When bidding state, county, or municipal work where low bid gets the job contractors need to be efficient and they need to be accurate. Inaccurate estimates, crews that take too long, or crews that perform low-quality work that requires call backs leads to a company operating in the red, or maybe not operating at all.
AnnSeal Inc. understands that so has established processes that enable the company to be accurate in its estimates, efficient in its operation, and successful in the big picture. Located in Bible School Park, NY, six-year-old AnnSeal is able to mix and match employees and equipment to thrive, generating 100% of its sales from cracksealing work (including construction and repair of joints in concrete) throughout the Northeast. It is prequalified to bid in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, and Pennsylvania.
The contractor?s crews hit the road for days at a time, staying in hotels during the week and heading home for the weekend. A woman-owned business lead by Nancy O'Brien, president, AnnSeal employs more than 40 people from April through November - and many of those people have been with the company since it started.
"Our people do quality work, we are extremely efficient, and the crew members anticipate each other's needs. It's really artistic if you watch them do it," O'Brien says. "We think that's a strong testament to the way we run our business. We couldn't do what we do without these people."
True. But there's a lot more going on behind the scenes that enables AnnSeal to be as successful as they are.
Asphalt & concrete
O'Brien says that AnnSeal is the primary contractor on roughly 80% of the work it does, operating as a subcontractor on the remaining 20%. Almost all the contractor's work is done on roads or runways; very little is done on parking lots.
AnnSeal bids work that includes spall repairs on concrete runways and roads, jet fuel resistant joint sealing on airports, silicone joint sealing, and hot rubberized asphalt repair and joint sealing. While the breakdown varies year to year depending on what work is available to bid, most work (90% in 2007) is done sealing cracks in asphalt using hot pour material. The remaining work (10% in 2007) is construction and repair of joints in concrete pavements.
Jerry O'Brien, consultant to AnnSeal, says the number of jobs performed also varies year to year, but is consistently in the area of 30 jobs annually. "The jobs vary in size quite a bit," Jerry O'Brien says. "Our jobs can run anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more than $1 million, but most are in the area of $100,000 to $200,000."
To get the jobs done AnnSeal relies on nine Crafco melters ranging from 100 to 400 gallons, and most melters are outfitted with auto loading because it's safer and quicker. AnnSeal also operates a dozen Crafco routers, six Sanders pavement saws, and four truck-mounted attenuators. Stake rail trucks tow the melters and the trucks are also rigged to carry traffic control signs and cones. Support equipment includes compressors, designed to send air to the front of each truck where the crew, using a quick connect, can attach a blow wand or heat lance to clean cracks ahead of the truck.
O'Brien says AnnSeal loses only two or three employees each year. "I think they actually like what they're doing, they make decent money, and they like being outdoors," she says. "The crews work so well together because they feel camaraderie with one another."
Doug Luke, vice president, says the company treats its employees in a professional, respectful manner. "We treat them the way we expect and want to be treated," Luke says. "A lot of the people we have working for us were referred by other workers. One guy we hired last summer had been trying to get to work for us for two years."
Luke says AnnSeal's approach to its schedule has a positive affect on its employees. "We set up the schedule as much as possible so there is no waiting time between jobs. That way they can move from one to the other so they're out there making money instead of waiting around," Luke says.