Concrete Products

JUN 2017

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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Page 31 of 51

30 • June 2017 Dan Juntunen, president and CEO of Albany, Minn.-based Wells Concrete, has begun his PCI chairman's term as the Institute pivots to improve the flow of communication with decision makers throughout public and pri- vate construction markets. During the 2017 PCI convention, staged with The Precast Show earlier this year in Cleveland, the Board approved a restructur- ing; zones were officially eliminated and 13 regional affiliate or chapter designees were appointed to the Board. Producers in the few areas with no PCI chapter will continue to be represented by at-large board positions. Directors approved a strategy under which PCI will disseminate research findings, white papers, and other information to regional affiliates for use in market development. Affiliates will collect input from producers on matters that may be more effectively addressed with a larger volume of constitu- ents—code issues, potential lobbying efforts, technology initiatives, etc. "[The] platform for the year is centered around growing the industry, building rela- tionships with the regional groups, and PCI facilitating communication with the indus- try," Juntunen tells Concrete Products. "The restructuring is meant to grow the industry and times with the way building decision makers are thinking. There is a generational shift toward white papers and case studies in building and construction decisions versus traditional decision processes. PCI will aim to be the think tank and have world-class infor- mation and support, but then help regional affiliates build up marketing materials and exchange information and strategies on proj- ect wins and losses across the industry." Adds PCI President and CEO Bob Risser, P.E., "Now that we have a partnership between PCI and regional groups, we want to maintain our status as a world-class insti- tution. One of the things that came out of the process leading to the regional affiliates was that members want to grow the market. The organization of the Board better aligns us with the market. The only way to grow the market nationally is with victories at the local level. Decision making is done locally, and we have to rely on the success of the local groups to carry the national group." This month's Board meeting, the first directors gathering since Cleveland, will be centered around identifying affiliates' producer member expectations instead of the state of affairs in the former PCI zones. PCI will be asking members to work with regional directors, report on project victories—ideally based on information from white papers and case studies—and what challenges they face. An October board meeting, timed with the 2017 PCI Committee Days and Membership Conference in Chicago, will be positioned as a productive exchange of information on regional affiliates' activi- ties and project successes. ENGAGEMENT Through his position at Wells Concrete, Juntunen had noticed that there is an inconsistent understanding of what precast can achieve. Although there are those very knowledgeable about precast's benefits in the design and construction communities, there is also a large segment that has lacked exposure to not only basic features such as color availability, but also finish options, structural integrity benefits and panel con- figuration. However, through the company's architect outreach program (see Wells Con- crete sidebar, page 33), he discovered that they are open to learning more about precast if given the opportunity. "We have spent significant marketing dol- lars on educating the industry on precast," says Juntunen. "There has always been a mis- conception out there that architects stick to what they know . At Wells Concrete, we built 10 x 30-ft. structures—eight panels each— at our four plants. They show architectural and structural details. We invited architects , engineers, developers and general contractors to the plants and had hoped for 150 partic- ipants this year. Now we have over 4 00 and expect 1,000 at the plants combined. While it was a significant investment with no known outcome, we are extremely pleased in that we converted a project to total precast early on and thus paid for the effort in a couple months ." Another issue he saw was that the indus- try is "heavily fragmented and has had less collaboration on broad industry objectives than some of the building systems we com- pete against." To address this issue and the lack of marketplace education, Juntunen and the PCI Board have laid out one broad goal: Col- laboration. Realignment of PCI and regional affiliates, he adds, stands to "allow us to combine resources and efficiently attack the market goals we are aligned on while con- tinuing to grow the reputation of PCI." "Whether it is getting a voice on building code development, education for engineers, or marketing activities, the other side is producer or member engagement," explains Juntunen. "We will make a consistent push CHAIRMAN'S REPORT BY JOSEPHINE SMITH COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION 2017 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Chairman Dan Juntunen looks at how to grow the industry Dan Juntunen Continued on page 33

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