Rob Larsen and Chad Kane, proprietors of Northern Concrete of Denmark, Wis., started their business in 1996 in the residential flatwork market. Larsen's background was in concrete construction while Kane's background was with a concrete producer; neither had experience in the business of concrete.
Cover Story Rebecca Wasieleski, Editor AT A GLANCE Company: Northern Concrete Denmark, Wis. NorthernConcreteInc.com President: Rob Larsen Vice President/Sales: Chad Kane Employees: 50 Founded: 1996 2009 Gross annual sales: $9 million Affiliations: CFA, local affiliates of NAHB Services offered: Residential and commercial flatwork, walls, concrete pools, decorative concrete, 3D concrete paving Key products and equipment: Western Forms; Whiteman ride-on trowels; Somero S100 Laser Screed; Putzmeister 110 Telebelt; Trimble total stations; CertainTeed Form-a-Drain; decorative products from Butterfield Color, Legacy Colors and Increte Systems; Bobcat skid steers; Peterbilt boom truck. ‘Solid Process. Solid Results.’ Northern Concrete live up to its motto, “But we were aggressive, worked weekends and made sure our vehicles looked to the “Solid Process. Solid looked nice — not necessarily new, principles of lean Results.” but painted, clean and running well. Those early years spent honing their ” manufacturing to R ob Larsen and Chad Kane, skills on their friends’ and families’ proprietors of Northern Concrete driveways, welding their own forming cut waste, adopted of Denmark, Wis., started their baskets to save some bucks, and build- technologies to business in 1996 in the residential ing a list of clients who respected their ﬂatwork market. Larsen’s background quality service gave Northern Concrete increase efficiency, was in concrete construction while the momentum it needed to bring the and offered its Kane’s background was with a con- right people into the company and crete producer; neither had experience put systems and processes in place employees training in the business of concrete. The two that would help the organization grow and tools to boost borrowed a skid steer from Larsen’s father by day and repaid the debt by despite a downturn in the economy. productivity. That night in the currency of farm chores. Becoming a one-stop shop “The concrete business is sort of like Northern Concrete’s start in residen- organization put farming, Larsen says. “You know ” tial ﬂatwork quickly expanded into the company on when work starts in the morning but the multi-family market. From there you never know when you’ll be done Larsen and Kane saw an opportunity a path for growth at night. ” to expand into wall
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