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Expand Your Leak Sealing Business Into Concrete Slab Lifting

Maybe you’ve asked yourself the question, what does it take to get into a bigger part of the concrete injection game—namely lifting concrete slabs, polyurethane underpinning, or other major geotech jobs. Many of you may run businesses or have experience working with waterproofing, joint filling, and membrane work. But bigger geotechnical projects are, as my guest Jim Spiegel of Alchemy Spetec says, “a completely different animal.” 

So, if you haven’t already, hit subscribe, sit back and enjoy the episode.

 

Thanks for listening to the podcast!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

In my conversation with Jim, we get into the various differences between injection for leak sealing and waterproofing versus major geotech projects like lifting part of a structure that is sinking into the ground. We get into it on a few different levels: technical, business, and marketing.
Jim stresses that anyone who wants to make a successful expansion into geotech needs the right training, right resins, the right equipment, and they need to follow the instructions.
In fact, I may be a lot like you in that I’m seriously thinking of expanding my injection business into slab lifting, resin-based underpinning, and other geotech. Right now, around 90 percent of my business is waterproofing and related jobs and I’d love to get a taste of something bigger.
My conversation with Jim really opened my eyes to the ins and outs of expanding a concrete injection business into slab lifting and other major geotech projects.
And it just happens that recently I received several inquiries regarding the raising of floors and soil stabilization. People send me photos of the floors in their homes and warehouses that have settled a few centimeters.
The causes of these damages are various, but rising and falling groundwater levels are a common cause.
So the information in this conversation will definitely help me grow my business.

Before you Expand Your Leak Sealing Business Into Concrete Slab Lifting you need to be the master in what you do at the moment.

With these 10 rules & tips of mine, you will fill and seal every crack. 

Hint: 90% of engineers and applicators don’t know them.

10 concrete injection rulestips that work great when sealing cracks

 

From the #008 episode of Concrete Injection Made Easy podcast, you will find out:

  • Concrete injection for slab lifting vs. leak sealing: what’s the difference
  • What it takes to expand a leak sealing business into slab lifting
  • The Injection Connection podcast host - Jim Spiegel
  • The situation associated with Covid-19

 

I invited Jim to talk about how he set up the podcast titled: "Injection Connection". After all, none of our programs were available until recently.
We talk not only about the podcast and its purpose but about the business itself and the situation associated with the coronavirus.

Tuday's Guest

Jim Spiegel

Jim has been working in the industry for over a dozen years, although, as he admits in his childhood, he never dreamed of being an engineer selling construction chemicals.
However, his good technical mind and consistent search for his place in life lead him to take root firmly in the injection industry.
As he says: "I just kind of ended in the chemical injection world that way". And that's good, because thanks to that we all have a great podcast, and the company he works in can boast of having in the team a person who has an extremely wide knowledge of the world around him. And this is a matter of paramount importance for the manager.

If you want to contact Jim, this is the link to his account onLinkedIn. Please mention that you've heard this intervie§w in your inviting note. 

 

Mateusz Furs - This is my WHY: 

I always believed that we can use existing things. I have always tried to fix and give things new meaning. Let's remember how proud we look at the renovated old tenement house - do you understand me?

I do the podcast mainly so that people recognize the injection technology as trustworthy. When more people see these solutions, the market will grow. This can only be done by transferring knowledge so that contractors do their work at the highest possible level. Increased confidence in the injection will increase the market and we will not fight for somebody else's orders at lower prices.


Here's what Jim Spiegel says about it:

"Still, because through educating I think if we would all push the correct techniques, the correct you know, ethics and morals as far as you know, how we're selling, who we're selling to who we're supporting, product quality product recommendations. All these things, I think are industry as a lot of improvement that I can make to again, make that pie bigger"

 

I will certainly expand my company towards Concrete Slab Lifting! And you?

Resources

Alchemy-Spectec webpage

The Injection Connection podcast 

Concrete Injection Made Easy on Apple Podcasts

Concrete Injection Made Easy on Google Podcasts

Concrete Injection Made Easy on Spotify

 

 

 

Transcription

- Click to collapse

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS

injection, business, people, industry, pandemic, podcast, leak, seal, chemical injection, sites, place, concrete, product, waterproofing, contractors, large, episode, point, geotech, manufacturer

SPEAKERS

Jim Spiegel, Mateusz Furs

 

Mateusz Furs 

Maybe you’ve asked yourself the question, what does it take to get into a bigger part of the concrete injection game—namely lifting concrete slabs, polyurethane underpinning, or other major geotech jobs.

 

Many of you may run businesses or have experience working with waterproofing, joint filling and membrane work. 

 

But bigger geotechnical projects are, as my guest Jim Spiegel of Alchemy Spetec says, “a completely different animal.”

 

In my conversation with Jim, we get into the various differences between injection for leak sealing and waterproofing versus major geotech projects like lifting part of a structure that is sinking into the ground. We get into it on a few different levels: technical, business, and marketing.

PONIŻEJ WKLEJAMY ROZWINIĘCIE


Jim stresses that anyone who wants to make a successful expansion into geotech needs the right training, right resins, right equipment, and they need to follow the instructions.

 

In fact, I may be a lot like you in that I’m seriously thinking of expanding my injection business into slab lifting, resin-based underpinning and other geotech. Right now, around 90 percent of my business is waterproofing and related jobs and I’d love to get a taste of something bigger.

 

My conversation with Jim really opened my eyes to the ins and outs of expanding a concrete injection business into slab lifting and other major geotech projects.

 

So if you’re thinking about expanding your concrete injection business into these areas, you won’t want to miss this episode!

 

So, if you haven’t already, hit subscribe, sit back and enjoy the episode.

 

Mateusz Furs 

Hello, Jim, how are you doing today?

 

Jim Spiegel 

Fantastic. Thanks for having me.

 

Mateusz Furs 

Ahh, that's a pleasure. It's almost exactly one minute to 5pm in Warsaw, Poland. What was the time at your place?

 

Jim Spiegel 

It's 8am. I'm in Southern California. So we're 8am pacific time. 8am 

 

Mateusz Furs 

Wow.  So I can say that I almost finished my working day and you are just starting and we are doing exactly the same.

 

Jim Spiegel 

Hehe, Exactly. Yeah.

 

Mateusz Furs 

Yeah, you know, the when I consider California, the place where you're at the moment it's like from the bone Polish place On the map it's like the place of the legend. Is it also legendary when it comes to the business, for injection business?

 

Jim Spiegel 

Not not necessarily where I am. So I'm in Southern California and Southern California is a good grouting market. I mean, it's a good everything market. There's so many people you know, it's really an interesting market and construction, there's so much going on. You could you could be focused on Southern California your entire career and still perhaps not know all of the players, you know. So there's just a lot going on here. Now, as far as injection goes. Typically, you know, the Bay Area, San Francisco is a fantastic market. There's a lot you know, it's very limited space urban construction, you know, so there's a lot going into the water table. They have Yeah, they have a lot of large infrastructure of tunnels and you know, and Metro Infrastructure. Seattle's a great market. Just because the amount of rainfall Pacific Northwest, you know, there's, there's quite a bit of injection are going on then other than that, you know, it's the usual players that you would that you would consider, you know, the Northeast because it's so heavily populated and a lot of rainfall a lot of infrastructure on urban settings. That's very good. Mid Atlantic is very good, of course, and Florida, as everyone knows, so, okay.

 

Mateusz Furs 

You just almost authored my, my question. One of the questions I prepared for this conversation, because I wanted to know, is it only this ground injection to stabilize concrete, you know, level concrete, or is it also injection that leads to water tightening? So is it like, what's the share in this business between those two kinds of injection?

 

Jim Spiegel 

Yeah, that's a fantastic question. You know, without saying too much about our, you know, our market research because of course, we put a lot of a lot of time and resources into that. It is an interesting breakdown, I would say, you know, consider comparing leak seal to say like slab lifting or geotechnical. What I can tell you is that, yes, the geotechnical side of things is probably larger, you know, the larger volume as everyone knows, that's when you get into like drum packaging instead of pails. You know, so that, you know, it's quite interesting to a lot of companies in that regard. However, it's a different it is a different animal altogether. You know, there's a lot more field and site support on that side. You know, there's large pumping rigs, you know, these rigs or trailers or semis or box trucks, and you have to be able to be out there in their in their rigs and offer that level of support on the geotech side. So it is a little bit different than the leak seal where leaks here, you get more into the single component products, the catalyzed hydrophobic and hydrophilic gels. And yeah, we're pumping through single component pumps, you know, electric airless, like spring pumps, things like that. It's a little bit simpler to be honest, the league seal side. So it's a little, you know, there's trade offs. There's there's higher volume on the, on the geotech side, but it's a much, much higher level of support that's required in the field.

 

Mateusz Furs 

Yeah, so like, my business is, I would say 90 to 95% is injection, you know, to seal the leaks. And that's it. Like I inject into the ground or we run inject into stabilize the the concrete, it's like three to five job sites a year. So how difficult is to enter this, you know, injection into the ground to stabilize it to leave the concrete, like comparing to an injection to stop the water. What does it take to start this to start this business?

 

Jim Spiegel 

Yeah, I have another really, really good question because that's, that's obviously one that we

 

Mateusz Furs 

get. I've seen your web page, of course, before we started this, this conversation. And I've seen that one, like, the first thing you see when you download your web page, is you say that you train people in order to start this injection into the ground, to stabilize the ground. So is it only that you train people or you also deliver some something more like the equipment and so on...

 

Jim Spiegel 

yeah, so it's a really, really good question, an important piece of the geotechnical grounding or soil grounding, you know, essentially And yeah, so I'm quite familiar with with where you are as far as your leak seal focus. You know, I've been in the industry about 15 years now, maybe 16 years. And, you know, my first portion of my career was spent mostly on leak seal. So, the last three, three years, I've, I've actually gotten into the geotech side, much, much more. And as far as the training goes, yes, if if you're going to be from the supplier side of the geotech, you have to have a large commitment to the training. You know, when people call you up, and they want to talk about, you know, starting, say a slab lifting business compared to, you know, a waterproofing business. It's a completely different, different animal. Typically, the waterproofing contractors are doing a wide a host of other things. They do joint filling they do maybe membrane work. You know, they're doing called gang there. glazing, you know, injection is just a tool that they have in their bag. on the, on the lifting side, when people get into the business, that is what they're going to do. Primarily, it's going to be, you know, sometimes it's, you know, there's mud jacking, of course, you know, with cement grout, then there's, you know, there's poly jacking with, with polyurethanes. So yeah, from the manufacturer side, you have to have a commitment to the training. And, you know, what does that mean to us? it? Yeah, that means that when somebody is serious about getting started in the business, we're going to, you know, we're going to go out there and meet with them and do sales trainings with them and do marketing training with them. We're going to do field training with them equipment training, we have them to our facility, to the factory in Tucker, Georgia. We show them the manufacturing process, we show them where the material was made. We show them the machines, we have live machines, they're in talker and we get them you know, hands on machine and lift, you know, lift concrete slabs in the, you know, in the back of our facility. And then it's just a, it's a commitment to being on site with them. You know, Andy Pal, who is our southeast regional manager and geotech, line product, product line manager. You know, I mentioned him a lot of, we have the Injection Connection podcast, and Andy comes up in almost every...

 

Mateusz Furs 

We will come to that for sure...

 

Jim Spiegel 

yeah, because he's, he's an example of what it takes to be successful on the manufacturing side, he spends probably 80 to 90% of his time on sites with his customers. So, you know, it's a lot different than selling, you know, picking up a phone and explaining leak seal grouting, you know, or mixing or something. It's, it's really a different animal. So that's why back to your original observation that our site is focused on training. That's why because we want to put it right right in front of the customer. That is You know we're not just going to sell you the systems we're going to come out and train you

 

Mateusz Furs 

now it's it's so important like two weeks ago I had the call from a client he's not an applicator he's just you know regular businessman but in totally different industry and he bought a can of injection resin and he got informed by from the sales rep that he you know, it's the sails rep said that it's easy. You just go you rent a pound for for half a day and you inject this resin using a lance, into into the ground. So, like a week later when he finally decided to call us on his job site, when he's you know, so us working preparing step by step this how to inject this. This this Whereas in the ground, he said, like, I wouldn't do it. He, like he understood Finally, this, the complexity of the whole process. And yeah, so he couldn't believe it. At first he thought he was like that. Maybe I'm joking. I told him in the first place like the first minute of the conversation that he is not going to do it on his own. He needs not only the equipment, but right people are in the right place, knowing what to do step by step. So we did it for him. But the most surprising thing is that the sales rep who comes means the client that it only takes to rent the pump, 2K pump so I still can't believe it, how on earth it happened, but that was true. Okay, so I see that you are you really, you know, you work in this industry. You know, you know this very well by Let's come back to the beginning. What made you to you know, to start working in this business? Like, tell me the story how we how we started?

 

 

Yeah, sure.

 

Jim Spiegel 

Yeah, we always joke about that on some of the other episodes as well, because nobody, when you're in grade school or child, you don't say that you're gonna sell chemical injection resin? Oh, no,

 

Mateusz Furs 

no, no.

 

Jim Spiegel 

I think the one thing we all have in common in this industry is that we all through happenstance of engineer, right. But yeah, there are some fantastic people. I'm glad that they have it. And then, you know, in this industry, as far as myself, I'm in college, I was actually a My degree is in neuroscience. So I was a science major, you know, neurology focused, and I had a minor in Chemistry. After I graduated college, I obviously didn't go the med school route. And I was looking at how to apply my science. You know, my science background to perhaps sales, I always loved to talk and gab and you know, and not that I had a good technical mind. So I was looking for ways, you know, pharmaceutical sales, chemical sales, whatever it may be, that's kind of where I was, I was looking. And that's when I found my first position through looking at chemical, you know, chemical sales, so, I just kind of ended in the chemical injection world that way. And then once I got into it, one of the first things I saw that I really liked was that there aren't there aren't too many players, you know, I don't want to say player I mean, players as far as like competition. There's, there's obviously we have our handful of competitors, you know, whichever industry does, but there there wasn't 200 companies selling this stuff. There might be, you know, four or five good ones you No in in, I saw across the US that there just wasn't this saturated market. And not only that, the more I learned, the more you know, as anything. The more you The more you know, the more you know what you don't know, you know, you, you start to realize how much frustrating.

 

Mateusz Furs 

The more I learned, the more I understand that. I think I won't manage to get it. All right, extended. All right. It's really nightmare. So that was the marketing.

 

Jim Spiegel 

Yep, absolutely. And that was another interesting thing. The more you learn about chemical grouting, the more you learn what the products can do. So that just opens up more more opportunities. So it's not about grabbing somebody else's piece of the pie. It's about making the pie bigger. And I think that this was a topic on my last podcast episode with a with a competitor actually had a very direct competitor on as the guest and...

 

Mateusz Furs 

How was it? 

 

Jim Spiegel 

Great. I mean, I've known him for for some years now through industry associations, and he's worked with some of my ex co workers and but one of the commonalities that we, that we say, and kind of, to your point in putting this all together, you know, some of the other people you have on your podcast are direct competitors as well. But I think it's a fantastic thing to do. Still, because through educating I think if we would all push the correct techniques, the correct you know, ethics and morals as far as you know, how we're selling, who we're selling to who we're supporting, product quality product recommendations. All these things, I think are industry as a lot of improvement that I can make to again, make that pie bigger.

 

Mateusz Furs 

Yeah, you know, like in the 3rd episode of my podcast, I had Stephan from Webac and we have been discussing this polyurethane resin. Step by btep five or six different kinds, and like what we can achieve using this, this particular kind, and he was so kind, and he didn't, you know, use the brand name, we're, we're talking in general. So, every applicator around the world can take his bread or different birds or any given brand actually, and achieve the same with with different kinds of, of resins. And just because we have, you know, I use the word of decoding this PU based resins, because there are still people using only one one reason to all situations on the job sites and we both know that there's many, many, many different situations. And yeah, so this was great and many people... like, two days ago, I was talking with a manager from Koester, another German producer. And he told me that he read the whole script of this conversation and he liked it very much. Because we didn't use this brand names, but we just explained how we can use different kinds of resins to achieve what we wanted to achieve. That was that was really great. This is this is it. He's not my competitor because I'm the applicator. I'm not the producer. But still, this conversation was really, really fantastic. I like it very, very much. You mentioned podcasts. So tell me the secret. How come that you started the podcast? Like what was what was the idea? Was it your idea to start it like where does it come from?

 

Jim Spiegel 

So I just enjoyed podcast myself. Okay, well do listen. Well, I watch a lot. This is a little different, but Not not political science at all, but I watch a lot of like Jordan Peterson, the Rubin report, you know some of these. It's kind of long form debate, so to speak, you know, some of it, Joe Rogan, I watch a lot of the Joe Rogan podcasts, or listen to a lot of the Joe Rogan podcast. And you know, I really, what really resonated with me is this long form discussion. You know, where I feel like in today's world, we feel like we can get everything from a five second soundbite or you're you click through a new site, and you look at a headline, and that's how you formulate

 

Mateusz Furs 

your 10 seconds. It's way too long.

 

Jim Spiegel 

Yeah, so Exactly. So I just read that as resonate with me for the last two years that I think in all aspects of life. We could be diving much deeper into the conversation, you know, and it's And to your point about, you know, another You know, to bring it back to injection, another supplier and talking about, you know what product types you can use. If you get really deep into that conversation, you're going to learn so much more than just calling up a salesman and saying, Hey, I see on a specification that, you know, a product ABC is specified, how much is it? Can I get it for $5? cheaper? You know, yeah, it's almost the low hanging fruit of the industry that really doesn't do our industry a service at all. So so that's why I wanted to start a podcast was to try to get thought leaders, you know, for half hour or an hour or whatever the duration is to just talk more in depth about injection, you know, because it is one of these, these services in the construction world that's highly technical. And you can, you can send two contractors out with the same exact product. And one one fantastic results the other one, we have a complete failure. Yeah. And, you know, I mean, that tells you everything you need to know about, you know, what we're dealing with in this industry. So that's, that's why I wanted to do more of the long discussions.

 

Mateusz Furs 

Okay. Okay. But it's still I'll do. They told me when I was when I came up with this idea to start a podcast. I was told to, to, not to do it in on out the only but you know, rather put it as a video on YouTube. So why audio?

 

Jim Spiegel 

Yeah, so another thing that, that I think a lot of people in our industry, it's very common in the States, you know, okay. In the US, obviously, yes, is so large geographically, right. So, sales managers and technical field reps. They drive a lot, you know, so I think one of the benefits of audio that you know, you can just get it on, have it on your phone, you know, you can listen to audiobooks while you drive you can listen to podcasts while you drive. So I think just from a consumption standpoint, it's a little bit more convenient, especially for sales professionals who are spent a lot of time on the road. But I agree with you actually, I like having the video as well. And I think the Joe Rogan show is a great example of that where they capture the video as well. So you can digest it in audio form or you can go to YouTube and digested there. And one thing's for certain if you don't collect the the video upfront, it's lost, you know, so you may as well collect the video as well and just have it you know, for your guys

 

Mateusz Furs 

never know when when you are going to use, right? Yeah, I listened to some people who started podcast years ago, and they say that it's a huge pity that they didn't come up with video on YouTube, right in the first place the very first episode of their, of their podcast and they They wish they had done it. But then now it's too late and they can only you know, what they can do is to start doing this right away from from the day zero. Yeah, but I still don't know I do have these videos. I even tried to prepare it on YouTube. It's not still, it's still not released. I'm thinking maybe you're right, maybe I should I should put it on YouTube. So yeah, I let you know. So that's about it. Like your episodes are also available on YouTube or only on...?

 

Jim Spiegel 

No right now we have a few of them that are video.

 

Mateusz Furs 

But okay, I

 

Jim Spiegel 

and we don't have that many at this point. I mean, I think we're only seven or eight episodes in so it's still very, very young as well. And most of them I have just an audio of that. That was a little bit out of necessity. Like for instance, I've, I've been on the road, I've done a, I've done a, an episode from my car, for instance, you know, just kind of squeezing it into my day I hadn't scheduled and just get it recorded and habit. So, you know, another another person I watch a lot of is, you know what, you may have seen him but Gary Vaynerchuk I don't know if you care.

 

Mateusz Furs 

Yeah, he's quite, you know, popular in Poland. Yeah. Like many people, he was in Poland, like two years ago, people went crazy to get this tickets to be able to see him really well. So yeah,

 

Jim Spiegel 

yeah. And, and one of the principles that he talks about with you know, producing, you know, media content or marketing content is just produce the content. You know, just get start today producing content, you know, whether it's audio or video or whatever it is just start producing content is amazing. And you Write his

 

Mateusz Furs 

book and like the whole book 100% of this you know, like the main message is just work harder, work harder, produce produce,produce don't stop Don't think just don't don't don't don't think that maybe it's not good enough just put it there.

 

Jim Spiegel 

Yeah, that's what he does.

 

 

Yeah no

 

Mateusz Furs 

coming back to this when we started this you know concrete leveling business and the injection to seal the leakages in it like, why is it this concrete leveling business so popular in US like I see the this is the need of injection into the ground or stabilizing this concrete slabs is only important in you know in the warehouses when the slot when this concrete floor is really you know destroyed but I think that in us only all like even private people you know order order this kind of repairing like they're huge driveways to 2500 square feet huge amount of concrete is it so Or am I wrong?

 

Jim Spiegel 

Yeah, there's probably,

 

Mateusz Furs 

you know, I was thinking like in Europe in big, big Europe cities we we have as you mentioned in the beginning very limited space so we have to build up and down there are no space. But in US you have huge houses. One family three to four people This This house is huge. And the driveway is also very long and huge. So is it? Is it not cheaper to you know, remove this concrete and to make it new one rather than inject it?

 

Jim Spiegel 

How do you suggest to that specific question? No, certainly not, you know, to, to rip out and replace is much, much more expensive. Okay. Yeah, then then leveling with, 

 

Mateusz Furs 

With PU or cementitious materials?

 

Jim Spiegel 

Always depends, right. Yeah, and we always do say that we, you know, we don't, we don't trumpet ourselves saying that we're the silver bullet of the, you know, the lifting world. There are places where cement grounds were just fine. There are places where helical piers or push piers are going to be preferred. A lot of our customers also do you know, alarm work. use in place of of your thing. But I think it Yeah, to your point of the US market in general. The US is so big geographically, you know, there's 301 now, I think there's 300, almost 50 million people. You know, it's 3000 miles across. It's, it's just massive. It's so expansive and there's so much concrete that's poured here, you know, and to your point, yeah, and some of the more rural settings. Now you have some very large properties a very large you know, swimming pools with large pool decks around it and concrete and driveways leading up to it and large patios. So yeah, there's, I think, to your, to your observation there, there's there's certainly just more places you know, to use this

 

Mateusz Furs 

sort of technique can we say that there is a still applies for another new You know, applicators, to start this this kind of business?

 

Jim Spiegel 

Certainly. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I mean, there's people popping up daily, you know, that want to start these businesses and do very well. The thing, though, is there's a, there's a barrier to entry, you know, and this is also what we tell people looking to get into the business that the equipment cost is, is quite significant. You know, so if you want to do it the right way, you really have to have a solid business plan in place, you have to have your marketing plan in place. You know, you have to have that business plan laid out for you know, for three to five years, be prepared to make those investments. But if you if you do those steps that are very common in any business startup, you're most likely you're going to be successful. You know, it's very few people. We see that start the business and do it the right way or are not successful. Yeah. So yeah, there's there's that I still still room for growth, and only here but, you know, in other other countries but, you know, to your point some of these urban settings that are very old, you know, for instance in in the UK Yeah, and I have some experience in the UK with with league seal, you know, some of the structures are just so old, and, you know, and maybe it's leaked for for 100 years, you know, and, and so there are there are conditions in some of the older places and the older markets where they say it is what it is it doesn't need to be exactly level you know, or Yeah, there's a little bit of leak there but it's, you know, it adds charm. You know, it's every place is different, but the US is a is a great market for for sure.

 

Mateusz Furs 

Okay, so can you tell me like this huge country you say? Are there like better for this business areas like this areas over The seismic activity, for instance? Or is it is it rather depends on the sales rep, who managed to find right people, right clients?

 

Jim Spiegel 

There's, there's many considerations for it, I'll give you a couple of them. So one is soil types. So we have, because it's so large, there's different soil types. And due to the different soil types, you're going to see different types of problems with structures. Yeah. For instance, you know, everyone in the chemical routing world in the US knows that Florida has these sand soils that develop a lot of sinkholes. Right. If you're looking at the news, and you see a sinkhole swallowed up entire house, you know, it's, it's usually in Florida. So, you know, so that lends itself you know, there's sand soils, there's karst conditions, you know, that are in the In the sandstone, that developing a high water table combined with that, and all of these variables together create, you know, conditions for settlement. So, you know, you'll have pockets of that sort of thing throughout the US where different markets we better just because there's more settlement. Conversely to that there's, you know, that there are markets that have more clay soil, and there are very large clay clay layers that run, you know, several hundred miles or kilometers and that are very significant and in those markets may not be as large of a need, you know, for for lifting work. And even if there's settlement work, you have to be careful because some of these these claims perform in a, you know, and almost a swallowable manner, you know, like, like a bad night, for instance, and they, you know, they swear they expand and contract. So, you have to be careful when you do your, your lifting. Yeah, you might level my level of the, you know, the home or those The slab at a certain time of the year and then the clay swells and you over lift it. Right. So you have to be really careful with some of those considerations. So, as far as seismic activity I haven't personally seen a direct correlation with seismic you know, okay that was you

 

Mateusz Furs 

know, just my guess just when I was producing this list of questions that folks took over, I thought that this may be you know, interesting to just ask you, but if there is no correlation and discussion period Okay, so, one of this like, we both know that we are going through this crazy time of pandemic Can you describe to our listeners, how badly hit has this industry been by this pandemic?

 

Jim Spiegel 

came To speak for all for all manufacturers, but a lot of the work that we do was deemed essential in the US. So, I saw that common thread throughout a lot of the chemical grouting manufacturers were, you know, everybody made it very clear to the industry that we're an essential business for infrastructure repair, you know, compared to hospitality or airlines, I mean, I would say we're pretty lucky to be, you know, in infrastructure repair. You know, when it first when this all first kind of happened, and it was a developing story. It was pretty scary. I think, as for all of us, you know, we didn't know what that what the shutdown could look like, you know, like, How bad can this really get? I think that was definitely scary for all of us. But, you know, now looking back in our rearview mirror a couple months, we're, we're very excited about kind of coming out of it, and, you know, doing just great and we also attribute that to our customers, you know, we've, we have a lot of really good contractor partners that also just kept their head down and worked very hard through through the crisis, you know, and didn't let it cripple their business. And that kept us obviously running as well.

 

Mateusz Furs 

Yeah, this, this pandemic started, like, let's say three months ago. And I remember this first weekend when it was in the lockdown was announced in Poland. And we were working 350 kilometers away from Warsaw. So the first message I got from my employees was the hotel is going to be closed next in the following weeks, so we have to find another place to stay. And we were about to stay over there for another three to four weeks. So, you know, I told them that maybe perhaps we should avoid going there the following week to find some place to live. And well, we made some minor injection jobs in in Walsall and then we have found another place and we come back to to this to this underground parking place in  Bydgoszcz, that was it. So, this is it. Now we are working in Wrocław, another and now 300 something kilometers away from from Warsaw But still, everything is open. And I think that people really feel that this pandemic is going to be over and everyone is happy that this this crazy time is Yeah, this is done. That's it. What are we Your ideas about the future of what the future brings in the pandemic in, you know, the second half of the 2020. Like in our industry, how do you see it?

 

Jim Spiegel 

We're, we're very, very positive about finishing the year. You know, we, we do our weekly internal calls and, you know, pipeline reviews, and we're, we're very excited about some of the projects that are coming back on the board, so to speak, you know, there's this big kind of timeout, you know, to everything, almost everything. And that that was concerning, that was probably the biggest concern to us that these larger government projects, how long are they going to be pushed, pushed out? You know, because those are the, you know, those are some of the projects that can make or break. You know, an industry even, you know, there's no large difference. construction worker government projects going to bid and being performed, then we're all kind of in trouble, you know, the day to day stuff can only, you know, take you So, so far, industry wide. So we're working, we're positive about it, we see a lot of the bigger stuff happening. We're getting a request now like our, our training log as far as where we need to have our Field Services team is, is backed up again, you know, so now people are requesting to have the field work done, where before it was a big I, I don't know when we can do the work, you know,

 

Mateusz Furs 

like, yeah, stay away. No One No one knew anything like, we'll see next week next month.

 

Jim Spiegel 

Ryan was it was awesome. So now I think people are starting to schedule stuff. So I can only say for all of us, I think that's a really positive.

 

Mateusz Furs 

That's a good sign. You know, if the clients are coming back, and they're starting to call you on the job side is a good sign that we are really coming back to, to our business. Yesterday, I was talking to my sister on the phone. And I was you know, she just called me to say that she has finished to listen to my fifth episode. And she liked that she told me that they know every single episode one after another is getting better, including my English. And, and, yeah, so she told me like, like in the 100th episode will be you know, for most probably really, really great. So I was like, like not the 20 you're going to you know, to to wait to 100 So, yeah, that was it. But I told her that this year is great for me and he or she answered that Most probably I'm the only person on earth, considering the first half of the 2020 to be great and great time. But this time we like we worked. I I could breathe because my employees had job sites and injection work to do and really allow me to start this podcast from scratch. Really, really? So yeah, that's it that's now here it is we are talking and we can exchange our ideas and about the business and injection technology in the podcast and the year ago. No, of those podcasts were actually available. This I find is really, really, really great. What we managed to to start. Absolutely, I agree completely. You're You know, plans for the next episodes like Where? Where do you find, you know, ideas for episodes? And how do you find to know? Invite invite your guests?

 

Jim Spiegel 

So one of the things I've been I've been inviting, I put several invitations out, but I would like to get more of a focus on the engineering community. And, you know, right now, it's been kind of a customer focus, you know, just organically, what has come up in my conversations with customers that I speak to on a regular basis, which, which is great, because it helps, you know, it's good to promote their business as well. But I'd like to get more on the engineering side, you know, and really on project design considerations, cost considerations, support considerations, you know, warranty discussions, I think, you know, I think there's a really large place in the injection industry to talk warranty. I think that's something that's really gets misused.

 

Mateusz Furs 

Someone from Australia asked me if I, you know, if I give warranties, and I was like, I was really shocked in getting this question on the chat on LinkedIn, because like, the Polish law says that if the job is done, you have to give the warranty to your clients. So I was like, What do you mean? Right, right.

 

Jim Spiegel 

Yeah, well, I said there are some different considerations in the US it is pretty standard as well state by state, that contractors with a contractor license have to offer some sort of guarantee of their work. But we also see some projects that requests like a leak seal warranty like an extended leak seal warranty. Okay. And that is something that I think we could all educate you on. clients, design professionals, each other contractors, suppliers to have a common message with that. Now one of the things I always try to point out is when a building gets waterproofed, that initial building envelope waterproofing system is on, there's typically a warranty with that issued by the waterproofing manufacturer. Right. So if we are working in conjunction with the manufacturer from day one, that's a different scenario from a warranty standpoint, then if we get a call Six years later and says my building is leaking, fix it. Right. And then they say to you, and they turn around and say to you, what's your, you know, give me a 10 year warranty. It's like what the original waterproofing design on this building didn't even last 10 years. Yeah. So here we are coming in. And one of the, the analogies we use a lot internally is, you know, chemical injection for leak seal is like the firefighters you know, we we come into a building when there's a problem. Absolutely right. It's real. Yeah, we're just trying to offer an emergency solution to a big problem that they have. You know, and and this actually ties into what you're saying, we're talking to other suppliers. It's not about one product saying my product is so much better than than his product or we all know, as manufacturers that you're getting a surprise. If your product doesn't work, you're not going to be in business very long. It's, it's more about the fire the fire men that you send out to that job, you know, are the fireman's skilled. Are they trained? Do they, you know, yes, they all have hoses and axes and ladders, but do they know how to use them? You know, the

 

Mateusz Furs 

equipment is not it's not enough. Absolutely. That's Yeah,

 

Jim Spiegel 

that's it. So I would like to go in that in that vein a little bit with the podcast with just setting expectations for grouting.

 

Mateusz Furs 

Okay, Got your point. I think that said we have covered so many different topics from from podcasts to pandemic to concrete leveling business and of course in concrete injection for sealing. Do you have any question that we can you know ask for this for this episode to our listeners like you know,

 

Jim Spiegel 

um if the only thing is how is how are things on on your end you know where you see it in, in Europe. You see a similar thing I know that after the pandemic obviously, you know, Italy was kind of ground zero in, in Europe. Do you see that?

 

Mateusz Furs 

kind of coming back over here. I think I was talking with some applicator from Italy like a week and a half ago, maybe two weeks ago, he he was really happy because he felt the pandemic is going to be over in his country as well. So he seems to be really, you know, finally breathing. And yeah, and he told me that they have some job sites to be done. Yeah, so he was very optimistic about the future. In Poland. We didn't have even one day off. Not even one day. I told that we didn't go for this whole week to Bydgoszcz because to bring girls to because, again, hotels were closed. But we still have some no job sites in Warsaw, which is our, our city. We live there around city. Yeah. And so I'm really happy. It didn't hit me almost at all, really okay. And even my clients say that, like no big deal and they have like, have plans to repair this garage as we do it? Yeah, that's it. Hopefully, they will want to tell their mind.

 

Jim Spiegel 

So the building and repair industries, as you see it are close to normal.

 

Mateusz Furs 

Yeah, absolutely. They say that maybe little bit less people are present on the job sites by the construction goes as it should.

 

 

I hope they don't lie.

 

Jim Spiegel 

Yeah. Yeah. That's That's fantastic. And like I said before, I think we're all very lucky to be in the building. Yeah, the construction industry as compared to some of these other industries that have been very...

 

Mateusz Furs 

if we were running like the restaurants or hotels, we will be totally different, you know, point of view, we would have a totally different point of view on this on this situation. All right, Jim. I think that's it. For now, this is our first conversation, I really believe that we will have chance to talk some other time. to, you know, to compare our businesses and the situation in our countries are in US and in Europe. I will also talk to other European producers and contractors. So I will, you know, collect some information so we can then discuss this together. And how do you say like, every three or four months, another meeting so we can, you know, have this discussion, how do you say? Yeah,

 

Jim Spiegel 

yeah, absolutely. Yeah, for sure. You know, I think we have a common a common goal with our podcast. So, I'll be sure to, you know, all of our guests to let them know about your show as well. And thank you and vice versa, and, you know, if they're If we have any mutual exposure to just the industry, you know,

 

Mateusz Furs 

I even left you know, the review of your, of your podcast on iTunes, especially about this seventh episode about this marketing discussion, because I really liked it. The marketing in small service companies is something that is, it's like always the end of the line. Yeah, always no time for this. And this is so important. They say that the marketing is a king for business. So that was great conversation, by the way.

 

Jim Spiegel 

Absolutely. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

 

Mateusz Furs 

Have a great day. Talk to you soon. Bye bye.

 

Jim Spiegel 

Appreciate it.

 

Mateusz Furs 

 

I know it's holiday time and many of you are having a rest.

Rest is also a time of reflection and planning the future.

So, now. Are you ready to Expand Your Leak Sealing Business Into Concrete Slab Lifting?

I hope this episode is food for thought for your business future. 

Thanks for listening and I hope you tune in next time.

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