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Still another advantage to Martinez’ commitment to his trade customers is that it’s allowed Stone Concepts to tap into a market several hundred miles north of the Denver area: Sheridan, Wyo.
Martinez was introduced to that market through a customer who’d relocated his business to the northern Wyoming city.
“Our customer wasn’t happy with the quality or the service of the stone suppliers there, so he contacted us,” says Martinez, who adds that the long-distance relationship has worked surprisingly well.
“They work well with us,” he says. “Usually we’ll have at least two homes to template, or it may be one to install and another one to template.”
If worse comes to worse, and although he doesn’t normally do the templating for the company, Martinez says he will work the templating in around a fishing trip.
“I will do it on those occasions,” he says with a laugh. “I hate going up there to fish.”
Even before that situation developed, though, Stone Concepts was serving a wide market. For example, in 2007, the company took on doing all the stonework for The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon, Colo.
The project included all the public areas of the resort, as well as more than 90 units with full kitchens and another 200+ units that featured kitchenettes – all with natural-stone countertops and vanities.
“That was a huge job for us,” Martinez says. “I had a crew up in the mountains for almost two years doing that.”
It’s also probably not surprising that having such a large job on the books, he felt comfortable moving into a new, larger facility across the street from the original building that includes 5,600 ft² of shop space, as well as the expanded office area.
“We bought an existing building and gutted it,” he says. “We put in a crane and a water filtration system. That’s also when we put in a CNC – a Park Industries Destiny; we already had a Pro Edge III, also from Park.”
The most that Martinez ever employed is 14 people. Now, the company is down to five employees (Anthony, Michael and Matthew Martinez, plus two others), with wife Kathy keeping the books. For now, he’s happy to focus on the residential market that’s become Stone Concept’s bread-and-butter.
DOING IT RIGHT
Of course, there’s a difference between doing a job and doing a job right. Martinez is very concerned with the health and safety of his employees, and in turning out a high-quality job. (The company took an honorable mention for its work in the 2005 Best of Home competition from Stone Business magazine.)
For instance, he’s proud that all of the shop’s work is cut wet, and he says it has also received plaudits during its inspections. He still conducts monthly safety meetings and the employees are always receiving safety materials to read and study.
Along with natural stone, Stone Concepts offers a number of quartz surfaces, and it was also the first in the area to fabricate both IceStone® and Vetrazzo in an effort to provide its customers with green options.
Where Martinez’ background really kicks in is in getting jobs organized and back out the door as quickly as possible while maintaining superior quality. Besides the long-distance templating, Martinez’ personal focus is on estimating and scheduling, and his goal is to have 99 percent of estimates turned around in less than a day.