Construction Today - November 2017 - 129
'Everything we try to do is centered on
being the only logical choice.'
lic facilities, food processing/storage, retail
"Fabcon provides unmatched design-to-installation services for the world's
lightest and strongest precast concrete wall
panels," the company says.
Director of Manufacturing Brian Kopas
has been focused on implementing a lean
management system over the past two
years by looking at performance in safety,
quality, delivery and cost.
"We are measuring our performance
throughout the day and we have a goal to
meet," he says. "Leadership is expected to
own the gap between the goal and actual
performance, and every day we are working to get closer to our goal and improve
Over the past few years, Fabcon has
been working to develop a lean culture
throughout its organization by emphasizing and applying continuous improvement principles. The goal is for everyone
- from the top down - to always look for
ways to reduce waste and improve produc-
tivity, which ultimately leads to greater
The company's continuous improvement
mindset means every step of the manufacturing and installation process are under
constant scrutiny. Improvements to its
panel setting rates have been achieved by
focusing more on the pre-planning processes and working smarter rather than harder.
Fabcon began its journey two years ago
with the goal of doubling its setting rates.
The company set aggressive goals based on
its 2014 performance rating and established
goals for exponential growth through
acquisitions and organically.
"Better, Stronger, Faster" describes more
than just Fabcon's product; it applies to its
entire organizational approach. The company has installed its product in 38 states, four
provinces and in Washington, D.C., delivering the value, performance and service its
progressive brand clients expect.
Fabcon operates four strategically placed
manufacturing facilities in Savage, Minn.;
Grove City, Ohio; Mahanoy City, Pa.; and
Pleasanton, Kan. These locations give
Fabcon an effective span of
delivery that includes almost
everything east of the
Rocky Mountains and north of the Gulf
Coast. Each plant is a precisely controlled
environment built to ensure proper curing
Although opportunities are available in
the West, Fabcon has not yet made the leap
over the Rocky Mountains to move into
California or the Northwest. Fabcon has
seen more projects in Texas and added one
million square feet to its Pleasanton plant,
increasing its capacity by 25 percent.
Fabcon's Pleasanton plant supports work
in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas,
as well as some opportunities in Colorado.
"Shipping to Colorado is tough and there is
certainly a market in Denver and throughout the state," Houtman says. "As we address Canada, the East Coast and Southeast
and start to move west, Denver would be a
logical next step where we would leapfrog
The leapfrog strategy Fabcon uses when it
comes to plant locations involves an analysis of the gaps in the market.
"How do we grow logically?" Houtman
asks. "We were in Columbus, Ohio, and
Minneapolis, so the gap in the market was
somewhere around Kansas City, Kan., and
we opened a location in Pleasanton. Now
that its in place and we are expanding it,
where do we go next? Toronto makes the
About 18 months ago, Los Angeles-based
mergers, acquisitions and operations firm
Platinum Equity acquired Fabcon.
The company has been expanding ever
since. "We were owned by the same family
for 46 years and they were very conservative in their approach to the market and
a conservative company," Houtman says.
"From my perspective, it prevented us from
pursuing opportunities. One of these I've
been pushing for 15 years is an expansion
NOVEMBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM