Rock Products

NOV 2017

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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www.rockproducts.com ROCK products • November 2017 • 31 AGGREGATE SYSTEMS good (infrastructure bill) or down (fuel prices or interest rates) 2018 will be a strong year for our industry. Please comment on anything that is impacting your business or the aggregates industry right now that you would like to bring up. CLARKE: It's exciting to be part of changing the market in North America. Not only are we relatively new to the North American market, but we are a technology leader. Many of the famil- iar brands and processes have become a bit too familiar and it's fun to bring something innovative and new to the market. Engaging with customers about how they process materials and approach jobs with new technology is something that continues to motivate us. Providing the tools AND the exper- tise gives us partnerships that keep us "Close to our Customers." KRAUSE: Our industry is still facing a lack of workers at all levels. This will change the buying habits of our cus- tomers. We are already seeing more requests for turnkey installations as there are less and less experienced engineers focusing on aggregate. The trend toward service contracts where the part is not only purchased but the install of the part is included in that price. Technicians, whether for mobile or static servicing, as scarce and so operations are looking to regional dealers and service centers to pro- vide this to them. How we address this as an industry is critical as the aging aggregate worker gets closer to retirement. POMPO: The biggest impact we see in the tire industry is going to be labor, finding qualified quality people that are willing to get dirty. It's not an easy job! The people that are in it can make good money but to get more people interested, the pay struc- ture will have to adjust. MCLAUGHLIN: Skilled labor shortages both in manufacturing and aggregate producers continue to be a major con- cern for all firms across the United States. Also contributing is a lack of technical training in schools and less emphasis on the trades resulting in a smaller pool of workers entering the industry. SPAKE: The industry is all about data management, process improvement and best practices. There's still a lot of noise in the industry that customers are trying to decipher and figure out how to use to improve their business practices and costs. I believe the cus- tomers that best figure out how to use this data, benchmark and improve their operations will be the ones that thrive. The OEMs that make the data easy to understand and use will provide the best value and will differentiate their total offer. GARRISON: We've been fortunate to have a lot of activity in the industry around frac-sand this past year. In the future, that activity may not continue. We're really looking to see a long-term funded road bill passed to keep the pro- jections for the industry positive. Karl Weiss, Caterpillar

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