'Solid Process. Solid Results' by ProQuest


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									Cover Story                      Rebecca Wasieleski, Editor

       AT A GLANCE
 Northern Concrete
 Denmark, Wis.
President: Rob Larsen
Vice President/Sales: Chad Kane
Employees: 50
Founded: 1996
2009 Gross annual sales:
 $9 million
 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
                                                        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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