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2007… Stay Focused!

While preparing to write this issue’s message from the president, I took a few moments to reflect on the year that was 2006. As usual the CFA provided a host of opportunities for members to participate and find benefit in the dollars they contribute. I also had the opportunity to expand the companies that I have been introduced to with many new members attending these events.

The year began with a record breaking meeting in January in conjunction with the World of Concrete, and who can forget that ridiculous basement constructed by Balmer Brothers which won the basement of the year award! April came and the Spring Regional Meeting held in Indianapolis was another banner event. Not surprisingly, those who attended raved about that fine Indiana hospitality! Before long it was July and the annual Summer Meeting; this event was all about our associate sponsors. They turned out in record numbers and brought unprecedented opportunities for the contractor attendees to demo equipment and see their products in action. As the year continued, the effects of the national home building economy was no doubt on the minds of many of our members and began changing some of the patterns of interaction in the CFA. The fall meeting held in Hartford, Connecticut was not as well attended as previous events even though the educational and seminar material was up to the usual high standard. Those that did attend found many ideas about leveraging their opportunities in the softening markets.

As we move into the calendar year of 2007, it may be more important than ever for our industry and association to stay focused on the issues that affect affordability and bringing value added benefits to our products and services. We must remain aware of the fact that our consumers are measuring value more carefully than ever before. Many of us have already been asked to take a hard look at our operations and evaluate processes and procedures. There is no doubt that each of us could benefit from a self analysis and an internal assessment of our strengths and weaknesses to expose areas that need attention. As contractors, we should take the time to measure and evaluate our production quality, cost control procedures, estimating processes, and all areas of customer service. This is a great time to not only streamline our individual businesses but also to discover ways to actually improve the products and services that we provide. What better place to start this process than through the networking of the CFA and the many opportunities we are creating here.

I believe that foundation contractors are a hearty group, and I am confident that we will successfully navigate our way through the current market conditions and come out on the other side healthier, leaner, and better prepared than ever before to serve our customers with what they want most.

Brad Schrock, CFA President, Custom Concrete Company Inc.
bschrock@customconcrete.com

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us