Gorham, ME, October 23, 2017 —- Advanced Concepts & Engineering, or ACE, a company that offers automated solutions to the aggregate industry, continues to grow by leaps and bounds in the geotechnical world.
Joel Costonis, ACE’s Founder and President, has earned himself the nick name “the problem solver.”
Solving quality control issues and guiding his company by a few major directives, he has experienced growth far beyond anticipation.
“ACE started with the call to bring an efficiency to the aggregate quality control world. First we planned the ACE Auto-Grade. We did our development, test marketing, etc. and that product is now in full production. Then we started looking at automating gravity, density and other testing procedures and the ACE Auto-Grav was born. It’s simply amazing to me that we have a waiting list on this product which will start deliveries mid 2018.
“Now, beyond those products we have the ACE Slumper offering the Slump test in 4 minutes under full automation with 100% repeatability and self cleaning; the ACE H-Cap Scale, a high capacity scale with test guidance and operation; the ACE Atteberger, executing the PL and LL under full automation in approximately 30 minutes; the ACE Auto-Proctor, completing Proctor testing in full automation with 100% repeatability. Further, we have geotechnical services we offer in a mounted format with ACE trained technicians.
“Last quarter 2017, ACE AGGSource will go live. ACE AGGSource is a trading platform that will allow aggregate users, producers and contractors all over the world to search, view QC info, produce and transact while eliminating the countless hours required when sourcing aggregates.”
When asked about his forte; raw aggregate, hot mix or ready mix, Costonis simply states “…my true forte is listening to what the industry wants. My formal education is with finite focus on the asphalt industry, but I make it a point to be as up-to-date as I can on all of the testing procedures.”
ACE has received considerable recognition in the industry in a very short time, had growth that could not have been projected and “…has been embraced by a community that has been looking for solutions for ages,” Costonis says. When questioned about the still infant life cycle of ACE, one cant help but notice that while indeed Costonis does things his way, and likes things in certain order, his go to response is contrary to what most would expect, “I can only say that this has been a very humbling experience.”
He goes on to say, “Don’t get me wrong, it has been a very long time coming but it still amazes me that we are where we are. My father, Dr. Anthony Costonis [a former M.E. Rinker Distinguished Lecturer] used to tell me when I was younger that one is only as good as those they surround themselves with. As a young person that statement is usually misunderstood or not truly comprehended. Let me tell you this. Every day I go to work, I realize that I am surrounded by a dream team and nothing is unreachable. My engineers, Tom Goullete and Bruce Bushey are magnificent and deliver daily. My Executive Assistant, Ms. Shelley Clapp, is absolutely irreplaceable. My Operations Manager, Jonathan Sprague is definitely my right arm in the evolution of ACE.”
ACE’s evolution is quite a story board to follow. The summary statements have turned many investors’ attention to ACE. In ACE’s first full calendar year of operation the anticipated revenues are likely to exceed $20M, Gross Margins exceed 40% with bottom line earnings exceeding 27%. In the last 4 short months, ACE has doubled the size of their headquarters in Maine and has also set up a second location in Baton Rouge LA.
When asked about the growth of the company, Costonis states “…the growth that we are experiencing is driven by two things, knowledge and ability. My team and I are committed to listening. It’s easy to hear what a client company says, but when you listen – I mean truly listen – and you act on what you say you will, it’s a like holding a royal flush before the river card drops. There are two words that ACE doesn’t use; ‘can’t’ and ‘won’t’. We don’t use those words, because we ‘can’ and ‘will’.”
ACE’s determination to solve the needs of the industry have postured the company to work with some of the largest companies in the world; both by providing services and products. Among ACE’s many products that remove the human error element, ACE also provides mobile geotechnical services.
“When I think of the direction ACE is going, I am often found making reference to the late Dr. J. Don Brock. His son, Ben Brock President & CEO of Astec Industries, has quoted his father’s guiding statements of ‘do good work and take care of the customer.’ It doesn’t get purer than that does it?”
While Costonis shares his regret of never having “the true opportunity to meet Dr. Brock” he does mention that he has had that opportunity with Ben Brock. “I met with Ben some time ago discussing the ACE Auto-Grade. He is a true gentleman and was instrumental in getting the ACE Auto-Grade in the hands of an important client that actually takes delivery here in a short time. I was taken back by the fact that he is a very welcoming and genuine individual. He had no requirement to meet with me and welcomed me to the Executive Board Room with no reservation. That speaks volumes of the man.”
At present, ACE has a waiting list on their products, a healthy back log, and has secured contracts that are many years long of geotechnical service that they will be providing the south-central U.S. as QC Program Manager.
It seems to the observer that Costonis, his staff, and all those on the inner circle of Advanced Concepts & Engineering just might have the Midas Touch. A global company working with ACE, when talking about ACE’s new products, has been quoted as stating “..this .will take ACE to whole new arena in the Geotechnical Engineering Materials Testing World.”
Delivering a seemingly perfect blend of proprietary products, services and solutions ACE’s future will only benefit its clients, the industry and its investors.
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