Alchemy-Spetec Blog

Visit Us At WOC 2019 with a Discount Registration Offer

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Jan 7, 2019 4:30:18 PM

On behalf of the International Concrete Repair Institute, Alchemy-Spetec would like all of you attending the World of Concrete 2019 show in Las Vegas to take advantage of the source code A36 upon registration at the checkout line below for a discount worth as much as $50 upon registration checkout.

On behalf of the International Concrete Repair Institute, Alchemy-Spetec would like all of you attending the World of Concrete 2019 show in Las Vegas to take advantage of the source code A36 upon registration at the checkout line below for a discount worth as much as $50 upon registration checkout.

On behalf of the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI), Alchemy-Spetec would like all of you attending the World of Concrete 2019 show in Las Vegas to take advantage of the source code A36 upon registration at the checkout line below for a discount worth as much as $50 upon registration checkout.  There is no catch to this offer.  If you are attending the World of Concrete, simply click here to register, and enter the source code A36, and receive your discount.

We invite all of you to come see the live chemical grouting demos offered at the top of every hour during the show at the Alchemy-Spetec exhibit in Booth # O40551 in the Silver Lots (same location we were in last year)

We would also like to draw attention to the ICRI kick-off party at the Paris rooftop club, Chateau on Monday night.  To all of those planning on attending, safe travels and we look forward to seeing you soon.  

Want to schedule a one-on-one consultation with a rep at World of Concrete?

Sign Up for a Consultation Now!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

The Gift of Safety

Posted by Andy Powell on Dec 21, 2018 11:03:19 AM

Last week, I had the opportunity to spend a day in an OSHA safety training class. Find out what I learned...

Last week, I had the opportunity to spend a day in an OSHA safety training class. Find out what I learned...We had a great response to this blog post when it was first published last year.  All the sentiments still apply and all the key points are still critical, so we're sharing it once again...

It’s the Friday before Christmas and the marketing department is trying to get one more blog out of me before the holidays.  They wanted a Christmas themed blog that is somehow industry related so I’ll do the best I can.

This time of year most people will spend a little extra time with their loved ones.  It is also a time to reflect on the loved ones we miss that are no longer with us.  In the past year, some people I know in our industry have either been lost or have suffered through a loss.  In those cases there was nothing that could have been done to stop it.  However, there are things that we can do to guard against job related safety hazards.

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day in an OSHA safety training class.  It was required in order to be present supervising a project at a chemical facility.  Signing in at 6 AM, I’ll admit I was not looking forward to spending all day there.  By the end of the day I was glad that I went.

In an intro video, the narrator said that every morning when you kiss your loved one goodbye before you go to work, keep in mind that someone, somewhere will not come home from work that day.  Workplace accidents are almost entirely preventable.  Investigations typically find the cause quite easily. 

The class I attended contained a dozen or so modules, each one with a video case study followed by the teaching.  Every case study module covered a different accident where people didn’t come home from work that day.  All of them could have been prevented.  I learned about fire, electrical and chemical safety; as well as confined space, ladders, scaffolds, and working in trenches.  I have worked in the construction industry since my teenage years, so it was sobering to look back and think about some of the close calls I had.

If you're a contractor or industry related business owner looking for a good $100 investment, send your employees to one of these classes.  It’s a good opportunity to learn safety principles that can protect you, your coworkers, and your business from being lost.  It’s a gift that will keep on giving.  You don’t need Christmas as a reason to do this, but in the spirit of the season, you may want to make it the reason.  

Click here to find an OSHA safety class near you.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Schedule a Personalized Meeting with Your Alchemy-Spetec Rep at World of Concrete

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Nov 28, 2018 10:00:00 AM

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Alchemy-Spetec will be at World of Concrete 2019!  Drop by to see us at Booth # O40551 in the Silver Lots (same location we were in last year).

There will be a LOT to see and do at our booth this year: 

Respecting YOUR time is important to us.  So, in addition to the action-packed list above, you can schedule a one-on-one consultation with your regional rep for personalized product or equipment demos, tips and advice on building your business, etc.

Want a personlized one-on-one meeting at World of Concrete? 

Sign Up for a Consultation Now!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Marketing Your Slab Lifting Business

Posted by Andy Powell on Nov 16, 2018 1:43:09 PM

Marketing your new slab lifting business takes time and the right approach. See tools and strategies to help you market your slab lifting business.

Marketing your new slab lifting business takes time and the right approach. See tools and strategies to help you market your slab lifting business.Marketing your new slab lifting business takes time and the right approach. If your slab lifting business is a small to medium-sized operation, tools and strategies that increase your market presence and help you attract leads are extremely important. Here are a few you may need to get started...

A Website That's Attractively Designed, User-Friendly and Optimized for Search

Regardless of your industry, a website is an imperative tool that validates your business and arguably serves as your first line of sales and marketing attack. Professional design, photography and content will help you stay competitive and either depict you as a confident, articulate leader in your field or just the opposite (if it's not professional). Even as a B2B website, up-to-date design and user-friendly navigation that creates clear information pathways is important. 

Did you know that a significant number of website visitors make up their mind within seconds whether or not they “like” the business based on the look of the site? And frustrated users who are forced into repeated clicks to arrive at their intended destination, or who must sift through poorly presented messaging are likely to leave and not return. Just as you invest in the tools of the slab lifting trade, investing in your website with regular content updates and a design refresh every 3 years or so is a sound best practice.

It is also imperative to make sure that your website is Search Engine Optimized. Designing a search friendly site for your industry niche and market location will make a world of difference in the amount of leads you capture via your online presence.

All of this means turning to a professional and reputable website firm to do the work – even if you’re starting out with a small brochure site for now.

Marketing Strategies

Partnering with Complimentary Companies

You may want to find companies that serve your market, but offer slightly different services. For example, foundation contractors, pool contractors and landscaping professionals in your area may be interested in trading leads.

Exhibiting at Home Shows

Home shows are a great place to meet potential customers and partner companies. Contractors tell us over and over again that home shows are a GREAT source for leads.

Presenting at Professional Associations

Giving presentations at local chapters of professional associations like the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and similar organizations is a great way to network, meet potential customers and lead sources, etc. Activities like these establish you as a local expert, and encourage people to come to you when they have slab settlement problems.

Want more contractor marketing strategies and additional resources?

Download an Info-Packed Contractor Marketing Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips, Lift Slabs

Slab Lifting Contractor Tips: Prequalifying A Lead

Posted by Andy Powell on Jul 11, 2018 11:31:15 AM

Every slab lifting or foundation contractor has experienced driving for hours to look at a potential job that turns out to be a wasted trip. Take a look at these prequalifying questions to consider asking a property owner before heading out to a job site.

Every slab lifting or foundation contractor has experienced driving for hours to look at a potential job that turns out to be a wasted trip. Take a look at these prequalifying questions to consider asking a property owner before heading out to a job site.I met with a contractor today who does residential slab lifting and for some reason we ended up talking about incoming leads and how to prequalify them. Every slab lifting or foundation contractor has experienced driving for hours to look at a potential job that turns out to be a wasted trip. Every property owner has probably taken time off from work to meet a contractor who wasn't the right fit either. It's not anyone's fault but it can be avoided, saving both the contractor and the property owner valuable time.

I thought it might make a good blog topic: how to technically evaluate an incoming lead before sending a salesperson out to do a site evaluation and estimate.

Here are some prequalifying questions to consider asking a property owner:

  1. Can you text me or email me a picture of the sunken slab, stairs, pool deck, etc?
    This will tell you a lot because pictures may reveal that the concrete is too fractured for lifting. If so, you'll save yourself a trip. You may also notice some impediments to the lifting process, like brickwork or bound slabs. Pictures may also reveal the cause of the problem, like erosion caused by poorly directed roof drains. With this info you can start developing a plan right away (if you decide on a site evaluation).

  2. How long has this been going on?
    It's important to ask the owner how long the settling has been going on. If it is recent and happening at an accelerated rate, that may indicate an entirely different problem than a slab that has settled over a period of years. Settling related to erosion and compaction issues, as well as buried organic material, usually occurs gradually. Broken pipes and sinkholes, on the other hand, usually cause rapid sinking and need attention immediately. It might be better in these cases to recommend a plumber or geotechnical engineer first before going to look at the sunken slab.

  3. What information is available?
    Has anyone else been out to look at it, what were their findings, and are there any available engineering reports? This is pretty self-explanatory. Information is extremely helpful on geotechnical jobs whether it is data from ground penetrating radar, soil borings, penetrometers (DCP), etc. Even local knowledge of the property can be very helpful. Were any new buried utilities put in, or were there any adjacent property developments where de-watering was incorporated? This information may also keep a contractor from making a mistake by quoting on something they are possibly not qualified to execute. As Clint Eastwood (I wish) once said, "Slab lifting contractors must know their limitations".

  4. Is this property for sale or going on the market?
    This is a sensitive subject to write about because some of our contractors do get leads from real estate experts and property owners. Often there has been an inspection and the report indicates a tripping hazard or a settling issue. The owner and potential buyer will use the repair estimate to negotiate on the sale price and no work ever gets done. It's fair to ask if this is just a quote required for the sale of the property or if there is a real intention of fixing the issue.

  5. How far down is the slab or foundation?
    It takes a certain amount of polyurethane to lift a slab. Sometimes you have to accept that a slab that is down 12 inches may be more affordably replaced than lifted. However, sometimes a slab that's down several inches may be in a location where demolishing it and bringing in new concrete is disruptive. The polyurethane may be the best and only answer; one of the things that makes it great.

  6. Are you the owner?
    I can appreciate a renter's concern about concrete settling but you obviously need to talk to the owner. There have been many site visits made on request of a renter to be used as a complaint against the owner. I'm not saying these are illegitimate issues but they deserve to be evaluated carefully.

In addition to asking the questions above, you'll want to keep these two points firmly in mind:

  1. Stay focused on the repair.
    In the concrete repair, soil stabilization, and slab lifting business, contractors are often called in when something is going wrong. Something is leaking, sinking, cracking, etc. When evaluating a job site it is always a good idea to consider what you say and what you propose to the client. It is good policy to focus on the repair rather than give your opinion on why something happened or why the engineer recommended a repair method. That is context sensitive obviously, but sometimes there are litigation issues that could be pending.

  2. Make sure they know you're using polyurethane rather than cement grout.
    Last of all it's always a good idea to make sure the client understands you are using polymer technology and that you are not a mudjacking outfit. Polyurethane slab lifting with the AP Lift series of foams is cleaner, permanent, it doesn't shrink or wash out - and our certified contractors are better looking, ha ha.

Want more information on polyurethane slab lifting?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Business Tips

Labor vs Product on Chemical Grout Jobs

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Jun 11, 2018 3:04:38 PM

Jobs often are driven by one component or another. When you dissect a chemical grout waterproofing job your two main components are labor and product. That is not very different than most work. Which one is going to drive the job?

Jobs often are driven by one component or another. When you dissect a chemical grout waterproofing job your two main components are labor and product. That is not very different than most work. Which one is going to drive the job?Jobs are often driven by one component or another. When you dissect a chemical grout waterproofing job your two main components are labor and product. That is not very different from most work. Which one is going to drive the job?

Curtain Grouting / Void Filling:

Curtain grouting is normally fairly straight forward. Set up a grid, pump, monitor, rinse and repeat. Just a small crew can get a lot of production done in a day. Because of the nature of curtain grouting it is product intensive. Often these jobs are tracked in pallet quantities. Product becomes the number to watch on these jobs.

Crack Injection:

This is an art form and the artist uses a drill and pump, both which allow the technician “to see” into the concrete. Often this work is done by feel. The feel of the concrete, how easy was it to drill? How does the pump react at similar pressures at different locations along the crack? These nuances set apart grouters from laborers. This takes time but very little product. Crack injection is labor intensive and often slow work.

Most grout jobs fall into these two categories. Let us at Alchemy-Spetec help you design your next waterproofing opportunity. 

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec leak seal offerings?

Download an Info-Packed Leak Seal Brochure!

Topics: Seal Leaks, All Posts, Business Tips

The Importance of Good Communication

Posted by Anthony Sandone on Jun 1, 2018 10:45:25 AM

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tiogc-BLOG-1Have you ever been in a room with a group of people talking around an issue, but no one is directly addressing the problem? Or you are working with a group of people on an acknowledged problem, but there's no agreement on how to tackle the issue? These are signs of bad communication! According to some research I have found, companies practicing good communication have a 20% higher employee retention rate on average. 

Alchemy-Spetec holds weekly company meetings to facilitate ongoing communication between employees. Something as simple as a regularly scheduled company meeting can keep the lines of communication open at your organization as well. Contracting firms, engineering firms, municipalities and property management companies can all benefit from the practice of honest and direct interchange between key decision makers and departments.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Vertical Hostage: How Driver Shortages Could Disrupt The Building Products Industry Supply Chain

Posted by Jim Spiegel on May 16, 2018 11:12:40 AM

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Shortage- Blog-1Frosted Flakes could be more relevant to your project management than you may think. 

In the USA Today on April 26th, Paul Davidson writes, “If you see prices creeping higher for everything from cereal to socks in the next few months, you can probably blame this stark reality: There aren’t enough truck drivers delivering the goods to stores.”

The same article reports a driver shortage of almost 60,000 in 2018, with that number almost doubling by 2022.  The causes of this phenomenon are attributed to several factors.  Tighter regulation and electronic tracking of fleets regarding their road time and breaks, Baby Boomers comfortable with cross-country treks and weeks away from family retiring, and Millennials uninterested in this career path are some of the theories.  In addition to this, many fleets are considering automated driver technologies that further decrease the demand and resulting training programs, budgets, and overall relevance. 

Adding to the dilemma is that large mainstream retailers such as Amazon and Wal-Mart are able to absorb a portion of these costs for commoditized goods through economies of scale. What this means for other resellers is incremental increases in prices that could soon leave them uncompetitive at the register. 

In the building products industry, these effects could be much more pronounced.  Order and deliveries often involve specialty production and delivery considerations.  We certainly don’t represent the Frosted Flakes of the world.  In the world Alchemy-Spetec operates, we would be more analogous to an artisan baker producing specialty products to serve a specific need.  Shipping and handling does play a role in this price point. 

The importance of distribution could once again rise to the forefront in the coming years.  While there is an industry trend to stock less, and drop-ship more, the shipping industry could play a much larger role in the building products vertical. So, next time you are walking through the isles at your local market, pay close attention to the price of those Oreos, and consider what that very trend could mean on your job site.  Your children may have a very valid argument that it’s a good idea to stock up. 

For information on Alchemy-Spetec’s Stocking Distributor program, please contact your Regional Manager available at the contact map linked here.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

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Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Conference Room – How?

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Apr 27, 2018 10:09:11 AM

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12. Conference Room How - Blog-1Support. I’ve been in the chemical grouting industry for 12 years now. I have been in countless engineer presentations, distributor sales meetings, and contractor training programs during which the concept of support is thrown around rather loosely.

Alchemy-Spetec supports our industry. We have a team of Regional Managers, Independent Sales Representatives, and Field Technicians that cover the United States daily. Alchemy-Spetec team members are considered chemical grouting industry experts. There are no entry-level representatives on this team. The air fare and travel time expenditure within our company is relatively astounding.

When considering a company's commitment to support, the key issue is how much TIME a knowledgeable representative will spend with the customer to make sure they are successful. "Support" is not a cheaper price and a data sheet. Companies producing superior products, and with industry experts traveling daily, do not compete on price. Don’t get tricked by these tactics. Time is money in the construction world. When manufacturers step up and give their customers TIME, they are instantly adding value. True support cannot be quantified in a paper trail in the construction industry. Ask your suppliers HOW they support you post- sale. This is more important than any price.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Conference Room: Why?

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Apr 25, 2018 1:28:48 PM

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Conference Room Why- blog-1Perhaps the most profound question we can all answer is our "Why". We all get up in the morning, get ready for work, and go about our day. But why do we work where we work? And, more importantly, why should our customers spend their hard-earned dollars with us? As Simon Sinak so simply states, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Any company can search for transactions. We all know the game those transactional companies play. They prospect, identify opportunity, send the me-too samples and info, and play their game on the price court. I call these accounts easy come, easy go accounts. But these aren’t brands with value cultures; these are businesses looking to make a quick buck. Sure, the P&L will always be the scoreboard of the business, but what is the revenue-generating culture, or the "Why" in your company?

In a recent relatively high-stakes situation that most managers would lose sleep over, we discussed ways to change our internal decision-making processes in one particular area. I won't get into specifics here, but in the end, we concluded that we would continue to do the exact same thing. Why? Because our existing process was ultimately better for the customer. And over any monetary consideration, that was the most important takeaway. This situation was a breath of fresh air to me personally. It revitalized my own personal "Why".

Everything is available on the internet. There are no secrets to the "What" and "How" a company operates anymore. The secret sauce is in the "Why". Of course, we’re happy to support the me-too needs of a busy contractor, but we genuinely hope that distributors and contractors have the time to see "Why" we do what we do in the chemical grouting world.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips