Industry Insights

A new era of collaboration among fabricators

October 15, 2012
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

Last month, I sat in the showroom at IGM in North Bergen, NJ, with nearly 40 veteran fabricators from the New York Metropolitan area, and I saw something that probably wouldn't have been possible five or 10 years ago. These fabricators -- many of them competitors with one another -- had a brainstorming session like I've never seen before. The event was part of the MIA/Stone World industry education series, but it was in a different format than past events.

Rather than a standard presentation or seminar, the event was an open forum, where audience members raised specific issues, and one by one, each topic was written down and slated for discussion. At a recent MIA/Stone World Industry Education event at IGM in North Bergen, NJ, veteran fabricators -- many of them long-time competitors -- candidly shared ideas on how to succeed in the current business climate. The lead speaker of the event was Tony Malisani of Malisani, Inc., and Secretary of the Marble Institute of America.

He has spoken at major industry events such as StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas and Coverings, and he expertly addressed every single topic before the day was through. It is important to note here that while Malisani offered plenty of his own insights, much of the education was provided by the attendees themselves. As I said, this was a room filled with heavy hitters, and they were not shy about getting specific about how they addressed issues in the shop and in the field. Moreover, they detailed their failures as well as their successes.

I saw fabricators that I thought were long-term enemies sharing ideas with one another, and I can tell you that everyone in the room took away something that they will apply to their business. I've attended plenty of open forums over the years, and very often, I'm right in the middle of the discussion. But this go-around, I kept quiet and filled my notebook with all of the information and ideas being exchanged. The topics that were discussed covered a wide range of issues, and pretty much all of them represented forward thinking and a view towards future success.

  • Expanding a business
  • Reducing errors
  • Best practices
  • Working with new technology
  • Marketing in the digital age

"Most people got into this business thinking that the market was only countertops, and for a decade and a half, it was," said one fabricator. "But now, if you walk into our shop, we are doing a lot of other work. Countertops are only a small part of it." The fabricator went on to explain specific products and practices that he has employed to grow his business and make it stand out in a very crowded marketplace.

A brief rundown of some of the topics discussed appears in the "Latest Happenings" section of this E-Newsletter, and a full recap of the event will be in future print and online editions of Stone World. At a time when it is easy to become disenchanted with the current business climate, it is a breath of fresh air to see a collection of industry veterans take a moment to network, share information and collaborate to advance our industry as a whole. These MIA/Stone World events take place year round across North America, and if you haven't been to one (or even if you have), I strongly encourage you to check one out in the future. Like our industry, the topics are always changing, and I guarantee you will take something away from it.

Learn more at www.stoneindustryeducation.com.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Stone World 

Recent Articles by Michael Reis

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

November 2014 Stone Products Gallery

Check out the November Stone World image gallery!

Stone World Magazine

Stone World October 2014 cover

2014 October

Featured on the cover of this issue is the Colorado Yule quarry in Marble, CO, which was recently purchased by Italian stone producer, R.E.D. Graniti.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

CSTD Fall 2014 cover

2014 Fall

In this issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design, we take a look at the latest developments in TPT, with a feature article and you can read more comments from Waldrep on this subject as well as other industry professionals.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

STONE STANDARD

Are you aware of the new stone standard – ANSI/NSC 373 Sustainability Assessment for Natural Dimension Stone?
View Results Poll Archive

The Stone World Store

How_To_Polish_&_Restore_Mar.gif
How to Polish & Restore Marble Flooring

This video will show you step-by-step how to resurface and polish marble flooring from grinding and removing lippage and scratches to achieving a highly reflective polish.

More Products

Stone Industry Education

Stone Industry Education

From fabrication...to installation...to marketing and much more!  We provide natural stone professionals with stone knowledge and education they can count on, as well as great networking opportunities. Click here to go to Stone Industry Education.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook logo Twitter  YouTubeGoogle+

Vertical Sector Focus: Critical Infrastructures

criticalhomepagethumbFrom terrorism to vandalism, it’s preparedness, response, training and partnerships. Learn about some of the critical security issues facing this sector.

Visit the Critical Infrastructure page to read more.