The paving and pavement maintenance industry has no manifesto or "how-to" manual (other than this magazine) to help guide contractors on what to do and how to do it. There are so many different companies of so many different sizes in so many different markets offering so many different mixes of services and pursuing so many different goals that it's virtually impossible to have one over-riding, catch-all approach to this business.

Except, that is, for The Chart.

The Chart is the one piece of information that validates - not in a precise dollars-and-cents way but in a qualitative, common-sense manner - what most contractors in this industry do: Repair and maintain pavements. Often seen in slightly more simplified forms or with varying titles, The Chart explains the relationship among time, repair and maintenance costs, and pavement usefulness. You can find The Chart in this issue on page 10, and once you do find it (and you really should), spend some time with it to make sure you can convey its meaning to your employees and, more importantly, your customers. Make copies for your sales staff, give copies to your office people, hand copies out to your crews. The Chart should be part of most contractors everyday approach to business, it should be available on your company's web page, in your company's brochures, and it should be part of any sales presentations you make.

Why? Because The Chart is the essence of much of the paving and pavement maintenance business. In graphic form it explains what you do, and it sells what you do to your customers by showing what happens when they don't maintain and repair their pavements in a timely manner. When you use The Chart your customers can see, even if they know nothing of pavement maintenance or repair, why they should make certain repairs at a certain time in the life of their pavement. The Chart isn't new; it's been around for some time and continues to be used by organizations from cities and counties to the Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Highway Administration to justify both the timing and the cost of pavement maintenance. It should be a staple in your sales efforts because it clearly shows the "why" of pavement repair.