now has more than 20 colors available.

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Kohler Launches Sink Line Designed To Improve Workflow

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Kohler Launches Sink Line Designed To Improve Workflow

Posted on 20 February 2015 by cradmin

kohler Prolific_sink2Kohler launched the new stainless steel Prolific sink line to address the varied needs of kitchen tasks by offering three work zones and five accessories that allow users to customize the sink to their needs. The sink is made with three tiers that allow tasks to be completed in an ergonomic way for each user, regardless of height, age or ability. Five accessories fit securely on the edges of the tiered levels and customize the workspace to the specific user. A bamboo cutting board provides a sturdy, portable work surface that is easy to clean. Both a  bin and colander can be used for washing and soaking dishes or rinsing produce. Also, two durable, grated racks provide a drying rack for dishes or can be placed in the basin of the sink for protection. The sink’s large, deep single bowl allows space to soak and clean large bakeware, while a beveled cone-shape around the drain allows for quicker debris disposal down the drain. The sink’s stainless steel construction is resistant to staining or rust.

You may also be interested in this article about BLANCO sinks.

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More About Embedding Wireless Charging into Countertops

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More About Embedding Wireless Charging into Countertops

Posted on 19 February 2015 by cradmin

This video by Reviewed.com, is an interview of a representative of LG Hausys, makers of HI-MACS solid surface and Viatera quartz, who demonstrate how wireless charging technology can be embedded into “smart” countertops. The speaker basically walks you right through how it is done, including which technology they prefer (although do not endorse) and even talk about the cost of it.

Although previous information released elsewhere claims that granite or quartz are not candidates for this technology, this speaker directly opposes that viewpoint and asserts that only countertop materials containing metal will prevent the wireless transmission.

If you are interested in this emerging upsell for countertops, then you should probably give this video a watch.

You may also be interested in this video about embedded wireless charging in countertops.

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On the Floor at KBIS 2015 and TISE

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On the Floor at KBIS 2015 and TISE

Posted on 17 February 2015 by cradmin

DSC_0090It’s been three weeks since the end of Design & Construction Week, but if you are anything like us, it has taken this long just to get back into the swing of a standard work week. For the second year in a row, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) was co-located with the International Builders’ Show (IBS), and this year the two shows held at the Las Vegas Convention Center were joined by The International Surface Event (TISE), which was hosted by the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, also in Las Vegas.

For us here at CountertopResource.com, this was an exceptional event because it is the first that I personally had the pleasure of attending. I had a fantastic time meeting many of our longtime readers and clients in person for the first time and chatting with representatives and owners of some of the most prominent companies in the countertop industry. Not only was the show interesting and exciting on a personal level, it marked an upswing in overall attendance and the industry in general.

Design & Construction Week was held this year from January 20 to 22. It was the 51st annual event for KBIS, and including attendees and exhibitors at IBS, 2015 was a “banner year.” More than 500 exhibitors were on the floor in both the North Hall and South Hall while IBS was held in the Center Hall. The addition of the South Hall provided an extra 500,000 square feet of floor space for exhibitors and on-floor programming. Overall, 3,750 exhibitors spread across 4.7 million square feet of floor space participated in Design & Construction Week.

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In all, more than 125,000 dealers, designers, suppliers and builders participated in the event, which is an increase of 5 percent over last year. In addition, more than 300 media representatives were on hand to cover what is the largest platform devoted to the kitchen & bath industry in North American. According to the Las Vegas Review, Design & Construction Week helps to make January one of the busiest months of the year for the Convention Center.

“Everything about this year’s show lived up to the promise of bigger, better and bolder,” said Bill Darcy, CEO of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). “We were thrilled not only by the turnout but by how many innovations were introduced by exhibitors this year. We couldn’t be happier that the industry sees KBIS as the platform to successfully launch new products.”

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Brian Pagel, vice president of the kitchen and bath division of Emerald Expositions, the company producing the show, also released a statement about the event. “KBIS 2015 and our participation in Design & Construction Week was a huge success. We are incredibly excited about the future of these events given the prospect of a stronger housing market in 2015.”

At KBIS 2015, I was able to get a few sneak peeks at some of the latest technologies and designs from a few of the most prominent surfacing manufacturers in the world. Formica had two new collections on display, and Wilsonart announced the company was introducing a new line of quartz surfacing (although I kind of had the scoop on that a little bit early.

A few miles away at the Mandalay Convention Center, TISE was being held in conjunction with Design & Construction Week. Last year, the event included SURFACES and StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas, and this year, it was co-launched with the all-new TileExpo, which brought together professionals from the stone, tile and flooring industries.

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At TISE, I was in awe at some of the state-of-the art machinery that was brought out to display. One of the most prominent and impressive of these was the RoboSawJet from BACA Systems. However, Park Industries also made a distinct impression with the STORM Multi-Blade System and the HydroClear 90 water treatment system. Finally, I would be negligent if I failed to mention that ETemplate Systems walked away with the 2015 StonExpo Technology Award for its ELaser 3-D and 2-D measuring system.

Back at KBIS and IBS, representatives from the NKBA and the National Home Builders’ Association (NHBA), announced that the two shows will continue to co-locate through 2020, and KBIS 2016 is scheduled for January 19 through January 21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. I am already excited for what this event will bring, and I hope to see you all there.  And apparently TISE will once again be going on in conjunction with the other shows! I think it will be another one to remember…

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ISFA Adds Conference to 2015 Annual Meeting

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ISFA Adds Conference to 2015 Annual Meeting

Posted on 16 February 2015 by cradmin

Slated for Nov. 4 to 6, 2015, in the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas, the ISFA Annual Member Meeting Luncheon is being paired with an educational conference and variety of network events. Attendee space for the full 2-day event, which is sponsored by Cosentino, is limited.

Two guest speakers/trainers – Andrea Chapman, president of Suitable Solutionsand a Sage 100 Contractor-certified Consultant; and Ed Hill, owner of Synchronous Solutions and co-owner of Cabinet Creations – will not only share first-hand knowledge of owning and operating countertop businesses, they will share how they gained their track records of helping other business owners realize success. The event also provides attendees with opportunities to learn and network with each other.

A full registration includes: two nights’ accommodations at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, a kick-off networking reception with food drink and live music; a full day of discussion groups with industry experts, a vendor/sponsor meet and greet; the annual ISFA meeting and lunch, and a group dinner with the other attendees.

There is no cost for ISFA Members in good standing to attend the Annual Member Meeting Luncheon only.

There will be a fee for attending the full 2-day event. More information is available at www.ISFAnow.org or via email at info@isfanow.org.

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M S International Launches Countertop Edge Visualizer Web Tool

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M S International Launches Countertop Edge Visualizer Web Tool

Posted on 13 February 2015 by cradmin

MSI edge visualizerMS International (MSI) launched a new web-based Countertop Edge Visualizer tool that allows users to select from 12 countertop edge profiles rendering customer choices on countertop edge profiles available for a variety of natural stone countertops. MSI is offering distributors, designers and retailers to make this tool available on their websites at no cost. The edge profiles it includes are as follows: Eased, Bevel, Half Bullnose, Double Radius, Bullnose, Double Bevel, Classic Ogee, Step Half Bullnose, Bevel Bullnose, Double Ogee, Triple Pencil and the Dupont Bullnose. The kitchen layout shows selections from a variety of angles in two different natural stones: Netuno Bordeaux granite and Calacatta marble.

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The Four Keys to Doing Business Online

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The Four Keys to Doing Business Online

Posted on 12 February 2015 by cradmin

by Bill Ringle

Articles and reports have saturated our collective consciousness with how the Internet is revolutionizing business, I’m told by participants at our “How to Grow Your Business Using the Internet” seminars. But, perhaps what you’ve read up to this point has been lacking in specific details that would allow you to gauge the depth of your company’s website for creating the best conditions for doing business.

On the way to the tips, let’s first shatter two fundamental misconceptions that commonly distort the perception of doing business on the Internet.

The first fundamental myth is that any company can make big bucks selling over the Internet. It is true that some companies such as Amazon.com, Compaq and Lands’ End are making millions of dollars via e-commerce. Hard to find items, computer software and hardware, and high-quality/low-risk items have done very well for a select few companies.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of thousands of companies are using the Internet to save money on operational costs and to strengthen relationships with their customers. That’s the easier path to follow and the recommended course of action.

For example, look to how the leaders in the fabrication industry educate their clients about countertop materials, fabrication processes and installation. Nowhere on their websites do they offer or suggest making online transactions. Instead, they set a tone and develop an atmosphere for their clients to learn more about industry trends.

If a monthly newsletter costs $10,000 per issue to produce and mail to a client base and you can reduce that to a quarterly newsletter that supplements daily updates to a web site, you’ve improved customer contact (with a rising percentage of your audience) while positively impacting the budget.

Here is a key point to remember: Look first to save money on the Internet before you look to make money from transactions. Your Internet presence can show a healthy return to the bottom line simply by reducing costs from other areas.

The second fundamental myth is that doing business online is an all-or-nothing proposition. Either you’ve got a company website or you don’t. Those that do, win. Those that don’t, lose.

This oversimplification of the issue can cause damage to your company’s reputation on three fronts: failure to improve the content, failure to take advantage of new technologies and failure to address the culture changes within your organization.

On the Internet, content is king. However, nowhere else is its reign so short! In my presentations, I challenge participants to think in terms of information freshness, expiration dates and half-lives when submitting articles for their webmasters/content teams to post. Without this dimension, a site that, upon its launch, seemed vibrant and cutting edge soon becomes another cobweb site with a diminishing audience.

Keep abreast of technologies and adopt the ones that support your mission and goals. If a server-side Java applet allows you to add an amortization calculator to your site and that fits with your goals, great. However, avoid the trap of becoming technology-driven rather than outcome driven. Technology is a wonderful servant but a horrible master, in spite of what the IT journals claim.

Having a checklist mentality about your company website misses an important force for transforming your business internally, which is developing new processes for improving collaboration, productivity and learning. In my experience with corporations, it takes groups anywhere from three to 12 months to adopt a new system and take their corporate consciousness thinking to the next level.

Here is another key point to remember: Business website development is a constant, iterative process. You must be vigilant to stay on top of new information in your industry as well as new technologies that will serve your purposes. Always look at your Internet/intranet offerings from the perspective of your target audience, whether they are external or internal.

Now that you’ve sidestepped the two biggest potholes on the business lane of the Information Superhighway, let’s discuss four measures of success for a company web site.

1) Information rich

Remember King Content? Well, here is where you build the palace. Your visitors want information that is timely, accurate, well written and substantial.  Remember that your well-informed opinions are a key differentiator: Online prospects and clients want both the basis and conclusions of your analysis to compare against their own judgments. Whether you are a  a full-service house or run a specialty firm, you want visitors to your site to leave with the insight that you offer information that can be found nowhere else.

2) Interactive content

Static web pages are text-based and they do not change from one view to another. Interactive content takes advantage of special HTML codes on the server software to display different sets of information under different conditions. A simple example is to have a countdown timer to a special event. When sites become information rich, a keyword search engine becomes a necessity for navigation. Even better interactive content really endeavors to involve the visitor. In addition to being well designed and implemented, it provides useful feedback that builds the user’s confidence in the company.

3) Individualized experiences

Internet software provides the ability to remember each individual who visits a website, remember their preferences, interests and goals and offer the most relevant news, products and services upon each return visit. Are you taking advantage of that yet? It’s taking the interactive ability to look up stock quotes to the next level where a user profile is stored so that upon each visit the current share values as well as overall portfolio value is automatically calculated. Individualized experiences are one of the fastest ways to build brand loyalty online.

4) Integration with the business

By now you’ve realized that a website cannot succeed at the highest levels if it is isolated within a company, but you’d be surprised at how many people I come in contact with through my seminars and consulting projects that are still grappling with this point. It is critical that a company web site have ongoing input and interaction from all departments, from front-line sales to senior management. An IT person may be responsible for managing and maintaining the site, but educating the rest of the company on the opportunities and capabilities is a larger responsibility that can leverage your technology investment

 

About the Author

Bill Ringle, president of Star Communications Group, is America’s Internet business coach. He advises corporate executives who want to make better decisions about technology and small business owners who want to use the Internet to grow their businesses. Clients include MetLife, DuPont, Apple Computer, Pitney Bowes, Women in Communications, DaraTech, PRODN, CAMA, the National Speakers Association, University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. He is the author of TechEdge: Using Computers to Present and Persuade.

Copyright© 2015, Bill Ringle. All right reserved. For information, contact FrogPond at email susie@FrogPond.com.

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Formica Adds 10 New Laminate Patterns, Upgrades Surfacing Technology

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Formica Adds 10 New Laminate Patterns, Upgrades Surfacing Technology

Posted on 11 February 2015 by cradmin

Formica new 180FX colors

Formica’s 4 new 180FX colors revealed at KBIS 2015

Not only did Formica Corporation add 10 new laminate patterns to its line-up, including four new additions to its 180fx® line (pictured here) and six PremiumFX™ patterns, it also improved its surfacing technology to increase durability. EliteForm™, the new surfacing technology, not only makes the laminate more durable and scratch-resistant, it also improves the ability to post-form tighter radius edge profiles. With the introduction of this new technology, two existing Formica finishes now join the residential horizontal lineup – Artisan™ and Gloss. Previously restricted to light-duty, horizontal applications, these finishes are now suitable for a variety of applications, including countertops. EliteForm surfacing technology will be available on all Formica brand laminate products.

The additions to the 180fx line, with its large repeat pattern provides a realistic appearance in small and large-scale applications. The new additions imitate the natural detail of stone and wood, while the Premium Series additions have the look of stone, concrete and horizontal wood. The patterns focus on a neutral palette to pair with any interior design concept. The new 180fx patterns include Strata Olympico, with a marble like distinctive linear pattern of contrasting white and gray stripes; Marbled Cappuccino, with intricate detailing of chocolate brown, cream, white and black; Ferro Graphite, with a brown-gray marble look featuring subtle swirls with bold white veins; Wide Planked Walnut in the new Natural Grain™ finish, with the look of a a mix of walnut heartwood and sapwood featuring light to medium brown tones.

The six new patterns in the PremiumFX Series include four stone and concrete like patterns and two horizontal wood patterns. The four new stone patterns include: Marfil Cream, with warm white tones and light gray accents that really come to life with the new Scovato™ finish, which is lightly textured and low-gloss; Marfil Antico has a travertine-like beige with dark gray accents and light veining, similar to concrete; Silver Quartzite, which was created to mimic natural stone, has a silver background laced with white and black veining, whispers of charcoal, rust and gray are present throughout; and White Ice Granite with a with background with blue-gray and warm gray clouds and charcoal veining.

The two new wood grains in the Natural Grain™ finish are Oxidized Beamwood, an elegant wood grain with soft brown tones weathered with a gray patina. This new finish enhances the look of modern or distressed woods in cathedral and straight grains; and Salvage Planked Elm, which captures the trend of reclaimed wood and features a dramatic visual of painted, vintage wood planks.

You may also be interested in this article on seven new colors of laminate Formica launched last year.

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