Self-described “concrete nerd” Daniel O’Dorisio shares how the digital transformation of his banking and operations helped him take O’Dorisio Carpentry and Concrete to the next level of its business lifecycle. The result: He grew from laying sidewalks for homeowners to creating foundations for multimillion-square-foot distribution and data centers, sports arenas, and amusement parks—and increased revenues tenfold.
O’Dorisio Carpentry and Concrete
Yorktown, Virginia — founded in 2009
Commercial concrete contractor, specializing in multimillion-square-foot projects
More than $10 million
Let digital drive evolution, even in an age-old industry
O’Dorisio Carpentry and Concrete has grown from a residential one-man operation to a commercial concrete contractor with more than $10 million in annual sales. Daniel O’Dorisio and his team have laid foundations for amusement parks, sports arenas, distribution centers, data centers, and all of Midtown Row in Williamsburg, Virginia—much of it while the rest of the world was still asleep.
“Until a few years ago, pouring concrete hadn’t changed much since the Roman Empire,” Daniel says. “For many owners, it still hasn’t.” Daniel himself started out with only a wheelbarrow (for mixing) and a straight edge (for screeding, or leveling the surface).
That was in 2009. Since then, Daniel has updated every major aspect of his business model, which has given him an edge in a highly competitive industry.
“When I met him [in 2018], his company was [bringing in an annual revenue of] a million dollars, and that growth from over a million to $2 million is a change of companies,” says Carin Schneller-Carr, Daniel’s Truist relationship manager. “And now they’re over $10 million a year in annual sales.”
Her guidance on credit, insurance, and other upgrades, including digital banking, helped Daniel make that happen in about four years. His willingness to embrace new ideas, says Carin, played a pivotal role, too.
“Besides being a concrete nerd, I’m a bit of a tech nerd,” says Daniel. “And that’s helped me grow.” Here, Daniel shares his top digital-first strategies.
Start by adopting a flexible mindset.
In 2018, when Daniel first began expanding into commercial concrete work, he needed to buy an extra excavator, but his old bank balked at his request. The machine was refurbished, not new, so it didn’t fit a traditional equipment loan. That didn’t stop Truist relationship manager Carin Schneller-Carr, who won his business by solving his need with a flexible line of credit and a commercial card. “When a client has a challenge that’s complex, it’s my job to make the solution clear and simple,” she says. “That’s true throughout the lifecycle of their business, whether they’re starting to grow or are growing even bigger.”
Flexibility in financing can also facilitate digital adoption, says Carin. A flexible line of credit can cover short-term cash flow needs, giving you access to capital during the time between invoicing and client payments. You can also use it to stock up on extra inventory when suppliers’ terms are favorable. And it can let you act quickly to cover unexpected purchases—say, if your 3D laser screed gets dropped in concrete and your next job starts tomorrow.
Seek to be a digital pioneer in your area.
O’Dorisio Carpentry and Concrete is the only commercial concrete company in the region using a 3D robotically controlled laser screed, which was first introduced in the industry in 1984.1 The machine uses a laser to scan an area and create a detailed map that shows even the smallest bumps and divots, as well as the angle or pitch of the ground. This allows the concrete to be poured at a different depth—millimeter by millimeter—resulting in a more precisely leveled floor.
That can improve safety and efficiency in buildings like warehouses, which are well-traveled by robotic and heavy equipment that may be sensitive to bumps and changes in grading. Investing in the 3D laser screed has enabled Daniel to win larger bids, save on labor costs, waste less material, and improve work speed while also improving accuracy.
Daniel’s improved access to working capital also helps him upgrade or replace equipment quickly when it becomes outdated or damaged. “The environment we work in is really hard on digital equipment,” he says. “We’re on our third 3D screed in 2 years!”
Digitize banking to speed the cash flow cycle.
When he was laying sidewalks for homeowners, it was a mostly cash business, so Daniel would get paid typically on a weekly basis, or whenever the job was done. Pouring the foundation for a multimillion-square-foot sports arena was a whole new ballgame. Daniel needed financing up front so he could secure the equipment before getting started on a big job—long before he’d see the payment from his customer.
Switching to Truist digital banking and treasury management services has allowed him to get real-time cash reporting from any digital device, wherever his day takes him. It’s also sped up his business cash flow cycle, thanks to automated deposits.
Daniel also likes that he can easily look at his financial data digitally when estimating timelines and costs for prospective project opportunities.
Bonus tip: Daniel advises keeping your trusted banker updated on big jobs you’re bidding, even if you haven’t won them yet. That’s made it easier for Carin to turn around financing requests quickly, so there’s not a big delay between getting the project contract signed and starting work.
“When you have the right technology and the right team, you can keep doing the work,” says Daniel. “And I love doing the work.”
How your business can get there
Daniel’s advice: Be curious and stay on top of industry trends, even if your competition isn’t exploring them yet. View digital transformation as a journey, not a one-and-done. “And find a banker who listens and doesn’t just throw out a lot of fancy words,” he adds. “If something’s a no, Carin tells me it’s a no. But she also tells me what we need to do to get to a yes. And that’s what we do next. I respect that and appreciate it very much.”