- Mark Olivito
PAVERART Engraving: Moving Forward With Major Expansion Complete
PAVERART crossed the 20-year mark in business in March. We are proud of that as a small, specialized manufacturer. Our designs are in every state in the USA, and while our Engraving business can not claim that, we are on our way. Having 2 complementary businesses is not as easy as it seems.
To be honest, when I came into PAVERART in 2018, more than one person told me to "get rid of it" any time our engraving business came up. They cited plenty of reasons:
"Look at the space it consumes! We have PAVERART designs that NEED that space!
Do we even make any money on it? How can we when you see how long it takes to engrave a paver?
Look at the time urgency on every order for something that costs $25.......it's crazy!"
Truth be told, all of those reasons were accurate. AND there are a NUMBER of engraving companies that indeed have gone out of business. So all the feedback I listened too about engraving falling into the "this is too hard" category of businesses was supported by others in the industry that have exited. People tend to NOT go out of business when they are making money hand over fist.
So what have we done?
We've gone the OTHER way. We haven't retreated, we have INVESTED in engraving to try and get better, as others have gone out of business. Picture number was our first round of investment, a rebuild of our prep room to go about 12' higher to capture more space. Picture #2 is a COMPLETELY NEW, dedicated engraving space (picture from December 2022, now it's fully built out and in operation.)
All the investments in physical locations and equipment however can never compare to the impact of a great team. In 20 years of operation, our current team is by far the best, built around a great core and we are starting to attract people that understand what we are all about. The people game is always the most challenging. It takes time, patience and grit to get better at teams.
And maybe most important, the world is recognizing it and we are capturing meaningful jobs where our story and methods resonate.
We try to be completely transparent with our clients.
We tell them why and how we are different.
We share what we've learned over 20 years in business and how that can help (or not) manage projects toward successful outcomes. What is challenging, what is easy, and how that impacts them.
We've picked up new technologies and methods over the years that address some of the fundamental challenges of engraving, in particular working hard to improve the longevity of the product.
And maybe most important? We need to be thoughtful as to WHO we do business with. There are a number of times we've talked to people and we know pretty quick that we aren't going to be good for each other. It's hard to pass up on opportunities, but fit does matter.
Do investments in any business mean you are "the best?" Absolutely not.
As a business owner, that works in a challenged industry, it is important for us to share what we are doing and how that should leave them with confidence we are not going anywhere. I invite all prospective clients to come see with your own eyes our commitment to being a great partner. And WE want to get to know our prospective clients as well before we say yes.
Speaking of great partners.....
This weekend I was really proud. Dominic and I went to the Toms River Police Department's ceremony unveiling their new Court of Honor. Anytime we are invited to one of our client's events we try and attend, and it was on a rainy Saturday and we would have gone stir-crazy in the house!
Over 300 engraved pavers were showcased, honoring retired Police Officers, along with the custom department shield we built in PAVERART.
NBC Philadelphia captured the story perfectly.
The INSIDE of the Police Department is equally inspiring. I love their showcases and historical timelines. There's something about history and recognizing where you've come from. It helps you move forward. Chief of Police Mitch Little is one impressive leader!
"Every single paver has a story. In the time they were here they served this community in some capacity, they helped somebody in that time, they saved a life and they changed somebody's life forever." - Chief Mitch Little