Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Defining the granite industry by marketing with social media

Owner Chad Briles of The Stone Shop in Ankeny, IA, has grown a successful company fairly quickly by using platforms such as Facebook to promote and get jobs
By Jason Kamery - Stone World

Chad Briles’ grandfather has been in the tile and stone industry for over 60 years, and Chad started working for him when he was 13. “Growing up, my grandfather taught me what it takes to make a successful business, and the key is honesty and quality,” said Briles. “When we started The Stone Shop, we drove to Kentucky and bought an old Sawing System bridge saw and a 1964 fork lift and brought it up here and started in a single-car garage. We worked night and day to build a brand that would define the granite industry. We specialize in pushing the limit with stone and creating things that define the stone industry.”

Three short years later, The Stone Shop — located in Ankeny, IA — is quickly growing market share and has become one of the premier fabricators in the state of Iowa. “We have had to learn a lot of things the hard way, but we have been very blessed to be surrounded by a talented team and my family,” said Briles. “My grandfather and father-in-law came out of retirement to help me build what we have today. We are a family business built on the core values that my grandfather taught me over 16 years ago. We do our best to treat every one of our customers and employees as just another member of the family.”

Recently, the shop purchased all brand new Breton machinery, including the new 5-axis Combicut, the CNC Counterbreton NC300 K40 Robocup and the Easyedge vertical edge polisher. “Going from a complete hand shop to a complete digital shop in four months has had its challenges, but Breton’s customer service has been top notch,” said Briles, adding they buy all their CNC tooling from Regent Stone Products of Virginia Beach, VA. 

We are very analytical, we analyze everything to see what gets the best production versus dollars versus life of the tool. When we started, we did a lot of straight polish edges. 
I would say 70% of our basic work is straight polish edge, aside from our custom work. We get about four weeks of life out of the Marmo Tool and around 7,000 to 8,000 linear feet running about 300 inches a minute. I was very doubtful, but Scott at Regent Products is very knowledgeable, and they stand behind their products.”

The Stone Shop 
Ankeny, IA
Type of work: residential, retail and high-end custom building

- a 5-axis Combicut
- a CNC Counterbreton NC300 K40 Robocup router 
- a Easyedge vertical edge polisher
all from Breton of Italy; 
CNC tooling from Regent Stone Products of Virginia Beach, VA; a 2D3D and LT-55 digital templating systems from Laser Products of Romeoville, IL
Number of team members: 31

Production rate: 35 kitchens a week, with the minimum kitchen size being 30 to 40 square feet. 

Thanks to Stone World.
Sergio Prior

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