This month we are pleased to feature Wilbert Precast, Inc. as part of our Meet a Precaster blog series. The following answers have been provided by Dan Houk, President and CEO and current NPCA Chairman.
Q: Where are you located?
A: Our headquarters is in Spokane, Wash. We also have branch plants in Yakima Wash. and Lewiston, Idaho.
Q: How long have you been a member of NPCA?
A: We became members in 1977.
Q: Why did you join NPCA and what are the best benefits?
A: We needed to diversify and felt that joining NPCA would help us to make the right decisions when buying forms, trucks and other equipment. Obtaining the best forms and equipment with the latest technology and efficiencies certainly ranks at the top. What makes it best for our customers is good for everybody.
Q: What products do you produce?
A: It is probably quickest to describe the things we don’t make. Since 1977, we have been on a tear to diversify. We have added products continually ever since. The main product categories we now make are wastewater, stormwater, utility, stairs, Wilbert burial vaults, Redi-Rock retaining wall blocks, raised garden planters, window wells, MSE walls (mostly RECo), some light pre-stressing, wall panels, light pole bases, forest service toilets, utility buildings and a multitude of custom products.
Q: Have you introduced any new products lately?
A: Forest service toilets, utility buildings, raised garden planters and the stair systems are the ones we have introduced in the last 12 months.
Q: What are the top attributes of precast concrete?
A: It is moldable in any shape. The use of SCC and rubber form liners makes spectacularly beautiful products. In addition, superior quality control systems, less on-site time, and faster production time to meet strict construction timetables.
Q: What has your company done to fight off the recession?
A: We have diversified in three new areas, reduced our office staff somewhat and really have not purchased much in the way of new equipment. We will be there when it is all over, it is just not very much fun right now.
Q: What have you see in your area as far as recovery?
A: Not much yet. I’m afraid there will not be much next year either. We need confidence in Washington D.C. That will not happen until the next election cycle and I just hope it turns out well. There is some government spending, but that is not what sustains an economy in the long run.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: We plan to market ourselves to architects, the engineering community and general contractors in our region to increase the products we can precast that are currently being poured in place. Another location within 200 miles may be a long-range goal, but for the short term increasing our current product line sales will have to be the objective.
Please check out our past Meet a Precaster blog posts and if you’re an NPCA producer member and would like to be featured in a future Meet a Precaster post, please send an email to NPCA’s assistant director of communication, Kirk Stelsel.