Woodward Vogt, President of Paradigm Consultants, joins us to talk about testing for the commercial construction industry.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. TexasBusinessRadio.com is the Web site. We’re going to continue to talk about construction and construction industry here in Texas, a big part of the Texas economy. I’m your host Matt register. Jay Curry had to step out for a minute. But in the co-host chair is my business partner George Walden. George, what do you think?
George Walden: Well, I love to be in these sessions and I really am happy to be here today because I’m getting to introduce Woody Vogt. He’s the principal of Paradigm Consultants. Interesting group, you got to hear what they do.
Matt Register: Yeah. No. I love it. Very interesting group and some really smart engineers that assist the construction industry here in Texas. In the meantime guys, get your calls in. 844-814-8144 is our 24 hour call in line. 24 hours, that means call in now, call in later, call in at 3 o’clock in the morning. It doesn’t really matter to us. We’re going to get the experts on here to get those questions answered. In the meantime, Paradigm Consultants, their President, Woody Vogt. Woody welcome to the show sir.
Woody Vogt: Thank you.
Matt Register: Tell me a little bit about Paradigm Consultants. What do you do?
Woody Vogt: Paradigm is a engineering, inspection and testing firm. We do geotechnical engineering, which used to be called soil and foundation engineering.
Matt Register: Uh, huh.
Woody Vogt: And then we do construction testing, predominantly during the process of construction. We’re the guys that are out testing the concrete, testing the soil, testing the asphalt, testing and inspecting the steel and a lot of the other smaller components that go into building a building or a roadway or a levee or various types of construction.
Matt Register: Well, it’s one thing to build it but it’s another thing to build it safe. It’s another thing to build it where it’s going to work. And that’s where you guys come in to make sure that these, you know, you bring the engineering and the math behind making sure that these structures do exactly what it is they’re supposed to do. Correct?
Woody Vogt: Absolutely. All, all projects have a cookbook, plans and specifications. They are designed by and our job is to help make sure that nothing gets overlooked or nothing gets done improperly.
Matt Register: No.
George Walden: I notice you also do environmental engineering. Could you tell me a little bit about that?
Woody Vogt: We do that as a, as an adjunct to, the environmental business from the perspective of a firm like ours used to be a big component. But we’ve got a lot of the landfills and problem sites cleaned up. So it’s become a smaller part of ours. And normally we only do environmental work on projects that we’re providing a full range of services on. So we’ll, we’ll do the environmental work early on to ensure that the site is clean for the owner and then they proceed on with the construction.
Matt Register: Yeah. No doubt. Talk to me a little bit about some of the industries that you’re, you’re dealing in. Because this is a predominantly or all the way commercial construction you’re dealing with. Talk to me a little bit about some of the industry, some of the types of projects you’re doing.
Woody Vogt: Well, as I tell people every once in a while, concrete doesn’t really care what type of project it’s on. Concrete is used on roadways, so we work on roadways. It’s used in buildings, so we work on buildings. Steel, same thing. Earth, earth is used for dams and levees. A lot of the levees along the Brazos River that have been in the headlines lately, we’ve worked on similar projects. I don’t believe we’ve worked on any of those. So, anything that’s involved in construction we’re, we’ve got the capabilities of doing the testing. And it really doesn’t matter a whole lot what type of construction it is. Now, from the standpoint of type of construction, we do a lot of work for the local governments. For buildings and obviously roadways and infrastructure, water, sewage and drainage. For, from the commercial side, we do shopping centers, hospitals, clinics. We do a lot of work for school districts. In fact, we were talking earlier about the consequences of hurricane Harvey. We’re investigating a little slide that occurred on the stadium at Fort Bend ISD. So, almost any type of problem that relates to soils and their performance as a structure, we can get involved with. We work in the commercial sector. The, obviously the governmental, quasi governmental such as school districts and levee improvement districts and municipal utility districts. We can go the high rise buildings and plants.
Matt Register: So, pretty much everything is what we’re talking, you know, anything the use of concrete, anything that uses dirt in their construction. Anything using steel, you guys are going to have a hand in. One of the interesting things about your company that I found when we were talking during a break, is not only are you out there making sure that it’s built correctly, it’s built safely. But when things do go wrong, a significant part of your business is, is within the courts explaining what happened when something went wrong. Correct?
Woody Vogt: That’s correct. I mean obviously our, our wish is that everything goes perfectly. But we know that, I like to say construction and perfection don’t, are not synonymous. So, yes, things do go wrong, people make mistakes. It’s still very much a people business. So we do do a fair amount of looking at things that went wrong and trying to figure out why they went wrong and who is responsible. Occasionally, they unfortunately end up in the court system.
Matt Register: Sure.
Woody Vogt: And have to be resolved by a judge and jury.
Matt Register: Yeah. No doubt. George, you had a question?
George Walden: Well, I wanted to ask why should somebody use Paradigm and not someone else in the industry?
Woody Vogt: Well, it’s always a question of, tried to answer for 27 years and I’m still, still working on it. But we, we have a very loyal base of clients. I’ve got clients that I’ve worked with for, I think the oldest one is 35 years and it’s a good relationship. And I really like to work for people that understand our role in protecting them. I don’t know that I’d say we’re like an insurance salesman, we’re really not. We’re there to help ensure that your project goes as you wanted it to. But we, we have very talented, certified technicians that do the inspection and testing work. We’ve got very experienced, professional engineers that do the engineering work. So, if you want your job done cheap and quick, we’re probably not the best people to do it. Because we are very thorough and we want to make sure in the end that you’re satisfied and you’re getting your money’s worth.
Matt Register: Well one of the fascinating things about your company is not only the expertise and the smart engineers you have on staff but, but you have a, a very highly capable lab, you know, that you have in-house. So tell me a little bit about some of the capabilities of that lab because that sets you apart as much as anything. Right?
Woody Vogt: Well we, that’s, that’s right, we do. We’ve got a, in fact our lab is accredited to international standards, which I’m very partial to. To have that capability, that we’ve got an international, internationally accredited organization looking at our operations to make sure that our lab is doing all of the testing properly. And almost every test we do is done to a standard, so that whether we do the test or somebody down the street does that test, the result should be the same. If we’re accredited and they’re not, you have less assurance that their results are going to be accurate. And for example, if you go to your doctor and you get back some tests on your blood, you’d like to know that those are right. And the same applies to our laboratory, as we want to make sure it’s right.
Matt Register: Yeah, no doubt about that. We’re talking to Woody Vogt, who’s the President of Paradigm Consultants. These are the smart guys that come in and make sure that these big commercial construction projects are being done in a safe manner, they’re being done according to code, they’re being done according to the plans that were drawn up. Really smart guys, really capable company. Woody thank you very much for joining us.
Woody Vogt: Thank you.
Matt Register: Tell me a little, how can people learn more? What’s the Web site?
Woody Vogt: Paradigmconsultants.com.
Matt Register: Paradigmconsultants.com is the Web site. We’re going to have it linked right there from Texasbusinessradio.com, if you’re driving and don’t want to take notes. But very, very interesting company. Interesting show, we’re talking about construction. We’re talking about this huge part of the Texas economy that in the wake of Hurricane Harvey has been really put to the test to get everything rebuilt and back up and running. We got to go pay a couple of bills. We’ll be back right after this, don’t go anywhere.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.