Construction-giant Caesarstone specialises in manufacturing high-quality, premium quartz surfaces in both residential and commercial interiors such as kitchen bench tops, bathroom vanities, wall paneling and others.
Through the company’s commitment to high quality standards, R&D and innovation, the Caesarstone name has become synonymous with success across the industry.
But there is one drawback to having such excellent brand recognition — rival companies often attempt to duplicate that style.
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, and Caesarstone spends a large portion of its resources to create unique designs in order to stay above its admiring competitors.
Caesarstone has been able to build and maintain the best brand recognition in Australia through years of evolving marketing strategies, combined with a focus on business-to-business relationship building. But above all, Caesarstone preserves the best product quality and innovation design solutions.
As a brand name that is often viewed as the ultimate brand of the quartz-surface industry, this type of recognition has both positive and negative effects.
“It’s good because everybody knows the brand Caesarstone, so that’s what consumers want,” said CFO of Caesarstone Australia and South East Asia Moshe Wolfson.
In an attempt to differentiate its product from those of the competition, Caesarstone makes unique designs a focal point of its operations. In Australia, Caesarstone has about 50 different colours of quartz countertop designs, with a slightly higher number in the U.S.
While the actual process and technology used at Caesarstone is confidential, the company is a close partner with Breton technology, which manufactures the machinery.
Forecasting the future
Caesarstone has a very simple supply chain operation in Australia, where 99 per cent of its customers pick up the product directly from the company’s warehouses.
With a warehouse in each Australian capital city, Caesarstone’s primary focus is making sure it has enough product in stock, while also not having an overabundance that would create dead stock.
With the help of Hawthorn-based Taars consulting, Caesarstone uses forecasting to predict the demand and the required purchases. Forecasting is a vital component of Caesarstone’s logistics success, making sure it has enough stock — but not too much.
“This is really one of the key success factors to getting the right mix and the right inventory levels,” said Wolfson. “Because Caesarstone globally has been expanding so rapidly, supply has historically been an issue. It’s a big focus for us, so we keep close contact with Taars. With increased capacity and improved forecasting systems, our supply efficiency and reliability is now market leading.”
Meanwhile, in order to receive their shipments in a timely fashion from the factory, Caesarstone also works with freight-forwarder EPL International, which Wolfson says has been a great partnership. “Lead time is key for us,” he said.
CRM is another key to Caesarstone’s prosperity from a sales and marketing perspective, which is supported by Orion Enterprise Business Solutions.
Better safe than sorry
Safety is one of Caesarstone’s top priorities when it comes to daily operations and core values. It starts with the induction and training of warehouse staff that unloads the heavy slabs from incoming containers as well as loading customer trucks.
Caesarstone also regularly checks its machinery such as cranes and forklifts to guarantee diligent maintenance. In addition, customers such as stonemasons are given a thorough induction to the warehouse before making pickups to ensure everyone is aware of the safety procedures. The company also has a dedicated employee to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) who performs periodical audits of its branches and makes sure all procedures are followed.
“We make sure our staff is properly-inducted to the business in whatever area they’re working in,” said Wolfson. “This is especially important in the warehouse, where it could be dangerous working with these very heavy slabs. It is vital to our operation, and we take it very seriously if there are any issues.”
An eye for the environment
A company that understands it shares the planet with its consumers, Caesarstone is committed to a cleaner, safer environment by limiting the ecological impact of its operations. From a sustainability point of view, Caesarstone focuses on efficient production to decrease the waste of raw materials and energy.
Quartz is a very abundant mineral on earth and readily accessible as a raw material. Quartz has incredible properties such as hardness and resistance to heat and other factors. “As Caesarstone is produced from quartz, it has a long lifecycle minimizing environment impact over time,” said Wolfson.
Caesarstone puts an emphasis on efficient production in order to minimise waste of raw materials and energy. Some of its production processes to protect the environment include recycling and disposal of hazardous materials.
A key to Caesarstone’s success is innovation to keep its brand thriving.
Several years of consistent marketing strategies, as well as building business-to-business relationships, have boosted Caesarstone’s brand recognition to the highest levels in Australia.
The company is also working closely with its partners to develop the brand in New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, China, India as well as other countries, targeting high GDP per capita regions.
In addition, it has recently expanded its production to the United States market as well. Caesarstone has made a substantial US$130 million investment in two production lines in Richmond Hill, Ga. The first line is already operational, while the second line is just about to start up.
“It’s obviously a statement of our willingness to put that sort of investment to develop the U.S. market,” said Wolfson.