Producing, selling, and distributing overlay aggregate requires coordination on a high level.
Sales Representative Dale Mortensen and Transportation Coordinator Nikki Rogers work with our production team to make the process as smooth as possible. Dale sells Armorstone® overlay aggregate and stays on top of industry requirements. Nikki manages the logistics of quoting products, following up with clients, and coordinating the process of manufacturing and delivering the product.
Dale and Nikki took the time to talk to me about how Armorstone meets the demands of the transportation industry.
What makes Armorstone different from calcined bauxite (an aluminum byproduct often used as an overlay aggregate)?
DALE: Armorstone is a more affordable resource and more readily available too. There are only a few active bauxite mines in the U.S. with limited resources, so most bauxite has to be shipped overseas from places like China and Australia at great expense. Armorstone is mined and processed exclusively in the United States.
Although calcined bauxite is harder than Armorstone (calcined bauxite is a 9 on Mohs hardness scale while Armorstone is typically a 7), contractors have told me that the lifespan of Armorstone holds up to calcined bauxite.
Armorstone is also naturally occurring while calcined bauxite is a byproduct of aluminum. Our product comes from fractionating, washing, and drying basalt stone.
What do industry professionals like about Armorstone?
DALE: Contractors like Armorstone because we are dependable and our product is consistent, which means projects can continue on schedule. Our quality control is unmatched in the industry and helps set us apart from our competition. Many state departments have done their own laboratory testing of Armorstone with favorable results. Not only do we meet their requirements, but they like the way our product looks after it has been installed.
NIKKI: Clients also appreciate our customer service and how attentive we are to their needs. We strive to go above and beyond to solve all issues and make certain that our clients are satisfied.
We’re also able to keep up with production. I stay organized and communicate daily with the production crew to ensure that we always have material ready to ship when the client needs it.
How does Washington Rock strive to remain competitive?
NIKKI: We do our best to provide the perfect combination of benefits to our customers: good customer service, high-capacity production, affordable transportation, and a high-quality product. I also reached out to multiple carriers to find those who are the most price competitive and can move large capacities. This has allowed us to expand our market across the country.
What challenges have you faced with transportation, and how have you met those challenges?
NIKKI: Coordinating transportation is a complicated task. I track each truck and make sure they pick up materials and are on their way to the job site. Then I make sure that the drivers have contacted on-site personnel, everything gets delivered, the product is intact upon arrival, and everybody is happy.
I stay as far ahead of potential issues as I can. When it comes to using the railroad, we have to make sure there is capacity and containers available. Rail can take anywhere between 6 and 10 days, depending on where it’s going. When our product is in transit, I check in with the rail company multiple times to make sure we’re still on track. If it looks like there’s going to be a delay, I let the client know as soon as possible so they aren’t blindsided.
Most clients realize that some situations are beyond our control, but we still do our best to fix these kinds of situations and get the shipment to our client as quickly as we can.
What challenges do you expect to meet in the future?
NIKKI: Each state has its own approval process, so we have to constantly strive to get out in front of the decision makers. Dale promotes our product throughout the U.S., and we pitch our product at conferences attended by industry professionals and state DOT reps. Our goal is to show states what we have to offer so we can get our foot in the door.
Interested in getting a quote or learning more about Armorstone? Contact Dale by phone or through our contact page.