This month we are pleased to feature ARTO Brick as part of our Meet a Precaster blog series. The following answers have been provided by Armen Alajian.
Q: Where are you located?
A: Online: www.artobrick.com; Physical: Gardena, Calif.
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: Officially since 1966
Q: How long have you been a member of NPCA?
A: 7 years
Q: Why did you join NPCA?
A: The fraternal nature of the organization mixed with real information that can better our business, topped off with a great staff.
Q: What products do you manufacture?
A: Products for use on walls, floors and hardscapes. Another way to put it would be tile, brick, cladding, pavers etc…
Q: Have you introduced any new products lately?
A: Every week we come up with new variations on the same theme. We produce the finishes for homes, commercial and public spaces. People always want to put their brand on their project and we facilitate that. We have produced products outside our normal realm for the energy sector as well; specifically solar. Here is a sample project.
Q: What are the top attributes of precast concrete?
A: In our sector, durable color is what we offer at a great value. It can satisfy almost any dream that one has for their built environment.
Q: What has your company done to fight off the recession?
A: FIGHT. We have added more dealers to our distribution channels. We have grown to 400, the goal is 1000 by the end of the year. Also, we have added more items to sell to existing dealers. The biggest part of our war machine is we have spent more dollars on marketing, which hurt but we have added market share.
Q: What have you seen in your area as far as recovery?
A: The middle is still gone, but consumers at the top of the food chain are back. In our area, the coastal regions are strongest. We have actually had an increase in sales in Santa Barbara & Irvine/Newport Coast from peak levels in 2007 due to working on the previous question.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: To never forget about what happened during this “panicked recession” but yet remain optimistic for the future. I have butchered a line from the end of Patton (the movie) and added a bit to it so I guess that makes it my quote: “all earthly fame is fleeting.” That is the plan, to remember and know that it all ends well.
Please check out our past Meet a Precaster posts and if you’re an NPCA producer member and would like to be featured in a future Meet a Precaster blog, please send an email to NPCA communication manager, Kirk Stelsel.