Growing business from a pebble to a boulder.

Stone-cold savings

Carving out new processes in an old-world trade.

When Eliot Mazzocca began working with stone, he did it the old-fashioned way.

He cut and ground stone by hand. He used a metal-and-wooden chisel to shape it into just the right form. And he personally lifted every stone into place. It was something straight out of 17th Century Scotland. Unfortunately, this was 21st Century America. Mazzocca, President and CEO of Lido Stone Works, was open to change.

"By the time I turned 25, I had a bad back, bad knees and wrists, and multiple surgeries. My only option was to use my head."

First steps first, Mazzocca brought in machinery to do the heavy lifting. He was used to doing work the old-fashioned way. With every change he made, Mazzocca wanted to ensure that the integrity of the work was not impacted.

It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.

Lido Stone Works was founded in 2003 and makes stone features like fountains and other architectural accents that give buildings personality. Its shop is in Riverhead, New York, and manufacturing takes place five miles away in Calverton.

Spending time on machine repairs and not on his projects was frustrating for Mazzocca. Lido’s machines are made by Italian manufacturer Breton S.p.A. and require Italian mechanics to repair them. Any issue required an international flight and a week to sort out.

Compounding his troubles was the fact that inventory and production didn't match up. New projects would come in the door, and if he wasn't sure he had all the right materials, he'd have to kiss some of his beautiful projects goodbye.

It took one week and four people just to take stock.

Clearly, the process needed some automation. So Breton worked with ASEM S.p.A., one of the pioneers in the technological and digital integration between Information Technology and Industrial Automation. The new communication line accessed Lido's machines and servers and cut a lot of unnecessary maintenance flights to New York.

To fix his inventory problems, Mazzocca connected hand-held devices to Lido's inventory and management systems.

The solution cut the inventory process to something a worker can get done in a day.

The company's technology upgrade has made finding materials easier, too. Now that Lido's jobsite devices are constantly talking to the store's headquarters, everyone knows what's already on hand and what's needed. "We communicate with quarries around the world, places where procuring materials can be so difficult,” says Mazzocca.

"A connected device can mean the difference between getting the right product and the wrong product."

The Internet of Things is a stepping stone to success.

Bringing Lido's machines online and connecting processes with new technology has brought huge improvements to the company. The travel costs to get their machines fixed have plummeted. The company has even been able to take on more exciting projects and has brought on more employees to keep up.

Mazzocca increased profit by seventy percent, saved 540 thousand dollars in annual travel costs, increased productivity by thirty percent, and grew his employee base by forty percent.

Mazzocca can rest easy now that his days of cutting and lifting stone by hand are a distant memory. While the damage to his body may never heal, now he can focus on bringing his vision to life as technology is doing the heavy lifting for him.

"In the past, I could only dream of doing what we’re able to do with machines today," he says. "With the manufacturing solution from Breton, ASEM, and Microsoft, we can create new roadways and be creative and different. It empowers us to celebrate new visions in stone—there’s nothing we can’t do."

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The solution creates a real-time feedback loop of data; utilizing that data has allowed Lido to increase productivity and profits and reduce machine downtime.

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