Cart-Away is grounded in picks and shovels
When you think of the high tech world, ready-mixed concrete isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. The newest buzzwords in investment circles are buildtech and contech, which focuses on applying technology to construction and infrastructure development. These investments are like the modern day equivalent of a “Gold Rush”. Unlike technology, ready-mixed concrete production is the most grounded and basic part of the construction world. By scale, ready-mix consumption dwarfs technology sales in this space.
The words “picks and shovels” help to identify investments that are focused on the tools that create the opportunities for new technological development. When you visit the Apple earthquake proof headquarters you will learn that massive concrete slabs sandwich the base isolation system. This same concrete is the foundation of every building. When Apple engineers are developing the next iOS technology, they are secure knowing that a pick and shovel product like concrete provides them the space to create their magic.
Cart-Away is a pick and shovel opportunity that supports the critical needs of the built environment. Those who invest in the Cart-Away platform find that they are similar to the pick and shovel sales people during the great 1849 gold rush. During that gold rush not every would-be miner got rich, but if you sold picks and shovels you were golden. Not every Contech idea gets traction and succeeds, but Cart-Away has had a very high success rate for decades.
“During a gold rush it’s a good time to be in the pick and shovel business” (Mark Twain)
The pick and shovel investment strategy of Levi Stauss
This is a well-worn story of success. In 1853 a young Levi Stauss started a shop in San Francisco to sell supplies into the California gold fields. He discovered something other than gold as he saw that miners were in the shop daily for the tools to dig up pay dirt. Levi recognized opportunity in this marketplace and started purchasing the needed goods in mass. He traveled to the foothills and went from mining camp to mining camp selling these products directly to miners. He learned that using his supply chain was less risky than digging in the hillsides himself. It is from his successful move to a picks and shovels strategy that there is a company that is valued at $9 billion today.
“Essentially, the pick and shovel investment strategy involve finding a major trend taking shape — in Levi’s case, it was the California Gold Rush — and investing in the businesses that are essential to the supply chain of that trend. This could be any business selling key ancillary products, or services to industries that are taking part in the trend.” –Isaac Aydelman
Three steps to finding the winners in picks and shovels
It is really easy to look back and see that Levi made a great move, but how do we find the great opportunities of today? There are 3 steps to identifying the next supply chain success story.
- Identify the Trend – Those who watch trends know that the built environment and sustainability have been gaining steam. Those who are rushing to find opportunities in this space are clamoring to find the best places to dig. At the same time, government spending on improving our infrastructure has reached new heights. Whenever there is a big pot of money there are those who see it as the next Gold Rush. Cart-Away is a supply chain platform and a member of the concrete industry. Investments is ready-mixed concrete will support sustainable environments and will provide great revenues from the new “Federal pot of gold”, called the infrastructure bill.
- Learning Which Products Are Essential – Ready-mixed concrete is the most consumed product of the built environment and is the essential foundation of almost everything. Ready-mixed concrete demand is causing big supply chain issues, particularly in smaller volume projects. Cart-Away concrete is a proven necessity in the ready-mixed concrete delivery space.
- Identify Market Leaders – In the small construction space, Cart-Away is the leader for concrete delivery. With over 28-years of support to the short-load market, Cart-Away has established a network of over 400 locations. This leadership has yielded an 85% market share with few competitors. We are clearly the market leader with value of the Cart-Away network estimated at nearly $500 million.
With the recent downturn in technology investment strength, we should take a page from Levi’s playbook and find the picks and shovels platform to put our money behind. Cart-Away has grown in strength at every downturn in the US economy. During the Covid close-down Cart-Away’s sales doubled. During the 2008/2010 great recession, our locations profited from all of the moves to smaller concrete projects. Concrete will always remain essential and Cart-Away is essential for delivery to smaller projects.
Like the gold rush of the 1800’s there are several miners picking at the “Contech ground” in hopes of striking it big. Cart-Away is a powerful alternative to risk and is the picks and shovels investment for our time.