Concrete inFocus - Spring 2014 - (Page 21)

nrmca in focus NRMCA Services and Tools Encouraging contractor business growth through producer/contractor cooperation T Our competitive paving opportunity is brighter than it has been in decades. Increasing collaboration among concrete producers and contractors is a key in realizing this promise. Opportunity and Challenges can be addressed as well through education and support. An additional factor holding back industry gains is that too many concrete parking lots, fundamentally well-designed, structurally sound and likely to be serviceable well beyond the promised 30-year life, are perceived by owners soon after placement as flawed because of excessive cosmetic cracking. This lack of satisfaction works against the efforts of the concrete industry to gain new users as it undermines the value of strong satisfaction experienced by so many other customers. NRMCA services that overcome these challenges are outlined below. Only time will tell if the concrete industry will be able to increase national market share in paving by 2 percent per year. However, the key question for concrete producers and contractors should be, Can concrete paving gain 2 percent share per year in our market? The answer is yes if there is determination to see it happen. hanks to the dynamics of material pricing and the growing importance of sustainability in the communities that the construction industry serves, we recognize in the concrete industry that our competitive paving opportunity is brighter than it has been in decades. Increasing collaboration among concrete producers and contractors is a key in realizing this promise. This article focuses on encouraging our contractor customers to take advantage of NRMCA's free services and tools as a primary approach for business development. The best way to grow our business is to help our customers grow theirs! Parking lots and local roads represent a yearly paving market opportunity of more than 400 million cubic yards of concrete. Our industry's share of that market is currently estimated at less than 10 percent. The total volume of ready mixed concrete placed in the United States in 2024 will be 25 percent larger than otherwise if concrete paving market share can be increased at a rate of just 2 percent per year over the next 10 years. First-cost parity with asphalt is now within reach in most markets, and the concrete industry has an historic opportunity to claim a larger share. In order to stake that claim, however, twin realities of the marketplace will need to be overcome. Over many decades, the low cost of petroleum-based asphalt pavements has resulted not in just dominant market share but also in a specifier community that is set in its ways regarding paving practices. This inertia needs to be overcome by showing specifiers that the future belongs increasingly to concrete and that free services exist to address their lack of familiarity with the material. In addition, even as owners are increasingly open to concrete in recognition of new pricing dynamics, there is a strong tendency for specifiers to overdesign concrete projects, rendering them noncompetitive. This challenge Encouraging Contractor Utilization of NRMCA Services One of the ongoing advantages of the asphalt industry is that it is solidly embedded in the pavement operations process in most locations because of the traditional use of the material. When asphalt producers talk with owners, general contractors and local officials, they usually have the additional benefit of also being the contractor. This two-in-one role needs to be offset by increased collaboration among concrete producers and contractors. Concrete contractors are best placed to make the concrete case because they are closest to the owners and their representatives-the contractors' customers. In offsetting the asphalt advantage, concrete producers need to support their contractors by providing specifier confidence that all elements are in place for successful placements. Another way of supporting contractors is to introduce them to NRMCA services that are simple to use but powerful in helping assure specifiers that concrete is the right choice-and then delivering on that promise. An increasing number of owners and specifiers already are recognizing that because of cost, life-cycle, sustainability and safety considerations, asphalt is likely to play a smaller role in the future of pavement. Once they understand the full dimensions of the developing market and come to see concrete as a potential boost to their careers, younger specifiers are especially open to change. To the extent the concrete industry is able to spread the word on these topics and the trends that are in place, many more will come to this realization. NRMCA stands ready to fully support our contractor customers with resources and training. The best way to tap into these opportunities is for NRMCA producers to alert their contractors of these services and strongly encourage their use. NRMCA national resource directors are eager to assist in developing this success strategy. Design and Jointing Plan Assistance NRMCA created the Design Assistance Program and Jointing Plan Assistance Program to expand the concrete paving market for the benefit of member producers, their contractor customers and end users. Recommendations that come from these programs are provided by engineers who utilize the most advanced technology related to pavement design. concrete INFOCUS ı 21

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Concrete inFocus - Spring 2014

Emergence of Compressed Natural Gas
MMC Materials Converts to Compressed Natural Gas
Fuel Saving Tips from Coast to Coast
Responsible Sourcing for Concrete
NRMCA Services and Tools
Index of Advertisers
Corporate Suite
Concrete Mixer Trucks and the Environment: Get the Connection?
Pavement Roughness and Fuel Consumption
CEMEX ‘Job-Safe’ Program Wins NRMCA 2013 Innovation in Training Award

Concrete inFocus - Spring 2014