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From an outsider’s perspective, the stone industry is the whole boundless world that opens a gateway to the magnificence of stone in varied colors, textures, and structures. Years ago, I got into the stone business sharing the same perspective, unaware of all the challenges affecting the stone market. My work sent me to every corner of the industry, from legal matter management, sourcing of materials, marketing, logistics management, IT project coordination, office management and more. Having walked the way from a layman to visionary, I now see clearly the challenges sellers and buyers face within the industry.
The most challenging task for stone business, it sets both sellers and buyers on edge. Sellers have a hard time ensuring the products meet customers’ quality requirements and are shipped safely to customers, while the buyers’ top-of-mind issue remains how to find in this intricate web of suppliers the one with good quality control practices and best customer services.
Fungibility of Stone Products
To add fuel to fire, suppliers of synthetic materials invest huge efforts into their promotional campaigns to put the natural stone on par with manufactured stone. With an ever-expanding market of synthetic materials, it’s getting tough not to pale in comparison with man-made stone and maintain the high ranking on the market. In 2016 MIA + BSI, in facing the challenges in the stone industry, started their joint efforts on promoting all kind of stone products.
Obviously, when fragile, easily damaged but the more expensive stone is chosen for flooring or bathroom application in a home, then it will most likely lead to comparison with other cheaper surface materials such as ceramic, wood, and vinyl. Now, that benchmarks are set, companies are better to protect stone products from negative effects resulting from pricing comparison and more.
Natural stone is strong, beautiful and lasting, sometimes modern, at other times classic yet always luxury, adding a touch of elegance to any interior, exterior or outdoor surroundings. With its versatility, unique pattern and texture, it can be used on a variety of surfaces. No wonder, I struggled over the puzzle why the stone is not the primary choice for residential interior uses, like bath and kitchen countertops, vanities, floors, walls, islands, fireplaces, hallways, and many others. From my observation, the main reason is not just about the price, but availability.
Despite a wide selection of stone colors, textures and finishes on offer, sourcing of materials still remains a thorny issue derailing many construction and design projects. People are often at a loss how to find material locally, get it shipped if necessary or installed on the project. Rarely can even contractors find stone materials in an open local market. Rationally, the question arises why there is no marketplace for end-users?
The fact that there is no marketplace where natural stone companies, firms, builders, and homeowners could easily connect is a blatant shortcoming that goes further beyond inconvenient sourcing process. There is no way how consumers could stay in tune with internal and external decoration opportunities, natural stone designs, available colors, textures, and finishes.
Ultimately, such unawareness only deepens on the back of information scarcity from natural stone and services suppliers. And as long as stone products and services are not promoted, we're caught in a vicious circle. The situation has brightened up when MIA + BSI issued an array of technical and training resources to promote stone materials. Both institutes have done a remarkable job shining a light on every aspect of the industry. Through the collective efforts, many stone fairs spring up around the world, opening opportunities for stone businesses to showcase their products, connect, and negotiate deals.
Stone products are heavy and therefore difficult to ship. Without a comprehensive and cost-effective solution, available in the stone industry today, most people are forced to travel with those heavy samples in order to show them to potential buyers at stone fairs. A key organizational requirement for participation in stone trade fairs includes having samples on display in a booth. Accordingly, participants incur extra efforts and extra costs. Is this the most efficient way of doing business? Hardly.
Mindful of the challenges disrupting the stone industry, I came up with a solution www.stonyy.com creating an opportunity for buyers and sellers worldwide to do business more efficiently with mitigated risks and reduced expenses. Hopefully, you’ll find your needs met and burning issues addressed with this advanced software solution.
Bring innovation into your business by joining us and setting up your store on www.stonyy.com for free. Feedback us what you think so we could provide a complete solution for future of stone e-business.
Registration always free
Unlimited access to resources
One swatch to reach multiple vendors
Shop inventory domestically or internationally
Find best deals from overstock
Discover your favorites in market
Compare products and deals
Online order update and shipping tracking
Live chat with vendor
Own your online store
Expand sales territory domestically or worldwide
Products and services more discoverable
Online inventory management
Online order processing and invoicing
Multiple selling modes
Creative selling tools to improve sales performance
Choose favorite term to get paid
Online chatting and messaging system