Just prior to the Concrete Executive Leadership Forum in July, I participated in what ASCC called its Industry Friends Roundtable. Along with such industry notables as Jerry Holland, Ken Hover, Peter Emmons, Bob Harris, and Peter Craig, we spent a full day discussing how to help the organization grow and increase its influence. One thing we all agreed on is that although ASCC’s membership, at only 370 contractors, may be small, those companies that are members represent a big chunk of the industry’s best. Looking back at our America’s Concrete Contractors article in July, we noticed that 15 out of 25 are ASCC members.

Meetings, Meetings

September kicks off the fall lineup of industry meetings, most of which we are sponsoring or participating in. First up is the Strategic Development Council (Sept. 5-6 in Indianapolis), followed closely by:

  • The International Concrete Polishing & Staining Conference (Sept. 12-14, Atlanta), where I will be giving the keynote talk; ICPSC sponsors Concrete Surfaces’ Polished Concrete Awards;
  • The ASCC Annual Meeting (Sept. 12-14, Columbus, Ohio); CC is the media sponsor.
  • The Tilt-Up Concrete Association’s Annual Convention (Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Houston), CC is the official media sponsor;
  • The American Concrete Institute (Oct. 20-24); I am a member of several committees, including the Educational Activities Committee.

Concrete Executive Leadership Forum

The newly named CELF (formerly the CEO Forum) in Palm Beach, Fla., in July was another great opportunity to network with new and old friends in the concrete construction business. The contractor roundtable in which I participated discussed a topic near to every contractor’s heart: margins—whether they have come back and how to get them a bit higher. The consensus was that business is better but that a lack of confidence in the future is keeping margins tight. Methods to increase margins include technology and maintaining good customer relations.

BIM Again

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a topic that you’re going to keep hearing from us, even though most concrete contractors are not yet adopting this method for their projects. Here is a short piece from Leica’s Cathi Hayes describing the benefits. You can also watch a video of me interviewing Cathi on our website. But Alistair Wells with Tekla notes, “In my six years focusing on driving this software to the concrete community, it has become obvious that they see the highest benefit in the rawest/most basic of applications of the technology…quantities, layout, some coordination. A concrete contractor is not going to see a whole lot of benefit from scanning technology. It’s one of the contradictions we are finding…a seemingly complex technology (like 3D) often has the most benefit with the simplest of applications…at least initially in its adoption. The complex stuff can come later, if at all.”