Case Studies

Newcomer Concrete Services Inc.: Providing Quality Concrete Solutions

  • Written by: Newcomer Concrete Services Inc.: Providing Quality Concrete Solutions
  • Produced by: Newcomer Concrete Services Inc.: Providing Quality Concrete Solutions
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Bill and Marge Newcomer founded Newcomer Concrete Services Inc. (NCS) in 1980 because they wanted to become business owners able to manage both schedules and quality. That is exactly what they got, along with a family tradition of providing nothing short of excellence.

“Bill was working for Hug Concrete,” explains Linda Newcomer-Holmer, Bill’s sister and the corporate secretary of NCS. “At the time he was doing work all over Ohio and the Midwest in the summer and in the Carolinas all winter. He was working 12 months a year and got tired of not seeing his children grow up.” Bill was ready for a change, one that would keep him closer to home.

In the early years, NCS maintained a working 30- to 50-mile radius around the company’s home base in Norwalk, Ohio. Today, the family business provides concrete site work solutions for a variety of commercial, industrial and public projects within roughly 125 miles of the office.

Jeff Newcomer – Bill’s son, and the co-owner, president and CEO of NCS – describes the company as a mobile site concrete subcontractor. “We focus on roadways and parking lots,” explains Jeff. “We stay away from structural concrete, including bridges and footers and floors.”

NCS is a union-affiliated contractor, and currently employs upward of 85 people. “We operate out of three locations,” Jeff continues. “Our headquarters is in Norwalk, which has our shop yard, corporate office and equipment. We also have two satellite offices in Cleveland and Powell, Ohio. Logistically speaking, it makes it easier to manage the operation.”

Keeping It in the Family

NCS was founded upon three core values that have been passed from the first generation down to the current. When Jeff and David – the co-owner, treasurer and CFO of NCS – purchased the company, both agreed to uphold a policy of quality, precision and competitive balance. With those in mind, the two happily keep the NCS name alive and well.

Both Jeff and David have been involved in the family business since the mid-’80s, and offer experience in estimating and business management. Growing up around the business has offered both insight into operation and employee relationships, as well.

In addition, Jeff and David have brought a competitive edge to the company. Despite various ups and downs in the economy, the partners have managed to keep NCS in a state of sustained growth.

During the recent recession, the private markets that were a mainstay of NCS’ workload in the ’90s retreated. Regardless, the company has remained competitive, and the team continues to secure contracts.

“Industry-wide, the biggest challenge was the general lack of work, and the depreciation of pricing,” explains Jeff. “When there is less work, there is more competition. Margins shrink. The banking meltdown of 2008 introduced more challenges to contracting, as well. The banking and bonding markets have tightened restrictions and also reduced consumer confidence, which has limited the risks that developers and corporations are hesitant to take.”

Despite such challenges, NCS simply reacted to what the market was willing to bare. The team began performing government-finances projects, including schools and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) road contracts.

A Diverse Portfolio

NCS has completed projects for a variety of clients over the last three decades, and the team continues to diversify capabilities utilizing new construction technology, including concrete developments and equipment upgrades.

“Recently we were selected as the site contractor for two casino projects in Ohio,” says Jeff. “We also did site concrete work for a Cabela’s in Dundee, Mich. It’s the largest Cabela’s store in the nation. We completed 150,000 square feet of paving, sidewalks and walking paths, as well as 50,000 lineal feet of curbing for the parking lots and access roads.” The Cabela’s project totaled $1.25 million, and the team completed NCS’ portion of the project in three months.

The company has built a reputation for providing innovative solutions to complex and seemingly expensive projects. “The bellwether project that launched the company to the next level of growth was in the mid-’80s,” says Jeff. “We started working for ODOT on State Route 2 in Erie County. We offered a new solution in joint repair. Instead of replacing all of the concrete, we just did three feet on each side of the joints using new technologies, at the time. It was a smashing success, and generated a lot of healthy return for us.”

The team followed that success up with yet another. “We worked on a similar project on S.R. 250 near New Philadelphia, Ohio, with similar results,” explains Jeff. “The returns of such multimillion-dollar projects allow us to inject new monies into our company’s growth to include more employees and new technology, such as curb machines.”

The team has several projects lined up for the near future, proving that dedication and a competitive attitude pays off, even in a tough economy. According to Jeff, NCS completes hundreds of projects every year, ranging from $10,000 to $1.8 million. And 2013 will be no different.

“We’re doing several construction projects for schools and a large amount of work for the military,” explains Jeff. “The weapons and ammunitions departments are a growing client and we’ve done several warehouses for them over the years. We are especially excited about a contract where we have to redevelop the roadway infrastructure in The Flats in downtown Cleveland.”

For now, NCS is keeping the geographic footprint fairly local, but the team will follow work farther away on large contracts. “We’ll do an occasional job in Pittsburgh or south of Detroit, but most of our projects are north of the Columbus metropolitan area,” says Jeff. “About 90 percent of our work takes place west of the Ohio and Pennsylvania border, east of the Indiana and Ohio border and south of Detroit.”

The NCS team continues to prioritize core values, offering quality work and timely completion to clients of varying sizes and backgrounds. With true dedication and a commitment to consistent, reliable service, Newcomer Concrete Services Inc. is continuing sustained growth in a competitive market.

Published on: June 29, 2013

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