Taking an analytical approach to stone fabrication
Although a quick glance at the facilities of Globe Marble & Granite Stone Fabrication, Inc. in Wood-Ridge, NJ, reveals a traditional fabrication shop, a more in-depth look details the level of calculation that goes into the operation. By focusing on factors such as workflow, cost analysis and value-added services, the company operates on the principles of organization, practicality and efficiency.
Globe Marble & Granite is owned by Peter Brooks, who has a background in the financial sector, as he worked on Wall Street in New York City for several years. Brooks initially became involved in the operation eight years ago as a favor, helping out on the financial end of the business. “I had the opportunity to be the controller here, and I always wanted to run my own business,” he said. “My financial background was helping on the business side, but I had a desire to work on the fabrication side; to examine the workflow and downscale a corporate structure that would fit this business.”
Ultimately, Brooks agreed to take over the company and left his position in the financial field. “I saw this as a long-term opportunity, and I made the jump,” he said, adding that he steadily created a business structure for the operation. “It began with simple things like staff meetings,” he said.
In June of 2007, the company moved to its current location, where it fabricates natural stone as well as CaesarStone quartz surfacing. The property includes one 6,000-square-foot building that has the fabricating shop and 1,000 square feet of office space, and a second building for project staging, indoor storage and an eventual showroom. “Moving really gave us the chance to establish the proper workflow,” he said. “When I found this space, it was very exciting for us. I worked with an architect and engineer, and also applied my own workflow expertise.”
Additionally, Brooks said he received some assistance from CaesarStone when he moved into his current shop. “They came and looked at the space and offered their input,” he said. “Overall, they were very supportive. They’ve done a lot for me and made it easy for me to bring in business.”
Inside the shop, stone is cut on one of two automated bridge saws from Terzago of Italy - the Pratika and the Rapida, both of which feature a tilting head and rotating table. Edgework is completed using Marmoelettromeccanica Master 3500 portable routers from Regent Stone Products, and a Zattoni radial arm polisher is also used as needed.
In all, the company has a total of 16 employees. “One of the keys to my success is my staff and their longevity here,” Brooks said. “From the office manager to the shop foreman, many of the workers here have been in place for five years or more. Their mentality is, ‘Let’s get it done right the first time.‘“
An innovative approachIn developing Globe Marble & Granite’s company philosophy, Brooks sought to take a different tact than many fabrication shops. “One aspect that helped us differentiate ourselves was that we began with a business approach, as opposed to beginning with the labor,” he said. “Our estimating is very in-depth, and it involves cost analysis. This has really helped us with some of the specialized jobs we have done. I’m not a low-cost competitor. I want to be competitive in terms of price, but we also offer value, and that comes in terms of service. Sometimes, it is just something simple, like polishing the overhangs.”
Approximately 60% of Globe Marble & Granite’s work involves architects, designers, builders and contractors, with retail comprising the remaining 40% - fueled primarily by referrals.
The typical kitchen size runs between 50 and 70 square feet, and the company’s orders are a mix of complex work and more standard layouts. Globe also processes vanities, tabletops, fireplaces, book-matched pieces and other slabwork. It is currently fabricating a total of 10 to 12 kitchens per week, in addition to other architectural work.
In addition to its local residential work, Globe Marble & Granite has supplied stone for projects outside of the area, fabricating stone for residences in Upstate New York as well as the Hamptons of eastern Long Island, NY, and beyond. In one major example of this, the company fabricated the stonework for a private residence in Bermuda that had a total of seven different kitchens. “We flew down and templated, and then we cut the material here [in New Jersey],” Brooks said. “We crated and shipped the pieces and our tools, unloaded everything in Bermuda and basically set up a shop on site.”
On the commercial end, Globe Marble & Granite has completed a range of projects throughout the New York City Metropolitan area, including multi-unit high-rises in Manhattan. This work often includes the countertops as well as elements such as tub decks, vanities, full backsplashes and other architectural stonework. Among the company’s high-profile work in Manhattan is the Windsor Park residential condominium complex, a 15-story renovation project completed by the renowned architectural firm of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, LLC.