Chinese operation expands to the U.S.
â€œOur Shanghai factory was started in early 1993 during the construction boom of Shanghai skyscrapers,â€ said David Peh, Vice President of Color Marble. â€œThe factory was intended to fabricate all stone needs for hotels, condominiums and office buildings in Shanghai. We supplied several high-profile projects for wall cladding, lobby floors, stone columns and vanity tops.â€
In the beginning of 1996, the company started exporting custom cut-to-size stonework to the U.S. â€œOur products range from tract home kitchen countertops, condominium and timeshare kitchenette tops, hotel vanities, wet bar tops, stone thresholds, windowsills and tub wall stone enclosures,â€ said Peh. â€œEach month, we ship from 56,000 square feet to 84,000 square feet of custom cut-to-size stone products to the U.S. The stones used are from China, Brazil, India, Turkey, Norway and Saudi Arabia.â€
According to Peh, much of the fabrication in China is done by both machine and hand, depending on project fabrication requirements. â€œWe have three infrared bridge saws, two shape profilers, four undermount sink polishers, two large overhead cranes, several slab polishers and four hand polishing lines,â€ he said, adding that the factory normally operates two shifts to satisfy the demand for quick turnaround and time sensitive projects.â€
The factory is spread across 150,000 square feet, divided into four buildings, but plans are underway to expand the facility by another 50,000 square feet. Among the company's principal markets are the hospitality sector, including hotels and timeshare, and condominiums and tract homes.
In total, Color Marble employs 140 workers in China and 75 in the U.S. As hospitality projects increased in volume and complexity, Color Marble formed a new company, Color Marble Project Group (CMPG), to be dedicated exclusively to servicing commercial projects. CMPG was launched in 2002, and has steadily won new hospitality contracts while con-tinuing to service repeat customers, according to Peh.
CMPG also established itself as an exclusive service to architects, designers, developers and contractors in their needs for custom fabricated natural stone products such as vanity tops, wet bar tops, kitchen countertops, Jacuzzi tub decks and furniture tabletops. All custom-made stone products are shipped directly to the jobsite, and are ready for installation.
Color Marble's experience and track record in handling hospitality projects even before the formation of CMPG has contributed significantly to the success of this new company. CMPG's portfolio features noted projects such as MGM Grand, Monte Carlo Hotel and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas; Disneyland and Westfield shopping centers.
CMPG works with its Shanghai factory in a coordinated and synchronized manner, according to Peh. Based on specific design requirements, stone may be imported from any country around the world. Stones are exported from the country of origin into China for fabrication. Finished custom-made orders are then shipped directly from China to jobsites in the U.S. â€œThe control we have over the entire fabrication process to ensure work is done precisely to specification and our aggressive delivery schedule are two elements that are hard to beat by our competitors,â€ said Peh. â€œOur short-term goal is to provide the best quality product with stones from all countries to the U.S. hospitality markets on the West Coast. Thinking long term, we would like to be the most recognizable and reliable stone works manufacturer in the U.S. We want our name, Color Marble Project Group, to be a household name in the hospitality industry.â€