SFA: What's the Answer?

Metrics and Growth


SFA Member

HI. I'm new round here. Kinda. I have been searching for information on metrics and benchmarking. Short story. I'm third-generation stone fabricator who is taking over the family business and I am trying to grow the company. The last generation is still kinda old school, as in using computers is still stupid, so you can imagine my fight that I have day after day.

I am doing my best to hold on and hoping to start growing the company so any advice and help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Adam Whitaker
C. Whitaker Marble Inc.
St. Louis

Mark Meriaux

The MIA+BSI conducts an annual industry-wide business survey (of both members and non-members). Detailed survey results are available to survey participants and MIA+BSI members at no charge, and to non-members for $199.

Here is info on the most recent survey:

Mark Meriaux
Accreditation & Technical Manager
Natural Stone Institute
direct 440-250-9222 x217 • mobile 770-490-0419


SFA Member

The MIA Benchmark survey is an invaluable tool for anyone who needs a ruler to compare your operation to other like-sized organization.

I highly recommend it.

Dave Scott Slabworks of Montana
Bozeman, Mont.
"What we leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others" -Pericles


Guardian Sponsor

Also-- there are many many more in-depth threads related to growth and metrics in the members area ... you should join!

Caleb Breer
Crowne Kitchen and Bath
Moore, Okla.
Caleb @ CrowneKB.Com (remove spaces) https://facebook.com/CrowneKB


SFA Member

Awesome. Thanks guys. I appreciate it. I have a lot of work to do. I will become a member pronto. I would like to do some research on this. I will purchase the report but not until I have a clear understanding of where the company is financially. Again, thanks for the help. I am all ears if anyone has more advice.

Dan R.

SFA Member

1. Your company's past info is data. Look at it. Manage it.

2. Start managing business segments (office, shop, install) individually.
3. Begin to integrate technology. Moraware may be a good start.

4. The benchmark survey just gives the combined stats of participants (including average, mean, median,etc stats). Not sure how exactly it helps, except to compare johnsons, as each shop is unique in at least one sense, if not more. In the past this survey was free because of sponsors.

5. Develop a management plan that works for you. Talk to shops of similar size and larger. As the company grows, so will the management requirements and style.

6. Attend workshops. I find them the most valuable source of seeing work flow/material handling, as well as networking face to face.

Dan R.
Morris Granite
Morris, Ill.


One thing I have come to find over the years of comparing metrics with respect to stone shops is that it is not always apple- to-apples. Not only that, but you have to consider the source of the data. Not all information is the same. And it is only as reliable as the person who calculated it. There are, however, a few metrics that I find valuable when it comes to managing a shop.

1. Rework/Remake %
2. Material Yield
3. Sqft/Hr (Per man hour in the shop)

Those are what I look at on a regular basis to gauge the performance of the shop. As far as benchmarks go, I wouldn't worry so much about comparing yourself to others. Just set some goals for yourself and try to hit them. At the very least, it may get you looking at your processes in a different way and you will make your shop better than it is. Good luck!

Jonathan Blythe
Production Manager
Floform Countertops
Kent, Wash.


SFA Member

I love these 3-metric formulas for the shop. We are going to apply them to 2019 and see where we get.

Thanks for sharing!

Andrew Just
16 years in the business … and counting (grin)


SFA Member

I have been trying to make sense of this buisness for many years. To say the least it is quite challenging analyzing data. I think that 3-metric formula is probably the most important info you need .
John TouhillTouhill Custom CountersDarby, Pa. jtouhill@comcast.net

Joe Percoco

SFA Member

One quick down and dirty is to compare your gross per number of people. Say you do $400,000 per year and there are 4 of you = $100K per person. A large "factory" shop in your area may do $12,000,000 per year and have 130 employees. That would equate to $92,000/ person gross sales. It may show you that your company is at least in the ballpark.

Now figure out how to slowly grow the business without taking on many more people. Don't necessarily diss the lack of technology. All that fancy stuff costs a lot to purchase and maintain.

Ready for another topic?