Competitor Collaboration Yields Award-Winning Results

Blue Valley School District polished concrete floor

Jessica Ledger-Kalen, owner of Royale Concrete of Iowa, and Mike Denny, owner of Artistic Concrete Surfaces (ACS), had no idea that a friendship forged at a CSDA certification class would manifest itself in the development of a partnership that has resulted, not only in profits, but in industry praise.

“Mike and I hit it off during the CSDA-ST-115 certification program because we both shared common values as employers and experienced concrete contractors,” Ledger-Kalen said. “Our goal at Royale Concrete is to only accept jobs for which we are 100 percent confident we can deliver outstanding quality and service. Our focus is absolutely about customer satisfaction and the more I got to know Mike, the more I could tell that ACS was grounded with that same foundation.”

Blue Valley School District polished concrete projectWhen Ledger-Kalen and Denny identified the opportunity to work on a large, multiple building concrete polishing contract for the Blue Valley (Kansas) School District, they knew this was the chance they had been waiting for to capitalize on their relationship and their company assets to do something that alone neither had the capacity to tackle.

“I grew up in the Blue Valley School District and had been working with the schools for some time to convince them that polished concrete was the best flooring solution,” commented Denny. “When they invited us to bid on a bigger, multischool job, I recognized that while ACS couldn’t do it alone, we could pool resources with Royale Concrete to successfully complete work on time and to their high-quality standards.”

The Blue Valley job design and specifications included difficult-to-meet standards, multiple general contractors and a tight timeline. The Royale Concrete/ACS construction team worked closely with the architect to find a way to achieve the results while building a relationship with both the architect and the school system to manage expectations for future project. The team also worked with Husqvarna on their specifications to get all parties on the same page.

black and white photo of Blue Valley School District featuring a polished floor
Collaboration wasn’t always easy, both Ledger-Kalen and Denny admit, but the trick, Ledger-Kalen explained, was that both parties had a clear understanding from the start about roles and responsibilities. Royale Concrete accepted the project planning role and conducted weekly meetings with the ACS team to be sure everyone was aware of each other’s efforts and that the project was on schedule. The companies pooled resources to procure materials i to get the best deals and dispatched employees on a schedule that enabled both companies to continue running other smaller individual projects simultaneously.

“We acted as one company,” Ledger-Kalen explained. “There was never a feeling of competition, quite the opposite in fact. We deployed workers, ordered materials, tracked expenses and divided profits as one entity from the start. Not only did we accomplish more by working together, we also learned a lot from one another. Our employees enjoyed working together and we truly feel that both companies have been strengthened from this effort.”

Upon project completion, Artistic Concrete Surfaces (ACS) applied for and was awarded a 2016 Polished Concrete award from the Concrete Promotional Group of in Kansas City. “My team was incredibly proud of the high-quality results we achieved at Blue Valley,” Denny said. “We were excited to showcase our work, and that of our Royale Concrete partners. We hope to be an example to others to demonstrate that competitors can truly work together to accomplish outstanding results.”

“I have a great deal of respect for Mike and his team,” Ledger-Kalen said. “We’ve created a good partnership and I’m confident we’ll continue to build on that in the future.”

white polished concrete floor at Blue Valley School District

For more information about Royale Concrete contact Jessica Ledger-Kalen at (888) 568-6001.For more information about ACS: Artistic Concrete Surfaces, contact Mike Denny at (913) 231-7111.

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the author or authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of Concrete Decor magazine.

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