At a recent Stone Industry Education event organized by Stone World and the Natural Stone Institute (NSI) and hosted by Arizona Tile at its facility in Beaverton, OR, Duane Naquin spoke to an audience of fabricators about several topics that could help improve their business. Naquin, who is the current president of NSI and co-founder of Stone Interiors, which has three locations in the southeast, shared some of his best practices that he has in place based on his own experiences of working in the stone industry for many years. One area Naquin touched on was providing a digital layout to a customer.

Naquin explained his company charges $250 for any digital layout, except if a customer buys from their luxury collection, comprised of exotic material. “There is a price involved in the digital layouts,” he said. “I have to take the time to move the slab and photograph it. Then one of our workers has to spend 30 minutes moving the layout around producing the options for the customer. When my luxury collections come off the truck, I photograph them right away and put them away. Then I can pull those when I need them.

“We will show them a layout based on the material we keep,” Naquin went on to say. “We are not doing crazy things in that layout like making the veining lineup perfectly. If they want to go to that level, we can show them those options, and what the price would be to achieve that.”

Naquin explained he doesn’t show a customer a layout with a perfect vein match because if something happens during the production process and the lineup is not perfect there will be an issue. “But if I show them ‘this,’ and we do ‘that,’ we have exceeded their expectation,” he said.

He went on to say the digital layout will show the direction the veins are running. “If they want to do something different, we show them what we can and can’t do, and we’ll go through the prices,” he said “We could tell them we need an extra 30 feet of material or another slab, and we will give them a price for those options. They then can tell us what they want to do.”