With so many experts at World of Concrete, there were plenty of new tricks for both the industry "old dogs" and newbies. Here are five lessons we found worth remembering.
1. Concrete is an art, not a science. Jeff Groom, PE, Mariana Islands regional office manager for GHD Inc., an international consulting engineering firm, made this point several times during his "Introduction to Concrete" sessions.
2. Management is not one size fits all. This is especially true when it comes to managing a multigenerational team, said Jeff Stokes, president & owner at Next Level Contractor System, Lenexa, Kan.
3. Build your business with decorative concrete. Decorative concrete is a small segment of the overall concrete industry, but it's highly visible and you can expect modest growth said Todd A. Scharich, owner of Decorative Concrete Resources, a Midwest distributor of decorative concrete products. He is also decorative concrete specialist with American Society of Concrete Contractors’ Decorative Concrete Council, and he serves on two ACI committees dealing with decorative concrete.
4. Strategy=success. Concrete folks are generally more task oriented, but learning to think strategically can make a big difference in the bottom line said Wally Adamchik, president at FireStarter Speaking & Consulting, Raleigh, N.C. This is particularly true when it comes to hiring the right people, said Brad Humphrey, president and founder of Pinnacle Development Group.
5. Estimating doesn't have to be like playing a Las Vegas craps table. "New technology is improving quantity take-off," said Jim Adrian, president at Adrian International LLC, Peoria, Ill. "Firms need to regiment their estimating procedures and new technology should enable them to do so. When firms take on new technology they need to 're-engineer' their estimating process."
What did you learn at WOC? Share your biggest lesson in the comments below!