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Contractor Connection Kiewit Moves Ahe Director of Purchasing and Sales Neal Winberg provides customer insight for dealers. BY JOANNE COSTIN "A company cannot stand still for long – either it goes ahead or it slides back." The words belong to Peter Kiewit, former president of Peter Kiewit Sons Co., known for developing Kiewit into a Fortune 500 company during the 20th century. For nearly 130 years, Kiewit not only survived depressions and recessions, but thrived. In 2011, Kiewit's revenue was $10 billion. That same year, the company ranked No. 3 on ENR's 2011 Top 400 Contractors Report. The company's abil- ity to move forward and accept change is at the heart of its success. During the Great Depression, the company expand- ed its Omaha, Neb., construction business into Wyoming, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois and North Dakota. And now on the heels of the Great Recession, Kiewit has embarked on another major change: By the end of the first quarter of 2013, telematics will be installed on more than 18,000 of the company's 26,000 units. Based on the sheer volume of Kiewit's fleet (with a replacement value $2.4 billion) and a decentralized company structure, it's not surprising that Kiewit has connections with hundreds of dealers and many different brands. After participating in a panel discussion on "Used and Equipment Markets of the Future" at AED's Executive Forum in Septem- ber, Neal Winberg, Kiewit's director of Purchasing and Sales, sat down for an interview with CED and provided a glimpse into the contractor's equipment operations. A Diverse Fleet Profile According to Winberg, Kiewit tracks performance on more than 900 different types and sizes of equipment. "Over the past 10 years the mix has shifted toward cranes as the company took on more industrial and power work," he said. A distinct feature of the Kiewit fleet is its young age. The average age of the fleet is about six-and-a-half years and the company would like it to get progressively younger. Adhering to the philosophy of moving forward, the company purchas- es most of its equipment new. "We feel it is important to take advantage of new technologies for greater productivity, safety and cleaner emissions," added Winberg. Rented units are primarily rental purchase agreements. 20 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | November 2012 Close to the Market Despite the company's large size, Kiewit remains close to the market through a decentralized structure consisting of more than 30 business units or "districts." Management teams are structured around a geographic area or technical skill set, such as Mining or Power. Kiewit is one of a few construc- tion firms able to compete for billion-dollar mega-projects, but with strong connections to local markets, the company competes on smaller projects as well. According to Winberg, equipment programs are estab- lished in the home office with manufacturers and dealers, including commercial terms and conditions. At the local level, district equipment managers are responsible for applications and for carrying out corporate programs. District equipment managers report to the business manager for their district. The corporate equipment department, which is segmented into Operations and Ownership, provides technical assis- tance. As director of purchasing and sales, Winberg has primary responsibility on the Ownership side of the business, while Kerry Sudrla manages the Operations side. Both report to Keith Sasich, vice president of Equipment. "We coach [district equipment managers] on what is standard, what we typically buy, and the proper sources we would like them to use," explained Winberg. Individual district managers play an important role in dealer selection because their historical experiences with dealers are taken into consideration when purchasing. The Telematics Initiative Kiewit is in the process of taking its fleet management to a whole new level, as it moves forward with a program to install telematics on more than 18,000 machines by the end of the first quarter of 2013. When possible, telematics will be purchased from the manufacturer, but Kiewit will also use a supplier to install telematics on machines when it is not is offered. Machine health data and other production data will be transmitted via cell and satellite in remote areas to the equipment team at projects, districts and home office in real time using a new enterprise resource system by SAP. (continued on page 22) ad Kiewit earthmoving equip- ment performs site prep work on the Dallas-Fort Worth Connector Project. The $1.02 billion project, which began in 2009 and is scheduled to be com- pleted in 2014, includes the development, design and construction of the 8.4-mile initial phase of the ultimate 14.4-mile project. The DFW Con- nector is the widening of state highways 114 and 121, which sit at the inter- section of the area's four most populous counties.