Revolutionizing the Pavement Industry

SOURCE: CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365 | November 18, 2023

Kevin Gray, president of Louisville, Kentucky-based ADC Paving, told a CONEXPO-CON/AGG Podcast that a pivotal transformation is already underway.

Gray emphasized the need for change and innovation within the paving sector. He notes that he sees an increasing number of industry professionals embracing technology, investing in their workforce, and improving their equipment. These changes are driven by a common goal: to provide customers with exceptional experiences. He said the focus is no longer solely on the end product but instead on the entire customer journey, from the initial phone call to collecting payment.

The industry is really coming to recognize the importance of customer experience, he said, and the next generation is learning from each other through resources like Tp Contractor School. Missy Scherber, who interviewed Gray for the episode, acknowledged that this shift is akin to the customer-focused practices found in other industries like retail, insurance, and banking.

Gray agreed – and noted that asphalt pavement should be no different. He then shared how the transition to a customer-centric approach has yielded remarkable results for ADC. While it took time to reorient their business model and culture, the effort has been well worth it, and customers have responded positively. Gray underscores the importance of making a lasting impression on customers, encouraging them to view their projects as not just utilitarian but also as aesthetically pleasing and valuable investments.

He said he wants to have “people look at their new parking lot or driveway and be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I never thought it could look this good. Oh, and by the way, the person that answered the phone was awesome. Your salesperson was very thorough and knowledgeable and educated us on the front end, the communication during the scheduling process, the site maps.’ We want to make this as simple as possible for the customer so that they’re well-informed, that they have all the information, and that the ease of buying is, I mean, is simple.”

Both Gray and Scherber emphasized that the impact of these changes on customer satisfaction and employee morale cannot be overstated. Gray pointed out that while offering a superior customer experience demands investment in training, equipment, and employee compensation, it is a worthwhile endeavor. The enhanced experience, coupled with a longer-lasting product, justifies charging premium prices.

By prioritizing the entire customer journey, from initial contact to project completion, companies like ADC are setting new standards in an industry that has historically not seen customer service as a priority. As the industry evolves, customers are not only benefiting from better results but are also experiencing a level of service that parallels the best practices from other sectors.

“I mean, you’re getting this level of experience and service on top of a product that’s probably going to last 10%, 20%, 30% longer than the competition is going to provide you so,” he said. “And if you can educate them, if you can get people to listen to that process and give them a thorough education on what they’re actually buying, then everybody’s winning.”

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