Work Speeds Ahead on Replacing Century-Old Bridges With Tunnel

Forney Appoints New CEO

Wed April 25, 2007 - Midwest Edition
CEG



Sixty years leading the concrete testing equipment industry hasn’t made Forney Inc. complacent, said recently appointed CEO Jeffrey P. Dziki.

“I am constantly aware of our heritage in this industry — it’s intrinsic to the way we do business, the way we develop new products and the way we stay ahead of regulations for our customers,” Dziki said.

Dziki has been busy consolidating the company’s strengths, in particular its reputation for customer service — not just in terms of sales and delivery, but as an industry expert for the concrete testing business.

“In some areas, little has changed in concrete testing,” said Dziki. “Forney’s been around for a long time and some of our top selling products are older still. Now, you could take the attitude that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but instead we constantly improve our products in significant ways. There are plenty of testing equipment companies out there that will sell you testing equipment that’s got four decades of dust on it. We’re into making sure everything we sell is fit for the 21st century, even if its function hasn’t changed in any fundamental way. Sometimes it is something as simple as making the instructions downloadable.

“Concrete testing procedures are focused on delivering consistent results,” said Dziki.

“While at one end of the spectrum, products are developed rapidly to meet brand new standards, at the other end of the spectrum, old products constantly undergo innovation to make them ever more suitable for field or lab. They are being developed in an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary way.

“We look at everything. From inside the box: making our products more high tech, laborsaving and using the most up-to-date materials. From outside the box: actually looking at the way they are used, even down to localizing products by state regulation or the local climate they’ll be used in.

“We take a big interest in all the regulatory stuff. When ASTM or AASHTO adopt new standards, everyone has to follow, but that’s not the only driver out there. It’s more about knowing how lab technicians actually use equipment on a daily basis that keeps us in front and relevant for our customers. We know what these guys will need before they do,” Dziki said.

Self Consolidating Concrete

“We’ve been selling everything needed in SCC testing for a few years now. But what you might not know is that during that time we worked closely with those developing SCC to define the way it should be tested. When ASTM finally adopted the test method for SCC, our long term commitment paid off. Suddenly, we had customers clamoring for Segregation Towers and J-Rings.”

Innovation in such a mature industry involves getting to know exactly what lab managers need to improve the way they test, save time and reduce costs. For instance, Forney is heavily involved in the development of data acquisition equipment.

“Replacing clip-boards with electronics is the relatively easy bit. Although digital readouts have been around for years, our new digital TestPilot is loaded with features that let labs grow in an organic way. It has features they can just start to use when they are ready or as their operation expands. Features they won’t even have thought about at the purchase stage.

“For example, they can track extensometer data readings or run two machines using the dual load channel feature. It shows that we understand how labs adapt and grow. The equipment we provide — along with regular software updating — ensures longevity and future proofing for their investment. This attitude is highly valued by our customers and promotes strong loyalty to our brand.”

What’s next for the company?

“Re-allocating our sales force and facilities to reflect shifting market demands,” said Dziki. “We are moving our East Coast facilities from Hermitage, Pa., to Cranberry near the Pittsburgh International Airport in May.”

About Forney Inc.

Forney Inc. is a manufacturer of testing equipment for concrete, soils, aggregates and asphalt. The company was founded in 1916 by Joe Forney in his garage on Elm Street in New Castle, Pa.

Forney offers thousands of scientific instruments for testing, measuring and processing heavy building construction material. It works with small, private test labs as well as lab managers of DOTs, universities, civil engineers, pre-casters, block producers, material producers, construction companies, engineering consultants, the Federal Highways Administration, and the U.S. Army Corps Engineers.

The company works through a network of local reps across the United States. It services, distributes and manufactures in facilities in the eastern and western United States.

For more information, visit www.FORNEYonline.com.