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CAPITALIZE THE MOMENTUM

A Visit With Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute 2018-20 Chair Kendall Anderegg

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Kendall Anderegg

Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute 2018-19 Chair Kendall Anderegg, president of Bellevue, Wash.-based Mutual Materials, is taking the helm as concrete pavers and slab sales in the United States and Canada reach a post-recession high and the Institute marks its 25th anniversary with double-digit membership gains. Based on an agenda review with Concrete Products, she is more than prepared and ready to take advantage of these tailwinds during her tenure.

The numbers in the Institute’s two benchmark reports—Industry Sales Profile and Contractor Industry Report—are uniformly strong. In terms of industry health, sales of concrete pavers and slabs have increased 35.5 percent since 2010 to a projected 721.4 million square feet during 2016, according to the 2017 ICPI Industry Sales Profile. Contractors also reported an increased demand for their services, led by ICPI-member contractors who have experienced 15 percent higher sales than non-members. Annual sales results from the 2017 calendar year will be available later this summer.

The 2018 ICPI Contractor Industry Report noted gross sales for concrete paver contractors in the United States and Canada increased by 7.7 percent during 2017, while four out of every five contractors cited difficulty in recruiting and hiring quality employees. In addition to tight labor conditions, the report found: the residential market remains strong, representing 69.5 percent of sales, while commercial/government projects are surging with 30.5 percent of sales—a 6.5 percent increase from the previous year; more than 90 percent of contractors provide employees worksite safety training; and, a 5.0 percent median wage/salary increase took hold in 2017, while a similar 5.0 percent median rise is forecasted for 2018.

“A strong economy, the industry’s growing reputation for quality, and new products have helped sales of segmental concrete pavement systems reach a post-recession high,” says Anderegg. “The challenge now is to develop enough highly skilled contractors and installers to meet the demand. With so many other trades looking to also engage young people, it’s obviously a big challenge, but it’s one that ICPI is well-positioned and excited to address.”

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Anderegg entered concrete hardscape and building unit masonry in 2002 as a business analyst at Mutual Materials, where she represents the founding family’s fifth generation and maintains a mind set around numbers and metrics. As encouraging as ICPI Industry Sales and Contractor Industry figures are, she is keenly aware of the workforce development challenge confronting the industry.

“We have done a lot of work looking at the 2016-2019 strategic plan and in our 2018 meeting approved a lot of big projects,” explains Anderegg. “One of the biggest is workforce development. Hardscape contractors have noted for some time the need to identify workers. We are putting together a boot camp program, and working with high school and post-secondary education providers on a curriculum that promotes and enables a contractor path. The final piece is promotion, speaking to young people: What does it look like to be a contractor and telling them a contactor or installer is a good career path.”

The ICPI Board recently approved a Workforce Development program to attract more high school and post-secondary school students to the industry. ICPI’s flagship education offering, the Concrete Paver Installer course, has been licensed, allowing schools to incorporate it into their curricula. In addition, ICPI is developing and rolling out a new Education Road Map and accompanying online Learning Management System to provide expanded opportunities for industry professionals, including contractors and manufacturing sales representatives. The Education Committee approved recommendations of five Education Road Map task groups and voted to seek funding for implementation of new education programs and delivery. The Road Map provides pathways to all educational programs for contractors/installers, sales reps/dealers, design professionals, students/professors, and owners/government officials.

With the most complete content, the Contractor Installer track will roll out first in October at 2018 Hardscape North America (HNA), the industry’s largest trade show. The Road Map divides courses into the 100 level (Installer), 200 level (Specialist), and 300 level (Professional), and defines mandatory courses for each level with prerequisites for instruction. The Learning Management System will allow participants in ICPI education programs to manage their participation online. ICPI hopes to have the boot camp, a 16-hour classroom and hands-on training program ready to launch in spring 2019.

Separately, the Institute announced in April that the PaveShare.org open-education curriculum for landscape architecture students and educators is now available through the Land8 Landscape Architects Network. PaveShare.org, a free ICPI resource, links to self-guided presentations with interactive animations and a studio project library on segmental concrete pavement design and construction. Educators can supplement existing curriculum with resources from PaveShare.org and encourage students to add to a living library by uploading their completed projects to the site. Students and educators can also explore pattern design and structural principles or utilize a curriculum path.

ICPI also is launching three new Continuing Education accredited courses for current designers through AEC Daily, a leading provider of online education for engineers and landscape architects. The free courses are “Structural Design of Interlocking Concrete Pavers for Municipal Streets and Roadways,” “Inspection of Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement Systems” and “PICP Maintenance.”

“Segmental concrete pavement systems provide engineers and landscape architects with a proven, flexible, and durable method that also allows tremendous design freedom,” says Anderegg. “By teaming with the Land8 network and AEC Daily, ICPI brings innovative design ideas and technical information to design professionals, students and educators in a free, easy-to-use manner.

“Homeowners, government officials, building owners, engineers, and landscape architects frequently choose segmental concrete pavement for residential and commercial projects because of its visual appeal and durability,” she adds. “PaveShare.org and our AEC Daily courses help the current and next generation designers address this growing demand.”

ICPI FOUNDATION

The ICPI Foundation for Education and Research continues to support the Institute’s efforts in expanding markets for members. “We do a lot of great work in our Foundation,” affirms Anderegg, citing especially a recent large investment in life-cycle cost studies.

The Municipal Interlocking Concrete Pavement Performance Modeling project consists of two contracts where consultants model the impacts of interlocking concrete designs within municipal pavement management systems. Total life performance costs under various maintenance cost scenarios will be developed and compared to those for asphalt and cast-in-place concrete. This will help determine if there is a compelling life-cycle cost case for municipalities to switch from asphalt or conventional concrete pavements to interlocking concrete pavement alternatives. The municipal pavement management systems examined will include networks and typical pavement sections from low or medium volume streets in Nashville, Boston, and Leesburg, Va. Deliverables are expected late in 2018, to include PowerPoint presentations.

Another project, PICP Life Cycle Cost Analyses (LCCA), Tools and Training, surveys the life-cycle costs of selected permeable interlocking concrete paver projects, influencing factors, and monetization of PICP lifetime benefits. This includes an Excel tool for calculating LCCAs accompanied by a report that provides rationale on accounting for off-site costs not directly tied to PICP. The project will create training materials for ICPI member sales force and a training workshop. A list of potential PICP projects for LCCA has been provided for review. These will be converted to case studies with training materials for ICPI commercial sales representatives.

HNA GROWTH

In tandem with ICPI Foundation projects that advance interlocking concrete pavements in public and private nonresidential construction, the Institute maintains strong connections with contractors, installers and dealers, especially through the annual HNA show in Louisville. “The Hardscape North America show is one of our biggest accomplishments,” says Anderegg. “It is great for contractors, consumers, producers and the industry as a whole. The 2018 show will be a high-energy effort and a lot of fun. We are adding a day for contractors and will see greater year-over-year participation in the installer competition.”

More than 2,400 hardscape contractors, dealers and retailers attended the 2017 Hardscape North America trade show. HNA welcomed 57 new exhibitors last year, leading to 16 percent growth on the exhibit floor and making it the largest show ever for the hardscape industry. The co-location with GIE+EXPO (Green Industry & Equipment Expo) added up to a total of 1,005 exhibits—indoors and out—and provided HNA exhibitors exposure to over 11,000 landscape and hardscape professionals.

The 2018 HNA and co-located GIE+EXPO will run October 17-19 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. As a result of the shows’ continued growth, a new format will be implemented, allowing contractors an extra day on the show floor. The indoor show floor will open exclusively for dealers, retailers and the media at noon on Wednesday, October 17. Then, beginning at 3 p.m. and continuing Thursday and Friday, the entire industry will be invited to visit the indoor exhibits. The 20-acre Outdoor Demonstration Area will be open Thursday and Friday for all show attendees.

MEMBER SATISFACTION

In its 2017 report, ICPI notes solid year-over-year gains in the results of an annual Member Needs Assessment survey, measuring how well the Institute is addressing producer, associate and contractor priorities. The survey was conducted in January 2018 by ICPI, and drew responses from nearly 300 member representatives.

ICPI members almost unanimously said the Institute’s programs are important to their companies (99 percent) and that ICPI is accomplishing its mission “to deliver education and technical guidance leading to awareness, acceptance and use of segmental concrete pavement systems in the United States and Canada.”

An extremely high number of members also indicated that they would recommend joining ICPI to colleagues in the industry. During its current fiscal year, ICPI added 112 contractor members, increasing their ranks 10 percent. Furthermore, ICPI has the highest Net Promoter Score (NPS) of all trade associations monitored by McKinley Advisors, leading association consultancy in Washington, D.C. NPS gauges member loyalty and potential for membership growth. ICPI’s NPS is 56 percent, which is universally considered “Excellent” by experts and is three times higher than the average trade association.

“The impressive results on the Member Needs Assessment survey and Net Promoter Score speak to what members value,” states Anderegg. “They value our educational and technical resources. Ninety-nine percent say membership is important to their company. When they go through the ICPI agenda, they cite things like Workforce Development. I expect the factors behind the Net Promoter Score will continue to improve and the net score increase.”

MODUS OPERANDI

Since taking the reins at Mutual Materials, Anderegg expresses that one of the key areas she’s worked on is strategic direction: “Where do we want to be in three to five years? How do we get there and get everyone on board to execute a plan? At ICPI, I want to mirror that. We are starting the process for the 2019-2022 strategic plan. It is important to have strategic direction and the organization aligned behind that strategic plan.”

The objective, she adds, is to “Communicate, communicate, and communicate. Really talk about the work we are doing.” Toward that goal, ICPI has produced webinars documenting for members Institute accomplishments of the past year. A follow-up webinar scheduled this month will focus on current work and priority projects.

“I am excited about the 2018-2020 term. The industry is in a great position due to a strong economy and a lot of building activity. I am excited about Workforce Development and ICPI Foundation-backed technical programs. We have a lot of great opportunities to help the industry continue to grow, and we are going to capitalize on this momentum,” concludes Anderegg.


Mutual Materials At-A-Glance

Mutual Materials Co. is the leading supplier of masonry and hardscaping products for the Pacific Northwest. The family-owned company was founded in 1900 following the Great Seattle Fire, and Mutual Materials brick literally rebuilt the city. After adding concrete masonry in 1982, the producer has grown into a major regional employer operating more than 10 manufacturing plants and 16 sales & retail branches across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia. As a company, Mutual Materials is dedicated to supporting community organizations focused on housing, youth, general education, the environment and industry-specific education programs for Masonry and Hardscape trades.


Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute At-A-Glance