Download PDF version (95.3k). The full text of this article is available as a PDF document.
On time, in spec. Those four simple words sum up the ready-mixed concrete customer's greatest concerns. Cadman Inc., a Seattle-area ready-mix and aggregates producer, has built its corporate identity around handling those concerns. Cadman learned through market research that its customers place more value on consistent on-time delivery of high-quality materials than on price. The phrases "on time" and "in spec" suggested the acronym OTIS, and a brainstorming session bred OTIS the bulldog, mascot for the marketing slogan, "On Time, In Spec." Through determination, motivation and good humor, Cadman was ready in 1997 to roll out the concept to customers. As Cadman started receiving customer feedback, both positive and negative, employees started taking ownership of the program. On-time deliveries quickly increased from less than 70% in 1996 to more than 90% by mid-1997. Today, on-time rates are 95%, and in-spec rates exceed 98%. On-time and in-spec rates aren't the only numbers increasing for Cadman. The 60-year-old firm had its best-ever sales and profit year in 1997, and 1998 figures are continuing that trend. Improved performance, on top of a booming local economy, has enabled Cadman to add customers and raise prices. The internal and external marketing programs each landed a prestigious Golden Pyramid, the top national marketing award from the Promotional Products Association International, and recently, Cadman was named a finalist for the Marketer of the Year Award presented by the state home builders association. Through the OTIS program, Cadman has gotten so good at producing and delivering high-quality concrete that the company began using the concept to market the national and proprietary brands it sells. Keywords: OTIS, Cadman, corporate, identity