Known throughout the world for its brands of Silestone, Dekton, Sensa and its natural stone collection, Cosentino Group is a leading material manufacturer. At the heart of the family owned business is concern for its employees and customers. Eduardo Cosentino, head of Cosentino North America, which is based in Coral Gables, FL, just outside of Miami, recently spoke to Stone World about how business has been impacted since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SW: What effects has Cosentino experienced so far from COVID-19?
EC: The pandemic has impacted every industry and every organization; Cosentino was no different. And with our Silestone and Dekton manufacturing facilities based in Spain — a country hard hit by COVID — our top priority was to keep our employees, customers and operations safe by increasing safety measures and adapting production accordingly.
At the start of COVID, we knew that in order to continue our operations with the least possible impact we needed to be agile and adaptable – qualities that are not foreign to us. As my father, Cosentino CEO Paco Cosentino, has taught me, the right mindset can use moments of hardship as fuel for innovation. And that’s exactly what we did.
We quickly went into action, implementing work from home policies and staying in constant communication with our business partners and customers about our course of action. The coronavirus has tested the fiber of our organization and challenged each and every one of us in different ways, but it has also strengthened our culture of innovation and our sense of teamwork. At a time where adaptation was the only option, we adapted, and our desire for change and innovation allowed us to weather this storm successfully.
Cosentino continued to produce its lines of Silestone and Dekton during the pandemic, but placed the safety of its employees and customers as a priority.
SW: Internally, what measures have you taken to protect your employees from the spread of the virus?
EC: As a family business, we value our employees with the utmost care. In order to protect each and every member of the Cosentino “family,” we updated our hygiene protocols to increase our standards in sanitizing surfaces and reinforcing the hygiene practices recommended by the CDC in all our activities.
Since March, we’ve also begun offering virtual visits to our Cosentino Centers so customers can select slabs from the comfort of their own offices or homes. In-person visits are still permitted, but are only allowed by appointment in an effort to limit the number of people in our showrooms. These virtual visits allow us to engage with the customer in a new way while also keeping them and our Cosentino team members comfortable and healthy.
“Our factory in Spain continued operations in a safe manner and reviewed the product demand to adapt production accordingly while continuing to prioritize the safety of our Cosentino team members,” said Cosentino.
SW: Has production slowed down at all due to the pandemic?
EC: Our factory in Spain continued operations in a safe manner and reviewed the product demand to adapt production accordingly while continuing to prioritize the safety of our Cosentino team members. During this time, we’ve continued to develop and launch new product lines while maintaining steady production. Our latest series, Silestone Loft, which just launched this October, was inspired by some of the coolest urban neighborhoods in the world. This current halt of travel has cultivated a very strong sense of wanderlust in so many of us, so finding ways to bring the spirit of these cities into our dwellings seemed fitting for this season. There also continues to be a strong interest in industrial, cement-style colors, and we anticipate these five shades (Camden, Seaport, Corktown, Poblenou, and Nolita) will not only meet, but exceed demand and lead the industry trend.
With this new line, we also unveiled our new HybriQ+ technology, an industry-first production process and a new hybrid formulation of Silestone, comprised of minerals and reused raw materials, with a significant reduction in the use of quartz – all to promote greater safety in the production and fabrications sectors of the industry. This cutting-edge technology represents a qualitative leap in the evolution of Silestone in terms of functionality, quality, beauty and sustainability.
“Cosentino continues shipping orders to North America on a regular basis,” said Cosentino. “While all Cosentino centers in North America had very high levels of inventory as the pandemic hit, our material remained in transit on the water and new containers continued to be shipped as well.”
SW: Is it now difficult to ship to your distributors and showrooms in North America?
EC: Cosentino continues shipping orders to North America on a regular basis. While all Cosentino centers in North America had very high levels of inventory as the pandemic hit, our material remained in transit on the water and new containers continued to be shipped as well.
SW: What is the main message that Cosentino would like to relay to its customers during this difficult time?
EC: We understand that these past few months have been challenging for the entire country, as well as the stone industry. As we all adjust to our new normal, Cosentino is committed to providing our customers with the highest quality product for their rapidly evolving needs while keeping the health and wellness of our employees, as well as customers, a priority.