Case Study | Ideal Surfaces
Mark Uhlig, owner of Ideal Surfaces, has been in the countertop business his entire life. His dad started a company in 1969 working directly with homeowners and builders providing laminate countertops. In the early eighties, his dad was selected by DuPont to fabricate Corian solid surface material. In 1997, he devested the laminate business and in one year of focusing all their efforts into Corian, the business grew by 45%.
In 2000, Mark’s dad retired and passed the business on to Mark and his sister. Mark sold out to his sister in 2008 then he opened Ideal Surfaces. He started from square one with no leads, or previous customers in the area. His team went to training to become Certified Cambria Installer Associates. Cambria fabricated and shipped all the finished counters for Mark’s team to install.
Mark pounded on doors and slowly gathered new business. He focused on installing strictly Cambria and by 2015, he was the largest Cambria dealer in the region. Mid 2015 Cambria had decided to change their route to market by opening a distribution to all fabricators. In February 2016, Cambria announced that they would not continue to fabricate indefinitely.
Mark made the decision to build a new shop, to allow for fabricating Cambria. The next step was to purchase fabricating equipment. Mark toured Park Industries® and listened with rapt attention to the presentations, then got in touch with Dale and put a plan together. Mark wanted to buy Park machinery because he says, “I liked the facility, equipment, and the longevity Park has in the industry. There was no other reason to look at other manufacturers.” Not only did he appreciate it was made in the U.S.A., but others spoke highly of Park Industries®. Ideal Surfaces, Inc. moved into their new facility in November 2016.
The Waterjet on Ideal Surfaces FUSION® CNC Saw/Waterjet cutting radius work.
Ideal Surfaces utilizes Moraware, which has been a great tool to keep every job organized, visualize the tasks that need to be done, and log notes on calls. “I make my purchase decisions based on value, not price,” Mark states. Ideal Surfaces is a completely paperless, fully digital shop. The automation allows them to produce 3-4 kitchens a day with just three employees in the shop.
Mark believes a key benefit to partnering with Park is the great hands-on customer service. Park Industries® customer service is able to handle problems over the phone, in person, or they can go-live and tap into the machine remotely. Periodically parts will need to be replaced. The upside? Park ships parts the same day.
When describing Park Industries® in one word, there was a few that came to mind: family-based, American-made, and high-quality. Mark explains, “Park Industries® began with a simple saw to slice stone and has worked hard to develop a company built on trust. Ideal Surfaces and Park Industries® have built a partnership on this foundation and the two companies continue to learn and grow together.”
Ideal Surfaces, Inc.
West Bend, WI
Weekly Production: About 15-20 Kitchens
Park Equipment Owned: FUSION® 4245 S, TITAN® 2800, TITAN® 2800, Pathfinder® 1200, HydroClear 90, FASTBACK®
Relationship with Park: Ideal Surfaces partnered with Park Industries® as they began fabricating in 2016.