Published on 5/5/2018
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Does my concrete plant care about me?
Sometimes it’s only when things go terribly wrong you work out whether or not your concrete plant does actually care for you
Does my concrete plant care about me?
Batch plants and their owners are busy beings and often as a concrete customer you don’t feel much love. Your concrete is late, there are fees for this and that and before you know it you haven’t received the concrete you ordered. Sometimes it’s only when things go terribly wrong you work out whether or not your concrete plant does actually care for you. By terribly wrong I mean situations where you receive a “hot load”, which sets too quickly to finish, or a “wet load”, which takes all day to finish, and ultimately cracks. After your call to the concrete plant to complain, you can either feel the love, as it were, or feel neglected and hung out to dry.
The truth may be found in where it is you are located. In cities and towns where the demand for concrete is high, where construction and infrastructure projects are on the rise, new customers are easy to acquire for concrete companies. Concrete plants in these circumstances, are put simply, “order takers”. The level of customer service these companies exhibit is next to zero, as they push and bump you in and out of delivery time slots to suit their own busy schedules. Conversely, in towns and locations where construction is slow, sales people often canvass the local concreting community to entice them into buying concrete from their concrete plant. Cartons of beer, clothing and caps can even come into the equation. These batch plants usually do exercise sound customer service and support. Often they are independently owned, work long hours and go out of their way to ensure your delivery is on time, within specification and fit for purpose. They call you to follow up on your concrete pour to see whether you were satisfied, or to find out if there is areas they can improve.
Either way, whether construction is slow or booming, concrete plants need to take a close look at their scheduling systems. They need to avoid situations where they over promise, are too heavily booked and therefore unable to support their concreters, individual and building customers effectively. They should be making enough money per cubic metre or yard to supply a sound concrete load that is suitable for your needs and requirements. Therefore if you are dissatisfied and are in a situation where you have voiced your opinion without success, perhaps its time to vote with your feet, and move to the next concreting company in town. But be wary. Do not choose concrete supply based purely on the cheapest price in town. Concrete plants with sound scheduling procedures, quality management practices and systems, and good concrete, often have to charge more to to do so. Meeting your expectations is not always easy. Customers other than you can push and bump them around too. Therefore ensuring they have adequate staff, trucks and mixers on hand to meet the public’s expectations, as well as your needs, can come at a price.
If you are looking to purchase concrete for your concreting project in the near future, you might like to read this article "NEED CONCRETE. HOW DO I CHOOSE A CONCRETE PLANT?"
In the mean time it could be time to reassess your own concreting practices and procedures. Do you have enough staff on hand to place and finish the concrete you are ordering? Is your sub base compacted properly? Have you allowed enough time between loads? Do you have the appropriate tools and equipment? Should you look at hiring a concrete pump? Is the concrete you are ordering fit for purpose?
Whilst often concrete plants are to blame for loads that are late and out of specification, the more time you spend preparing for your next concrete pour, the better chance you have of ensuring your pour is successful.
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