"We recognized early on that Lampasona Concrete fit well with the business plan of J.W. Lindsay with their honesty, integrity and quality of work," says Hartnell, now CEO of Lindsay Lampasona. "They had a large staff to cover the region we wanted to cover, the ability to place large, flat slabs and the equipment needed to perform work for large tilt-up projects like laser screeds, large ride-on trowels and pump trucks."
The benefits of a merger
The merger brought J.W. Lindsay's design side together with Lampasona's build abilities. It also brought an established construction firm together with a couple of young and ambitious entrepreneurs.
"The story is in the synergy created when both companies came together," Hartnell says. "Lampasona Concrete was a large concrete company built from the ground up by Tony and PJ. We took the personal, young, energetic qualities of their business and paired that with the systems and procedures of J.W. Lindsay. The two companies balanced out each other."
"J.W. Lindsay brought a new side of management to our company," PJ says. "Tony and I grew up in the field and picked up the business part along the way. J.W. Lindsay helped us get organized. They showed us how to put systems in place, get our pay scales in order, track jobs on a 'war board,' hold sales meetings, look at costs and overhead, perform post-mortems on jobs, and figure out the amount of money we make on each job."
In addition to bringing a labor force and equipment to the table, Lampasona Concrete also brought the customer relationships it built with general contractors throughout the Northeast. These relationships have helped Lindsay Lampasona connect with prospective tilt-up customers on sales calls as they approach prospective clients to educate them on tilt- up.
"We now have designers and structural engineers on staff, and that gives people a different view of us," Tony says. And when it comes to clients that aren't familiar with Lindsay Lampasona, Hartnell adds, "The designers and engineers differentiate us from the competition in a market that can be seen as a commodity in some ways."
Hartnell says much of the company's success in the tilt-up realm stems from its ability to get involved with a job from the beginning. Tilt-up construction is a process - walls are cast on site and tilted into place, then temporary braces hold the walls in position until the roof and structural steel is placed. These projects require an immense amount of planning and engineering, and subcontracting out the various steps is impractical. The ability to offer design, engineering and construction is key in a successful tilt-up operation.
"We seek out projects in their infancy so we can get in on the design phase. That way we can offer input on design renderings and budgets so as the project follows through to the construction phase we're so ingrained in the project we have a better chance of winning the job over our competitors," Hartnell explains.
Lindsay Lampasona's broad range of expertise in concrete work beyond the tilt-up system helps the company secure the total concrete package on nearly all its tilt-up projects. They can take on any type of concrete work, including flatwork, formwork, site work, decorative concrete and pre-stressed concrete.
Tony adds that the company's goal it to try to turn all it's work into a tilt-up project. "When we get a set of plans on a flatwork job we're bidding, we take a look at the structure being built and if we think it's a good fit for the tilt-up system, we'll try to flip the building to tilt-up," he says.
Lindsay Lampasona has a dedicated and driven management team in place to expand the possibilities of tilt-up concrete in the Northeast. Warehouses, churches, distribution centers and office buildings are only the beginning of what the company has in store. "Our goal is to establish ourselves as the premier tilt-up concrete company in the Northeast and continue to grow geographically throughout the country," Tony says.
Tony and PJ's decision to form a partnership with J.W. Lindsay allowed the two to have the concrete company they hoped for when they were riding around in that $1,500 pickup. "There were trying times -- we did this merger in a bad economy," Tony says. "But it's nice to come to the table with something new for people instead of just asking them when their next job is. We're doing 'lunch and learns' and showing customers what we're doing so when they do have work we'll have something new for them."