Mark Yeager, owner of Yeager Asphalt located in Saginaw, MI, had a hunch several years ago. When the economy was at its worst, Yeager predicted an increase in repair work and prepared for this change by investing in more sealcoating equipment. "I invested more into the repair side of the business," Yeager says. "There are a lot more repairs and sealcoating. Where people would normally recap their parking lot with another layer of asphalt they are repairing and sealcoating."
Brad Lewinski, vice president, was skeptical of the investment into new equipment but is pleased with the outcome. "It was a large investment when the economy was really bad," he says. "It turned out to be a record year for repair over replacement."
Yeager Asphalt has been in business since 1959 and has 30 employees that makeup two sealer crews, three prep crews, and one paving crew. Covering the Tri-County area, about 75 percent of revenue comes from commercial customers with 25 percent coming from residential work. For large, commercial projects Yeager Asphalt will travel throughout Michigan.
Yeager Asphalt offers several services including sealcoating, striping, crack filling, and street print. Specializing in fast food restaurants, they can pulverize a parking lot, install catch basins that need repairs, lay two layers of asphalt, and if working around the clock can complete the project in two days, Yeager says. Yeager Asphalt is also one of five manufacturers of cold tar sealer in Michigan, Lewinski says.
New techniques and equipment are a regular part of business at Yeager Asphalt. "We've always been the first in our area to start new techniques and use new equipment," Yeager says. "When I see something I like that comes out, I'll get it. I was one of the very first to do street print in our area, and I was the very first to buy a sealer spray machine."
Lewinski credits Yeager Asphalt's success to staying on top of techniques and equipment. "If there is a new thing out in the market, everyone is usually gun shy to make the investment," he says. "We'll make the investment, and we will implement that technology first."
Traveling several times a year, Lewinski believes it is important for contractors to attend conferences and seminars in order to maintain knowledge of the industry. "This is where we learn the latest and greatest in technologies and techniques," he says. "If you're going to be an industry leader you need to maintain being a leader as far as everything else goes."
Recognizing that advertising has changed, Yeager Asphalt has turned to several new avenues for promoting. For the first time in the company's history, Yeager Asphalt is using television advertising. "We have both commercial and residential television commercials out there," Lewinski says.
Along with television advertising, Yeager Asphalt continues to use radio often, promoting its training seminars taught by experts in the industry to educate local business owners and property managers. Recently, Yeager Asphalt began using Facebook to enhance a personal feel with its customers.