Making a name by expanding

November 1, 2003
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Bruce Battle and Danny Cox both head the three-year-old stone fabricating shop, Constrata Surface Innovations. The company is a division of Majestic Marble and Glass, along with three other businesses -- Marquee Cultured Marble, Envision Glass and Mirror and Cornerstone Solid Surface. As an extension of Majestic Marble and Glass -- which started in 1990 -- Constrata has created divisions of its own in Wake Forest, NC, Youngsville, NC, and Raleigh, NC, where corporate offices are located.

“Constrata began as a solid surface fabricator, and we decided to pursue the stone side of our company about two years ago,” stated Division Manager, Jeff Coombs. “The demand and growth of this segment has been incredible for ourselves and everyone else.” The company has grown from 10 employees and completing one kitchen a day to over 40 employees. Currently, it produces four granite kitchens per day in addition to 6 to 10 kitchens in solid surfaces -- with a capacity to go to 10 or 12.

Constrata fabricates and installs materials such as granite, marble and Caesarstone, an engineered stone product, as well as a broad range of solid surfaces. The majority of the projects that Constrata fabricates are residential countertops. A small percentage of sales are spread over commercial tops, tubs, fireplaces, showers and special projects. “Our most recently completed projects include million dollar homes in the Triangle Area Parade of Homes, the Olde Town Yacht Club -- featuring a mixture of granite and solid surfaces -- and the renovation of our showroom in Raleigh,” stated Coombs. “The showroom is a state-of-the-art facility with a dedicated selection center along with displays of tops, showers, tub decks, tables and all that our company offers.”

The operation occupies 40,000 square feet, with room to expand another 20,000 square feet. Within the facility, a staff of skilled fabricators are equipped with modern machinery and tooling. They employ a total of 45 workers, including 11 in the granite shop, five installers and one measurer.

The machines and tools that Constrats utilizes in the shop are mainly supplied by Regent Stone Products of Virginia Beach, VA. The American model bridge saw, Bristol single head inline polisher, Master 3500 and 2800 portable router/polisher were all manufactured in Italy by Marmoelettromeccanica and purchased through Regent. Of this equipment, the most recent addition was the Bristol polisher. “This piece of equipment has not only increased production and quality of straight pieces, but allows us to better utilize skilled labor instead of throwing multiple people at countertops,” explained Coombs. “We can utilize our labor force more effectively without having to have a shop full of seasoned veterans.”

The shop also uses a variety of smaller handheld tools from Flex, Metabo and Alpha, according to Coombs. “We also have a crane system over the entire shop floor, combined with Abaco slab clamps and Wood's Powr-Grip vacuum lifters,” stated Coombs.

For every fabricator, there are always goals and challenges that are being achieved and surpassed. For Constrata, increase of sales and education is the most important long-term aspect of the business they strive for. “Obviously we want to increase sales, but we also want to grow in every facet of our business, from employee to customer education and satisfaction,” stated Coombs. “We want each customer, after purchasing countertops, to feel that they were our only customer, no matter how large the business grows. We hope to consistently exceed our customers expectations.” In the near future, Constrata wants to continue growth. “We evaluate the equipment and products out there -- at events like StonExpo -- in order to plan for short-term and long-term growth,” explained Coombs. “And we want to make our buying process smoother and more user friendly so customers feel comfortable making selections.”

End box:
Constrata Surface Innovations, Raleigh, NC

Type of work: Residential tops, showers, tub decks, tables and commercial tops, tubs, fireplaces, showers and special projects

Machinery: Regent/Marmoelettromeccanica American model bridge saw, Regent/Marmoelettromeccanica Bristol single head inline polisher, Regent/Marmoelettromeccanica Master 3500 and 2800 portable router/polisher, Gorbel aluminum bridges, Abaco slab clamps and Wood's Powr-Grip vacuum lifters, hand-held tools from Flex, Metabo, and Alpha

Number of employees: 45

Production rate: four granite kitchens per day, along with 6 to 10 kitchens in solid surfaces

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