Case Studies

Midway Sealcoating & Striping Co.

Providing high-quality road finishing services since 1979

Lawrence Otto established Midway Sealcoating & Striping Co. (Midway) in 1979 after moving from Oklahoma to Texas. After years of building experience and expertise, he struck out on his own. Originally, the business performed exclusively striping,

Though over the years Midway has diversified. Today, the team’s focus is on sealcoating with capabilities for striping and crack-filling.

The company continues to evolve, expanding services to meet market demand. “For the first year of operation, we were only doing striping,” Otto recalls. “In 1980, we saw a growing need for sealcoating services in our area. We recently started performing crack filling work for the Texas Department of Transportation [DOT], which helps us stay active in the winter. We are building our capabilities and in the future that service will make up more of our volume.”

Otto employs 12 people, all part of a dedicated team operating from a single location in Midlothian, Texas. For the most part, the company works within the state, although the crew has traveled beyond the border for a few projects over the years. The team’s portfolio includes a range of commercial and municipal airport projects. Midway serves contractors, property owners and the DOT.

Midway Sealcoating and Striping Co.

Quality work

Midway has performed sealcoating and striping work for a range of end-users. “We have done parking lots for apartment buildings, offices, shopping centers and other facilities,” Otto elaborates. “We have also worked on road projects and at airports. Everything we do is through bid process. While our contracts come down to the dollar amount, we want to provide value.”

It is evident Otto takes great pride in the company’s work. “Quality is our No. 1 priority,” he continues. “We focus on cleanliness, preparation and trimming. Some companies will come in and spray materials all over the place, but we do a neat, clean job. We also have a very stringent mix design. We don’t water down our mix and we don’t cheap out on materials. Contractors will do that and a few months later, the whole project has worn away.”

The company’s reputation for quality and integrity has helped the team build a strong network of repeat customers. These clients have led Midway to a range of unusual projects and helped the team build up the growing crack-filling division.

Recent work includes a project at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). “We did the sealcoating for the shoulders of the runways there,” Otto explains. “The runway itself at DFW is concrete, but we have done complete runways for several municipal airports, such as Breckenridge, Corsicana, San Angelo, Lockhart and Uvalde.”

The crew launched the crack-filling division last winter with a small highway project. “We have partnered with a company with resources and expertise that will help us expand our market share,” Otto says. “Our first project last year was for Denton Country. We did 120-lane miles, which was fairly small, but it helped us get our feet wet. In the future we will be bidding these projects all over the state. There are a lot of big companies out there bidding that work cheap, but if we can land two out of 50 or 60 projects each year, we’ll be happy. That will help us supplement our revenue during the winter months.”

Staying competitive

While Midway has made adjustments during and since the recession, Otto says his market has been slow to recover, a factor that makes it harder to stay competitive. According to Otto, margins have not bounced to anywhere near where they were a decade ago and the market is competitive. Many contractors severely underbid projects in order to keep work coming in, which compromises the success of others in the industry and leads to poorer quality and low performance.

In order to stay in the game, Otto and his crew focus on vertical integration and quality. “Quality is our priority and it is the thing we take most pride in,” he elaborates. “We have a lot of repeat customers. We rarely lose them, unless they retire or pass on. We still work for the first customer I ever had.”

Relationships with customers are only the tip of the iceberg for Midway. Relationships with other contractors also help to keep the crew busy. “When we pick up a larger contract, we will subcontract asphalt to some of our best customers,” Otto says. “When they need sealcoating and striping done, they call us.”

These longstanding partnerships are the backbone of the company. After 35 years in business, Midway Sealcoating & Striping Co. continues to leverage these relationships to turn around quality road work on a competitive basis.

Published on: May 7, 2015

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