As federal, state and local resources for everything from transportation projects to clean water infrastructure continue to shrink, it’s time for the precast concrete industry to get in gear and share its compelling and important story. As precast concrete manufacturers, we know the many benefits of precast as a construction material, and most of us can recite them in our sleep. We know about quality workmanship in a controlled production environment, our skilled labor force, the ability to custom-cast just about anything, the smaller footprint on the job site.
We can go on and on about our products’ many benefits, and we’re constantly developing and looking for new products, techniques and opportunities! We’ve done a wonderful job educating ourselves about precast and our products. However, there’s a disconnect between what we know as manufacturers and what many DOT officials, project designers, specifiers and contractors know and understand when they’re developing specifications for a project. It’s time, NPCA members, to initiate a marketing program to share our story of a progressive, highly efficient, proven industry that has been a cornerstone to our countries’ infrastructure and should be a vital component of building and rebuilding infrastructure for the future!
Not a day goes by that I don’t hear of opportunities where our industry can play a key role in new development. Think about Hurricane Sandy. It was called the perfect storm because of the confluence of meteorological conditions that created one of the most devastating superstorms in the history of North America. The rebuilding will take years – and there are serious discussions about how to rebuild. Do we just rebuild the same structures again and hope for the best? Or do we rebuild stronger for the future? For those progressive people thinking about resilient construction, there’s an answer: PRECAST CONCRETE.
We repeatedly hear that there are thousands of failing bridges – from rural spans over creeks to high-traffic commuter bridges. How do we replace those structures in the quickest possible time to decrease the disruption to everyday life and commerce? There’s an answer: PRECAST CONCRETE.
More than 700 cities across the country are facing EPA deadlines to clean up toxic waste dumped into waterways when their combined sewer systems overflow. Cities are designing ways to store stormwater in massive underground tunnels and detention tanks or to construct separate systems for stormwater and wastewater. What’s the best solution? You know the answer: PRECAST CONCRETE.
Those are just three examples of the incredible opportunities available for our industry. In a sense, this may be a perfect storm for precasters. Our nation desperately needs serious infrastructure rebuilding in the coming decades. We’ve been the infrastructure people in the past with miles of concrete pipe and millions of bridges, box culverts, and storm and sanitary structures already on the job! Architectural precast buildings, storm shelters, sound walls, retaining walls – precast is all around us! We can be the infrastructure people of the future! Our members are equipped with the product knowledge, design capabilities, production practices and cutting-edge ideas to help move our industry and country forward! Right now … it’s time to tell our story in a big way.
The National Precast Concrete Association is prepared to launch a major marketing initiative that will provide NPCA members with tools to tell their own stories to their targeted groups. Our national marketing initiative will be unveiled later this summer, and the launch will take place with a training session and a series of training webinars starting with the NPCA 48th Annual Convention in October and leading into The Precast Show 2014 next February.
The marketing initiative will include several components. Although the centerpiece will be a set of tools that each individual company can adapt for its own message, there will be a national component as well. We’ll use traditional vehicles like advertising, video and banners for events. There will be a push by NPCA to make sure that DOTs, specifiers, regulatory agencies and anyone with an interest in precast concrete knows who NPCA is, recognizes NPCA as “the go-to source for precast” and understands the importance of being an NPCA member. Greater visibility in trade publications and at industry meetings will increase awareness of NPCA, the precast concrete products industry and our members!
With NPCA working on the national level and our members working on the local, state and province front, we’re going to encourage decision makers to “take a new look at precast” and help them break out of old stereotypes to see precast concrete construction for what it is: a high-quality, contemporary building material that is sustainable, resilient, incredibly adaptable and perfect for today’s no-waste, fast-paced construction projects! For the companies that embrace these possibilities, this is the perfect storm. It’s time to tell our story. Are you ready to “take a new look at precast?”