Interview of:

Jesse Osborne

General Manager of Mapei/GRT

From Realtà Mapei International n° 70 - 15/10/2018

MAPEI/GRT: growing fast and strong

The group’s U.S. concrete admixtures subsidiary is expanding its sales, resources and operations.

Location icon Minneapolis

The Mapei concrete admixtures line was first introduced in 1992 with the development of the first-ever, acrylic-based superplasticizer in Europe. Thanks to technological innovations and the constant development of new products, Mapei concrete admixtures category now offers solutions for a varied range of construction needs, from large-scale projects to residential buildings.

In 1993, General Resource Technology, Inc. (GRT) came onto the market in the United States as a regional manufacturer and supplier of concrete admixtures, serving concrete producers in the Midwest. The smaller company grew in its field as Mapei did in Europe. Then, in 2014, GRT became a member of the Mapei family. Over the past three years, Mapei/GRT has been growing fast and strong.

We recently met with Jesse Osborne, the General Manager of Mapei/GRT, and engaged him in a Q&A interview about the subsidiary and its role in the concrete admixtures market today.

 

Mapei acquired GRT four years ago. How is Mapei/GRT today different from GRT  four years ago?

The biggest difference between then and now is geography. We have grown from two regional operations areas in the central U.S. to four geographic areas, and we are adding two new areas in 2018.

We are moving quickly to meet the needs of our customers, developing a full line of pre-cast admixtures as well as rounding out the ready-mix admixture product line. We are able to accomplish this work on a fast-track schedule due to the support of the Mapei R&D Corporate Laboratory, a centre of excellence for concrete admixtures, located in Milan, Italy. Global support like this really helps us grow at an accelerated rate.

Following our company’s vision of working “faster, further, together,” we have been collaborating with other Mapei subsidiaries and teams like our Underground Technology Team. This teamwork allows us to develop synergies that increase opportunities for brand recognition and build our presence in North America.

 

How does Mapei/GRT interact with Mapei’s Research & Development group?

In monthly meetings, Mapei/GRT discusses projects and priorities with the R&D Centre in Milan. The group offers Mapei/GRT help and solutions based on R&D projects that Mapei/GRT is working on at their lab in Eagan, Minnesota. A new U.S.-based technical center was recently established in Swedesboro, New Jersey, where the majority of Mapei/GRT research takes place.

Mapei’s popular DYNAMON SX is an example of global technology that has been added to the Mapei/GRT portfolio.

What is Mapei/GRT’s current go-to-market strategy?

Mapei/GRT specializes in the concrete admixtures category as a part of Mapei’s complete strategy to serve the needs of the construction industry in building and infrastructure.

Mapei/GRT supplies liquid admixtures directly to concrete producers, while Mapei’s Concrete Restoration Systems [CRS] group sells in the more traditional way through distributors. CRS products are used directly on the jobsite, while concrete admixtures are generally used by the concrete producers before they reach the jobsite.


What are the logistics involved in delivering Mapei/GRT concrete admixtures to the jobsite (and what is a typical jobsite)?

Mapei/GRT does not traditionally deliver products to jobsites. Our customers are usually concrete producers for the ready-mix, pre-cast and paving sectors. Mapei/GRT representatives go to a concrete producer’s facility and do test evaluations to determine which products are needed and the right quantities for optimal performance.

Bulk tankers then deliver the liquid Mapei/GRT admixtures to the concrete producers at their factories, where the materials are kept in storage tanks until they are ready to be used.

This production and shipping process is very different from that used for the typical Mapei products for concrete repair, which are produced and packaged in a powdered form and then sold in bulk to distributors who warehouse the products for local purchase and use.

These differences explain in part why Mapei/GRT has its own specialized sales force, as well as “same-but-different” operation locations that are sometimes housed at, but are separate from, Mapei production facilities.

 

How have Mapei/GRT’s human resources expanded/realigned to meet the needs of the subsidiary’s growth and expansion?

We have increased our sales staff 10% in the past few years and will continue at this rate in the short term.

We will also be increasing our support staff to handle the increase in sales. These new hires will include customer support and plant operations personnel.

We have excellent Technical Services support in the U.S. and from Mapei, and we will enlarge this group in North America as demand for our products and services increases.

 

What is Mapei/GRT’s goal for 2020?

In the U.S., our strategic plan includes continuing to increase our footprint by adding more geographical locations and enhancing our national brand recognition.

Our current competitors have been ingrained in this country for many years; but we feel that, with Mapei’s global support, Mapei/GRT will be able to make a solid impact over the next few years.

 

What new products, systems or solutions is Mapei/GRT looking to bring to the market in the next few years, and why were these products selected for development?

Pre-cast concrete producers represent approximately 25% of the admixtures market, while roughly 60% of admixtures are supplied to the ready-mix market. And about 15% of admixtures are supplied to concrete producers for the paving market and other specialties.

The biggest priority for development in the next few years is our special concrete admixtures for the pre-cast sector. Pre-cast concrete is very different from ready-mix concrete, and the two sectors have distinct needs for their admixtures. Pre-cast is all about speed and efficiency, so these producers want products that react quickly and develop strength quickly. Production time is essential for them.

To secure a significant share in the pre-cast market, Mapei/GRT intends to offer a complete line of admixtures to meet the requirements of these concrete producers.

 

Please tell us about some of the projects in which Mapei/GRT has been involved.

As can be seen in a dedicated article in the issue No.70 of Realtà Mapei International, Mapei/GRT concrete admixtures were provided for pre-cast and ready-mix concrete used at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Vikings.

Mapei/GRT concrete admixtures were also used for pre-cast and ready-mix work in and around Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers, including the Titletown District destination adjacent to the stadium.

Large-scale windmill projects nationwide have been benefiting from Mapei/GRT concrete admixtures supplied to ready-mix concrete producers. Participating in a small but important way in sustainable energy projects is an accomplishment that     Mapei/GRT is quite proud of.

Highway infrastructure in the central United States is a construction sector where Mapei/GRT concrete admixtures for paving have played an increasing role too.

 

How does Mapei/GRT participate in Mapei’s sustainability programs?

Mapei/GRT is working on ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems [EMS] certification in line with Mapei Group’s worldwide commitment to sustainability in our operating plants. This program involves our people, processes and products.



This article was taken from Realtà Mapei Americas, no. 26, the in-house magazine edited by Mapei Corp., whom we thank. For further information see www.mapei.us

 

Project data sheet

Yard polyvalent stadium
Location Minneapolis, USA
Subcategory STADIUM
Built in 2013
Opened in 2016
Application supplying admixtures for concrete
Start and finish date 2013/2016
Application Type Supplying of admixtures
Contractor company Mortenson Construction; Wells Concrete Products, Inc.
Credits Travis Collins and Claudio Genoria, Mapei/GRT, Shutterstock
Project Manager Dave Mansell, Mortenson Construction
MAPEI Coordination Travis Collins, GRT (Mapei Group)

Products mentioned in the article

DYNAMON SX
DYNAMON SX
Modified acrylic super-plasticiser for concrete, characterised by its low water/cement ratio, very high mechanical strength and long...
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