“They’re going to do high-profile projects in their town or their area, but they won’t have the sales expense or sales effort to try to get those jobs.”
National Paving of America, Rose Alliance, and Pavement Exchange “members” are general pavement maintenance contractors, including pavers, sealcoaters, and stripers, and sweepers. There is no fee to be included in any of these organizations.
Each organization qualifies its contractors through some combination of interviews, reference checks, equipment evaluations, on-site visits, and referrals. The current Rose Alliance database nears 1,000 members, but Rose works closely with only 100 or so. Pavement Exchange, which typically performs between 400 and 600 jobs a year, works with 400 contractors.
“Once we identify a contractor we think can work with us we will likely give them a smaller project to start with,” says Henry Miller, president of Pavement Exchange Group, Charlotte, NC. “Once they perform well on that job we will move them to larger work.”
National Paving, Rose Alliance, and Pavement Exchange can have any number of members in the same market. None of the organizations guarantee any contractor any amount of work, though each say that some members have experienced substantial increases in their work. When a job comes up in a market, any member in that area will be asked to bid it. Those that want to can; those that don’t want to, don’t have to.
National Paving of America
National Paving of America (NPA) has been gestating off and on for about 5 years, but in the last several years Dick Lindholm and other NPA principals have made enough strides that in 2006 they expect to execute the National Paving concept.
National Paving currently works with a number of real estate investment trusts in Southern California, and National Paving of America represents the national expansion of the work and contacts already in place. Lindholm says National Paving currently covers 25% of the U.S. and plans to be able to cover more than 50% of the U.S.in the near future.
When a bid is available, NPA contractors will visit the properties in their market, take digital photos of the property and of potential repairs, and then bid the job. Eventually member contractors will use a dedicated software program that enables them to submit bids in an apples-to-apples manner. National Paving will then combine all bids for that client’s properties into one large bid and submit the package to the client. In addition to bidding the work the customer has requested, NPA member contractors will also propose a possible “best solution” for long-term care.
“That gives the client an opportunity and a choice,” Lindholm says. “We hope to involve clients in pavement maintenance plans of three years up to 15 years or longer so they can better budget their pavement maintenance and so we can provide work in the future for our members.”
Lindholm says NPA will enable property owners to more effectively manage parking lot maintenance work on a national basis.
He says the proprietary software combined with digital photography will give the property owner instant access to the condition of his entire portfolio of commercial parking structures.
“We feel it will be successful and feel strongly that contractors will see a benefit from national branding, which is really the goal,” Lindholm says. “I think this industry will be pulled into national branding, just as the commercial real estate market is evolving into various branches of large regional or national companies, like Century 21.”
Pavement Exchange Group
The Pavement Exchange Group was started in 2003 to operate as essentially a broker between property managers and contractors, according to Miller. Pavement Exchange Group does little of the work it bids itself, instead helping match customers with contractors to get the work done. Pavement Exchange receives a fee from each contractor awarded a job through the Exchange.
CEO Mary Miller, Henry’s wife, says Pavement Exchange was a planned outgrowth of their pavement maintenance company, which they started 10 years ago filling potholes from the back of their mini-van.