AN INSIDE LOOK WITH NEW OWNER, PATRICK SIEVERT
by Cassidy Mantor
Happy tears. That’s the level of delight that Patrick Sievert, the new owner of Montana Tile & Stone, aspires to deliver to customers. For the past 20 years, the Bozeman-based company has been a premier supplier, fabricator, and industry leader in fine natural stone, artisan ceramics, glass tile, porcelain tile, reclaimed stone, and slabs. Montana Tile & Stone works both with trade professionals and directly with homeowners.
Patrick bought the company at the close of 2019 and he has completely transformed it into a modern entity founded on solid Montana values. Patrick has redefined Montana Tile & Stone’s goals and processes to focus on customer service. Getting it right the first time and making people happy are his goals. He inspires his team to deliver exceptional service to clients on their design journey and he has ushered Montana Tile & Stone into a new era of serving the tile and stone needs of the greater Gallatin Valley and surrounding areas.
“I’ve always had a rock collection. Now, with Montana Tile & Stone, my collection is much grander and comes in slabs that are three centimeters thick.”
–Patrick Sievert, Owner, Montana Tile & Stone
After spending 12 years in engineering management and operations management in oil and gas, Patrick was at a point when he wanted to make a career change. “I was looking for an opportunity that let me do what I wanted to do and live where I wanted to live,” he says. Montana Tile & Stone presented an opportunity for new growth both for Patrick on a personal level and also for him to guide a transformation of the business.
Making the switch from oil and gas leadership to tile and stone was not as out of the blue as it might seem. Beginning with his first exposure in high school woodshop class, Patrick has always been interested in functional interior design. As an adult, he was propelled into craftsmanship when he needed a dresser. He recalls the choice of buying one or building one exactly the way he wanted. He has since made his own mid-century modern bedroom set and multiple pieces in his living room.
Taking Patrick’s interest in interior craftsmanship to the stone industry was a natural transition. “I’ve always had a rock collection,” Patrick chuckles. “Now, with Montana Tile & Stone, my collection is much grander and comes in slabs that are three centimeters thick.”
PROCESS-DRIVEN AND CUSTOMER-FOCUSED
Patrick bought Montana Tile & Stone because it looked like fun and was in his wheelhouse. His vision is to be the provider of choice in the Valley and win on customer service. Coming from the corporate world, Patrick delights in the ability to make changes to the business so quickly that the results are immediately tangible, from assembling a new team to implementing new processes.
“We’re here to make our customers’ jobs easier,” he says. “Coming from the oil and gas industry, as the engineer I was the technical expert since I was able to best articulate the workings of a $10M or $15M oil well. When something went wrong out there, I’d have 30 seconds to make a decision to save a $10M project. The customer would look to me to guide them on what to do. Similarly, with our work at Montana Tile & Stone, our customers rely on our expertise to make a job look good.”
UPGRADES AND ENHANCEMENTS
Changes under Patrick’s new ownership include:
- New staff with technical expertise
- New inventory in-stock
- New processes for greater capacity and streamlined delivery
- New approach to customer service
Over the past few months, Patrick has enriched his existing team and added new team members with technical backgrounds who are essential resources. His new staff includes a project manager to streamline logistics, an engineer to do 3D templating and draft construction documents, and a new head of design services who offers comprehensive design consulting. He’s also added three new tile sales reps to better serve customers.
Montana Tile & Stone is now stocking 50 percent more tile setting materials than it did a year ago. Patrick explains that now customers can come in and likely find that what they’re looking for is available in-store. Montana Tile & Stone aims to be a good business partner this way. “Tradesmen can get what they need for their jobs and not have to wait two weeks for it to come in,” he shares.
In addition to the new hires, Montana Tile & Stone has implemented processes to troubleshoot and track performance if something isn’t cut perfectly so it doesn’t happen next time. “Our new team makes sure that we get the right information, and investigates the root cause if there’s a problem, so we can ensure best practices going forward. Our processes translate better across people and will lead to reliable and consistent service.”
One recent job that Patrick’s team inherited involved troubleshooting a situation where the wrong material had been ordered from overseas prior to Patrick buying the company. When COVID-19 hit, shipping slowed to a halt. Graciously, the homeowner continued to give Patrick’s team a chance to correct the job. The team found an alternative material and delivered a finished product that the homeowner was happy with. Patrick points out that it’s Montana Tile & Stone’s job to make the process easy for clients. “We’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure you’re satisfied at the end of the day,” he says.
Patrick has also shortened the fabrication timeline so much that Montana Tile & Stone is able to take on 40 percent more work than it did months ago while still creating the same high-quality work that his customers have come to know from Montana Tile & Stone. Patrick streamlined inefficient processes in the fabrication shop and eliminated unnecessary hindrances to creating high-quality spaces in a timely manner. Contractors don’t have to outsource their large jobs anymore and instead can trust that Montana Tile & Stone will get the work done on homeowners’ timelines.
Building trust in Montana Tile & Stone’s customer service is a core priority for Patrick. The company offers design support, project management, and installation services. The prevailing philosophy is that the team is here to help and will be partners in figuring out the best solutions for the job.
Patrick recalls a recent job where a customer was completing construction of his home in late May of this year, when COVID-19 had emerged in full swing. Montana Tile & Stone was running a lean staff as a safety precaution for everyone’s health. The staff stayed late to make sure the kitchen countertops and island were properly fabricated, and pulled in additional resources for installation, something that would not have happened without the company’s emphasis on customer service.
“The island was huge,” recalls Patrick. “It was a significant undertaking, and we wound up installing it as the homeowners were moving in.” The customer told Patrick that his wife cried when she saw it because it was so beautiful. Patrick, on the other hand, knew that if Montana Tile & Stone hadn’t changed its way of business to prioritize customer service under new management, they wouldn’t have been able to complete the job on time. Patrick sums it up: “Working late and doing things differently made a huge difference in getting them what they needed at the end of the day.”
“Our new team makes sure that we get the right information, and investigates the root cause if there’s a problem, so we can ensure best practices going forward. Our processes will lead to reliable and consistent service.”
–Patrick Sievert, Owner, Montana Tile & Stone
THE NEW SHOWROOM EXPERIENCE
Tradesmen and homeowners are invited to visit Montana Tile & Stone’s 30,000-square-foot showroom off Huffine Lane close to Four Corners. In addition to carrying upwards of 50 tile lines, there are many options including high-end water-cut marble mosaics and hand-painted ceramic lines. Patrick says they carry a lot of options that work for mid- to high-end homes.
The new B2B experience for contractors, designers, and other tradesmen is akin to a mutual partnership where everyone works together to complete the project. When a homeowner comes into the showroom, Montana Tile & Stone focuses on managing the logistics. If a homeowner needs more design support, Montana Tile & Stone can get more involved in the process to make sure they’re getting the materials they love.
Another noticeable change in the showroom experience is a larger staff welcoming customers and ready to share their knowledge to achieve each customer’s goal. Both vendor-led and internal training keep the staff up to date on the newest innovations and product offerings.
Customers can expect an integrated tile and stone experience at Montana Tile & Stone, something that didn’t previously exist. Patrick points out the complementary nature of pairing countertops with tile, and how the two should be cohesive since they often function in the same space. They’re offering bundled design services to help improve communication and make spaces that work for everyone.
For Patrick, his favorite part of owning the newly enhanced Montana Tile & Stone is personally seeing the tangible process changes and how happy they’ve made customers at the end of the day. He says, “Those happy tears when the client’s wife saw her kitchen island? They could’ve been sad tears because they would’ve had a bare kitchen if we had not made specific changes to how we do what we do.”
Making it happen is what the new Montana Tile & Stone is about.
For more information about Montana Tile & Stone please visit www.montanatile.com or call 406.587.6114.