After years of research and consideration, McKenzie Stone & Tile placed their trust in Park Industries® to help automate their shop with CNC machinery for higher efficiency.
Mckenzie Stone & Tile
Narelle Hooker has always been around the shop floor with her dad establishing McKenzie Stone & Tile in Eugene, OR, in 1996. After over a decade of manual fabrication, when Narelle took over she was ready for change. As they had after a poor experience with another brand of machinery previously, they turned to Park Industries® to expand their production capabilities into CNC machinery.
They are now 100% powered by Park Industries® machines, fabricating digitally with more production and efficiency than ever.
Read their story! Expand the sections below to learn more about their story and partnership with Park Industries®.
A Fresh Start
For the first five years of establishment, McKenzie Stone & Tile focused on solid surface fabrication. In 2001 they expanded their product line, and started fabrication stone countertops themselves. Another five years passed, and they took their next big step – purchasing their first bridge saw. Unfortunately, this purchase had two drawbacks: One, it was not a Park Industries machine and was met with little support and a lot of frustration. Two, it settled in their shop a year before the Great Recession swept across America.
As the next five years came and went, McKenzie Stone & Tile persevered and grew, despite the major nationwide economic impact. Narelle took over the company in 2011 after her father retired and completed an official purchase from him in 2014. In the tail end of the recession, she gave the company a fresh start in a new building and exchanged the old bridge saw for a YUKON® II semi-auto bridge saw from Park Industries®.
Time to Go Digital
After some great years with the YUKON® II and plenty of research in industry groups and events, like the Park Industries® Digital Stoneworking Expo she attended, Narelle knew it was time for a change. Thus she began planning to do so.
Then once COVID and labor shortages hit, Narelle knew it was now or never.
In the fall of 2020, McKenzie Stone & Tile sold their YUKON® II then added a VOYAGER™ XP CNC Saw, FASTBACK® II with SlabBACK Slab Support, and the Pathfinder digital slab station, all from Park Industries®. After adding a TITAN® CNC Router soon after, her shop became completely digital in only about a year.
Narelle recounts, “I can’t even remember what life was like before it [going completely digital], and I would never go back. Before we were a fabrication crew that loved what we did, but this has just brought a new level of excitement to our team.” Even as many businesses struggle to find qualified employee prospects, McKenzie continues to scale up with the help of their Park CNC machines. Less staff are needed to produce more each week, and the company enjoys major savings no longer needing to train team members how to “polish an edge perfect every time.”
Machine Review – Printing Money Legally
Simplicity and speed are two of the noticeable changes McKenzie Stone & Tile has experienced over the years of diving into digital operations with Park machines. They still may not completely walk away from their VOYAGER™ XP, but this stable workhorse has met their current and growing needs, cutting anything and everything they throw at it with install ready precision every time.
“It [the VOYAGER™ XP] has doubled, possibly even tripled, the number of slabs we can cut in the day over the YUKON® II,” Narelle praises. “It’s helped us tremendously with porcelain – it cuts far better, much cleaner, less vibrations, which has greatly minimized cracks that can easily happen when working with this material.”
Once cut, slabs go straight from their VOYAGER™ XP to their TITAN®, a true “game changer”, the “machine that’s going to allow us to scale up,” Narelle believes. This CNC router dominates high-speed polishing, doubling McKenzie’s production from before the TITAN® without needing to increase their staff. Affectionately known around their shop as the “money printer,” the TITAN® does it’s job like it’s part of the hired team. “This machine we literally can walk away from,” Narelle says. “You just push a button, leave it alone to go to work, and it just prints money.”
McKenzie Stone & Tile became home to both a FASTBACK® II and a VOYAGER™ XP in December 2020, a true match made in heaven. The only way it could have been better? Making this addition ten years prior. According to Narelle, “No shop can afford to NOT have a FASTBACK® II. It has one task, and it does it stellar.” Her favorite machine (though the TITAN® is a close second), this flat-edge polisher shaves off more than just rough edges. Major savings in the way of time taken off their daily operations has made this machine a welcomed addition to McKenzie’s growing Park Industries® inventory.
If you want to talk about next level precision, the Pathfinder™ will without a doubt be part of your discussion within McKenzie’s shop. True to its name, this digital slab station allows increased customer engagement in the final design vision, while simultaneously tightening up your company’s attention to detail. “We can offer more options faster because it’s in a digital format,” Narelle states. “Plus, we can be extra picky about the tiny details such as vain line up during installation.” Gone are the days of laying out templates on physical slabs and struggling to coordinate appointments with customers to come to their shop. Now it’s a quick snap, attach, and click ‘send’.
Committed to Performance
We’ve Got Your Back
Narelle worked with Park Industries® for several years before she became a customer to ensure it was the right partnership for her shop’s success. “I appreciated they didn’t give up on me,” she laughed. “There was honesty, and I knew I wasn’t getting sold something I didn’t need.” After her first bridge saw purchasing experience back in 2006, she sought committed customer service that would consistently answer questions, provide needed parts, offer reliable service, and keep her team educated. “That’s the reason we’ve bought all the Park Industries® machines we have, and why we continue to work with them,” Narelle explained. “Because of the commitment to service.”
Supporting American made products and jobs are equally as important to the McKenzie team. They work hard and happy, knowing each machine purchase not only helps their company grow, but also provides careers right here in ‘hometown USA.’ Narelle doesn’t hesitate when asked why someone should work with Park Industries®: “You will not be sorry,” she states simply. “The Park team, from sales to service and everyone in between, has shown their commitment to us. As an owner, I know I can count on them to have my back.”
The Park team, from sales to service and everyone in between, has shown their commitment to us. As an owner, I know I can count on them to have my back.
McKenzie Stone & Tile
No shop can afford NOT to have a FASTBACK® II. It has one task (backsplash) and it does it stellar.
McKenzie Stone & Tile
The TITAN® is a true game changer. This is the machine that will help us scale up – we walk away from it while it works and prints you money.
McKenzie Stone & Tile
The VOYAGER™ XP has nearly tripled the number of slabs we can cut in the day over our previous bridge saw. It’s helped us tremendously with porcelain. It cuts far faster, with much cleaner cuts.
McKenzie Stone & Tile
I can’t even remember what life was like before it going digital with Park Industries®, and I would never go back.
McKenzie Stone & Tile
FASTBACK® IIFlat-Edge Polisher
The FASTBACK® II is a shop game changer. Save tons of labor and produce flat-edge production FAST. Boost your polishing productivity for just pennies per lineal foot, with a very high ROI.
VOYAGER™ XP5-Axis CNC Saw
The VOYAGER XP with a 27 hp spindle, 5-axis capability, and TightCut™ technology is a must see solution for any fabricator transitioning from a bridge saw to a fully digital solution.
TITAN®CNC Router Series
Rugged, durable, and extremely profitable for your countertop operation. The TITAN® is the stone industry's undisputed CNC router leader for edging, polishing, and finishing countertops.
Pathfinder®Digital Slab Station
The Pathfinder® Digital Imaging workstation does it all! Capture precise, fully-calibrated images of your stone slabs in high resolution. Build a visual library of your slab and remnant inventory, or create scaled, rendered images for further programming on your CNC.