ABOUT PETERMAN CONCRETE
Lifelong residents of Portage, MI, Frank and Helen Peterman, owners of Peterman Concrete Company started out small but deliberate in 1982 with one truck. The company was the only one to provide on-site and metered concrete deliveries to the Portage and Kalamazoo areas. It was also the only company of its kind to provide service on Saturdays.
The Peterman's personal service and local affiliation were a real plus to their business, and it wasn't long before they needed to expand to meet the growing needs of their customers, in 1988, the plant was enlarged and modified to handle ready-mixed concrete.
Well known now as a provider of quality ready mix directly to job sites, Peterman has a fleet of over 30 trucks, 3 plants and 50 employees. Serving the building needs of area contractors, homeowners and farmers, Peterman concrete is used for basement and garage floors, walls, driveways, patios, pole barns, farm yards and commercial buildings and everything from bridge overpasses to dog runs. They also provide building materials such as expansion joint, re-rod and sealer, and will often deliver these materials, along with concrete, to their customers.
Remaining headquartered locally; Peterman again expanded operation in 1996, with the opening of a second plant in the growing Battle Creek area. In 2002 operations were expanded to Watervliet. All plants are state certified. State certification is important to this type of business because it implies excellence in all areas, as determined by a third party. But what has meant the most to the Peterman's is that their two sons, Scott and Jim work with them in the business. As vice-presidents, both sons are also involved with batching and dispatching responsibilities.
While the Peterman's success is due to their attention to the business, working long hours and ensuring their concrete is batched correctly, they point out the importance of their employees' diligence and work ethics and that many are cross trained to perform a variety of tasks.
"All of our drivers are very knowledgeable," Frank said. Considered a "class act," Peterman drivers are not only well trained, but frequently receive customer compliments. What may be truly unique to the industry is their willingness to help customers at the time of delivery and the timeliness of their deliveries.
It's all part of the Peterman way of doing things, which includes the company's virtually spotless big white trucks. "We ride pretty heavy on the 'clean' aspect because what looks good is good." Frank said.
The Peterman's believe in listening to their customers, and have continued the tradition of providing the best possible products and service at competitive prices, ensuring a lot of repeat business. Always seeking opportunities to upgrade their business, the Peterman's installed a state-of-the-art computer-networking program to serve Portage, Battle Creek, and Watervliet. This program also allows for easier order entry and has an enhanced truck tracking system, providing fewer chances for error.
The Peterman's have spent their entire lives in Portage, growing and building their business, working with and for friends and family. The community has been good to them, and they have returned the favor by supporting their hometown through various sponsorship activities at high schools and churches, as well as local charities. "We're a local grown family," Frank said. "I can't imagine it any other way."