Set in concrete
For almost three decades, PICS has been supporting the pattern imprinted and decorative concrete industry, growing from strength-to-strength and further expanding with its acquisition of the Hatcrete colour division of Roy Hatfield Ltd in 2016, which has made PICS a major coloured concrete products player in the Industrial Flooring, Pre-cast and Readymix sectors
When visitors to The UK CONCRETE Show 2019 arrive at Birmingham’s NEC on 20th and 21st March, they will be greeted by a veritable smorgasbord of companies exhibiting their products and services at what is the biggest stand-alone concrete show in Europe. Now in its ninth year, of the more than 200 exhibitors expected to appear there will be the usual mix of seasoned participants and first-timers, and among the latter contingent will be PICS, which before now has been a frequent visitor to the event, using it as the ideal platform to meet with its customers and peers within the wider concrete market.
PICS itself is far from a newcomer to the concrete industry, having supported the pattern imprinted concrete sector since 1992 with decorative concrete products that are either manufactured at its state-of-the-art production facility, Toll Blended for other clients, designed in-house or sourced from specialist suppliers. Built upon a network of concrete paving systems that have been proven to produce consistent reliability and offer long term durability and low life time costs, PICS supplies products to paving installers, main contractors and commercial clients and homeowners, whilst providing design and specification services for architects, surveyors and specifiers from design stage through to installation. Committed to supporting the growth and development of its customers’ businesses, PICS also provides a range of support services including technical support, training and marketing.
So, what makes March 2019 the right time for PICS to make its first appearance as an exhibitor at The UK CONCRETE Show? As National Sales Manager John Grant explains, it has much to do with the company’s well publicised acquisition of the Hatcrete colour division of Roy Hatfield Ltd in June 2016. “Prior to the acquisition, we were already experienced in manufacturing certain products for Roy Hatfield Ltd, and also being based near to its depot operation in Sheffield, made PICS the perfect fit when it became clear that the company was looking to sell its decorative concrete business. In taking on the product range of Hatcrete, we have also seen an increase in our production levels, which has resulted in new people being brought into the business, bringing the total number of employees up to over 40.”
In the time since the acquisition, PICS successfully integrated manufacturing plant previously operated by Hatfield’s and has invested considerable capital in its machinery and equipment, and integrated its product range into its existing portfolio. “Since this purchase was completed, it has greatly increased our customer base, particularly in the industrial flooring and readymix markets where we are now able to offer a range of specialist products including Hatcrete Colourmix, Adcolour, water and solvent-based Cure & Seal sealant products, and industrial quartz colour hardener solutions,” he details. “Our increased integral colour product range has also helped to open more doors into the Pre-cast concrete products sector.”
What this means is that, while PICS retains an extremely healthy position within its primary area of business, which is the serving of pattern imprinted concrete installers looking to install new driveways or patios to domestic properties, it has also become increasingly involved in major projects for all manner of clients. This includes selling patterned or coloured concrete products for use on the London Underground, on Blackpool Seafront, at various theme parks and zoos, and across a wide number of Drive-Thru’ restaurants including McDonalds, KFC and Starbucks.
As we speak to John in the weeks leading up to the company taking a stand at The UK CONCRETE Show 2019, he has a good idea of the sort of message he hopes to convey to those visiting over the two days. “One of the key messages that I want to get across, is the wide range of applications where our printed, coloured and decorative concrete can and has been used,” he details. “I hope that by showcasing how decorative concrete has touched everything from the walkways of Legoland or Blackpool Seafront, to numerous motorway bridge projects throughout Scotland for Scottish Highways, we can create greater awareness of the flexibility of our products, on top of the known qualities of strength and durability that concrete has long been recognised with.
“Additionally, we want to use our presence at The UK CONCRETE Show 2019 to showcase our newly redesigned website, which now incorporates the full Hatcrete range of industrial flooring solutions. With this we hope that more potential customers from that field gain a better understanding of who we are at PICS and how we can now offer these, and other, products. Furthermore, we will also be on hand to provide our customers with a detailed breakdown of the latest set of Guidance Notes for the installation of imprinted concrete from The Concrete Society.”
Coming off the back of a strong 2018 from a sales and growth perspective, John and the rest of the PICS team want to continue to gain momentum during 2019. This push will also see the company make appearances at other major events and conferences throughout the year including the World of Concrete event in the United States, the Flood Expo 2019 and Evolving Concrete 2019. “In core markets such as the home improvement arena we expect to see demand for imprinted concrete and concrete-related services remain consistent, while the strengthening of our product proposition from the continued integration of Hatcrete will help bring in greater volumes of business from the industrial flooring world. As such, we are confident that 2019 will be a year where we take PICS to the next level,” John concludes.
Products: Pattern imprinted concrete