NPCA Staff Report
There are plenty of reasons to love The Precast Show: networking opportunities, plant tours, hands-on demonstrations … the list goes on and on. For attendees of this year’s show in Orlando, Fla., the educational offerings, including everything from lessons in leadership principles to advanced admixture technology, provided significant added value and once again set the standard for top-notch training in the industry.
Matt Weber, president of ROAR! Internet Marketing, presented a course entitled “10 Minutes to a More Profitable Website.” The class included nine easy-to-implement tips with the potential to significantly impact a website’s profitability. They included finding the one thing you must have on every page of your website to creating a strategy for determining if your website is helping your company or not.
The class was not technical. In fact, Weber ensured that no jargon was used during discussion. “Some of the attendees may never use the word ‘website’ again,” he said.
Students attending “Principles in Leadership,” led by Concrete Sealants Inc.’s Sam Lines, learned how to become effective leaders through charting a new course for their lives and developing a personal mission statement. Lines stressed leadership does not come from fear, but instead from focusing on methods to maximize your strengths.
“In this course, I teach you about you,” he said. “In examining your strengths and talents, your lesser strengths are also identified so that they can be properly managed.”
Attendees also learned that calendars can tell them a lot about what they value. Lines covered the importance of schedule prioritization, noting that what goes into your agenda ultimately influences where you will end up.
On the business management side, Frank Bowen of Piedmont Precast taught “Operations Management Strategy.” Bowen focused on the many simple techniques and procedures precast professionals can implement to increase profit that may otherwise be lost. Students learned the benefits of Six Sigma tools and the scientific method, discovering how both can easily be applied to business strategy.
“Students who participated in this class were able to take away many best business practices they previously had little or no exposure to,” Bowen said. “From this training session, participants can go back to their facilities with techniques for organizing and consolidating their operations in a manner that will allow them to achieve cost reductions and improve production efficiency.”
Ara Jeknavorian, Ph.D., of Jeknavorian Consulting Services led a course titled “Chemical Admixture Technology: The Pathway to More Durable Concrete.” Jeknavorian covered a wide range of topics, including the chemical makeup of admixtures, how admixtures can improve precast concrete products and different applications in which admixtures can be used.
“Attendees leave my course having a better understanding of what chemical admixtures can and cannot do,” Jeknavorian said. “This will help production staff optimize correct use, minimize or eliminate possible abuse and ensure a more consistent batch-to-batch quality.”
Additional speakers at The Precast Show 2015 included Greg Chase of Chase Consulting, Stephen Szoke of the Portland Cement Association and Albert Robert Rubin of North Carolina State University, among many others.
To take advantage of NPCA’s educational offerings, visit precast.org/education. There, you will find online courses, webinars and information about upcoming live classes.