Blogs

  • Frenemies: Can concrete and asphalt find common ground?

    Each year when new college interns join our magazine’s staff for the summer, we make a point to visit a local producer for a crash course on the concrete industry. This year, Prairie Material invited us to visit its Addison, Ill., plant, as well as a roller-compacted concrete paving project in...

     
  • Five Ways to Increase Profits Fast

    In the last 10 years of working in the ready-mix concrete industry, I have made an effort to observe and listen to those around me. I was fortunate to complete all four modules of the NRMCA Certified Concrete Sales Professional program early in my career.

     
  • Hot Customer Service Opportunities

    'Tis the season for construction crews to battle sweltering summer heat. TCP blogger Joan Fox shares simple ideas for surprising and delighting your hottest customers.

     
  • Pouring Concrete in the Middle of the Night

    With summer temperatures rising, TCP blogger Tom Johnson offers five tips for keeping your nighttime pours running smoothly.

     
  • Bridgeview, Ill.-based Prairie Material provided SCC for the SCC 2013 workshop at University of Illinois, Chicago.

    TCP supports industry efforts to produce high-quality concrete

    On a beautiful May afternoon in Chicago, BASF product manager Joe Daczko had the full attention of 85 concrete aficionados as he compared placing self-consolidating concrete (SCC) to serving an adult beverage. “You’re not pouring a glass of beer,” said Daczko, as the group watched the fluid...

     
  • Would You Pass a Customer Service Audit?

    TCP blogger Joan Fox shares her top 10 tips for ensuring a consistently excellent customer experience.

     
  • When Bad Testing Happens to Good People

    Apparently the topic of cylinder testing gone wrong struck a chord with TCP readers, who wrote back to share stories similar to the one in last month’s blog. Following are just two humorous examples.

     
  • Holy precast… it’s a concrete bat cave!

    The National Precast Concrete Association’s (NPCA) annual Creative Use of Precast Awards are known for highlighting some of the industry’s most interesting work. This year was no different.

     
  • What NOT to Say to Customers

    It all started with the phrase, “It’s not my job,” to which customers around the globe retorted, “What do you mean it’s not your job? If you can’t help me, why are you here?”

     
  • If Concrete Test Cylinders Could Talk

    As uncertainty continues in the concrete market, one thing that remains constant is the use of test cylinders.

     
  • Can concrete save the U.S. economy?

    Calls for improving America’s infrastructure are getting louder by the day.

     
  • Knowledge Equals Profit

    Two events early in my ready-mix sales career motivated me to learn all I could about the science of concrete design and placement.

     
  • Customer Satisfaction — Who Cares?

    Pursuing customer satisfaction as a way to become a service leader, and therefore more profitable, is the wrong pursuit. Customer satisfaction is simply the price of entry into the game. It keeps the doors open and the employees paid, but it does not grow your business.

     
  • World of Concrete attendance reflects industry optimism

    Although we often look to housing starts or construction employment numbers to gauge growth in the concrete industry, many also watch another key indicator: attendance at World of Concrete.

     
  • What Stories are YOUR Customers Telling?

    Early last week while working in Bentonville, Ark., I rented a car from a rental company that I use occasionally, but certainly not often. I have no loyalty to any particular one as I have been unimpressed by all of them.

     
  • Who is Running your Company?

    Most of the time, a ready-mix producer operates under the direction of the owner or general manager. These leaders guide the dispatch manager, who decides which customers will receive concrete on a particular workday. However, in some companies, the dispatch manager receives little guidance or...

     
  • World of Concrete: What’s in it for producers?

    As many of you know, the industry’s only annual event for commercial concrete and masonry construction – World of Concrete – isn’t just for contractors.

     
  • WOC products for producers

    If you’re planning to attend World of Concrete, don’t forget to set aside some time to browse through the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall — home of the show’s Producer Center.

     
  • STOPS and STARTS for Better Service

    In December, we talked about how to set SMART goals and I promised to give you some considerations on what to stop doing and start doing to reach your goals. This article is about a few STOPS and STARTS to begin the year with a customer service focus.

     
  • Forming up to be a better year

    I felt a sense of optimism as I walked the aisles of The Precast Show/ICON Expo 2013 last week in Indianapolis.

     
 
 
 

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