Starting the year off on a great foot, American Stone joined the Natural Stone Institute on January 1, 2016! The Natural Stone Institute is a joint venture between the Marble Institute of America and the Building Stone Institute, and it’s the organization to go to if you want information on standards, workmanship and application of natural stone products.

Membership in the Natural Stone Institute includes the adoption of the MIA+BSI Code of Ethics, a code American Stone was following even before it was granted membership. This code has several factors:

Objective: Satisfied and happy customers

Our company vision is to “help people create beautiful spaces and living scapes through natural stone products.” Be they homeowners, building owners or design professionals, American Stone does its best to help customers’ landscaping and building dreams become a reality.

It’s always nice to hear that we have achieved this goal. Chris, who purchased stone with us, let us know we did a great job by writing a Google review:

“These guys are awesome. Toby … is great, easy-going and nice to do business with. Everyone else there seems to be the same way as well. Very happy with the service and the flagstone … we were able to hand pick.”

Do business in accordance with fair and honorable standards of competition

American Stone’s administrators never recruit people who work for a competitor. We will consider workers who come to us, but we never actively try to steal away another stone retailer’s employees, a policy that not all our competitors have.

Demonstrate honesty, integrity, quality and professionalism

This year, we made a mistake. Fawn, a customer, wrote about the situation and how we handled it in a review posted to Google:

“Had a great experience at American Stone. Prices were competitive. The sales staff was very helpful and the delivery was on time. They made a mistake on our invoice, charging us more money than they were supposed to, (but) they caught it and refunded our money before … we realized there was a problem and called to let us know.”

When was the last time you had a company call to say it had charged you too much? For American Stone, whether or not to call was not even a question.

Maintain high standards of health, safety, and product quality

It’s difficult to make sure everyone is safe in a stone yard, where large saws, crushers and other machinery run almost nonstop.

But happily, our efforts are paying off! In 2015, American Stone was honored with a Risk Control Bronze Award by Affinity Insurance Ltd. With four retail store locations to manage, that’s not an easy feat!

Deal fairly with customers, employees, subcontractors and suppliers

When American Stone president Lon Thomas first purchased the company in 1975, it was deeply in debt. It took a lot of hard work and time—years—but he got the company afloat. Now, when a business sells supplies to American Stone, it knows that not only will it get paid up front, but it will be treated fairly.

As for our customers, when they step into an American Stone store, they are sure to find quality products at a fair price.

Encourage research to develop and improve the industry

At American Stone, we regularly keep our eyes open for new stone products and niche markets that are developing, and we try to use everything we get out of the ground. Every rock can be used if we can just figure out how.

Assist in the education and product knowledge of our clients and customers

When a potential customer visits an American Stone store, they are greeted by a member of our sales staff, who will talk with them about what they are looking for and plan to build. Before they make any purchase, customers learn about the attributes of different stones that could be used in their project so they can make an educated choice. If the customer plans to build without a contractor, the American Stone employee they are working with will also explain the process of installing the rock, from building a foundation to putting the stone in and all the steps in between.

Even more than that, though—if the customer comes back with a question, we will answer it! We want to make sure they succeed. Our assistance doesn’t end when they walk out the door.

One customer related his experience in a review posted to Google:

“We have young children, and our small garden had ceased to be functional with water drainage problems and insufficient space for the kids to run around. We had a rough idea of what we needed, but we didn't know how to get there. American Stone understood and recommended … the best solution within our budget without compromising on quality.”

Strive to promote a spirit of cooperation within the industry

While American Stone used to assist customers with stone installation, we haven’t done so in years and instead point our customers toward local contractors, a practice that helps those contractors stay in business.

American Stone is excited to be a part of the Natural Stone Institute. Membership will help drive our business forward, keeping our workers safe while continuing to improve the quality of our products. But most of all, it will help us do what we focus on most: better serving our customers.

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