Tony and PJ Lampasona, the cousin team that runs Lampasona Concrete, are typical New Englanders—young, brash, and in a hurry. So when we noticed that they had fallen out of the top 100 (number 83 last year) with a drop of about $4 million in sales between 2005 and 2006, we wanted to know what happened.

“We took a lot of work at the beginning of 2006,” says Tony, “but the projects became difficult to manage. We didn't take much new work the last part of the year in an effort to recover the jobs we had started earlier.”

“We didn't have a good handle on costs,” says PJ. “The way we had been bidding things for the past 10 years didn't really work out once we had screeds and pumps. We got to the point where we were taking jobs just to keep our guys busy. The good jobs were negated by the jobs that we took for a low number just because we needed the work. It seemed like the more work we did, the less money we made.”

So against their basic nature, the Lampasonas took a step back. “We hired a new CFO and reworked a lot of internal systems,” says PJ. “We got rid of some of the equipment we weren't using and, to get our payroll in line, we instituted a JobClock system. It has worked great and the guys are real happy with it since they get paid for every minute they work. I thought logistically it was going to be a nightmare to manage since we needed a clock on every job and it did take an investment but it's going to pay off.”

The Lampasonas even took the difficult step of what PJ calls “firing some of our customers. The guys who don't pay or who are never ready when you show up at the job. When things on the jobsite are in chaos, it's hard to make money. Now we're doing a little bit less work, but it's better work for better clients, and we're making more money.”

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