Surface Protection Services, LLC, or SPS, is a full-service pavement maintenance company. We are classified as a small business, and our main operations are headquartered in El Dorado, KS. We offer a wide range of services throughout Kansas, Northern Oklahoma, and Western Missouri, with an emphasis on the Wichita, KS and surrounding area. The asphalt services we offer are sealcoating, paving, crack sealing, thermal crack repair, infrared asphalt rejuvenation and repair, pothole patching, and striping. We also offer a range of concrete services, which include the new construction or replacement of building floors, sidewalks, approaches, patios, drainage valleys, curbing, and driveways. Our diverse array of customers ranges from residential driveways to large parking lots to city streets. We offer free pavement analysis and assessments to all of our customers, and specialize in pavement preservation and maintenance. By using our extensive knowledge of the industry, we can assist our customers with implementing a detailed preventative maintenance plan that not only significantly increases the longevity of their parking lot, street, or driveway, but also protects their investment and saves them money in the long-run.
SPS filed as an LLC in April 2005, and has been family-owned since the beginning. The owners, Andy Waller and Russell Waller, began operating the growing business as the only employees with nothing but a couple shovels, a truck, some rented equipment, some business know-how, and a great deal of knowledge of the pavement industry. Today, SPS runs 3-4 full time crews, and employs 15-20 workers. Over the last few years, the owners have paid themselves a minimal salary, reinvesting every possible dollar back into the company. SPS now owns 12 pickups, 4 dump trucks, 4 bobcat skid steers with several attachments, 1 asphalt paver, 4 rollers, 2 sealcoating rigs, 3 bulk tanks, 2 crack sealing melters, 1 tack oil distributor, 12 equipment trailers , 2 job trailers, 1 Infrared asphalt repair truck, and other equipment.
Russell was a foreman/superintendent for Dustrol, Inc. for several years, leading a road crew and working with management to help grow a very successful asphalt recycle/milling company. When he hired on with Dustrol, they had 11 employees and 1-2 crews. They now have over 300 employees, have operations in several states and are the largest milling contractor in the U.S. PMSI, a pavement maintenance supply company, hired Russell to demonstrate to potential customers the proper uses and techniques of various pavement maintenance equipment. His experience in the industry has been a key attribute, helping develop SPS into a strong, growing business. His current role in the company is quality control, job supervisor, safety, and overseeing maintenance on equipment and vehicles.
Andy is the son of Russell. He went through high school and college with a dream of someday owning his own successful business. He graduated with a 2-year degree from Butler Community College, paid for by several academic scholarships, and then transferred to Wichita State University. There, he studied entrepreneurship, business, and economics, and took several mechanical and architectural engineering and AutoCAD classes to increase his knowledge in these areas as well. He bought a 3-bedroom house when he was 19 years old and rented out two of the rooms; paying for nearly all his living expenses to get him by while finishing school. By spring of 2005, Andy had finished college and was ready to put his knowledge to use. His current role in the company is job estimating, scheduling, public relations, hiring, marketing, and organization.
Since 2005, SPS has seen rapid growth in all aspects of its services. From 2005 to 2006, the company saw its gross income increase 33%. From 2006 to 2007, gross income increased 160%. From 2007 to 2008, gross income increased an additional 85%. In the midst of a tough economy from 2008 to 2009, we experienced 10% growth. From 2009 to 2010, we experienced nearly 100% growth. We credit these rapid growth rates to our strong commitment to customer service, superior workmanship, our close relationship with clients, our reputation of professionalism, and our strict hiring policy that allows us to hire and retain top-notch employees who take pride in the work they produce. We make a conscious effort to base our company standards and practices on "quality" and "value", and not necessarily "cheapest".
One of the biggest strengths of SPS has been our ability
Another big strength is our perfect safety record. With our flawless safety history, we believe we lead the industry in our region. Since we filed as an LLC, we have never had a lost-time accident. We attribute this to extensive employee training prior to them being placed in a safety-sensitive position, our careful hiring, and our strict drug policy. Safety is a number one priority at SPS, and our records prove that.
Our lower cost of operation gives us an excellent competitive advantage. We do not cut corners when it comes to completing a job, so for those customers who only look at the dollar amount rather than the value, we have a tough time winning a bid against a company that does cut corners. One way we have stayed competitive in this situation is controlling our debt level and keeping a very close eye on our overhead expenses. This allows us to be competitive in our pricing while producing a higher-quality job. When we are competing against much larger companies, we can usually outbid them due to our lower residual costs.
We are constantly trying to stay up-to-date on the latest technology and methods, only buying new or slightly used equipment. Our use of newer equipment and our detailed maintenance schedule greatly reduces down-time caused by equipment break-downs, and speeds up production.
All of our equipment is state-of-the-art. We are set up for tackling the largest sealcoating jobs in a very timely manner, while having the ability to precisely measure and apply the appropriate amounts of sealer, additives, sand and water to meet or exceed specifications on every parking lot. Our two spray rigs, both with the ability to use a large spray bar for increased production, have agitated material tanks, dual diaphragm pumps for consistent pressure at the spray tip, and together can hold over 1,600 gallons of sealer. If a tanker truck is not available to deliver bulk sealer, we are set up with our own portable agitated bulk tank that has the capacity to fill both trailers as soon as they are emptied. This keeps down time to a minimum.
Knowledge is key to growing a successful business and keeping up with the times. Andy and Russ have recognized this and frequently attend pavement seminars, classes, and training sessions to improve their overall understanding and know-how of this industry. We have also strived to become an innovative company, designing and building several tools and attachments to significantly improve our productivity.