Rock Products

JUN 2013

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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Transparency In this example, every step within the contractor's supply chain had to pro‐ vide a sustainable value. If not, the con‐ tractor probably would have chosen other suppliers that did in order to meet the requirements of the project. This leads to another critical element within the new supply chain paradigm – transparency. Today, sustainability‐driven projects demand full disclosure and accounta‐ bility throughout the supply chain, meaning that every supplier must know the value that their suppliers bring to the table. A second issue is what percentage of each supplier's product, equipment or technology is locally sourced with re‐ spect to the project's location. This could prove to be another major para‐ digm shift in the future as project re‐ quirements increase the demand for more local sourcing. So the big question often asked is: Why should equipment and technol‐ ogy suppliers care? Here's a short list of reasons: Adding Or Detracting Value – Throughout the supply chain, equip‐ ment and technologies will be evalu‐ ated in the same manner as raw and finished material suppliers, construc‐ tion practices employed, all contrac‐ tors and even the architects, engineers or design‐build firms cho‐ sen for each project. Equipment and technologies will either be perceived as adding value to the sustainability of a project or detracting from it based on the project's goals. Impacting Bid Selection – Through‐ out the supply chain, customers will be reviewing their suppliers some‐ what differently and more intently. Quality, price and delivery will re‐ main important, but so will how each vendor and his vendors contribute to sustainability in his bid. Adding a greater sustainability value than competitors could become the key deciding factor. Premium Market/Competitive Advantage – As an equipment or tech‐ nology supplier, the rapidly expanding sustainable construction market opens up a larger premium market segment, as well as potentially providing a strong competitive advantage not driven by price. Credible Sustainable Rating Systems – Across most construction industry segments within North Amer‐ ica and other parts of the world, the sustainability movement is spawning numerous highly detailed and effective construction project rating programs. Many exist today and many more are under development on local, state and federal levels, as well as independently through industry segment associations and private enterprise. n The U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership In Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) for sustainable building projects has 37,000 certified architects that must renew their credentials every two years. n The National Ready Mix Concrete Association's (NRMCA) Green‐Star Program has close to 200 certified concrete plants in the U.S. that meet very stringent sustainability requirements, and that number is growing quickly. n Introduced in 2011, the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) is an independent, non‐profit or‐ ganization founded by the Ameri‐ can Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the American Public Works Association (APWA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Its goal is to "develop and administer a sus‐ tainable rating system for North American Infrastructure." These are just three examples of the independent groups representing strong, accountable programs directly linked to sustainability. And there are numerous others in various stages of development, execution and proven performance on the local, state and national levels in North America and globally. For example, since its start in 1991, the USGBC now operates in 91 coun‐ tries with extensive rating systems for public, commercial and residential construction. Today, it is working on a road certification program as well as continuously fine‐tuning its current rating systems with a major overhaul due in 2013. Sustainability Is Positively Reversing Today's Price Paradigm – Certified architects, engineers, design builders, general contractors and sub‐ contractors who specialize in sustain‐ able design and construction practices have created a competitive advantage that allows them to charge more for their expertise and ability to deliver the sustainable goals of the project owner. The same is now true for every level within the supply chain that con‐ scientiously contributes sustainable value, transparency and accountabil‐ ity. For the first time in many years, the construction industry finally has a great, viable opportunity to reverse the trend of reducing costs to remain competitive. Great Humanitarian And Environmental Cause – If nothing else, sus‐ tainability‐based construction is having a positive effect on people and the planet. Rarely does such an oppor‐ tunity present itself. Explore your own organization to de‐ termine how you add value to sustain‐ ability – environmentally, socially and economically. Research your opportu‐ nities, define your values and compet‐ itive advantage, then genuinely determine a strategic direction, con‐ nect with the appropriate market seg‐ ment associations and independent programs, and communicate them well up and down the supply chain. E Brian Barlow is president/CEO of Barlow Strategic Sales & Marketing, a Fort Wayne, Ind.-based agency that offers a unique combination of services to many companies facing a wide range of sales-related strategic and tactical issues and opportunities. ROCKproducts • JUNE 2013 53

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