Despite the glum economic stories running all over in the media, there are areas of the country that are growing and sectors of the construction industry that are booming. One of these places is the Atlanta metro area and surrounding communities, and Middle Georgia Concrete Constructors has focused its company around taking advantage of this boom by specializing in schools, hospitals, jails and other construction that?s needed in areas of population growth. By keeping a keen eye on labor productivity and working hard to meet business goals, the company is experiencing a healthy growth spurt that it hopes will bring a 43 percent increase in annual sales over 2007.
Middle Georgia Concrete Constructors out of Atlanta is owned by Scott Truax and Paul Mandall. Mandall started Middle Georgia in 2002 with a former partner after the pair recognized a need for quality concrete contractors outside the Metro Atlanta area. Middle Georgia came about to fill that need, offering turn-key work for schools, jails, churches and other low-threshold jobs. A year later Mandall?s partner wanted to step out of the company, and at the same time previous acquaintance Scott Truax was planning to move back to Atlanta and start up a decorative concrete company. After a cup of coffee and a long talk, Truax decided to buy out Mandall?s former partner and eventually open up his decorative company as part of Middle Georgia. In 2004, he did just that and started CSolutions.
The partnership between Mandall and Truax works. Truax has his thumb on the financials within the company while Paul runs the field, scheduling equipment and manpower while managing delivery equipment and superintendents. Other key employees within the company are people Mandall and Truax have worked with in the past, including Jeff Eigenhuis, vice president, and Tim Blankenship, operations manager for CSolutions. Their combined talents and histories in the concrete industry give the team a working relationship not usually seen in companies so young. This has no doubt allowed them to identify growth potential, successfully set goals and achieve them.
Goals for growth
Middle Georgia?s growth over the last five years has been impressive, starting out with only 13 employees and growing into a 100-employee outfit that has projected sales of $16.5 million for 2008 - an increase of 43 percent over 2007 sales numbers. Middle Georgia sees a strong year ahead in Atlanta?s healthy construction market, starting out the year with a higher backlog than usual. In order to properly take advantage of the market situation and have a handle on its growth, Middle Georgia has identified several avenues to follow to maximize its growth potential.
One goal is to reduce overhead by 4 percent, which Middle Georgia hopes to achieve in part by controlling spending, such as designating one person to order office supplies and utilizing technology that allows project managers to effectively oversee more work. The company also plans to increase volume with roughly the same amount of people in the field, something it thinks it can achieve by going after larger contracts and expanding the types of jobs it will bid, namely taking on some multi-story, cast-in-place projects and going after jobs that will be LEED certified. Truax says if the company can reduce its overhead by 4 percent and reduce its cost of construction by 1.5 percent, he expects to see a savings of $700,000.
Another goal is to increase procedurals, such as banning cell phone calls during company meetings, holding superintendent meetings four times a year and planning out work two weeks ahead of time. ?We might not be able to stick to the two-week plan, but at least with planning you have a general idea of what lies ahead,? Truax says.