Yearly Archives: 2019

/2019

Concrete vs. Asphalt: Roads, Parking Lots & Driveways

Concrete: Paving The Way For Your Future Projects

A few years ago, it would have been difficult to find a road, parking lot or driveway that was made with anything other than asphalt. Now, however, concrete road construction is becoming more popular.

Concrete has various benefits over asphalt including strength, durability and sustainability—just to name a few. Even with its list of benefits, concrete is still overlooked in favor of asphalt. 

Why you may ask? It’s generally driven by a price difference perception. 

Price should not be your sole deciding factor. When designed properly, concrete cannot only be more cost effective than asphalt in the long term, but an be competitive on first costs, also. There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to comparing concrete and asphalt. 

When it comes to projects like roads, parking lots and driveways, concrete is worth the investment! Below, we compare the essential components of these building materials so you can decide for yourself what works best for your project. Our hope is that by the end of this blog, you are able to understand the undeniable benefits of concrete.

The Benefits Of Concrete Roads, Parking Lots and Driveways

Affordability

You know the saying, you get what you pay for? Well it’s actually quite true, especially when it comes to comparing asphalt and concrete. Asphalt is a less durable material, meaning more repair costs and higher levels of maintenance over time. 

You’re all but guaranteed to get a longer lifespan out of concrete with significantly fewer repairs than other materials. This level of durability is simply unmatched, which makes you wonder why concrete doesn’t cost more than it does! The benefits always outweigh the costs—and taxpayers usually feel the same way. 

Taxpayers want to know that their hard earned money is going to good use. After all, they’re the ones that own the roads! There’s nothing more frustrating than uneven asphalt and potholes, or getting stopped in traffic for road repairs. Taxpayers deserve a road that lasts, with less maintenance and repairs—they deserve concrete!

Longevity

On average, asphalt is thought to last between 20 and 25 years. Fact is most asphalt roads and pavements see major repairs in as early as 5-7 years after installation. Concrete, however, is capable of lasting much longer. To put things in perspective, original concrete roads were only speculated to last for 20 years. Not only did these roads hit their 20 year mark, but they are still going strong 30, 40 and even 50 years later! 

This is due to the strength and durability of concrete. Unfortunately, it’s rare to find asphalt roads, parking lots or driveways that have outlasted their initial lifespan. With concrete, this is the standard! Concrete is built to last, which is especially important for these types of projects. 

Taking into consideration travel, weather and the weight of cars and trucks, it makes sense to choose a material like concrete that can withstand the daily stress. Otherwise, you’re left with less durable materials that require regular repairs and as a result a shortened lifespan. 

Durability

Heavy traffic and harsh weather punish our roads, parking lots and driveways everyday. But that’s to be expected! Which is why it’s crucial to choose a material that can withstand the frequent day-to-day activity. 

Concrete and asphalt handle loading differently. Concrete has the ability to spread loads out over a large area making it more durable long term and minimizing the pressure on the subbase. Depending on the application and type of soil, concrete pavements may use less aggregate in the base than asphalt due to this characteristic. 

Asphalt does not have the same ability to spread loads and thus create point loads that place high pressure on the subbase escalating the probable degradation of the subbase. This leads to earlier repair and maintenance of an asphalt pavement over a concrete pavement..

Sustainability

Concrete is highly sustainable and 100 percent recyclable. In fact, the Construction and Demolition Recycling Association reports that concrete is the most recycled construction material. 

Concrete is environmentally friendly for a few reasons. First, its light color is highly reflective, allowing it to conserve the energy used from streetlights. Since concrete is a lighter color, it reflects the sun’s radiation rather than absorbing it like asphalt. Thus, concrete’s surface is cooler which helps buildings surrounded with concrete save on energy to cool the building. Asphalt absorbs solar radiation making it a hotter surface and areas around it warmer which is why you may find it warmer in urban settings. The space between the asphalt and tall buildings tends to trap heat. It’s common for an urban area to be 5 to 10 degrees higher than a nearby rural area.

Second, concrete is created with recyclable and natural materials such as aggregates, water and sand. It can also be produced by using slag, fly ash and carbon dioxide—all of which are recyclable materials. 

Third, the durability of concrete makes it sustainable. Less repairs means less stop-and-go traffic, which reduce fuel consumption and air pollution. 

Lastly, concrete doesn’t produce any toxic runoff, so it won’t threaten local waterways. Plus, concrete can be made permeable allowing water to pass through and replenish groundwater supplies as mother nature intended

Customizability 

The design capabilities of concrete are practically endless in comparison to asphalt. In addition to it’s clean, bright and inviting look, concrete can be stamped or placed into almost any pattern or shape. While customizations may not be as important for a roadway, you are able to add ornamental and custom touches to a parking lot or driveway. 

This makes concrete stand out against other materials like asphalt. While asphalt can be colored or stamped, it doesn’t offer the same variety of options like concrete.  

Concrete: The Ideal Choice For Roads, Parking Lots and Driveways

When it comes down to it, it’s easy to see that asphalt simply can’t compare! Concrete is affordable, long-lasting, durable, sustainable and customizable. It is the ideal construction material for every project, especially when it comes to roads, parking lots and driveways. 

So when you need concrete, make sure you choose the right supplier. Here at Concrete Supply Co., we know a thing or two about the advantages of concrete because we’ve been working with it everyday for the past 60 years! 

We understand the value concrete construction can bring to your project, and our team is here to meet all of your concrete needs! Take a look at our portfolio, or contact us to learn more about who we are, what we do and how we can help you. 

Now that you know how concrete stands against asphalt, you may be wondering how it compares to other materials. Check out our blog, Durability Matters: Choosing Concrete Over Other Materials, to learn how concrete stacks up against building materials like wood and metal.

concrete parking lot
2019-07-09T11:44:48-04:00

Durability Matters: Choosing Concrete Over Other Materials

What Your Next Project Stands To Benefit From Using Concrete

When considering building materials, you always want to compare cost, sustainability, safety and durability, among other things. Building materials like steel may be strong and durable, but it comes at a higher cost and may not be necessary for every project. On the other hand, wood is cheap to use, but causes you to compromise on durability and safety.

Concrete, however, stands out against other building materials. It’s affordable, energy efficient, safe and durable—and a material that can work for almost any project.

We know the power of concrete, which is why we want to share the benefits of concrete as a building material. That way, when it’s time for your next project, you remember to compare—and choose—concrete over other materials.

Below, we discuss the advantages concrete has over other materials, specifically wood. We hope this blog gives you the information you need to make concrete your go-to building material in the future.

10 Reasons To Choose Concrete Over Another Building Material

1. Low Maintenance

In comparison to other materials, concrete is extremely low maintenance. In fact, concrete may never require maintenance at all! Materials like steel or wood, however, must be maintained over time.

For example, wood will need to be retreated and repainted over time, and potentially even replaced. The same goes for steel! Concrete, on the other hand, won’t ever require this type of maintenance. This low level of maintenance not only makes concrete a more simple choice, but also a less expensive one.

While concrete may be more expensive than wood initially, the cost you will save over time makes it a worthwhile investment.

2. Resistant To Wind and Water

Concrete’s resistance to wind and water differentiates it from other materials like wood, too. Wood is easily damaged by wind and water, making it less ideal and safe for construction. For example, a large storm may cause wood to snap or break, and the excess water may result in mold damage.

Either way, both potential outcomes are expensive and time-consuming fixes. Unlike wood, concrete stands significantly less of a chance of being damaged by wind and water. This level of resistance allows concrete to stand out against other, weaker materials.

3. Fire-Proof

Due to its ability to absorb heat, concrete is actually fire-proof. This capability alone demonstrates the power of concrete over other building materials, especially wood.

In fact, fires kill more Americans than any other natural disaster combined. In 2017 alone, fires cost the US a total of $328.5 billion. Knowing the threat that fires place on our homes, projects and lives, why would you not choose concrete?

Materials like wood are extremely vulnerable to fire damage. Wood burns quickly, making it difficult to salvage in the event of a fire. This isn’t a concern for concrete though. Concrete walls and floors will not only stand strong during the event of a fire, but it stands a better chance of protecting what’s inside unlike wood.

4. Energy Efficient

Concrete’s heat absorption isn’t only beneficial for fires! Its ability to retain heat makes it energy efficient as well.

How so? Well, concrete’s heat retention requires less work on the buildings HVAC system, which not only cuts expenses, but also increases the building’s energy efficiency.

In addition, the amount of energy required to create concrete differs greatly than that required for a material like steel. On average, steel requires roughly three times as much energy to produce than concrete. In terms of energy efficiency, this is a big deal! As more projects decide to go green and enforce sustainability efforts, energy efficient materials like concrete become even more important.

5. Extremely Durable

Concrete is a material that is built to last. In general, the lifespan of concrete is two to three times longer than other building materials. This level of durability is simply unparalleled!

Other materials like wood can’t compare when it comes to durability. Wood will need to be replaced over time. Concrete, however, stays strong!

No matter the project, you need a building material that will last for years to come, which is why concrete remains the obvious choice above other materials.

6. Doesn’t Rust or Rot

Building off of its extreme durability, concrete also will not rust or rot. Wood and metal building materials will, though.

Decaying, rotting or rusting materials can be expensive to replace or repair. This is an expense you won’t have to worry about with concrete! While concrete has many benefits over other building materials, its durability and inability to rust or rot make it a prime material choice for any project.

7. Can Be Placed To Fit Any Space

One of the many beauties of concrete is that it can be placed in any space, shape or design. If the space you need coverage for is large, no problem. Small, no problem. In a unique shape, you guessed it, no problem!

While wood can sometimes be cut to fit small or unique spaces, placing concrete is a more reliable, consistent and durable option. Additionally, concrete can even be stamped to resemble the look of other materials such as brick, stone and wood. Concrete designs are essentially limitless, so you can achieve the look you want without having to compromise on weaker, less reliable materials.

8. Minimal Waste

Concrete is a material with minimal waste as well. It can be produced in exact amounts, so you won’t have to worry about wasting an excess amount of concrete.

Additionally, when concrete has served its purpose, it can be crushed, recycled and reused for other projects. This reusability isn’t always possible for other building materials!

9. Reflectivity

Since concrete is light in color, it’s able to reflect solar radiation, rather than absorb it like darker materials such as asphalt.

This also adds to its levels of energy efficiency, since the reflectivity will help reduce the need for the building’s AC system to work overtime, especially in the warmer months like spring and summer.

10. Cuts Down on Noise Pollution

Concrete is known to reduce noise—and even soundproof walls and floors—unlike other materials. The thickness of concrete walls and floors won’t allow sound to travel back and forth.

When Choosing Concrete For Your Next Project, Don’t Forget To Partner With The Right Supplier

Now that you know how concrete stands against other building materials, it almost seems like a no brainer to choose concrete for your next project!

However, don’t forget to partner with the right concrete supplier.

Here at Concrete Supply Co., our mission is to be the premier supplier of quality ready-mix concrete to benefit our employees, customers, shareholders and our community.

When you partner with us, we promise to value the industry, teamwork, profitability and most importantly, you! We know choosing the right supplier isn’t always easy, which is why we want to share the same passion and outlook for your project as you do.

If you’re ready to choose concrete for your next project, contact our team to learn how we can benefit you! We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about the limitless possibilities of concrete.

Speaking of suppliers, are you having trouble finding reliable partners? If so, download our free guide, Guide To Pre-Qualifying Suppliers, below!

 

building with concrete
2019-05-17T14:35:24-04:00

Decorative Concrete Techniques and Design Ideas For Your Home’s Patio

How To Upgrade Your Home’s Patio With Decorative Concrete Designs

Summer nights are going to be here before you know it. It’s the time of year to have friends over, fire up the grill and eat dinner on the patio. But is your patio dinner party ready?

There are endless options to update your outdoor living space. From decorative decks, to pergolas, firepits and more, it gets difficult—and expensive—to decide what you want. This is when it pays off to use concrete!

If you’ve been thinking of sprucing up your patio, now’s the time to do it. And we’re here to help! You may not have thought about the different ways that concrete can give your patio the facelift it so badly needs, so we’ve compiled a list of three different decorative concrete techniques and four concrete design ideas to help transform your patio.

Why Choose Concrete Over Other Materials?

Many homeowners choose wood, brick or stone to decorate their patio. While these finishes give a nice touch, the same effect can be achieved with concrete while also achieving many other benefits!

It’s customizable

Concrete can be placed and constructed in a way that mimics stone and brick, and even have the same grain lines as a piece of wood. Plus, stains, pigments and antiquing agents can be applied to give concrete a completely unique look.

Additionally, concrete can be placed in any shape and size, allowing you to fully customize your desired design. The options really are limitless when it comes to decorative concrete techniques.

It’s affordable

Concrete is a much more affordable option than other design options such as stone, too. When you consider that you can get the exact look of stone, for a much lower price, it’s easy to see why concrete is a better option.

It’s durable

When you decide to use concrete for your home’s patio, you’re adding an extension to your home that will last for decades. Concrete is known for its durability, so you’ll be able to enjoy your patio for a lifetime! Not to mention, concrete is highly weather resistant, so it’ll be able to withstand the unpredictable Carolina weather.

3 Decorative Concrete Techniques To Transform Your Patio

Before deciding on what elements you want on your patio, consider the type of texture, finish and color you want your concrete to have.

1. Concrete Color

Concrete can be mixed to the color of your choosing through various pigments or stains.

Pigments can be added to the concrete prior to pouring, allowing the color to fully mix in. These pigments can be in liquid or powder form, and usually, only allow earthy colors such as brown and tan, but green, grey and blue can be added as well.

There are multiple types of concrete stains which can be applied at any point throughout the process. Typically, however, you want the stain to be added quickly after the pouring is complete so the final product is as vibrant as possible. Like pigments, stains come in more subtle, earthy tones. However, acrylic-based stains can add black or white coloring to your patio!

These decorative concrete coloring techniques allow your patio to perfectly complement the architecture of your home, while giving your patio a completely unique and custom look.

2. Concrete Finishes

Consider how much moisture exposure your patio will experience. Do you have a pool? Are you located in an area that receives a lot of rain? Maybe children running back and forth results in unexpected spills? If this is the case, consider a decorative concrete texture that adds more traction for the safest results.

One of the ways to add traction is with a broom finish. A broom finish is used after the concrete has been smoothed to give traction. This is done by dragging a broom across wet concrete, leaving small ridges to give grip.

If you have a pool, a salt finish would be the ideal finish for your concrete. Rock salt is applied to wet concrete, which is later washed away. Once completed, small pits are left behind that give some much-needed traction around the pool.

And remember, finishing your concrete surface with a layer of sealant provides a whole host of benefits!

3. Concrete Texture

While there are multiple different ways to achieve concrete texture, the one we want to focus on is decorative concrete stamping.

Stamping has three main steps: base color, accent color and stamping. Say you want to add a wood-like finish to your patio. You would first choose the color you want the wood to have. Once decided, these colors will be added to the concrete though powder pigments or stains. Next, the design will be stamped.

The concrete is stamped by using patterned “stamps”. The stamps are laid on wet concrete, and the pattern is softly pressed in, allowing the concrete to mold to the pattern. Finally, the stamp is carefully removed and the process is repeated throughout the rest of the surface.

Concrete stamping is a popular method because it can mimic the exact look of stone, brick, wood, tile and more. Plus, concrete stamping is a much more affordable option than using materials like brick, stone and wood.

Want to see stamping in action? Watch this video from HGTV to see how concrete can be transformed into wood-like pallets.

4 Concrete Designs Ideas For Your Patio

Now that you know some of the endless technique options for decorative concrete, it’s time to put them to the test! Here are four ways to transform your patio with concrete design:

1. Stamped Stone-Like Concrete

If you want the look of stone without the cost, go with concrete. Not only is concrete a much more affordable option, but it can be poured in any shape or size to look just like real stone!

The concrete can be manipulated by hand to mimic almost any stone you would choose. This stone-like look will upgrade your patio and give it a true one-of-a-kind look.

2. Tiered Concrete Steps

Decorative concrete steps will also elevate your patio. Adding steps can lead your family or guests to an element such as a pool or firepit, making your patio a directional feature of your home.

3. Colored Borders

Around the patio or walkways, add colored concrete borders to give your patio extra definition. These can also be poured with any texture or finish you want. These borders are a great way to add more personalized touches to your outdoor living space.

4. Concrete Fire Pit

A concrete fire pit can also be poured in any shape, design or texture you desire. A fire pit is a wonderful addition to any home because it gives an extra gathering area for family or guests.

Again, a concrete fire pit will be much more affordable than other options, but will still add a high-end touch to your home. Not to mention the level of safety of a concrete fire pit! The right contractor knows to line concrete fire pits with protective veneer, which may be fire brick grouted with fire clay or a steel ring. This extra level of protection makes a concrete fire pit and safe choice for your home and family.

Upgrade Your Patio With Concrete Supply Co.

When you’re looking to upgrade your residence or patio, trust the team at Concrete Supply Co. to help with your project!

Since 1958, we have been providing ready-mix concrete to projects and transforming areas—big and small—all over the Carolinas. When it comes to concrete, we are your source!

We are ready to help take your patio to the next level with our state-of-the-art concrete. Plus, we value sustainability, so we can keep your project eco-friendly.

Reach out to us so we can talk about the opportunities for concrete to transform your outdoor living spaces!

Want more information about concrete? Download our free guide, Concrete Checklist: Gets The Best Ready Mix For Your Project!

csc checklist guide

decorative concrete patio
2019-05-02T13:50:47-04:00

Steps To Improve Productivity On Your Construction Site

11 Ways To Improve Productivity On Your Construction Project

Completing a construction project on time can be tricky. It doesn’t take much to throw off your timeline! Bad weather, limited crew members, and impatient property managers can make efficient and productive work difficult.

However, despite these inevitable obstacles, there are a few things you can do to make sure your project stays productive every step of the way.

Follow along below to discover 11 ways to improve productivity on your construction site.

1. Communicate Clearly

Any project will suffer without proper communication. After all, no one will know what to do and when to do it without solid communication.

Always communicate goals, updates and changes with your crew and with your suppliers. You don’t want any of your crew members or project suppliers to be in the dark, so be sure to involve them with any changes to deadlines or project updates.

When your team has strong communication skills, the project will be much easier to complete on time—and your team will work better as a whole!

2. Educate Your Team

Jobsite injuries can cause a lot of problems for your project—productivity being one of them. However, most injuries can be avoided with adequate training.

Before starting a project, make sure everyone on your crew is trained properly. If not, this could result in unqualified team members delaying your project.

These levels of training are worth it, and will help your project stay productive and (hopefully) injury-free.

3. Listen To Feedback

Part of having open lines of communication with your team is giving an opportunity for much-needed feedback. Your crew members are the ones executing the project, so listen to their opinions about what works and what doesn’t.

If they think a goal seems unrealistic, or they need new tools and equipment, don’t dismiss it. Instead, talk with your team to see if this is a shared opinion to determine what steps need to be taken next.

Listening to your team will build trust, allowing you to further improve your team’s overall productivity.

4. Set Reachable Goals

Improve your productivity by setting goals for the day, for the week, for the month, and so on. Communicate these goals daily with your crew so they know what is expected of them. If something seems unreasonable, discuss it quickly and determine a goal that works best for the team.

Remember to always plan goals that are realistic, relevant and timely.

5. Plan A Course Of Action

What do you need to get the project done, and get it done well? Make a plan before the start of the project to determine how big of a team you need, what materials are needed, what your goals should be, etc.

Think through the logistics and timeline of the project and plan a course of action. This will help you, the property owner and your team get an idea of what is needed to complete the project.

6. Check Inventory

To improve productivity, check your materials frequently. If you don’t have the materials required to complete your tasks, the project will likely be delayed for a few days or longer.

We recommend checking your inventory at least weekly to make sure you have enough materials to last through the week. If the crew notices materials are lacking, handle it quickly to stay on task.

Double check your current inventory against the number of materials needed in your initial plan. If these numbers continuously match up, your team should remain on-time and productive.

7. Reward Your Team

Your crew deserves rewards for their hard work every now and then! Give incentives for hitting goals, such as catered lunch, drinks after work, or whatever you can think of. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it.

It’s important to remind your team that their work isn’t going unnoticed. By rewarding them for their hard work, you will encourage them to keep hitting goals and moving forward. These rewards can be simple and can make a huge difference in productivity.

8. Delegate Tasks

Get to know your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Cater to their strengths by delegating tasks that they can manage and excel in. This will remind them that you’re paying attention while growing their leadership and time management skills—both of which are vital for a productive construction site.

Likewise, make sure your employees and partners in management positions are fit for the project. More often than not, these will be the people communicating between you and your crew. You need to be sure they understand the goals that need to be hit, how to hit them, and how to communicate it to your team.

If you notice a disconnect between management and your team, check it out and see where the problem is coming from. If your team doesn’t respect management, or your management officers aren’t doing their job correctly, it could lead to issues with productivity. To stay on track, nip these issues before they grow into larger problems.

9. Practice Safe Techniques

As we mentioned earlier, safety plays a huge role in productivity. While it’s impossible to prevent all work-related injuries, you need to be sure your team is following the safety guidelines on the construction site.

Invest some extra time and money into safety training and make sure each project member attends. The goal is to remain productive and keep injury levels as low as possible, so don’t take these safety measures for granted!

10. Work With The End Goal In Mind

When communicating with your team, make sure you are all working together with the end goal in mind. Take the time to assess every step in the process. Are these goals allowing your crew to hit the end goal? If not, reevaluate.

Sometimes it’s easy to get ahead of yourself and start working on other ideas within the project. However, always remember what your end goal is. If these ideas help you get there sooner, great! If not, go back to the drawing board and create new ideas to improve productivity and work towards your final goal.

11. Choose The Right Suppliers

This is one of the most important steps to improve productivity. You need to be sure that your suppliers are on-board and on-target with your project.

If your supplies don’t have similar goals and values, there’s a chance they won’t be the right fit for your project. You should be able to trust that your suppliers will make an effort to complete the project on time and not delay your team.

Even Your Suppliers Can Affect Overall Productivity On Your Site

Here at Concrete Supply Co., we know how important it is to choose the right supplier. You need a team you can trust to join your project and maintain productivity with you—our team can do that and more!

No matter the project, we can help. We promise to value your employees, community, industry, and your timeline. We want to be an extension of your team by working together towards your individual goals.

Want to learn more about us? Reach out to us today to see how we can be a benefit to your current or future projects. We can’t wait to hear from you!

For more information about how to pick the right suppliers, download our Guide To Pre-Qualifying Suppliers!

 

construction workers communicating to improve productivity
2019-05-01T09:40:26-04:00

What Your Concrete Supplier’s Affiliation With CRMCA Means For You

Hire A Concrete Supplier Affiliated With CRMCA and Your Project Will Benefit

A Look Into What The Carolinas Ready Mixed Association Stands For

The Carolinas Ready Mixed Concrete Association, or CRMCA, is a non-profit industry trade organization with members all over the Carolinas. The organization, established in 1951 by a group of ready mixed concrete producers and companies,  supplies materials, equipment, and services to the concrete industry throughout North and South Carolina.

The CRMCA provides its members with product promotion, industry advocacy, education and technical services. Now, the organization offers its members so much more, even making it their purpose to accomplish the following:

  • Present a single voice before State and Federal governments who play a role in regulating the concrete industry.
  • Provide a clearing house through which members may coordinate their efforts in solving common problems.
  • Remain dedicated to the overall expansion and improvement of the ready mixed concrete industry.
  • Sponsor educational programs, seminars and workshops to promote the latest advances in concrete technology.   
  • Create a platform to address other issues of interest to the industry.
  • Promote the highest standards of business practices among members.
  • Provide a service to the industry that better performs by a group rather than an individual or individual company.
  • Encourage the increased use and applications of ready mixed concrete to advance into new markets.
  • Enhance cooperation between the suppliers and and the providers of ready mixed concrete, which will benefit the industry and consumers.  

What Does Your Supplier’s CRMCA Affiliation Mean For Your Project?

The benefits of being a CRMCA member are obvious, but what do those benefits mean for you? It’s a good question. 

As a CRMCA affiliated supplier we’re able to take what we get from our membership and give it right back to you–our customers! (After you’re finished reading this blog, be sure to see the list of other professional associations we belong to.)

See the various ways you can benefit from having a Carolinas Ready Mixed Concrete Association supplier on your project.

1. A Wealth of Knowledge And Experience

The CRMCA fosters an environment where members can freely exchange innovative ideas, share experiences, discuss best practices, and tackle problems together. It’s an environment where members encourage each other to grow, find mentors, and gain new insight or knowledge–and that’s exactly what happens.

The CRMCA brings ready mix concrete industry producers and suppliers from all over the Carolinas together—so you can imagine this leads to some extremely productive conversations. And ultimately it’s YOU who benefits from the results!

2. Up-To-Date Education and Safety Training

The Carolinas Ready Mixed Concrete Association offers its members a number of educational and safety training opportunities. From educational seminars and industry related certificate programs to lunch & learn presentations and courses introducing new safety procedures–CRMCA members are provided with a full calendar of events and are welcome to attend as they see fit.

If furthering your own concrete knowledge interests you, many time the CRMCA organization offers their events to the public. Or, the supplier themselves will hold their own events to teach their customers what they’ve learned. That’s right, did you know we offered lunch-and-learn presentations?

Most CRMCA members dedicate themselves to advancing the ready mixed concrete industry. To do this, take steps to continue furthering their education. This should give anyone who might have a CRMCA supplier working on their project peace of mind. A CRMCA concrete supplier will have current knowledge of various procedures, materials, new techniques and more, allowing them to work in a safe, efficient, and sustainable way.

3. Access To Mutually Beneficial Partnerships Within The Industry

Networking is a well known benefit of joining any industry trade organization, and it’s certainly a benefit of belonging to the CRMCA. Through CRMCA, members have the opportunity to network with other Carolina ready mixed concrete industry players. This allows them to gain contacts, clients and most importantly, partners.

For you, this means if your supplier doesn’t know how to do something required of your project, or more often, doesn’t have the resources to do so, they know someone who does!

4. Shared Values

Over the years, members of the Carolinas Ready Mixed Concrete Association have realized just how big of an impact they can have on the local Carolina community. The organization regularly hosts events and fundraisers to spread awareness or raise money and members actively participate.  

Just a few months ago, members from the Concrete Supply Co. team sponsored and participated in a fundraiser through CRMCA for the NC PAC. And we didn’t stop there, see the other ways we got involved in the community throughout 2018.

For CRMCA members, community involvement typically goes beyond membership. Generally, this sense of responsibility to the community is apparent within their own company culture. We’ve certainly made it a part of ours!

Even more than community involvement, The CRMCA encourages its members who care about doing good for the earth. The CRMCA Active Environmental Committee meets annually with the North and South Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (NCDENR and SCDHEC). During these meetings, department members discuss the latest environmental issues and find solutions.    

If your company strives to do what’s best for the local community or places environmental sustainability high on its list of values, this is great news. Working with a supplier who shares your values will lead to a productive and successful project.

We’ve seen first hand the high standard of professionalism CRMCA members are held to. You’re sure to see the benefits of having a Carolina Ready Mixed Concrete Association affiliated member working on your next project. Locate one for your next job.

And be sure to check out our Guide to Pre-qualifying Suppliers to ensure your CRMCA ready-mix supplier is entirely the right company for the job.

CRMCA-affiliation
2019-03-19T16:35:19-04:00

4 Ways Project Managers and Contractors Can Promote Sustainability

Learn The Role You Can Play In Promoting Sustainability As A Construction Project Manager or Contractor

Today, people are finding it more important than ever to “go green”. Green initiatives are being implemented in almost every industry, and construction is no exception.

Contractors and project managers (PM) everywhere are realizing the importance of sustainable choices throughout the building process. However, it’s not always possible for you as a contractor or PM to give your two cents when it comes to green initiatives. That’s when it pays off to be a part of a Design Build project!

In a Design Build, project managers and contractors get to collaborate with architects and engineers before the building begins. This allows the contractor to make changes, give his opinion and make recommendations in regards to best eco-friendly practices.

But what exactly are the benefits of green building, and what are the best ways to promote and maintain sustainability throughout a project? To help you think it through, we’ve compiled a list of four ways to “go green”!

The Value In Green Construction For Project Managers and Contractors

Choosing sustainable options is so much more than “going green”. When contractors push for green options, they are making choices that benefit our environment and economy.

Benefits for the environment

By choosing eco-friendly options, green buildings can benefit our environment by conserving energy and reducing water usage. This can also reduce the amount of toxic or harmful fumes that threaten our environment, like greenhouse gas emissions.

With less power used and less fumes released into the environment, our world would be a different place. Imagine the impact on our environment if every building was made this way!

Benefits for the economy

Green buildings help save money in more ways than one! When tenants aren’t using as much electricity or water, they’ll definitely notice the decrease on their bill. Building owners will have higher resale value due to green materials, too.

Not to mention, sustainable materials are simply more cost effective in the long run. These items are meant to last, and require less to keep them going. While choosing energy efficient options may seem more expensive from the start, the amount owners will save down the road makes it completely worth it!

4 Tips Project Managers and Contractors Can Take With Them Into The Design Build Process To Promote Sustainability

Now that you know the benefits of taking your construction project green, here are four tips to keep your project sustainable:

1. Create A Sustainability Strategy

Before getting started on anything, create a sustainability strategy. First, take a look at your current situation. What are some areas that need improvement? By examining your current processes, you can determine what it will take to improve these areas. This will also help you set and maintain goals for sustainability throughout the project.

Second, once these goals have been identified, assign tasks to specific people who will be held responsible. Just like with any other project, team members have certain jobs to perform. This is no different! Assign project members tasks to promote and maintain eco-friendliness. When everyone has their own responsibility, it will be much easy to stay sustainable!

2. Set Sustainability Standards on Site

Once work has begun, it’s important for contractors to do all they can to remain sustainable on site. There are quite a few ways for this to be achieved:

LED lighting. While this may seem more expensive at first, it will definitely pay off in the end! Not to mention, LED bulbs and lighting options will last significantly longer than regular bulbs. Because of this, they’ll be able to make it through multiple projects, all while maintaining efficiency and keeping costs down.

Proper waste management and recycling. This is a major part of keeping things green. As the project manager, you have multiple ways to influence good habits when it comes to trash and recycling. Keep an eye on items that could be repurposed or recycled, rather than just hauled off to a landfill. Encourage members of your team to properly dispose of items that can’t be reused, and to recycle all items that can!

Monitor runoff. Set up retention ponds around the site to prevent debris from making it into community water areas or freshwater sources. That way you’re keeping the site clean and keeping things eco-friendly!

3. Opt for Green Materials

One of the best parts of being involved in a Design Build is that you get to give your input at the beginning! This is especially helpful when it comes to ordering materials. You have the power and opportunity to recommend ordering materials that are sustainable and friendly to the environment.

Also, you can make recommendations to other key members of the team about green options. Some things to consider are:

Energy-efficient electrical. Make recommendations to the electrical engineers about choosing more energy-efficient options. This could be solar paneling, appliances, wiring, or even making the suggestion to add more windows! This will bring in more natural light and alleviate the need for lights to be kept on all day (and cut costs on energy bills).  

Green HVAC. Having an energy-efficient HVAC is key to sustainability! By recommending a green HVAC, you can help owners save big in the future.

Non-toxic paint and finishes. Some cheaper paints and finishes emit high volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These not only threaten the health of the team, but also the health of the tenant. Suggest paints and finishes will lower levels of toxicity that aren’t detrimental to overall well-being, and that promote sustainability.

CarbonCure Technology. Carbon Cure’s CO2 utilization technology injects a precise dosage of carbon dioxide into ready-mix concrete masonry products, where it chemically converts into a mineral. Read more about this innovative technology and how it’s promoting sustainability.

4. Choose Reliable Partners

Align yourself with partners who care about sustainability as much as you do! Some partners and suppliers may try to cut costs, therefore nixing your green goals.

While convincing partners to go green is easier said than done, it can be a great opportunity to shed some light on the benefits of choosing sustainable options. If everyone involved in the project understands the value of green initiatives, they will be more willing to put these efforts into action.

However, we know picking the right supplier is no easy task! With so many to choose from, it’s hard to make sure your priorities and goals about sustainability align.

When you’re looking for a concrete supplier who cares about sustainability just as much as you do, look no further than Concrete Supply Co.

At Concrete Supply Co., we are committed to preserving natural resources to not only grow our business, but also protect our environment. We frequently audit our sites to make sure we are conserving our resources through recycling. Not to mention, we are the first ready-mix company in the Carolinas to have earned the National Ready Mixed Concrete Associations Green Star Environmental Certification.

We take pride in our efforts to create a more sustainable, green and eco-friendly environment throughout our projects. Ready to partner up? Contact us to let us know a little bit more about your project and how we can work together!

Looking for a supplier but not sure who to choose? Download our Guide to Pre-Qualifying Suppliers below to help you pick the right suppliers for you!

contractors-project-managers-meeting
2019-03-19T15:15:37-04:00

How to Winterize Your Construction Site

How to Winterize Your Construction Site

Unpredictable–there really is no better way to describe winter weather conditions in the Carolinas.

While we see our fair share of blue sky, sunny, 60 degree days, it’s not all that uncommon to see arctic temps (by our standard), freezing rain, sleet, ice, and even snow in the forecast. We should also mention, the switch can happen quite literally overnight.

When real winter conditions take effect, construction work becomes significantly more difficult and dangerous. But if there’s one thing those of us involved in the construction industry know, it’s that deadlines don’t stop for anything–especially outside temperatures or weather.

Winter brings a whole host of new hazards to your construction site. Therefore, it’s important to understand how to properly winterize your team and your worksite.

Taking steps to winterize your construction site will:

  • Prevent accidents with your crew
  • Ensure your crew is able to continue working productively (and safely)
  • Keep the project moving forward (hey, even if it’s moving slowly–it’s still moving!)
  • Limit citations for safety violations
  • Protect the overall project investment, equipment, work-ethic, etc.

Know When To Call It A Day

Know when you’re putting the safety of your crew and productivity of your site at risk. Heavy rain, frigid temperatures, high winds, ice or snow can put site and crew managers in a difficult position to “call it a day”. If you don’t call off the workday altogether, you may consider limiting work hours to only the warmest parts of the day or providing more frequent breaks.

When creating short and long term project timelines, be sure to account for inclement weather that could create project delays.

To avoid being caught off guard by weather changes, keep a close eye on the forecast and make judgment calls based on that. Then, have a plan in place to get the site and crew prepared. The National Weather Service is a reliable source for local weather information.

Maintain Functioning Equipment

When bad weather is looming, take steps to secure equipment, materials, and temporary structures to prevent potential damage. Store scaffolding, position cranes, secure loose materials like netting, tools, ladders, chutes, and other items that could shift or move during a storm.

Keep in mind some equipment on your site will feel the effects of weather more than others. Before use, equipment and vehicles should be warmed up properly and then inspected to determine whether they are functioning properly or if they require service.

Educate Crews On Winter Work Safety

While your crew should have a thorough understanding of how to work safely in all types of conditions, winter weather is especially critical. Educate your team on the hazards of working in winter weather and provide them with the knowledge to keep them safe.

Employers should encourage crew members to wear necessary personal protective equipment (PEE) for winter conditions. Layers of loose-fitting clothing will keep heat insulated and a layer to protect against wind and rain on top will provide additional comfort. If you get warm throughout the day you can easily remove a layer and continue working. Knit masks, warm hats, water-resistant gloves, and slip-proof insulated boots may also be necessary depending on the severity of the conditions.

Employees should be able to recognize the symptoms of cold-related injuries. This way, they can better monitor themselves and their coworkers to ensure safety throughout the site.

While many employers recognize the importance of providing their crew members with water on warm days, it’s just as important to maintain hydration on cold days. Warm liquids during breaks can keep people warm and hydrated.

Ensure Clear Work Surfaces

When temperatures drop and working surfaces become wet, the risk for injury is heightened. Falls are already one of the most common types of construction site accidents. In order to prevent slips, trips, and falls, all walking surfaces should be cleared of snow or ice and coated in ice melt or sand as quickly as possible. Surfaces should include roofs, ladders, scaffolding, roads, and so on.

Pick up loose debris, waste materials, and misplaced tools as frequently as possible to prevent a hidden hazard from causing injury. Never use scaffolds, aerial lifts, or ladders in ice, snow or wind! And keep your site stocked with floor mats and slippery surface signs for added coverage.

Cold Weather Concreting?

If your project timeline requires you to place concrete in the cold weather, there are a few things you’ll want to know:

  • What can go wrong while pouring concrete in cold weather conditions. More or less the problems you’ll face while cold weather concreting.
  • How your ready mix provider can help you overcome the problems associated with cold weather concreting. The changes a supplier can make to help your concrete withstand the cold temperatures.
  • The mistakes frequently made when cold weather concrete pouring. And how best to avoid making those mistakes yourself.

All of which we discuss in a previous blog post, Cold Weather Concreting 101.

Or check out one of our other blog posts centered around safety on the site, Concrete Construction Hazards With Solutions From OSHA.

As you can see, cold temperatures and inclement weather require rather specific measures to create a safe, productive construction site. While these extra steps are likely to slow your site and project timeline down, they ensure your project won’t be derailed by accidents, damage or loss. Through all of the uncertainty and risks winter weather adds to your project, you’ll want a supplier who is flexible. It’s critical that whoever you select as a supplier is willing to work with you if your timeline fluctuates.

For more on what to look for in a supplier, download a copy of our Guide To Pre-Qualifying Supplier. The guide will help you create a pre-qualification process that will allow you to narrow in on a shortlist of qualified suppliers.

Download The Contractors Guide To Pre-Qualifying Suppliers
winterize construction site
2019-03-19T14:55:05-04:00

A Residential Home Builder’s Role In Preventing Fire and Fire Damage

A Residential Home Builder’s Role In Preventing Fire and Fire Damage

A house can easily catch fire. A week of hot, dry weather, a mishap in the kitchen, a curious child–it really doesn’t take much.

When it comes to preventing a fire from occurring or limiting the damage a fire can do to a home, there are measures that can be taken well before the homeowner even moves in.

Therefore, as a residential home planner, designer, architect, or builder, you play an important role in preventing home fires and fire damage. Constructing a home with the right materials, landscaping, and other firewise features can give the home a far better chance at withstanding a fire.

Measures A Residential Home Builder Can Take To Prevent Fire Damage

A Detached Garage Can Make All The Difference

Many fires in residential areas begin as vehicle fires. When a vehicle fire occurs in an outbuilding like a garage or storage shed where flammable materials like paint thinners and gasoline are often stored, it’s a recipe for disaster.

By keeping garages detached and storage sheds well separated (30 feet is the preferred minimum) from the main house, fires and the loss suffered from a fire can be prevented.

Fire Protection From The Top Down

Illegal fireworks, lightning strikes, chimney fires, sparks or other debris from a neighboring fire, arson–unfortunately, the opportunities for a fire to start on the roof of a home are endless and not that far fetched.

Organizations that test fire-resistant building materials have classified roofing materials as follows:

  • Class A materials are the most resistant (typically shingles containing fiberglass) and can withstand severe outside fire exposure.
  • Class B materials are less resistant and can withstand moderate outside fire exposure.
  • Class C materials (typically organic, like wood) are the least resistant and can withstand only mild outside fire exposure.

By installing materials that offer a high degree of fire resistance, you can help prevent fires from igniting on the roof and burning through an entire home. Some of the best materials for roofing:

  • Asphalt shingles
  • Recycled rubber tiles
  • Clay or concrete tiles
  • Slate
  • Metal (copper, steel, zinc, stainless steel)

A few other things you can recommend homeowners do to keep their roof safe from fire include:

  • Keeping tree branches trimmed away from the roof.
  • Maintaining clean gutters (clear of debris that can fuel a fire).
  • Properly cleaning and operating the chimney and/or fireplace.

Screen possible entry points

To keep flaming materials from getting into critical areas of a home like attics, crawlspaces, and ductwork, all ventwork and vent openings should be constructed of metal products and have corrosive-resistant metal mesh screens.

Plan outdoor living spaces with care

Wood decks often provide fuel for fires and can be the reason an entire home burns. If you do use wood, it should be treated against fire. Better yet, consider building outdoor living areas with more fire-resistant building materials like stone or decorative concrete.

Today’s homeowners tend to value a home that is not only visually appealing but is structurally safe too. Concrete can add a fresh and unique look while also bringing durability and strength to an outdoor residential area.

Armor exterior and interior walls

When it comes to the exterior of a home, non-flammable materials such as fiber-cement siding, cultured stone, brick, or stucco are best. Avoid untreated wood and know that vinyl siding may be ok as long as a fire cannot find a route to burn too close to the house. All gaps and crevices beneath the vinyl must be sealed (or fire will find its way into the structure).

ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms)

ICF or insulated concrete form walls are becoming a popular option for multi-family residential builders. Not only do they make the building process quicker and easier, but they also create a structure that is durable, efficient, and safe.

See the side by side below that compares insulated concrete forms to conventional wood framing created by Build With Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.

home fire safety concrete forms

The system is made up of polystyrene blocks that fit together like legos to form a house’s shell. Filled with concrete–one of the most fire-and heat-resistant construction materials–ICFs create solid, insulated walls that can block anything out.

ICF walls have been known to withstand fire for up to four hours. While they can cost anywhere from 1-4% more than what you would pay for a wood frame house with no built-in fire protection, the many long-term benefits to ICFs are worth it in many homeowners’ eyes.

How You Can Actually Profit From Hazard Mitigation

As a company involved in the building industry, we understand that making a profit is your top priority. But do you place the safety and overall longevity of the structures you build high on your priority list too?

While the initial cost of investing in high quality, durable materials and resilient building techniques (hazard mitigation) may seem high, it can actually save more money in the long run. Researchers at MIT created the break-even percentage model to help those involved in the building process calculate the right amount to invest in hazard mitigation. Watch the video below to see what they found.

 

 

Using concrete as a building material on top of flame-resistant roofing, siding and the other fire preventative or safety measures listed will make for one safe residential building. There is no question about it–concrete is a resilient building material. While concrete has fire-resistant benefits, it can also help a building stand up against a number of other damaging conditions.

Need a concrete ready-mix for your next project? Download our Concrete Checklist: Get The Best Ready-Mix For Your Project. Your download will provide you with expert advice to make the ordering process easier, a guide to determining the PSI required of your mix, and an explanation of the other features you mix might need to include.

csc checklist guide

Get Your Checklist

home fire safety check
2019-03-19T15:10:26-04:00

6 Tips For Effectively Communicating With Your Suppliers

Tips To Improve Communication Between You And Your Suppliers

Communication is a critical component of any construction project–it’s also one of the biggest pain points for construction professionals today.

While communication is important in any industry, the essential role it plays specifically with regards to construction is not to be understated. Poor communication between key players on a construction project can equate to huge monetary losses, safety hazards, missed deadlines, and an overall unsuccessful finished product. Good communication in the construction industry is the difference between a project that’s completed on time and on budget, or a complete disaster.  

As a large concrete supplier with over 60 years of industry experience, we’ve seen first hand the toll poor communication can take on the overall success of a construction project. We also know improving communication is a two-way street–suppliers like us have just as much to lose if communication isn’t up to par.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips for suppliers (like ourselves) and top construction professionals, decision makers, contractors, subcontractors, and/or project managers (like you), for improving communication.  

1. Get On The Same Page From The Start

Discuss your process, priorities, and goals for the project at the very beginning of the partnership. The initial meeting is a great time to get it all out on the table. When a supplier understands what is important to you and the project, they’re able to work with that in mind. When partners work with the same goal in mind, great things happen.   

Having similar goals and values as your supplier is an important factor to consider as you start your supplier selection process.

2. Avoid Using Industry Jargon and Buzzwords

We’ve worked in the concrete industry for 60+ years. Some would say we’re experts in all things concrete. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you are! And vice versa.

We both work in the construction industry and while we have a general understanding of what the other does, messages sometimes get lost in translation when industry-specific jargon and buzzwords are used. Ensure each party is able to understand the details of the project by using general terms each is likely to understand. If a concept is foreign, take the time to explain it.

3.  Identify Your Chain Of Command And Points Of Contact

When you or your supplier doesn’t know who to contact with a question, concern, complaint, problem, etc–it can be frustrating. This is particularly a problem on a construction project where there are so many different parties involved.  

Don’t assume that because your chain of command is documented in the contract, that other parties understand it. The best way to avoid confusion is to provide a single point of contact. This person should hold some authority, be organized, have good communication skills, be willing to feed information to the rest of the team and make executive decisions. With a single point of contact, your back and forth messaging will remain consistent and create less opportunity for misunderstanding.

4. Define The Rules Of Engagement

Set the standards for efficient and effective communication. Each party involved will have different communication expectations, strategies, and techniques–find a common ground! Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • How often will you provide updates and reports? How often will you expect updates and reports?
  • What channels or methods of communication will be used? (A communication tool or software that both parties are familiar with can be a powerful way to operationalize effective communication.)
  • Are there certain hours or days when either party isn’t open to being contacted?
  • How much notice is required for cancellations, timeline changes, etc.?
  • What information do you need from the other party and when?     

5. Be Transparent

Often in construction, changes are made to the plan or timeline quickly, problems arise that are out of your control, or someone makes a mistake (hey, we all make ‘em!). Whatever it is, be transparent with all parties involved. You’ll want to give everyone else plenty of time to readjust to the changes that were made.

Transparency is critical in fostering a trusting and successful partnership free of tension and conflict.

6. Practice Active Listening

Listening is an essential, yet often forgotten part of communication. You must accurately receive a message in order to accurately relay it to your team. Poor listening has ruined its fair share of relationships, don’t let it add tension to yours.

The best listeners make eye contact, ask relevant questions, mirror gestures and expressions, don’t interrupt, and paraphrase what was said to show they understand.

Often times, just by listening attentively to one another we’re able to solve problems before they even arise. Wouldn’t that be nice?

These tips will ensure effective communication between you and your suppliers, therefore decreasing the tension put on the relationship and increasing the likelihood that your project is successful!

Though there are steps that can be taken throughout your partnership with a supplier to improve communication, it helps if you select a supplier who has a strong and proven track record for thorough communication.

During your supplier pre-qualification process, don’t be afraid to question the supplier’s communication techniques. If they don’t align with your preferences or needs, it may be an indication that the relationship wasn’t meant to be.

For more on how to choose the right supplier for your project, download our guide to pre-qualifying suppliers. The guide will help construction decision makers like you, develop a process for measuring a supplier’s ability to complete a project.

Download your copy of our Guide to Pre-qualifying Suppliers and start developing your team’s pre-qualification process.  

Show Me How To Pre-qualify Suppliers
a contractor practicing effective communication with their suppliers
2019-03-19T14:50:57-04:00

A Step-By-Step Guide To Evaluating A Supplier’s Performance

Supplier Performance Management: A Step-By-Step Guide To Evaluating A Supplier’s Performance

Many companies rely heavily on their supplier’s performance for various aspects of their business process. Whether your suppliers provide materials, labor, equipment, or services, it’s likely that they play a critical role in your business’s overall success. With so much on the line, you must depend on your supplier’s ability to be timely, deliver high quality, maintain a professional relationship and keep your best interests in mind.

If your business’s day-to-day operations involve a supplier, it’s important to prequalify and select the right man for the project initially, but also to continuously evaluate their performance throughout the partnership. Through the evaluation of a supplier’s performance, companies can ensure and maintain the best service while eliminating suppliers who fail to comply with performance requirements.   

Supplier performance management is a business practice that is used to measure, analyze, and manage the supplier’s performance in an effort to cut costs, alleviate risks, and drive continuous improvement for both yours and your supplier’s teams.

The businesses that have the best luck with suppliers have a formalized system in place to track and evaluate their supplier’s performance. Some might even credit the smooth operation and profitability of their companies to their supplier evaluation process.

Step One: Establish An Evaluation Criteria

It’s important to determine what characteristics your suppliers need to have, demonstrate, and maintain in order to continue doing business with your company. From the start of the relationship, they should be entirely aware of these characteristics and know that they will be regularly (monthly, quarterly, annually) evaluated based on them.  

Your business’s industry, processes, and specific needs will dictate the criteria used to evaluate the performance of your suppliers. Your criteria may include:

Accuracy

Has your supplier delivered the right goods or provided the right services? How often do you come across product flaws or service mistakes? If the success of your business hinges on the accuracy of your suppliers, this is an important factor to evaluate on.

Timeliness

Does your supplier do their very best to stick to your timeline? Now sure, depending on the industry, certain things might come up that are out of your supplier’s control. But if a supplier is frequently late with no explanation, it’s your business that suffers.

Responsiveness

Does your supplier respond to your inquiries or concerns? When you make an order, have a question, or need to address a concern, are you able to get in direct contact with a representative? Believe it or not, a supplier who prioritizes responsiveness can save you a lot of stress!

Capability and Flexibility

Can you depend on your supplier to meet and accommodate your needs on a regular and/or long-term basis? It seems like a no-brainer, but you’ll really want to ensure your supplier can meet your needs.

Quality Control

Does the supplier consistently provide you with the best quality goods and service? How is the service? Consider the owner, sales rep, delivery drivers, and accounts receivable. Are they people you enjoy and are comfortable doing business with?

You may have noticed we left a somewhat important factor off the list–cost. While cost is a big factor in choosing and evaluating a supplier, it should not be a factor you weigh the heaviest on. Instead, focus on the factors we’ve listed. Keep in mind, a supplier can have the lowest price but the lowest quality of work, too.

Once you’ve established criteria for evaluation, you can proceed with your evaluation process.  

Step Two: Classify Suppliers For Evaluation

If your supply chain is made up of multiple suppliers, each of whom covers a different aspect of your business process or has more of an influence on your business than another, it wouldn’t make sense to evaluate them all the same way.

Decide how to classify your suppliers and then evaluate them according to the effect they have on your business process. By divvying up suppliers into two categories, such as critical and non-critical or primary and secondary, you can devote more time to measuring the performance of your critical suppliers.

Step Three: Determine Roles In The Evaluation Process

Though it will depend on the resources you have available to allocate towards the process–this classification step will help you determine who in your organization should be responsible for evaluating which supplier. There likely isn’t a single member of your organization who gets the full picture of each supplier’s performance. Those who work closest to the supplier should complete the evaluation. From there, who will be responsible for reviewing and making decisions based on the evaluation?

Step Four: Lay Down A Method For Evaluation

There are a few techniques businesses will use for rating a supplier’s performance. Techniques include evaluation forms, surveys, system metrics, and software applications.

You might consider crafting a survey that asks your own employees to rate and answer questions pertaining to the supplier. You can review how many corrective actions and/ or warnings you had to issue a supplier. Look at how many products you had to scrap or return because the supplier failed to meet specifications. You may also choose to monitor suppliers through a periodical auditing process.

The bottom line is that you need to determine a method that will allow you to generate reports throughout the course of the relationship.

Step Five: Know When To Say Goodbye

As you monitor a supplier’s performance, you have to decide when to praise them and when to issue a red flag or part ways.

Be sure to show appreciation for a job well done. Continue to do business with suppliers who consistently demonstrate excellent performance.

If you have a supplier you feel isn’t performing to their full potential, or to your expectations, raise a red flag, issue a warning–whatever you feel is necessary. By giving a warning, you give the supplier an opportunity to correct the problem. Remember, it’s not about reviewing your supplier’s performance as much as it’s about helping improve your partnership.

Finally, there’s no reason to tolerate ongoing bad service or a partnership that isn’t mutually beneficial. You may have to let go of a supplier that is underperforming or a bad fit–that’s ok!

Now, of course, a prerequisite to evaluating your suppliers is prequalifying and selecting them. Prequalify the right supplier from the get-go, and you’ll mitigate the risk of selecting the wrong supplier.

See our Contractors Guide to Pre-Qualifying Suppliers for more on how a contractor can establish a pre-qualification process that leads them to the right supplier for their project.   

At the end of the day, the relationship you have with your suppliers is a business partnership. If both parties are working to make sure the partnership is a success, it will be!

Contractors Guide To Pre-Qualifying Suppliers

Have questions? We’d be happy to answer them from a supplier perspective. Contact us here!    

contractor overseeing supplier's performance
2019-03-19T15:11:38-04:00