At the end of August, I traveled up to Portland, ME, to attend a Digital Expo, which was hosted by Park Industries. As with all industry events I cover, I walked away learning something new and meeting new people.

I have to give kudos to Park. The format and content of the event, as well as the hospitality shown by the entire staff, was commendable. I understand why after 10 years, the Digital Expo is still well attended. And while technology is at the forefront for the company, it also holds customer service in high regard.

“This is a chance for us to hear you talk about the real world,” said Mike Schlough, as he welcomed the group of participants. “We are machine guys. You are stone guys. We are not stone guys, but we love to help you.”

One of the points covered during the seminar was the advantages of digital technology. 

Schlough explained that the event has evolved over the past 10 years. “It used to be a conversation about what digital technology was,” he said. “In 2008, they didn’t understand what it meant. Today, it is about how to make your business better.”

It was discussed how digital technology not only leads to a lower requirement of skilled labor, but also how it allows a fabricator to control consistency better. “Even spending money upfront, it pays for itself,” said Schlough. “Less employees needed, produces quicker [profits].”

The focus of the Digital Expo ties into this month’s issue, which features digital templating. Beginning on page 28, there are a series of Fabricator Case Studies – each with the company’s own story. The fabricators in these case studies represent different sizes, areas of the country and each chose a digital templating system that was right for them.

Of those in attendance at the Digital Expo, only 57% had invested in digital templating. Others were there to learn more about it. Education through research, attending industry events and talking to those who already have made the investment are all good ways to make that first step if you are considering purchasing a digital templating system.

As many of you already know, there are so many industry members that are open to sharing their experiences and best practices. At Stone World, we are fortunate that so many of you are willing to share your story with us and our readers. When I am on the road, I continually ask people what they like about the magazine and if there is anything else they would like us to cover. More often than not, I’m told how people appreciate reading the Fabricator Case Studies. So thank you to all who have participated, and if anyone else is interested in being featured, email me at to let me know. Or if you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear them.