National Pavement Expo 2019 Update #1
Luke Surma

Luke Surma

Luke is a Project Engineer at Yellowstone Pavement Solutions. He brings both field and educational experience to the team and works to share his industry knowledge in all things asphalt maintenance.

NPE 2019: Nashville

NPE 2019 Day 1

YPS has arrived! 

Nate and I touched down in Nashville late last night after leaving a below zero and blizzarding Bozeman. Our flight went smoothly and we have gotten all checked in to the convention. Today will be our first day of classes and we will begin with a cracksealing class taught by Jordan and Teri Miles of Top Job Asphalt Inc. The class is titled “How to Improve Cracksealing Processes to Double Your Profits”… We’ll see. I will provide a summary of our experience tonight after the first class.

Our main goals for this first Pavement Expo is to make as many industry contacts as possible. We understand that Montana is a remote and small market for many of these East Coast based contractors, but we hope that the booming economy of Bozeman will open their minds to potential partnerships. From reviewing the exhibitor list posted on the NPE site, it looks likes there is the usual mix of industry guys; Sealmaster, Bomag, U.S. Seal International, Pavement Magazine, etc. But there is also an emerging mix of new software companies; Foxsoft, Procru, PavementSoft and iPave. These softwares are mainly offering a CRM with built in proposal building and estimating. We tried out PavementSoft recently and found that the lack of communication from the software developer outweighed any benefits that we would get from a $100/month subscription.

Paving Specific CRM Softwares are 5 Years Behind 

The industry trends towards these software companies are highlighting some key changes in the pavement industry. One of those being that technology has obviously engulfed all industries and many of us are looking for ways it can improve our sales cycle. The unfortunate result of this is that many of these softwares are very much over priced and offer almost the same solutions as the free versions of HubSpot and SalesForce. Along with this they use the most basic bidding softwares based off of excel and are not nearly as versatile or as powerful as a full estimating solutions such as HeavyBid. I really think that if contractors took a little extra time, they would discover that google maps, excel and hubspot will give them the exact same results for free. Our estimates have a substantially greater amount of information that can be summed and manipulated to whatever aspect we are trying to view when compared to these “cheap” bidding softwares. There are still a ton of bugs in these as well. PavementSoft is supposed to connect seamlessly with hubspot and quick books, however it just got out of Beta a month ago and still has a ways to go. 

DIY Until Someone Comes Out With a Decent CRM Product

In the end, until these software companies get that we will not pay $100-$400 a month for their home brewed watered down software solutions, we will be sticking with our own personal designs. Nate is currently working on a computer based application that will combine a mapping software, hubspot and excel. This will be our own YPS version that we will use in-house until there is a significantly more powerful software that will cover everything from takeoffs to invoices that doesn’t break the bank.

I am going to try and provide regular updates for the 2019 National Pavement Expo here in Nashville so stay tuned.

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