Fritz-pak Corporation

Fritz-Pak always has something in their bag of tricks for each concrete application. I feel strongly that in this economy it is vital to get the word out to all parts of the concrete industry that Fritz-Pak products save loads.

Dominic Cardone, President, Concrete Impressionist

Fritz-Pak News

1 Oct 2006

Education Sparks Career Change to Concrete For Dionne Hutchings, National Sales


"From boots in the trenches, to suits in front of executive offices, I feel confident talking about concrete admixtures and how they can improve the quality of your product," says Dionne Hutchings.

Once a third grade teacher, Hutchings says she wanted something new. After taking a year off from teaching, she got her wish and started with Fritz Pak in 1999 as the presidents assistant.

"He took me under his wing and I spent the first three years in the lab learning the ins and outs of our various products," recalls Hutchings. "I realized right away there was a need for more focused education, both in the industry and in the company. We needed to educate distributors, retail and the end users (contractors)."

Hutchings adds that product education is particularly important for Fritz Pak because they own the patents on their products. "They're exclusive to us and not like anything else on the market," she notes of their product line.

She is now the National Sales Manager for Fritz-Pak, a Dallas-based manufacturer of powdered concrete admixtures packaged in patented water-soluble bags. Part of Hutchings job keeps her one step ahead - literally. On the road for weeks at a time, she meets with distributors of Fritz Pak products to train their sales staff, as well as provides seminars and training in product use, including showing the use of the products in a hands-on forum.

Admitting that she now has the skills and education of a decorative concrete contractor, Hutchings credits ACI with much of her training background. Her training topics have even evolved with the industry. What began as a focus on more general knowledge has now morphed into a discussion of specialty products, techniques, tools and information from industry experts.

As the "front line" for Fritz-Pak, Hutchings hears a lot of feedback, a part of her job she says is very rewarding. Whether its email, phone calls, or meeting face to face, Hutchings is all ears.

"I listen to people in the field, their questions and comments: how and when to use our products, or what a great difference they made in their daily operations. We receive calls from company owners to operations managers; from quality control techs to the weekend concrete warrior."

Customer service is the key.

"I want Fritz-Pak to be known as a source of great products," Hutchings says. "We pride ourselves on our customer service. In many cases, the answer is just walking someone through the process."

And this applies to both seasoned end-users and concrete rookies. "Some people are intimidated by the terms chemical admixtures - that scares people," notes Hutchings. "I scale it down to what the product does and doesn't do so they are comfortable. If someones new to concrete countertop production and calls and says they're lost, I help them understand the principles behind it."

Hutchings works hard at getting the message out. She participates and helps organize demos throughout the U. S., which include Fritz-Pak products as well as the newest techniques presented by experts in the field of decorative concrete. She also works closely with the American Society of Concrete Contractors as a member of its Decorative Concrete Council.

"What I like about decorative concrete is how it turns something bland into something beautiful, keeping its quality and characteristics that can last a lifetime," she observes. "When talking about decorative concrete, you can take it as far as your imagination and creativity will allow."

And some of creativity stems from the growing participation of women in the industry. Hutchings was recently invited to speak to the National Association of Women in Construction about concrete and the increasing opportunities for women in the industry.

Banding together will be vital to the direction the industry is headed, according to Hutchings. "I see that one day everybody will have some form or fashion of decorative concrete - that it will be main stream," she predicts. "It can reflect your personality. Your imagination is the only limit, thats what I like about it."

Hutchings says that one of the highlights of her job is "when the light bulb goes off" for contractors. "When they actually take something away to better their end product," she adds.

"Quality is becoming much more important in the industry, and we focus on quality in our education," Hutchings notes. "For contractors, they're putting their name out there and they should want to build the best product. We can provide them with the skills and products to do that."

Hutchings is excited to work in this industry. "Either it's a new technique, a new product or a new tool. Every day you can learn something new about a building material that is centuries old," she concludes.

From Concrete Network Online

Fritz-Pak Corporation is a member of the American Concrete Institute, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, the American Society of Concrete Contractors, including the Decorative Concrete Council, the American Concrete Pumping Association, and the International Packaged Concrete Manufacturer’s Association

For more information, contact David Ojeda, 1-888-746-4116, davidojeda@fritzpak.com

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