Talk of equipment upgrades and capital expenditures will likely dominate discussion when the National Pavement Expo (NPE) convenes in Nashville next year. And while the nuts and bolts of paving are vital, C.B. Kuzlik, founder of Let’s Pave LLC, Oak Brook, IL, will remind attendees that the human side of the industry is just as important.
In The Power of One: A Personal Approach That Will Revolutionize Your Paving Business, Kuzlik will emphasize the human connection. “Customer engagement is an expectation of buyers,” Kuzlik says. “It needs to be your mindset as a contractor.”
Digital technology helps, but it’s not enough. “Employees are the biggest assets of any company, especially of a contractor business,” Kuzlik adds. “This NPE presentation will educate attendees to leverage human resources to be the face of your brand, truly know your customers, and meet/exceed their unique challenges.”
Taking success from the office to the pavement is the focus for Jeff Cayton, regional vice president, Neyra Industries Inc., who will feature Mix Designs and Proper Application Rates during an educational session aimed at “all levels” of sealcoaters. “The session is going to give an in-depth understanding of how emulsions are made and how they react in certain environmental conditions,” says Cayton, a 20-year NPE attendance veteran. “There are so many different environmental conditions that affect these things, and we're going to get into how and why those affect these emulsions that we make.”
Cayton’s level of detail is designed to speak directly to those seeking a more fundamental understanding of specific compositions. “These are coatings that we make that are a certain percentage of solids, and that's an important thing to understand,” he says. “These are emulsions that have solids suspended in a slurry, and it's not a liquid. We're not selling liquids. We're selling emulsions. Having an understanding of what an emulsion is helps people. Knowing what is actually going on to allow them to cure, and to turn black and create that waterproof coating is important to a contractor.”
With registration now open for the Jan 29 - Feb 2, 2020, NPE at the Music City Center, Nashville, Tenn, professionals in the pavement industry have an opportunity to focus on everything from minute details to overarching philosophy. Getting out of the office and into a bit of inspiration, for example, is the goal for Dre Baldwin NPE session; Work On Your Game: Applying The Pro Athlete Mindset To Business.
“I show audiences of people who are not athletes how the same mental tools necessary to excel in sports are necessary in the business world,” says Baldwin, a former professional basketball player and now founder of Miami-based Work On Your Game Inc. “I show you how it works in sports and how it works in business.To compete and stay on top takes more than skill.”
With educational sessions covering specific skills, proper mindset, and personal approaches, the next step is specialization. Tom Travers, sales and marketing manager, Carlson Paving Products Inc., will explore his own specialized area of expertise in Parking Lot Paving: Be the Master of the Mat, a program designed for better performance, better customer relations, and more profit in the long run.
“It is critical for commercial contractors to understand and break away from the old ways,” Travers says. “The quality of the mat that the commercial contractor lays down has a direct relationship not only to the life cycle and aesthetics of a pavement in a finished product, but also to customer relations and satisfaction. It's about reputation, it's about being paid, and it's about future business and referrals.”
According to Travers, attendees will gain knowledge on how to properly set up and use machinery to get the best product. “We’ll show attendees how to get the most out of their machines, to dial in their machines properly, and to achieve the highest possible quality mass for finished products,” Travers adds. “We’ll show attendees how to get the most out of their platforms, while staying up to date with concepts to achieve that higher mat quality. We’ll talk about technologies that are coming out that are going to make life easier, but also going to translate to a better product—and more business in the long run.”
Even the best-laid plans may fail without good communication. It’s a problem that Thomas J. Eosso, pavement problem solver, sales, Eosso Brothers Paving, has pondered. One of the solutions is technology, which Eosso will detail in his presentation: IPAD Pro in Field – Communication is Everything.
In the paving business, effective communication between office and field can make or break a project. “In this proactive class, attendees will learn how to take accurate field notes and photos,” Eosso says. “This step-by-step process can change your company’s communication…Whether you are an estimator or a project manager, clarity is everything.”
Eosso will detail ways to use software and apps to have everything at the fingertips with no need for paper. “You will leave this class ready to inspect and collect pics and details to assist in maximizing detailed field notes,” he says. “Many people feel that it is hard to learn how to use all these apps. Find out how easy this process is and how you will save time and never forget a detail.”
Ultimately, making the decision to register for NPE comes down to a fundamental equation: Is NPE worth the time, money, and effort to attend? Tom Travers is one of many who believe strongly that that answer is yes. “The value of attendance comes in linking the concepts and the topics at these sessions with the equipment themselves,” he says. “There's only one place that you can learn these concepts, best practices, and continuing education—and then go out onto the trade show floor and actually speak with the manufacturers and see the equipment up close—seeing the concepts come to life by being on the machines and actually touching and feeling the steel.
“The National Pavement Expo is a fantastic opportunity to take the concepts and best practices, go directly to the manufacturers’ booths, and see the changes in technology, as well as designs that are going to make your life easier,” Travers continues. “You can also see what's new, and what can be used by contractors to continue to be more profitable and more productive.”
Cayton agrees that the in-person aspect of NPE leads to greater understanding far beyond what can be gleaned from the Internet. “NPE gives everyone an opportunity to actually view and ask questions to the people that created new products, new technology, or anything new to the industry,” he says. “I just feel like you get a lot better information with that personal touch, when you're talking to someone who actually created it. You get all the information that you need, whereas, you may read a technical sheet and breeze over some stuff, and not really get a full grasp of the advantages of that new technology until you actually see it for yourself.”
For details on the entire NPE 2020 conference and to register visit www.nationalpavementexpo.com.