Concrete Products

APR 2018

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 39 of 71

38 • April 2018 The Mile High City was an appropriate setting for the 2018 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Convention: Members confirmed how market conditions and expec- tations are approaching new peaks, while leadership observed progress on five new fronts—national and chapter organization partnerships, market share tracking, national standards, workforce development, govern- ment affairs—aimed at ensuring PCI plant production rates outpace national construc- tion levels. Reports leading up to the late-February Denver gathering indicated that producers in architectural or structural building com- ponents and systems, including parking structures, enjoyed the strongest year-over- year gains in 2017. Current plant backlogs and solid commercial project outlook sug- gest they will likewise lead the Institute this year. Bridge producers entered 2018 with an improving transportation market on the heels of two relatively flat years. Overall, PCI membership reports year- over-year shipment increases exceeding those of peers in other concrete segments. "We will start collecting hard 2017 data by early in the second quarter, but confirmed in last year's member survey and production reports that 2016 saw precast/prestressed shipments and services exceed $5 billion— ahead of pre-recession levels," says PCI CEO and President Bob Risser, P.E. "Our forecast model shows a 4.8 percent industry advance in 2017. Once members submit sales data for the year, we'll see how it tracks." "The board determined that in order to accurately measure architectural and structural precast market share, we needed to make member reporting of sales break- downs by building and transportation segment mandatory instead of voluntary," adds Standard Concrete Products Inc. President and 2018 PCI Chairman Mason Lampton. "Producers have a confidential mechanism to report on precast/pre- stressed shipments to those segments; PCI staff never sees individual plant data, only the industry-wide figures. By interfacing our reporting with Dodge Data & Analytics and Portland Cement Association methods, we can accurately measure national and state market share for the first time. "Information down to square footage by building segment will drive how we apply marketing dollars and allocate Institute resources. We can show members progress in promotion and market development. If num- bers indicate precast/prestressed production rates are increasing faster than the construc- tion industry at large, we can reasonably assume PCI producers are gaining ground. "I think we are taking share in certain markets and entering new segments that weren't precast/prestressed or even concrete. Our plan is to give architects and engineers resources to design with precast concrete panels, beams, girders and columns. We are going to control our destiny by putting up the money, and demonstrating why precast/ prestressed is so important to construction and how our methods shrink schedules." PCI recognizes the importance of support- ing design and engineering professionals, Lampton notes, especially with emerging competition in low- to mid-rise buildings: "There continue to be concerns with the considerable resources the wood industry has put forward. Competition with the wood industry is forcing PCI and our industry part- ners to look critically at code provisions that allow taller wood buildings and larger wood structures." STRUCTURAL SHIFT Adding to the productive 2018 convention mood was members' embrace of a change in PCI structure and mission initiated last year under Risser, who arrived at Chicago headquarters in 2015, and 2017 Chairman Dan Juntunen, president of Minnesota-based Wells Concrete. The PCI Board transitioned from legacy zone representation by pro- ducers to 10 chapters and two areas still without chapters. The new structure posi- tions the national office as a technical and standards-developing authority to support chapters with design, engineering and best practices assets. It also respects chapters' front-line exposure to established or pro- spective building and nonbuilding market segments. Each of the local organizations designates a PCI director to the national board. "This is already a great success, formally tying board representation with chapters and strength- ening our relationships with those at the local level," Risser affirms. "Chapter members can communicate directly with the PCI board through their representative. PCI members and the Board have identified market growth as a key goal in our strategic plan, and our success in growing the precast market at the national level relies on market development strategies being successful at the local level." "The whole dynamic of the board has changed in a positive way. The chapters are an effective outlet for national campaigns and can implement our message consistently and conversely give feedback on what is or is not working at the local level," adds Lampton who, as PCI vice chairman, ushered a stra- tegic plan centered on identifying optimal funding and resource targets. "My goal is to craft the plan for the next three-to-five years to ensure that PCI officer and staff efforts benefit members. We have worked in a 'This is the way we have always done things' manner. There are different ways to operate and dif- ferent areas to put our resources to work. Bob Risser has generated much positive response to the strategic plan. He and the staff can make it happen." Continued on page 40 CHAIRMAN'S REPORT BY DON MARSH STANDARD BEARER A visit with 2018 PCI Chairman Mason Lampton Mason Lampton

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