It seems in a blink of an eye we have gone from trips to the beach and lake during the sunny days of summer to waking up to chilly mornings and seeing the beautiful autumn foliage – and suddenly it is almost time to carve the turkey and buy holiday presents. Where does the time go? I feel like it wasn’t that long ago that I was talking with many of you at TISE and presenting Joey Marcella with our 2018 Fabricator of the Year Award, but now we just sent out the nomination forms to choose a candidate for 2019. It’s an exciting time, but it makes you realize how fast the days and months fly by.

While I am on the subject of the Fabricator of the Year Award, I would like to encourage everyone out there to take the time to vote. A few years ago, we revamped the voting process to allow everyone in the industry to have a say in who wins the award. For the most part, this is a close-knit industry and many of you know each other from various trade shows, events and organizations. Those who are nominated seem to be recognizable figures in the industry who give their time to education and other ways of involvement. You are the ones who interact with these people, and maybe, one or more of them has even helped you gain more insight into the industry or with a particular issue. So it makes sense that you are the ones voting for your peers. The polls will remain open a few more weeks, so take the time to cast your vote. 

In addition to planning for the next Fabricator of the Year, this is the time we at Stone World start looking ahead to the next year. We have our calendars marked for all the trade shows, workshops and other industry events we will be attending and we start to decide on the content for upcoming issues. I would imagine that you are doing the same with your businesses right now – taking note of profit levels, if you will invest in machinery and/or personnel in 2020. 

As I talk about many times, I attend numerous workshops and forums throughout the year. I recently was in Tampa for the Stone Summit, which Stone World organizes with the Natural Stone Institute. (You can read more about it beginning on page 74.) One point I continually hear various industry leaders tell their audience is to know your business. Performance statistics are crucial to success. “It needs to be customized to your operation,” GK Naquin of Stone Interiors told the crowd in Tampa. He explained that a business owner needs to track performance statistics from each process of fabrication, including equipment-reported production, employee-reported production, material usage/variance and tooling usage. “Knowing your costs and what brings in profits is crucial to a successful business,” he said. 

So as the year winds down, if you haven’t already, devote some time to take stock of how your business is faring and set some goals for the upcoming year.