In recent months, I made "repeat visits" to two different fabrication shops that I had first covered before the recession turned our industry upside down, and both shops are profiled in this ENewsletter.One was a very effective shop in Maryland that focused on highend residential fabrication and the other was a "Mega-Shop" in Nevada that processed jobs that featured as much as 300,000 square feet of stone for the resort and casino trade in Las Vegas.

In both cases, the shop's business philosophy and client base had changed quite a bit since the mid-2000s. In the case of the first shop, Artelye Marble & Granite of Beltsville, MD, the company has broadened its focus, and it now relies on commercial fabrication for a significant portion of its business. The shop itself actually doesn't look much different than when I was there in 2006, other than the fact that they added a SawJet. But they also changed their approach to sales, and they added digital templating and programming technology that helps them process architectural stonework.

So far, the plan seems to be working, as Artelye Marble & Granite looked pretty busy when I was there, and they are doing high-profile commercial work throughout the Washington, DC, region.

At Cadillac Stone Works of North Las Vegas, NV, the change was even more dramatic. Instead of focusing on massive jobs with hundreds of thousands of square feet of stonework, the company began doing residences and smaller commercial work, such as spas, restaurants and nightclubs within the Las Vegas casinos (garnering an MIA Pinnacle Award for its work at The Cosmopolitan Spa along the way). It sold off some of its machinery, keeping two CNC stoneworking centers and two waterjets, and it is also using the waterjets for specialty medallions. These companies are just two examples of fabrication shops that have changed their business model to move with the times, and we hope to continue to show you more examples in the pages and online editions of Stone World.