Advancing to the Next Level
Advanced Pavement Group
Advanced Pavement Group (APG) provides extensive asphalt, concrete, drainage, and maintenance services including asphalt milling, paving, pavement maintenance, concrete, masonry and hardscaping, excavation, and site work. It works on everything from small parking lots to massive retail centers, roadways, and office parks, serving clients across the Northeast.
Executive experience counts, and few realize this more than Advanced Pavement Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Joseph J. Tinney Jr. Signing onto the role in October of 2017, he is focused on an aggressive growth strategy. With years of experience working for business service industry giants, he is helping to deliver significant revenue growth. Leveraging this experience, Tinney has already helped the organization meet some of its expansion goals.
As Tinney has been instrumental in leading companies to success, he is seeking to usher Advanced Pavement Group to a different level. “The vision is to be a super-regional company,” he says, “and what we mean by that is to blanket the northeast with self-delivery capability. We are not trying to be a general contractor, but trying to execute the work that we sell. So if we do work for company X, I want to be able to do it in New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts – wherever they are – I want to be able to do the work.”
Advanced Pavement Group was created in 2016 when the then-family-owned company, Powerhouse Paving, was sold to a private equity group. Advanced Pavement Group is composed of several founder-family businesses. These include asphalt and concrete company Supreme Metro out of South Plainfield, New Jersey; Richards Paving Inc., from New Castle in Delaware; Powerhouse Paving of Long Island, New York; Green Ways Plus, a product line of liquid and granular ice melts; PAM Sweeping, a parking lot sweeping company; Orange Industries, a drain cleaning and septic arm; and Refined Products, an asphalt production plant. The intent is to rebrand the businesses as Advanced Pavement Group.
Tinney and his team are in the process of building through acquisition and are currently in conversation with at least half a dozen other companies to grow the enterprise. The advantages of having all these long-established businesses under one umbrella are remarkable for the company’s customers.
While remaining committed to the values of the founders, Advanced Pavement Group is broadening its self-performed asphalt paving, concrete, and drainage services, and creating the highest quality available for parking lots, roadways, and exterior hard surfaces of all types.
In February of this year, Advanced Pavement Group was the recipient of the prestigious contractor of the year award, presented by Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction magazine at the National Pavement Expo &Conference 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. Advanced Pavement Group was required to submit a dossier, and a number of criteria were analyzed. These included: years in business, growth (year over year), investment in equipment and infrastructure, company philosophy, markets served, company culture, and use of and investment in technology. Advanced Pavement sees the award as a huge achievement.
Advanced Pavement Group will be launching its new website this summer and is in the process of rebranding vehicles and other equipment with a sleek, modern logo. The design has four solid boxes – two orange and two grey – representing the brand’s four services of asphalt, concrete, drainage, and maintenance, as well as the four corners of a customers’ property, and the four elements of a property assessment: condition, safety, life cycle, and plan.
The company strives to be “an organization that not only delivers superior quality asphalt, concrete, drainage, and maintenance products and services, but superior quality in supporting functions as well.” It maintains world-class levels in every aspect of its organization, including its service delivery system, sales team, human resources, financial team, and leadership.
Advanced Pavement Group delivers superior performance to shareholders and stakeholders, is a trusted partner to its customers, and is known as an employer of choice and an industry leader. “As such, people recognize us for our learning culture and talent.”
For Advanced Pavement Group, rebranding is vital, as the new brand messaging and imagery is professional, builds culture, creates messaging uniformity, shares the brand’s purpose, and “expresses the foundation and backstory of the organization.”
Unlike companies that purchase a business and immediately change the name, Advanced Pavement Group recognizes that whenever it acquires an existing company, there is significant brand equity in the market in which it operates and will use that during a gradual transition.
One example is Richards Paving Inc., now a division of Advanced Pavement Group. Over the next eighteen months, it will phase out the reliance on the Richards name and use Advanced Pavement Group. Some acquired companies, like Islip-based Powerhouse Paving, have already been rebranded as Advanced Pavement, and other acquisitions remain dual brands for the time being.
Advanced Pavement Group may subcontract small portions of unique projects, but the majority of work is all performed by its 165 employees. This can result in cost- and time-savings, greater project flexibility, and increased coordination.
“What we are trying to do is provide a single point of contact,” states Tinney, “and what we’re doing is giving the same quality, consistency, and service delivery wherever we can perform. Think about McDonald’s; if you get a Big Mac in San Francisco, it’s the same in Philadelphia. When you deal with Advanced Pavement Group, we want it to be the same in Islip, Long Island as it is in New Castle, Delaware. The same quality, same finish, same attention to detail, and same customer intimacy.”
Advanced Pavement Group aims to provide every customer with high-quality, consistent service while maintaining and respecting client budgets and timelines. The company has highly trained teams to ensure project success from the very beginning.
Advanced Pavement Group is pursuing clients with multiple properties and is managing portfolios for many clients in the region. This provides for stability and growth to safeguard the future of the company.
“It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when we have another economic downturn,” says Tinney. “It’s the nature of our business. And the more we can mitigate any variability in our service markets, the better off we are.”
Some markets, he says, are more predictable than others. In times of worsening economic conditions, retail stores cut back, while colleges spend money no matter the financial climate, and homeowners’ associations tend to have money in HOA funds.
In winter months, the company’s premium snow and ice management services include snow plowing and liquid anti-icing. These benefit customers from corporate office building locations to retail shopping centers, hospitals, and sports complexes.
“Everything starts with the customer,” says Tinney. “We’re in the retail space – and retail is defined as retail banking, restaurants, shopping and strip malls – we are in the HOA space which is multi-tenanted residential space, whether it’s an apartment, condominiums, or managed residential areas. We are in corporate office parks. We can work directly for corporations and multi-tenanted office space like a typical suburban office park, as well as those areas that have just one tenant, like a big Johnson & Johnson manufacturing facility. And then we are also in the institutional spaces like colleges, K-12, healthcare, and hospitality. We have a specialty capability to do tennis courts, basketball courts, and similar recreational surfaces. You’ll see us in [recreation] centers and sports complexes often.”
Advanced Pavement Group has an impressive portfolio, and continues to take on large-scale projects for well-known retailers and box stores.
And as part of its acquisition strategy, Advanced Pavement Group recently purchased Refined Products, Inc., a sister company to Richards Paving based in Delaware. Refined Products is an asphalt plant, and owning the plant, which will have its name changed, means APG will be able to supply asphalt to its operations in Delaware and the surrounding areas.
Advanced Pavement Group is a one-stop destination for customers with an impressive portfolio involving milling, grading, paving, drainage installation, curbing, concrete sidewalks, and concrete flatwork. Among the company’s innovative services is raising and stabilizing sunken concrete slabs using dual-component polyurethane foams pumped in underneath. This is a far less costly alternative to grinding existing concrete, replacement, or ignoring this tripping hazard.
It is not unusual for Advanced Pavement Group to be called upon to tackle projects that take weeks or even months. Some projects, like the roadway and driveway improvement for a private community, saw the company contracted to reconstruct driveways and roads, make drainage improvements, and perform concrete sidewalk and curbing installations. The project, which ran over two full months, also saw the company responsible for full-depth removal of existing driveways, including the sub-base layers, surface milling, and paving of all roadways.
Another project at a community association took place over three years, from 2012 to 2015. The highly-involved project included reconstruction of courtyards, roadways, and driveways for the private community, with asphalt milling, paving, overlays, some concrete sidewalk and curbing installations of concrete and Belgium blocks. Drainage improvements were also required to carry out the work, and this required the assistance of uniformed traffic officers.
Advanced Pavement Group established and maintained uniform traffic control patterns from project start to completion, was responsible for surface milling and paving, full-depth milling and paving, asphalt overlays, installing drainage structures, working with engineers, restoring disturbed areas, and more. The project had a value of over $2,500,000.
Advanced Pavement Group is in the process of adding more staff, and it has hired a chief financial officer and shifted the role of Ralph Cerullo, director of business development, from a local position to a corporate position. It hired an IT resource, made investments in growth and administration, and is going to retain a corporate level human resources person.
“The vision is to become the largest, highest-quality, self-performing pavement, concrete, drainage, and excavation company in the Northeast,” states Tinney. “And the value of that to our employees is to create career opportunities, growth, and stability for them. For our shareholders, obviously, it is to get a return. For customers, it is to become an ‘easy button’ for them. So, rather than trying to find a concrete contractor for one of their portfolio properties, they can just call us. It’s back to that one-stop shop for single-source delivery.”
Following its most recent acquisition in Delaware, the company has been seeing some major customers in New Jersey and New York already feeding work to the Delaware operation. The company is already known to them, contracts are in place, and they can expect the same great quality service.
“Where most companies have to go out and have value creation, we are lucky we have value migration,” says Tinney of customers’ already flocking to the new company in Delaware, “and our hope is to accelerate that as we increase our distribution points by other companies. Conversely, our business that we acquired in Delaware is feeding work to our business in New York.”
Tinney says there are a host of advantages to APG employees, especially young men and women embarking on their careers who want to work for a company with a real growth trajectory. Employees who work for the company have plenty of opportunities ahead.
And this is a company that invests in both its people and the business.
“It allows us to create innovation, technology, dashboarding – things that we are confident our customers desire from us. At the end of the day, to pave a parking lot – you can do it; I can do it; the guy on the street can do it. If you can find it in the Yellow Pages, chances are most of those guys can do it. What we are trying to create for customers is an experience, in that they just need to deal with us. This provides significant cost reductions, and they want to be partners.”
“I don’t want to pave a parking lot; I don’t want to stripe a parking lot; I don’t want to put in sidewalks. Anybody can do that. I want to do all that and be a provider of information that enables them to make better decisions through the application of technology and the additional advantages we provide.”