With this issue Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction revives its Top Contractor list, which has been on hiatus since 2003. That original effort had, admittedly, some built-in problems: It relied on the honor system for contractors to report their annual sales and it used those sales figures to rank companies in order of size.
We don’t do that anymore.
That original system and its inherent problems have been abandoned in favor of a non-ranked alphabetical list that requires third-party verification of each company’s sales total. We don’t reveal any individual company’s sales figures and we don’t rank one company ahead of or behind another. The required verification should make these lists more accurate, and with the alpha listing no one can tell where a company falls within the list. You either make the list or you don’t.
Predictably, participation declined, probably because contractors didn’t want to jump through the hoop of having their CPA or other qualified third party verify their figures. But for those hearty companies who saw value in participating, the lists begin on page 13 with an introductory analysis on page 12. This year we limited the Paving, Sealcoating and Striping lists to 50 companies each (we limited the Sweeping list to just 10 companies—sweepers where are you?). A separate list of the Top 50 Pavement Repair contractors will be published in our June Blacktop Update e-newsletter and we'll list Honorable Mentions in our July Blacktop Update.
So take a look at lists and spend some time with them. Sure, look for your company (or your competition) but then take a broader look throughout the categories and see what information you can glean from the results. If you participated in the survey we’ll do that for you and provide an “eyes-only” white paper analyzing all the information we collected – including information not published here – and still all without revealing any dollars. Next year we’ll do the same, and as we collect and disseminate this information year after year we’ll be able to provide the industry with what we think will be great insights into itself.
So if you participated this year, thanks; if you didn’t participate we hope you’ll rethink this for next year. This type of information when collected fairly and used properly can provide valuable information about an industry.