Cement Works Inc. has been working the Seattle and surrounding areas’ residential cement industry for over 20 years. It is a family run and operated business that Bobby Godwin shares with his wife and daughter. Bobby’s business is contracted with multiple builders including companies like Toll Brothers and Polygon Northwest.
We got on a call with Bobby Godwin to dive deeper into where his success derives from.
Tell us a bit about yourself and Cement Works.
We have been around since the early 2000’s, we do residential concrete installation and some commercial in the greater Seattle area. We have over 20 employees, we have 6 different crews with an associated truck, it carries all our supplies and tools, each one has an Automile device to keep track of things. I used to have an old system called “exact mile.” You would slide a chip for each job to clock times in and out to keep track of my guys. But I needed more to keep track of my vehicles and people, hours, payroll, that kinda thing and thought Automile might be handy.
What does your typical day look like as the owner?
Well we have had several accounts for a few decades, some are large home builders, Polygon, PR Horton, Toll brothers, anyway, we basically service each neighborhood that they build in. We usually have all the homes for that neighborhood, so all the concrete we install. We might have 35 different jobs going at the same time so we just hop around to get it all done. My job is to schedule the concrete, schedule my people, and supply my guys with all the plans and all the tools they need on a daily basis they have all the necessary tools to complete the job. My guys aren’t all in the same spot. We have 6 crews around the city at all times.
How do you market and grow your business?
I don’t have to search for work. It usually lands in my lap if I’m doing my job like I’m supposed to. That takes a lot of pressure off. Just keep up with production and hiring the right man power. I don’t advertise outside of word-of-mouth, and that seems to be working well for me. As long as I keep doing my job the work keeps coming my way, I don’t have to add to my work load right now. My goal right now is to ensure everyone is happy, from my employees to my customers, if I can keep them happy then I am in a good place.
Great to hear that you are growing your business with 100% WOM marketing. What challenges were you running into that led you to invest in a service like Automile?
The biggest things were really just not knowing where my trucks were at at all times. They are worth a lot so I wanted to have the peace of mind.
What ROI are you seeing by investing in a GPS vehicle tracking technology like Automile?
I actually had an incident where one of my trucks was stolen recently and I was able to find it specifically because of Automile. I had received a frantic phone call from one of my guys back in April at 5 am. He said that he had left my keys in the truck with it running at the gas station, and when he came out the truck was gone. It was actually my 6th truck, my newest truck, valued at over $60,000. I thought he was joking at first due to a joke he played the other day. So I waited for the “kidding” that never came. I just thought, “Oh this is a busy day, I really don’t need to deal with this today.”
I checked Automile and told the police the exact location and what happened. This potentially terrible experience barely put a 30 minute dent in my day. All thanks to the Automile GPS. I was able to take snapshots of exact location and everything. Thankfully the only thing missing were the keys which I had extra of that I ran to the shop and we were back on our way. I gave Automile a call shortly after to let them know that one of their products saved the day.
We use a mobile timesheet for my guys to clock in and out. Sometimes I use Automile as a back up to check their time if they forgot to log time and we need to double check.
I really use Automile for when I need it. It’s a nice precaution to have. I trust my guys and want to keep it that way. If a discretion ever arose then I have a way to address it. Or if like the example of the car getting stolen, that was extremely beneficial to have.
One last question Bobby. What is a best practice you have that you would like to share with the broader, small business community?
Do what you say when you say you’re going to do it. That’s about it. Well, that, and do it like it’s at your own house and like you are doing your own work. That’s the secret to my success, every job I did, cuz ya know I don’t have time to work out much in the field and in the concrete, I really love it but I’m managing all of it. Sometimes I will go out in the field with the guys just for fun, but every job I do I do it like I’m doing it for myself. And, if I like it, you’ll LOVE it! And that’s kinda what I try to instill in my own men as if it were their own jobs. “How would you want it” is what I ask my guys, it’s pretty simple.
Thank you Bobby. What an inspiring story! We appreciate you sharing it with us.