With rising concerns for the direction of traditional trades such as construction, we have been closely watching the market trends within our tight niche. In recent years, the contracting sector of the trenchless industry has taken a great financial hit. This is mostly due to corporations decreasing their profit margins – or all together doing away with them – in order to maximize their contract volume. This is common practice in the product and sales industry, with the intensions of once being awarded with a majority in the market, the corporation will slowly increase its prices. The ripple effect of this strategy is much greater when used in the service industry. This is due to the direct correspondence between prices and customer service.
The construction industry is not unlike any other – take hair styling for example. When you walk into a $10 hair salon, you know you’ll be receiving a botched, sometimes crooked haircut that isn’t what you had originally wanted. Your hair is shorter, yes, so you got what you needed, but you spend the next two weeks waiting for it to grow out so you can have someone else fix it. Now, go back to when you first needed a haircut, but this time you choose a well-known high class barber that charges $30 per cut. You step in and are pleasantly met, taken to your seat, and the stylist begins providing you with the excellent cut you wished for. You can relax, knowing that you are in capable hands. You may even be met with a cold beverage and a cigar, depending how well you treated yourself. The final product – perfection at a fair price. Instead of waiting for it to grow out, you wish it could stay just like this. The difference between construction and hair styling - you only get one chance to choose the right service provider.
In the subterranean world, not only does an owner have one chance to choose the right contractor, but there are serious repercussions if the wrong selection is made. Trenchless companies should – and most do – have a very narrow focus in what they do. The underground industry is rapidly advancing, therefore; without a strict focus, a company can easily fall behind. Staying ahead of the pace requires heavy investment in finding new ways to design and construct. However, the challenges of expansion with new products and services relate directly to their acceptance. To mitigate this, companies commonly lower their profit margins.
For Melcar, we see much better ways to compete and expand than lowering price and inevitably decreasing customer service. We compete on value, quality, and the final product. In the end, we aren’t just providing a service, we are providing peace of mind. Peace of mind that the integrity of what cannot be seen is nothing short of perfection. After all, the quality of the structures above relies upon what’s below.