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N.Y.’s Paving Arts Does It All — Even Customer Relations

The company comes up with some high-tech solutions to reach out to its customers.

Mon April 22, 2013 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Part of the Paving Arts equipment fleet was gathered for this photo, but the company’s machines are usually working throughout the NYC metro area.
Part of the Paving Arts equipment fleet was gathered for this photo, but the company’s machines are usually working throughout the NYC metro area.
Part of the Paving Arts equipment fleet was gathered for this photo, but the company’s machines are usually working throughout the NYC metro area. Pausing during a busy day are (L-R) Tom Alfano of Foley Inc., Tim Lubniewski and Michael Piazza of Paving Arts.

In the world of Paving and Commercial Facility Maintenance, there aren’t many services Paving Arts doesn’t offer. Under the guidance of co-owners Michael Piazza and Tim Lubniewski, Paving Arts is a full-service asphalt paving, commercial facility and parking lot maintenance company. The remarkable part however, is how they manage to cater to the customer relation side of the business as well. With an active YouTube and Face Book accounts, Web site with customer testimonials, over 600 photos of jobs, a newsletter and even a blog, Paving Arts has everything the customer needs right at their fingertips.

# 1: Establish a

Full-Service Company

After college, the two friends Piazza and Lubniewski, joined forces and used their experience in the commercial asphalt business to branch out and develop the company Paving Arts. Today, they have a collective 35 years of experience.

The company is headquartered in Staten Island, N.Y., but works throughout the New York metro area. This includes Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester and Manhattan, as well as northern New Jersey and southwestern Connecticut.

The company offers two divisions: The Road and Paving Services include paving, patching, pothole repair, striping, sealcoating, storm drain repair, and installation of curbs, ramps and sidewalks. The Commercial Facility Maintenance division provides parking lot sweeping, snow removal, sidewalk repair, graffiti removal and power washing.

#2: Be Customer Centric

Paving Arts actively markets its services to expand its business ventures. For example, Piazza meets many new clients by attending trade shows. But one of the most effective avenues for gaining new clients is word of mouth, and there is no shortage of positive customer feedback in the form of customer testimonials, as seen on their Web site. Paving Arts also maintains a site that provides hours of videos from previous projects, pictures and a blog for customers to follow their projects or learn from their tips and informational posts as well.

Their goal is to provide excellent, timely work and they pride themselves on building friendly business relationships with clients. Although the company has a presence on the web, they know that nothing goes farther than walking the talk, and offering top-notch customer service. This includes having the owners and operators available 24/7, which goes a long way with their clientele. Not many contractors can say there is always an owner on the job.

Piazza said the most rewarding part of the job is being able to visit all the jobsites. He explained, “Every day is a new experience, whether it’s spent in the office, in a piece of machinery or managing a job site.” He values the customer interaction and likes meeting new people and working on jobs that are challenging. However, the love of his job stems from being a kid at heart. He said, “Doesn’t every boy likes big machines and knocking something down? Who doesn’t like playing in the dirt?”

#3: Getting the Right Projects

Foley Equipment Sales Consultant, Tom Alfano, said “In addition to being customer focused, Paving Arts does excellent work. They have a solid reputation and that comes from their attitude and relationship with customers and also the pride they take in their work.”

Two major projects last year were the public libraries, Fresh Meadows Library in Queens, N.Y and Elmer’s Library in Elmer, N.J. Elmer’s was a “green” project. During renovations, Paving Arts built a permeable parking lot that housed trailers as temporary classrooms. The job took place right above a subway tunnel, which meant the project had to be done on a “light” scale. Weight restrictions meant no large machinery was permitted.

Paving Arts maintains an ongoing contract with 7-Eleven convenience stores. In 26 days, Paving Arts completed the milling, paving and re-striping of 35 7-11’s across New Jersey.

#4: Partnering With the Right Equipment Dealer

The company has been working with Foley Inc. for about five years, their primary contact being Tom Alfano. “Tom is always available. We can call at any time, and if there’s something he can’t help us with he will go out and find the answer,” Piazza said. “He would always turn the machines around really quickly — his customer service is the best you could possibly ask for.”

In order to perform their work, their fleet includes six skid steer loaders, four pavers, a half-dozen rollers, a pair of skid steers, a conveyor miller, a sweeper truck, four dump trucks, 10 service trucks (pick-ups) and a pair of excavators.

When questioned about the decision to go with Cat machines, Piazza quickly replies, “The power of the Cat skid steer loader is the best, bar none. You can’t beat Cat power.” With years of first-hand experience operating machinery, the decision to go with the Cat skid steer loaders was easy, he adds. “Getting out of a Cat at the end of the day means you’re a lot less tired. Even with milling machines — miller attachments from Cat hydraulic-flow are that much more powerful, there is that much more flow, and the machine just eats up the asphalt.”

Paving Arts also is happy with the Foley service department. According to Piazza, the service department “always seems to work with us quickly, timely, and we can’t ask for a better dealer.”

Paving Arts formed the right partnerships along the way, stays in touch with the customers, makes sure they complete quality work, and found an equipment dealer to meet their needs. Although it is not an easy task, they proved they are succeeding by daring to do it all.

This article was republished with permission from Paydirt Magazine, Fall 2012 Issue.

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