Client Spotlight: Interview with Las Vegas Rock Inc.
posted on: Tuesday, April 18th, 2017
Our Breton USA Marketing Coordinator, Mrs. Karla Baez, had the opportunity to personally meet up with Mr. Chris Schulte, President at Las Vegas Rock Inc., for an exclusive interview at his facility located in Jean, Nevada.
Please tell us about your company?
We are a metaquartzite sandstone company, and we market throughout the world. Our primary business is exterior cladding. We work on exterior cladding for buildings, flooring and pretty much anything the architects can come up with. Our motto is: “We’re limited by the imagination of the designers”. Anything they create, we’re usually able to do.
Are there any specialties you market to your clientele?
Primarily, the exterior cladding. We have different finishes that we can apply: polish, windswept, and flamed. It all depends on what application the architect wants us to use.
What is the size of your company in terms of number of employees?
Currently, we have 54 employees between the quarry and the factories.
Tell us about some of the top clients that you work with?
We do a lot of casino work with the major companies in Las Vegas, and also throughout the country. You can see our materials on many of the MGM properties’. We’re in San Diego, Maryland, and New York. Many of the casino industry players favor our stone. We also do projects for the Department of Defense, The Veterans Administration, and The State’s Department for the United States Government; just to name a few.
How did you hear about Breton?
We contacted many companies and colleagues we have in the industry; primarily in Italy, that have a very good reputation, and they recommended Breton highly.
How was your sales experience with Breton USA?
We worked with Gerry for about three years prior to purchasing the Paragon. It was a long and but cordial process. After some back and forth with the numbers, the situation turned out to be just right on a certain day. And now we’re having this interview and talking about a major purchase for our company.
What concerns did you have before choosing Breton?
The primary concern that most of the fabricators and quarriers in the United States have is service: Italy being 9 hours ahead of West Coast time, being able to keep the communication through my staff here and Breton Italy, and having a proper liaison in-between the two. These things were very important to us, and was what ultimately led us to choose Breton.
Can you tell us the main reasons you decided to work with Breton?
Service was the number one. Gerry and Pietro were very determined in their intentions to provide the best Machine Service possible. Especially in comparison to what anyone else visiting the factory had said.
A point of paramount significance was the accuracy of the cut for the slabs, the speed, and the accessibility for any parts that we might need.
Also, having Breton’s presence here in the United States was very important.
Those were the three key points for me to justify the purchase, and Breton accomplished all of that.
How were the installation and training processes?
For the installation, the guys that came out were very cordial, knowledgeable, and helpful. They did a fine job. It took them the exact amount of time we had allocated, and everything went well.
During the startup, the training was very good. After they left, we did not miss a beat. They came back in August, and again in January, and the machine has been running daily. So, the training was adequate to be able to move in a forward direction.
Tell us about your Breton machine.
I own the Breton Multiwire Paragon 600 machine, and it’s remarkable. It cuts about 20 – 22 sq. ft. an hour; day in, day out. It cuts with an accuracy that is well within industry standards for the uniformity of the slabs.
We’ve reached the wire expectancy goal that we had in mind when we first purchased the machine. All those numbers have been met. So overall, we couldn’t be happier with it.
What level of operator is required for this machine?
On an investment like this, you want to be sure you have absolute faith in the person operating it.
One of my best hands that is presently working the machine is a 20-year old employee of mine. We have two shift operators that run it, and both are just long term employees. In my opinion, an average high school education is sufficient.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or an engineer to do it. It’s a self-explanatory machine once you get trained on it.
How difficult is the machine to set up for a job?
It’s simple. You punch in the numbers.
We have a very precise tracking system on the machine, for inventory purposes. The ease of running it is quite remarkable for what it does.
How was your experience with our Service Department?
Breton USA’s Hotline Service is a big advantage. Having the bilingual staff in Sarasota is a huge asset, as opposed to other competitors that do not have that capability.
What has been your overall impression of the machine so far?
It’s remarkable, well-constructed, and appears to be quite flawless in the way that it cuts. Also, the parts that wear quickest on the machine are visibly evident. It will be easy to see what wears out first, and then we have swift access to those parts in Florida. We simply make a phone call, and get them shipped in a reasonable amount of time.
Though honestly, we do not anticipate any problems, because of the quality of the construction, and the machine itself.
We are very happy with it! It replaced the previous machine that was problematic, so it’s been an absolute pleasure thus far.
How has your work performance improved with this Breton Multiwire?
We can now cut four times more per year in comparison to what we cut in the last full year of operation with our gangsaw. This year, with a single shift, it has cut 205,000 sq. ft., and it can easily cut 400,000 sq. ft. in two shifts. So, it has effectively quadrupled our production capability.
How do you think your relationship with Breton has benefitted your clientele?
We just did a job in Denver for a returning client. He was deeply appreciative of the thickness of the slabs and flooring cut for the project. The phone call from them stated, “Wow, these are perfect! So much better than they were.” When he was laying the 3 ft. by 5 ft. floor tiles, they were flawless and the exact same thickness. That was an ability we didn’t have before.
Also, because we’re cutting way more inventory then before, the client had a greater variety of products to choose from. All because the Breton [Paragon] performed at such a great level of production and quality.
Is there anything more about your experience that you would think others considering Breton would benefit from knowing?
I think the main thing others should know is the ease it takes to run the machine, and the fact that it cuts with such precision. The quality of the production is so important.
We’re very happy with the purchase and thrilled with its production. It was, all things considered, reasonably priced.
What do you think will be your next machine?
Probably the addition of some Bridge-Saws, to facilitate a national distribution for a new client we’re working with. This will require more cut-to-size activity here in the factory.
We also have a few other projects in the works, that we should know more about in the next six months, and they may result in more purchases as well.
Breton USA would like to thank Mr. Chris Schulte for taking the time to sit down and meet with us for this exclusive interview. We wish Mr. Schulte continued success with Las Vegas Rock Inc. and a growing relationship with Breton USA!