Ready-Mixed Concrete


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Title: Ready-Mixed Concrete

Author(s): John Albinger and Jaime Moreno

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 97


Appears on pages(s): 323-326


Date: 2/1/1987

The ready-mix concrete for high-rise structures in Chicago is unique in reference to the special concretes that have been developed for this type of construction. However, the overall picture of the ready-mix industry is similar to what is happening to the ready-mix industry in other areas of the world. The ready-mix concrete business is a dynamic resource for the construction industry, which must periodically reevaluate its position in relation to the economy, the nation, local industry, and especially with the customer. Highly-developed economies bring changes in market conditions. A change which has been occurring is the change from a product to a service-related market. This change occurs earlier in mass consumer products and lags behind in more static products like those in the construction industry. This conversion from product to service is taking place now in the construction industry. The ready-mix industry has traditionally made its profit in the volume of regular concrete with strengths from 3000 to 5000 psi. This is a product that does not require special quality control or special technology, consequently it can be handled by concrete technicians and salesmen with limited technical knowledge. This is also a product which does not require special promotion, is simple for code compliance, has abundant analysis and design information for the users, and does not require special mixing and transportation equipment. It is not difficult to sell when the price is right. It is usually sold with a questionable margin of profit which will continue diminishing until management makes the decision to make some changes. Management realizes that the ready-mix industry cannot survive in the mature economy of large metropolitan areas where the large concentration of ready-mix producers and their geographical proximity has brought their profit to a minimum return on their investment. Consequently, the search for changes becomes imperative to survive in a highly technological and competitive economy. However, changes are expensive in this high capital industry. The changes required to bring the ready-mix industry to high-technology levels are expensive because they involve management, equipment, quality control and marketing concepts. Aside from being expensive, they are difficult to accomplish because they require a total commitment from management and a clear understanding of a long range plan for its proper implementation.