“Logistically, it does inventory management control,” said Bill Elliott of Northwood Designs, Inc. in Antwerp, NY, developer of Slabsmith. “It does the slabs, the remnants and it has the ability to do it all very quickly and easily with your physical inventory. One issue fabricators run into is keeping track of their slabs by a spreadsheet and then they have to give it to their accountant and they have to run around their yard to verify that their spreadsheet is right. They might be closer to accurate after a day or two of running around and double checking, but generally they are still off and they used up two work days that could have been used on other things.”
So how does Slabsmith help a fabrication shop? It allows a fabricator to create a digital slab that is accurate in color and size, and scan that slab to a specific location and have that digital slab in a database. The slab can also be scanned after it is fabricated and the remnant then can be saved to a location — conserving time later on so a fabricator doesn’t have to search through the yard to find a matching slab. “That’s one of the other really interesting things about Slabsmith,” said Elliott. “We create digital slabs in the beginning and the implication that they are accurate dimensions and show the real color of the slab. Now this gives you the ability to search by size, so you can say I need ‘X’ inches by ‘X’ inches and you can find it. That’s huge because you can quickly and effectively find your remnants in your yard and actually put them to use. The alternative is running around your yard, trying to find a matching color and using your tape measure to try to figure out the exact measurements.”
The future of Slabsmith is now working with stone distributors, such as Cosentino, to create the digital slabs at their processing plant, so the digital files can be sent directly to the fabricators. “This allows the fabricator to save even more time,” said Elliott. “In the next few years, you will see a lot more stone distributors be added to that list.”
When it comes to material handling and safety, Slabsmith can also be helpful there. “When you have a digital slab, you don’t need to spend time in your yard moving your slabs around,” said Elliott. “You want to see that third slab in the rack and don’t have time to be getting a forklift, moving the first two, looking at that third one then putting everything back. Now you scan the barcode of the third slab and you can see it instantly. This also reduces the chances of a worker accidently breaking a slab when moving it.”
In the beginning of last year, Andrey Karpenko started a new company called SlabCloud. Karpenko created an independent software development company from SlabSmith, but they do consult with them to make sure for the best synchronization process for online inventory. SlabCloud works with Slabsmith to show a fabricator’s stone inventory up online in real time. “This is something I really care about and am really passionate about and my goal is to optimize the program as much as possible for the user,” said Karpenko. “Once we set up the program, it is good to go, there isn’t anything else to do unless the fabricator does a major overhaul to their computer system. But even after that we can go in and set it back up.” While the software has several different features that help a fabricator, one of its biggest benefits is a kitchen visualizer tool that uses the fabricator’s actual inventory. This allows fabricators to have a real time stone preview and if the name of the slab is updated in the fabricator’s inventory, it will also populate in the visualizer.
To learn more about SlabCloud, visit www.slabcloud.com