At the age of 14, Bruce Israel sees a display of asphalt striping machines at a kitchen supply convention, and persuades his Dad to let him paint yellow stripes in parking lots for a summer job. Bruce convinces his older brother, Dan, to kick in $600 to buy a striping machine – they find work recruiting customers from the Yellow Pages. The brothers start a company called Global Striping, and the partnership begins.
Dan Israel graduates from Denison University and is offered a job with General Electric in their lighting division in San Francisco. Dan turns the job down to continue the business with his brother.
Bruce is currently attending Hillsdale College, and is helping out on weekends and holidays.
The summer striping job is now grossing $50,000 a year.
Bruce graduates from Hillsdale College.
By this time, Global Striping is a year-round business. During the winter, the brothers join the Painters Union and spend their time striping the floors of automotive factories throughout Michigan. During the summers, Global Striping is contracted to stripe the parking lots for Kmart stores throughout Michigan, and Meijer stores throughout Ohio. This typically involves striping a parking lot from dusk until dawn, then traveling to the next store during the day, and repeating again the following night.
Dan & Bruce decide to sell Global Striping, which is now grossing $700,000 a year. They invest in a dumptruck, roller, and small paver, and begin performing asphalt patching for parking lots.
Asphalt Specialists, Inc. is formed.
Business is growing. Asphalt Specialists, Inc. now has two full-time paving crews. The brothers purchase a small excavating company and start to perform their own grading and excavation work. ASI now has close to 60 employees, and is grossing $10 million annually.
The business continues to grow at an accelerated pace. Dan and Bruce acquire a 10-acre parcel in Highwood Industrial Park in Pontiac, Michigan, and build “ASI World Headquarters”, an office complex large enough to accommodate an ever-increasing staff. The facility includes a four-bay shop, industrial garage for 24-hour preventative maintenance and repair for their growing arsenal of paving and earth moving equipment, and a fleet of big rigs and trailers.
ASI now consists of three full-time paving crews and is grossing $15 million a year. The company has large needs for transportation, and the brothers start a new business, Lou's Transport Inc., designed to haul hot asphalt and broken asphalt to and from ASI job sites.
Recognizing the importance and necessity of trucking and hauling materials, Dan and Bruce acquire the most recognized and respected trucking company in the state of Michigan, TKMS Limited.
The brothers now have 3 distinct businesses: ASI specializes in asphalt paving, Lou’s Trucking specializes in quad-axle work and has a fleet of 40 trucks, and Oxford-based TKMS focuses on the aggregate hauling part of the operation, with a fleet of 17 gravel trains.
In combination, ASI and the two trucking companies have over 100 trucks in the field daily, covering virtually every construction hauling requirement.
Dan, Bruce, and other leaders in the company realize the value of recognizing and identifying the core values that have evolved during the growth of the company – having a clear and well-articulated ideology. This ideology will attract employees of compatible personal values. The values identified in Our Process not only develop a consistency and strength in how the entire ASI team operates, but provide a moral compass, or standard in how we provide service to our customers.
For the past seven years, Dan and Bruce have been working non-stop to grow the business. ASI now grosses more than $45 million annually. The company currently employs five full-time paving crews and owns and operates a significant amount of grading and excavating equipment. Lou's Trucking, with a fleet of 25 trucks, becomes specialized with steel box semis, hauling broken concrete, asphalt, and dirt throughout Metro Detroit. TKMS, with a fleet of 75 gravel trains, has established additional facilities in Milford and Flat Rock, while maintaining their headquarters in Oxford, MI.
In 2008, Michigan enters the worst recession since the Great Depression, which brings the development business in Southeast Michigan almost to a complete halt.
ASI recognizes this, and reduces it's work force almost 20%. They close the Milford and Oxford T.K.M.S. offices, and centralize all administrative operations in the Pontiac office. Sales at all the companies drop dramatically.
ASI focuses at getting internally stronger and more efficient. They lower overhead and improve focus. They come out of the recession a significantly stronger company than when they entered it.
ASI, and its sister companies, now operate with lower overhead and have a central administration office. All of their trucks are now equipped with GPS units. They are now the only paving company to offer in-house soil stabilization, excavation, engineering, testing, and paving in one package. ASI expands its equipment to include a new pulverizer as well as a large cold mill.
ASI is able to improve their quality and service of work. They manage to weather the recession, and put themselves in position for long-term future success.
Realizing the levels of complexity and internal organization necessary to efficiently develop and run sales, project management, and operations, ASI has continued to stay on the cutting-edge of technology by integrating new computer systems and programs that enhance its ability to maximize productivity.
ASI continues to strive to be the best middle-market paving company in Southeast Michigan. All of our decisions support this goal. The brothers' commitment to the business has never been stronger.