Producing 1000 sq ft per week with only 3 shop employees, Sarto Countertops has experienced outstanding growth since its beginning in 2015 with the help of Park Industries’ digital machinery.
In 2013, Robert Wiemann was approached about the possibility of purchasing a small countertop company. A local successful businessman had started the company but it wasn’t making any money and he realized he needed to sell it. Robert had been involved as a tax consultant for the company, and, as a CPA, knew the financial and business side of the coin, but he didn’t feel equipped to operate the entire company and what would be required for its turn-around.
Fast forward two years…Giuseppe Vanderputten (Sep), who was mowing the grass for the entrepreneur, was also approached to purchase the business. Sep, immediately saw this as an opportunity and after some research, felt there was nothing to lose. After convincing a bank about his business venture, Sep jumped on the opportunity, purchased the company, and started production as Sarto Countertops. He immediately brought on Robert as a CPA consultant and after just one year, the company was profitable. The second year, Robert joined Sep at Sarto as a full-time partner. With Sep focused on managing the operations and fabrication, Robert was eager to handle the financial side of the business…that is when Sarto Countertops began their rapid growth.
Read their story! Expand the sections below to learn more about Sarto Countertop’s story and their partnership with Park Industries®.
Sarto’s Keys to Growth
Not Just a Product
Both Sep and Robert’s values lined up in terms of how they envisioned Sarto Countertops operating. Associates, Customers, and Family are the focuses of the company, with Sep stating that “We provide an experience AND a product, but mainly an experience.” Sarto meets their company’s mission by creating a family atmosphere with their employees with an “all in this together” mentality. Sep continues, “When you meet a Sarto employee, you might as well be talking to the owner.”
Part of the experience for the customer, is getting the faces of Sarto Countertops out there and providing an advisor type role for the customer. Sarto has built a library of informational YouTube videos to educate the customer and be a thought leader in their market. They’ve had tons of success, with some videos reaching over 70,000 views. Robert reflects on these efforts, “The videos have been wildly successful. We’ve had people as far as Brazil and Europe call us from them, they’ve been showed at numerous events throughout the country….they’ve definitely reached out past Kansas.”
Sep and Robert have been focused on the long-term growth of their company. Sep reflects, “We want to turn a profit, but more importantly we want to reinvest in our company to focus on the experience for our customers and employees. This builds a strong brand that will move our company forward in the future.” They’ve proven those words, with their construction of brand new building for their company.
Move to the New Facility
The original fabrication facility was located in a century old block building. Sep reflects, “At the beginning, we used a YUKON® Bridge Saw, a forklift, and a manual router…we were completely manual and polished everything by hand. I saw an opportunity to reduce overtime, material costs, and reduce our mistakes.”
In 2017, they began planning a new facility that was needed to meet their capacity. A new shop was built with AC, an indoor slab yard, a beautiful showroom, and more. Included in the move a plan for new fabrication equipment.
The Digital Transformation
The Digital Experience
Sarto researched fabrication equipment companies, unaware of Park’s status in the industry even though they owned a YUKON® from Park Industries®. Eventually through their research, they found and called Park. The sales representative that Sep spoke with listened to their situation and gave advice based on their volume and potential capacity of the new shop. Sarto had so much volume they couldn’t fabricate projects quick enough. Change was crucial. Sep and Robert attended a Digital Stoneworking Expo™ (DSE) at the suggestion of the sales rep.
After experiencing the DSE and realizing how digital equipment would impact Sarto Countertops, they were convinced that they needed to go digital. Sarto Countertops added the SABERjet™, TITAN®, Pathfinder, FASTBACK® II, and HydroClear to the new facility and saw a near immediate change.
Reasons for choosing Park
While Sarto Countertops was trying to figure out how to cut faster, they weighed their equipment options. After attending the DSE, Park was the clear winning choice of equipment manufacturers.
In addition to the fact that all Park equipment has the same software and speaks seamlessly to each other, Sep shares, “The strong service that Park is famous for providing was clearly displayed with the way they ran their DSE and in networking with other fabricators. Fabricators across the country rave about Park’s service. They love Park, and we see why. We never felt like we were being sold to which was extremely impressive. I felt like I was talking to someone who runs the machine or who is in the industry like I am, not just a sales rep.”
Sarto’s new machines were up and running with ease. After cutting a few sample pieces, they started cutting out jobs on the machines within the same day.
Sep shares, “We started cutting jobs just about the same minute that we had the machines up and running.” While there was a learning curve, he was surprised to find it was not quite as daunting as he expected. Sarto felt well prepared by Park’s thorough training and the user-friendliness of the machines.
1. SABERjet™ : Sep admits to being very close to pulling the trigger on a robotic sawjet from a different manufacturer, but states once he really looked into the SABERjet™ CNC SawJet, he immediately liked it better. The key features on the SABERjet™ he likes were:
- Compact Design and Smaller Footprint
- Increased Table Capacity
- Extra Mitering Abilities including the Miterjet
- Easy and Very Little Maintenance
- Fast Cutting Speeds
“The SABERjet is an animal, it cuts all day, every day. It was clear to me that it offered the best return on investment.”
2. TITAN®: The prominence of the TITAN® as the leading CNC Router in the stone world drew Sep’s attention. He states, “I don’t think any other CNC in the industry has the reputation of the TITAN®, and the TITAN® definitely has earned it.” Key features he likes are:
- ArmorDeck Table Size and Durability over the Competitors
- ITM for taking care of the tools
- Easy to Use Software far superior than competitors
3. FASTBACK® II: The speed of the FASTBACK® II has been a huge time saver for Sarto Countertops. “A great addition to any shop” Sep states, “I would recommend even just starting out with a FASTBACK II if you can’t afford a TITAN. It increases your capacity and saves tons of labor hours.”
St. Mary’s, Kansas, USA
TYPE OF FABRICATION
1000 Sq Ft (About 5 Kitchens Installed Per Day)
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
20 (3 in Fabrication Shop)
Began in 2015 after purchasing an existing shop with a YUKON®.
SABERjet™ XPCNC SawJet
Powered-packed CNC sawjet with a 27 hp saw motor, true 5-axis waterjet cutting, and unmatched mitering capabilities all in a compact, monoblock design. Single and two table options available.
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.
YUKON® IISemi-Auto Bridge Saw
Increasing your output speed is easy when you use America’s most popular stone saw – the dependable YUKON® II Bridge Saw from Park Industries®. Trust your sawing needs to the YUKON® II as over 1,000 fabricators have done in North America.
Park never over-promised on anything, but they over-delivered on many levels. We run into more things every day that add to our level of satisfaction. If you do your research, you will always choose Park.
Giuseppe V. & Robert W.
I don’t think any other CNC in the industry has the reputation of the TITAN®, and the TITAN® definitely has earned it.
Robert Wiemann & Giuseppe Vanderputten
A great addition to any shop…I would recommend even just starting out with a FASTBACK® II if you can’t afford a TITAN®. It increases your capacity and saves tons of labor hours.
Robert Wiemann & Giuseppe Vanderputten
The SABERjet™ is an animal, it cuts all day, every day. It was clear to me that it offered the best return on investment.
Robert Wiemann & Giuseppe Vanderputten