At heart, no two companies are the same. They may appear similar on the surface but look deeper and unique qualities appear. Some businesses provide the foundational ingredients which others then craft into a final product. Some choose to work with specific materials or components while others are open to anything.
But in fabrication, many workshops prefer to specialize in their own way as it allows staff to focus time and resources on a niche industry. At SPEEDlabel, we’re happy to help shops of all sizes and specialties streamline the process from start to finish.
SPEEDlabel co-owner and countertop professional Steve Mast explains that “for countertop fabricators, there are different channels of business.” These include supplying or working with big box stores (like Home Depot, Lowes, and IKEA), home builders, remodeling contractors, retail or direct-to-consumer sales, and apartment complexes.
During his time in fabrication, Mast has visited many shops which only handle work for apartments. The frequent repetition and lack of creative spontaneity may not suit everyone, but it fills a very real need. “Apartments take very low margins and overhead to compete in the apartment channel,” says Mast. “Apartments generally are the simplest, highest volume, and easy work. Your installers don’t need additional training or experience and you don’t need to communicate to a homeowner; just go in and get it done as fast as possible.”
One trend that has gone hand-in-hand with this work is the migration from apartments using laminate to white quartz, he says. “This has created a huge opportunity for apartment fabricators, but also a nightmare. It is a sea of white quartz in a dusty, dirty shop. Everywhere you look are white pieces with red crayon or blue ink pen written all over them.”
Or, worse yet, mis-cuts from smeared masking tape measurements, post-it notes that won’t stick to a dusty surface, and documentation mix ups on lookalike pieces. You don’t want to show up for an installation with parts 1-4 from one job and 5-7 from another simply because they’re identical in color and texture.
“Getting all the right pieces for each apartment unit out of the shop and to the building is no small task,” says Mast. “Even worse is if you manage to get 1. all the right pieces 2. in the vans and 3. to the site, good luck taking the parts to the correct units. SPEEDlabel solves this problem.”
At SPEEDlabel, our printers and labels were designed by fabricators FOR fabricators. The ink is water- and smudge-proof and labels can be customized to include destination, piece count, edge geometry, quality control sign-off and overall dimensions. We even auto-ship refills so you’ll never run out during the busy building season.
To learn more about ways we can make the day’s workflow easier, green, errorproof, and even totally paperless, check out our website. There’s a learning center of concise, detailed videos addressing snipping tips, auto populating from Moraware, creating custom fields, and ways to keep multiple areas, or rooms on the same job distinct so pieces don’t get confused.
On YouTube, we have a channel with additional videos, including several geared specifically towards apartment installations. Learn about organizing white quarts parts in the shop, how we can help installers onsite, and how to stop cutting pieces short onsite by using edge labels. Or check out the ways different shops explain what’s on their SPEEDlabel for everyday ideas. Our web gallery familiarizes clients with every step of the process and customers—new, existing, and potential—can ask questions of the team. To get started, simply request a demo today and we’ll be happy to help.
It’s estimated that there are approximately 5 million apartment buildings in the United States which house approximately 35% of our population. The National Apartment Association says that “To meet growing demand, America needs to build at least 4.6 million new apartment homes at all price points by 2030. In addition, as many as 11.7 million older existing apartments could need renovation during the same period.”
If your shop is looking for a niche in the market, consider specializing in rapid-fire apartment countertop fabrication and installation. Your work will be appreciated by renters of all ages whether it’s their first, next, or forever home. SPEEDlabel can keep track along the way, and we welcome input and suggestions from real-world teams. Who knows? Your input could feature in one of our upcoming YouTube videos and be just the answer someone was looking for.