When you think about innovation, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Here at Blacklidge, innovation means more than the latest technology or product. Innovation is woven into everything we do — from logistics and accounting to customer service and, of course, product development. 

As the company’s Chief Innovation Officer, it is my responsibility to ensure that we are constantly innovating in order to serve our customers better so they can build better roads. While our products are high quality and high performing now, we are continuously improving. We’re always trying to build on what we know and come up with new ideas. Creating stronger products is key to passing down efficiencies to our customers. While our R&D department is critical to this mission, it is not their duty alone. 

The way our products get delivered and get applied on the road are also extremely important. A few years ago, we implemented text message ordering, and everyone just loved it! So, how can we implement other efficiencies to make the process easier? 

Right now, we’re doing a lot of reflection and asking some hard questions. How can we empower our drivers to continue transporting our products safely while still exceeding daily customer demands? How can we make products in our plants faster without compromising quality or incurring additional costs? How can we be more accurate with our inventories? How can we streamline the billing process so that it’s efficient for all stakeholders? How can we continue to make zero on-the-job injuries a reality? These are just some of the scenarios I’m asking various departments to contemplate.

While innovation impacts our customers and employees, it also impacts our communities, taxpayers and anyone who drives down the road. We want to make better roads because it makes a difference in people’s lives. This is the measuring stick for our innovation — it must lead to the better road. 

As we continue to build a culture of innovation here at Blacklidge, I know we have a long road ahead of us. For us to be the most innovative company in our industry, we must move out of our comfort zones to brainstorm the next big idea. I will enjoy embarking on that journey with all of you.

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