Phaze Concrete’s crews can go wherever its clients need high-quality flatwork, tilt-up construction and parking and multi-level structures.
Phaze Concrete has grown substantially since it started in 2003 with a handful of employees. Today, it is a $43 million business with 220 employees specializing in delivering quality concrete to the construction industry.
From offices in Hildale, Utah, Denver and Oklahoma City, Phaze Concrete is licensed to work in 17 U.S. states. Most of its projects take place in the western United States, although it has ventured east on a project-specific basis. The company specializes in flatwork, tilt-up construction and parking and multi-level structures.
“What we’ve become most famous for is our flatwork,” COO Paul Beagley says. “We have four laser screeds and a wide array of equipment.” Phaze Concrete regularly puts down up to a million square feet of flatwork every two months. The company utilizes the creativity of its people to modify processes and upgrade equipment to ensure the highest quality.
“Once we get specs or requirements for an owner, our job is to excel above their expectations without adding excessive cost,” Beagley says. “We think it costs us less to do a better job the first time.”
As a travelling contractor, Phaze Concrete sends its people to work on job sites and self-performs all of its work from start to finish. This has required the company to put a lot of effort into hiring and training.
“We often hire young qualified workers and put them in field through our apprenticeship program, where they learn all of the trades in the concrete scope under close supervision and consistent safety training,” Beagley says. “They go through everything from tying rebar and setting footings, and we work with them toward their ACI certification in flatwork. General contractors can hire us for earthwork, utilities, and concrete, and that has been a big benefit for our clients.”
As a result of its historical performance, Phaze Concrete has been able to build strong ties to many contractors. The company works with dozens of general contractors, molding its capabilities to fit the needs of specific projects.
“Smaller contracts are harder for us to compete, as we need a larger scope of work,” Beagley says. “We only do smaller jobs if it is simple flatwork and we are in the area and don’t have to mobilize. We like to keep our resources available.”
Mobilization is a key focal area for a company like Phaze Concrete. The company has learned how to ensure that its workforce can travel together inexpensively. “We can set up housing, and we are very efficient,” Beagley says. “We have trailers equipped with tools, and we can bring in trailer loads of equipment.”
Once its people hit the ground, they have to be ready to go. This requires an extensive amount of preplanning to avoid wasteful downtime. “It takes a lot of front-end management to make sure schedules are sensible, so we provide that to the general contractor allowing us to have an aggressive schedule that helps accommodate our needs and can move their projects forward,” Beagley says.
Because its people and equipment are the company’s key resources, this is where Phaze Concrete focuses its investments. Its pay rates are above industry standards, and the company believes in paying for training, certification and education. A lot of investments are made into earthwork and flatwork equipment, but the major focus is people.
“Most of our profits go back into the business, and much of that goes into the employees,” Beagley says. “That has helped us build a loyal group of people who love working here.”
The Long View
Preparing for the future, Phaze Concrete tries to look ahead of the projects it currently has on the books to see where the industry is going. It generally has a six- to eight-month backlog of projects on the books, and what it has seen recently is a trend where big-box store construction projects have slowed. This is where it performs much of its flatwork, and it is making sure its crews are diversified so the company can perform more work in areas such as parking structures and high-rises.
“Once you get into larger structures like those, the amount of competition drops although there is higher risk,” Beagley says. “We don’t want any more than 30 percent of our work to be in any one type of concrete construction. We want to make sure we are prepared to take on different types of projects in case one area slows down over the next five years, looking to grow slowly but steadily, seeking about 20 percent growth.”
As Phaze Concrete expands toward doing more structural work, it is expanding its resources to include shoring and formworks systems to help the company be competitive in this market.
Additionally, Phaze Concrete always strives to stay ahead of industry in terms of its quality, as well as with innovation. This will allow it to make sure it continues to perform projects correctly the first time. This leads to learning opportunities and helps the company make sure its clients stay happy.
In the end, though, it all comes back to people. Phaze Concrete’s employees often spend lengthy periods as crews working on projects out on the road. To make sure they perform at peak levels, Phaze Concrete will continue to support them in every way it can.
“Our company motto is top quality work completed ahead of schedule, by having zero friction between employees,” Beagley says. “That has been a huge part of our success because our people are happy to come to work and work well together.”