The One Stop Shop for Countertops

Shiva Granite and Stone

“Our main focus here is to deliver a good product,” remarks Jay Sivakumar, founder of the family owned and operated business. “We want to see that our customers are always happy.”

This dedication begins during the selection process, when the team takes the time to match the client with the most appropriate product. “We make sure that they are happy with the choices that are made,” Ms. Sivakumar explains. Everything is considered, from the size of the space and the positioning of surrounding appliances, to the durability and weight of the material and the desired color and pattern. “We keep a huge variety of slabs that we can show,” Ms. Sivakumar adds. “And we can source any materials at a competitive price.”

Once a slab is chosen, the team painstakingly fabricates it to the client’s exact specifications. It isn’t easy. “Very, very small mistakes can become major issues,” Ms. Sivakumar explains. “We are dealing with stone.” And stone is terribly unforgiving. Some granites, for example, “are almost like a sand compound,” reports Wayne Robinson, head of Sales and Coordination for Shiva Granite and Stone. “We are working with some very hard to work with materials.”

Indeed, the process is becoming increasingly challenging. Rare and unfamiliar granites have become the norm as customers pursue dazzlingly unique patterns. These exotic slabs are certainly beautiful, but they can be extremely difficult to fabricate. “It’s an education every time we work on them. Every piece of material that we work on is different from the other because of the density and the crystals.”

A highly skilled and experienced workforce, therefore, is crucial. Ms. Sivakumar understood how challenging the work was when she launched her business, so she has always made it a point to hire only top-notch talent with many years of experience. “We’ve got guys who have been working in the business for 20 years so they’ve seen pretty much everything.” In fact, stone cutting takes such talent and creativity that Ms. Sivakumar considers her employees to be artists. “There is huge attention to detail.”

The company’s expert craftspeople have helped keep Shiva Granite and Stone get ahead in a very competitive market. “From template to installation, lots of things can go wrong,” Ms. Sivakumar points out. “We make sure that everything is right.” Customers have taken notice, and business is booming. In fact, the company is quickly becoming a provider of choice for challenging and high end jobs. These upmarket clients will accept nothing less than the best, and the team utilizes all of its skills to make sure that the best is delivered. “Anything to create that wow factor,” Mr. Robinson remarks.

Creating that “wow factor” often means designing and crafting showy centerpieces. “They are looking for something unique,” Mr. Robinson says. “They don’t want something that is like the guy next door or what they see at the mall. It has to be totally unique.” To this end, Shiva Granite and Stone works with suppliers from all over the world to provide customers with the one-of-a-kind pattern that they are seeking. “The suppliers are always working hard to bring in new materials,” Mr. Robinson reports.

And the company’s expert craftspeople are able to do some amazing things with this granite – for example, the team has fabricated wet bars out of translucent stone with specially designed lighting that shines from underneath for a dramatic glow. Shiva Granite and Stone takes pride in tackling this type of out-of-the-box project. “You’ve got to be able to complete a project that you have maybe not attempted before,” Mr. Robinson explains. And the team has to get it right. “People these days who are building these larger homes are really well educated [regarding construction]. They are aware of every issue. They are looking at a competitive price, but overall they are looking for a really excellent job.”

Superior customer service is also essential in providing a “really excellent job.” Mr. Robinson says that, “It’s all about service delivery. [This industry] is moving at such a high pace right now. Builders want to be on schedule. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night, we have to be available. That is the way you are competing these days.” Delivering a job on time is an absolute priority at Shiva Granite and Stone. “We have very good timelines,” Ms. Sivakumar reports. In fact, most projects are completed within two weeks.

Shiva Granite and Stone is committed to delivering a quick turnaround regardless of who the customer is. “Most of the big companies are too busy and [smaller customers] are pushed to the back,” Ms. Sivakumar says. Shiva Granite and Stone, however, ranks every client in the pipeline equally – no matter how big or how small. “We have customers who have gone to larger companies than us and they come back to us saying that they did not get the same attention [from the larger company] that they get from us.”

At Shiva, the team works hard to give each client what they need, when they need it. “We give personal attention to each and every customer, small or big.” In fact, the company’s dedication to customer service continues even after the project is completed. “Everybody is taken care of,” Ms. Sivakumar insists, “even two years after installation. We make sure that no customer is unhappy with anything.”

The company’s skilled workforce and top-notch customer service has begun to attract big attention. For example, the team recently completed a prestigious job for the Marriott Courtyard and Residence Inn in Calgary, Alberta. “The entire installation was done by us,” Ms. Sivakumar reports. It was a massive project spanning more than two years, which saw the team fabricate and install granite and quartz surfaces for vanities and kitchenettes in 158 Courtyard Suites and 171 Residence Inn Suites, as well as for the lobby and outdoor barbecue areas. Although the scope of the project was challenging, it was a complete success. “They were happy with the product that we did, with our workmanship and with everything else,” Ms. Sivakumar remembers.

With such a major project under its belt, the company is ready to continue moving forward. In the near future, the team will be increasing its focus on high-end, custom fabrication, as well as taking on more work for the hospitality industry and multifamily housing projects. Most of all, they will continue to provide exquisite workmanship and excellent customer service to each and every client.

August 17, 2018, 8:49 PM EDT

Goods in Motion

Logistics is all about managing the movement and storage of goods from “the point of origin to the point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements. This definition includes inbound, outbound, internal, and external movements,” explains the Lombard, Illinois-based Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).