After 20 years as a masonry contractor, Troy Bown evaluated how changes in the industry had affected his business and decided it was time to change direction. He teamed up with Utah’s largest stone vendor and began turning out dimensional and architectural stone for stonemasons, including mantels, hearth stones, wall caps, profile windows and more.
Bown said it can be a scary thing to make a sizable investment. He was also daunted by a change in machine brands to Donatoni. “As an operator you get used to running the way one machine operates. Everyone has their own little way of programming software. My fear about the learning curve I would experience when I changed brands proved to be totally unfounded.”
In addition to being at least two times faster than the older machine, Bown was blown away by the Sprinter’s ease of use. “Donatoni has a software feature called Parametrix built into their machine, that is really, really, really a bonus. It saves a lot of time in set-up alone. It will take a picture of the slab, while its on the table of the machine, and after you place your pieces around it, you just push go and walk away.”
What else has impressed him? “The company that sold me our old machine had representatives in the U.S., but their customer service was practically nonexistent. Everyone at Intermac/Donatoni has been so great to deal with, from their folks in North Carolina to their techs who set up the machine here in Utah,” Bown said. “Their customer service is the best across the board. They’ve even put techs on planes and flown them across the country to help me get up to speed.”
There’s also been another bright spot. Bown bought his Donatoni Sprinter 825 in late 2019, but by the time it was built and installed in May 2020, he had become worried about the pandemic’s impact on business. “As it turned out, knock on wood, the pandemic did not affect our business at all. If anything, it even got busier for a while,” he said.Bown says he doesn’t intend to go crazy with specialty work, but as the influx of people moving to Utah drives more business, he will replace the older machine too. “For me, a new machine has to prove it can pay for what it’s doing. For a one-man shop like mine, the key is keeping it simple, while finding ways to modernize.”
Everyone at Intermac/Donatoni has been so great to deal with, from their folks in North Carolina to their techs who set up the machine here in Utah.