When Jim Bostick looks back on the origin and growth of J.B. Bostick, a West Coast pavement maintenance company, he can't help but feel some pride in what he and partners Jerry Hamlin and Tim Crowley have accomplished.
Started with $1,675 by Bostick in 1969, doing driveway repair and sealcoating out of the back of a pickup truck, J.B. Bostick today operates two independent divisions – in Anaheim and Roseville, CA – that in 2005 generated almost $30 million in sales.
"We started out small, very small, but through word of mouth we've expanded," Bostick says. "We're proof that you can have natural growth if you do a cut above for your customers and if you do what you say you're going to do.
"We have customers today, big property owners, that we started doing work for in 1970," Bostick says. "The reason we have them still is because we spoil them and treat them how we would want to be treated. It's that type of business philosophy, all about service and delivery, that has enabled us to grow. When you tell someone something, make it happen. No excuses. That's how we operate."
Dividing a big state
Initially J.B. Bostick operated only out of the Anaheim office, managed today by Jerry Hamlin, who has been with the company 27 years. The office employs about 60 people, 40 of whom work in the field. Hamlin says the Anaheim operation generates 90% of its sales from pavement maintenance work, including fabric overlays, sealcoating, pavement repair, patching, sealcoating, concrete work, and striping. The Anaheim operation generates all its work from shopping centers, industrial parks, apartment complexes, and homeowners associations, and has successfully mined an unusual niche – mobile home parks.
But California is a big state, and some of the clients J.B. Bostick worked with in Southern California also had properties up north. So in 1989 J.B. Bostick opened a northern California branch now run by Tim Crowley. The northern operation, based in Roseville has 35 employees.The northern division generates 60% of its sales from paving, 30% from sealcoating, and 10% from concrete work.
With the opening of the Northern California office J. B. Bostick is able to service clients throughout the entire state of California. The northern office also handles work in Reno, NV, while the southern location works in Las Vegas.
Mobile home parks
The two divisions operate independently, and do work a little differently, but both have a solid grip on the mobile home park market, which provides a solid and repeat core of business. Mobile home parks account for more than 50% of the work of the Anaheim operation and more than 25% of the work of the Roseville operation. Bostick says that combined the two divisions perform maintenance work on more than 250 mobile home parks each year.
Typically these parks feature roads, driveways, carports, and 200 to 400 individual coaches or modular units, each owned individually. The owner of the home rents the space from a property owner, who hires J.B. Bostick to maintain the pavement.
"Mobile home parks are the backbone of the company," Crowley says. "It's a special kind of work because you're working with numerous residences on a single property."
Much of the work in mobile home parks involves paving, but parks also are great proponents of ongoing pavement maintenance programs including everything from sealcoating and restriping to fabric overlays to complete removal and reconstruction. Hamlin says that recently much of the work involves pulverization of the existing asphalt, then blending the pulverized asphalt with the existing base and paving on that.
"A lot of the mobile home parks built 20 or 30 years ago were constructed right on top of native soil and that's why they're starting to fail significantly," he says. "Pulverizing them and blending into a new base and paving on top of that can bring these pavements up to standard."