Throughout the construction world, branding is key. To staff and company leaders, the goals and principles that drive their organization are evident; these mechanisms are take place on any given day. However, it is vital to the ongoing success of a company that these values are recognized outside the walls of the company. Branding can be subject specific, a logo, tagline, website, all are aspects of a brand and are equally important in developing and sharing the company’s message. What is at the core of this, though, is trust. By sharing what is important to a company, it can allow them to match with business partners that share these values. It can also enable both sides to enter into projects, safe in the knowledge that they are on an equal footing with clear, identified goals. With secure branding, a customer or client can feel confident enough to grow and develop a relationship with its suppliers. Through these synergetic links, both sides succeed together. The decision to launch the Evercast brand is the result of many years work, growth and consideration. Evercast is, by its very nature, an anomaly; it is an emerging brand that comes with a rich history.
Strategic acquisitions can be fraught with difficult decisions such as identifying the correct company. Simply put, this is not something that can be achieved at a distance. It is only by engaging with each other that the true bedrock of a company can be seen. It is at this level; the level of principles, values and goals, that the potential for a successful merger can be assessed. Once acquisitions take place and the inner workings of the organizations are teased out, the next challenge is deciding on how to present this new company to the world. In essence, this is an ongoing experience for the team at Evercast, one they have faced for many years. The organization is the parent company that brings together some of the most prodigious and successful precast concrete companies in the market including, American Block Co. Inc. and Eastern Vault of Princeton, WV; Dellinger Precast of Denver, NC; and, Seminole Precast Manufacturing Inc. of Debary, FL.
While these companies have been a collective for quite some time already, the launch of the Evercast brand is a recent one. Jeff Chastain, CEO of Evercast, explains that careful consideration has gone into this decision. ‘’We do a lot of market studies to understand the value of each of our brands in the market they serve. For us, there is real value in the Dellinger precast brand, or Eastern Vault or Seminole Precast. We felt it was really important that we maintain those brands in the market because the customers and suppliers and the communities we serve have really grown to value and respect those brands.’’
Clearly, there is importance in continuing to identify and operate under these successful and well regarded brands, however, Jeff feels that there is also a huge benefit of tying the companies together in a formal and public way. Given that the range of companies now encompasses a large geographical location, this offers massive benefits in terms of possible expansion to new markets and also, quite simply, stronger leverage in terms of buying power and economy of scale. ‘’That was really important to us. Now that we are bringing together all of these really great local and regional precast and prestress businesses, we wanted to find one common thread. Not only are all these great things happening in your local market, but it’s also connected with several other highly respected precast or prestressed concrete manufacturing companies in their respective markets. So we wanted to be able to show our customers that the business they have grown to love for the last fifty years is still there. We are still able to support you in the local markets, but now we are part of an even larger organization solely focused on precast and prestressed concrete.’’
“We can now offer services to customers and projects that are concentrated on both the I77 Corridor, which Dellinger serves, but also the I85 Corridor, where Precast Supply serves.”
Recently, Evercast welcomed another addition to the fold in the form of Precast Supply. This move was celebrated hugely internally and the company is very excited to move forward with a growth mindset for all divisions of the group. As with all previous stages of the company’s growth, this very recent acquisition adds value, experience and opportunity to the Evercast group. However, it is important to stress that the benefits are mutual, stretching wide across the portfolio in order to offer the best products and services to each company’s clients. ‘’We are very fortunate with the recent acquisition of Precast Supply in Concord, North Carolina. In fact, we have just completed it. They actually make a lot of similar products to Dellinger Precast that are in our existing portfolio and are in a similar geographical location. However, it allows us to expand our market share and our product offering. We can now offer services to customers and projects that are concentrated on both the I77 Corridor, which Dellinger serves, but also the I85 Corridor, where Precast Supply serves.’’
This combination of geolocation and product offering is a key incentive in growth and acquisition. While it might seem a strange choice to some given the similarities with Dellinger Precast, incorporating Precast Supply into the Evercast portfolio will now result in huge benefits and opportunities for all involved. This acquisition is the result of carefully considered and strategic planning. ‘’Geography does play a very important role in this, but having said that, it’s also about the types of products that you make. So, we look for both product type as well as geography to help support our acquisition growth initiatives. That is one of the great synergies that we get out of this, how do we take the best products and services that are offered by one company, and transfer those down to another company to help the entire organization win and grow.’’ As a result, existing customers of both companies will now receive huge benefits, something that Jeff is keen to emphasize. ‘’What we can now do is serve our customers better by sharing capacity. We can now apply the appropriate project to the most appropriate facility. For example, we could pair a project up with the facility that has the most available capacity or that is closest to the job site. By doing this, we will hopefully be able to win more projects and improve our service commitments to our customers.’’
Given that there are now five companies within the Evercast group, each with its own diverse history and heritage, it is important to ensure that there is a sense of cohesion among the various entities. It is a challenge that any organization would face in these circumstances and has led to, what Jeff sees as, a vital aspect of the Evercast brand. At the outset, the main stakeholders needed to ensure that core beliefs can permeate across the portfolio of companies. The group set upon identifying a collective vision; to create value for its customers by ‘’providing innovative, best in class precast and prestressed concrete products and services.’’ This vision now serves as a destination for the group, one which will be reached, mainly, by following its guiding principles, a set of values which were also identified at the company’s outset. Ranging from respect and communication, through safety and value and, perhaps most importantly, trust. They provide the group with a roadmap for the group vision, both short and long-term; standing as a set of rules that company adheres to. ‘’It keeps us grounded correctly. It keeps us understanding what our true North is and where we’re going. The guiding principles demonstrate how we are going to work in any situation or context. Whether that’s internally or across different company platforms, working with our customers or our shareholders or communities, you know that those guiding principles dictate things. It has evolved into becoming the foundation for how Evercast goes to market. Our portfolio companies have those guiding principles as their background as well.’’
For a company such as Evercast, the future is already preconceived. The group, backed up by its guiding principles, will continue to grow in two distinct ways. Further acquisitions of like-minded companies that match with its outlook and quality will continue to strengthen its portfolio, but additionally, there is also a clear target for the group to grow organically. The potential to mix product lines between companies will be of huge benefit as the group grows, allowing clients in multiple regions to experience the range of skills and services within the Evercast stable. However, Jeff is under no illusions that, at the heart of this growth and strengthening is the one thing that bring these companies together; its workforce. ‘’Employees are the most important, most valuable asset that you have in any business. We definitely want to make sure that we don’t go too quickly through acquisitions and forget to do a really good job on the integration side. If you fail at that, it can do some real damage to the business as opposed to doing good things. The reality is that, with acquisitions, there is some change, but not all change is bad. The really big thing is showing our employees that yes, this can, and will, be better than where you were before. We don’t come into these businesses to shrink. We come to grow.’’