The Fricks Company

When large companies in the food industry need a new concrete floor for their facilities, they often look to The Fricks Company. The Fort Worth, Texas-based contractor specializes in installing floor systems for warehouses, distribution centers and food production and processing facilities across North America. 

“Customers in the food industry need a floor that is very durable,” says Terry Fricks, who founded the company in 1979. “Over the years, we have consolidated our techniques to produce flat and durable floors.”

One of the company’s major clients is Aldi Foods, which has hired The Fricks Company to install floors at several of its distribution centers as well as several retail locations. “Aldi has very high standards, and we’re proud we can meet those standards,” Fricks says.

A positive reputation among its food industry customers has kept The Fricks Company busy despite the national economic downturn. “In recent years we’ve gained a larger percentage of the market share,” Fricks says. “The recent downturn in the economy doesn’t seem to have impacted our customers as much as other industries.”

“Our volume has fallen off a little, but we’re still making money, we still have a healthy backlog, and we haven’t had to lay people off,” he adds.

Meeting Needs

One of the company’s specialties is the FSC Advantage Floor, a shrinkage-compensating concrete floor made with an expansive cement that allows installers to eliminate control joints and minimize cracks. The durable floor is able to withstand excessive forklift traffic which makes it a high demand floor system in the food and drink industry, the company says. 

All of the materials used in the company’s floors are tested in an in-house laboratory, and the company works closely with clients to get a sense of their individual needs before starting a project. “Our quality is more consistent than many of our competitors,’” Fricks says. “We try to get a feel for what the owner’s expectations are and exceed their expectations.”

The company remains actively involved with each of its projects throughout construction, and handles its own preconstruction and supply procurement.

“I learned from my father and passed on to my sons that anything that’s worth doing is worth doing right, so we always strive to do the best we can,” Fricks says. “Our goal is not to the biggest, but the best, and I think we’ve achieved that.”

Business Shift

When Fricks started the company in 1979, it placed concrete floors for many types of buildings including warehouses and office buildings. A major shift in the company’s client base came in the mid-1980s, when it was hired by the Keebler Company to  install a warehouse floor, Fricks says.

Keebler’s job required a very narrow aisle (VNA) specialty floor, a new concept at the time. The floor has 10-foot-wide aisles that allow one-way movement for forklifts, giving warehouses the ability to stack products as high as 42 feet as opposed to the standard 24 feet, Fricks says.

A consultant hired by the cookie makers showed The Fricks Company how to install the floor. “The consultant said we had the best finishing technique of anyone he had ever seen, and we should market that,” he adds. “I took his advice and did just that.”

During an economic downturn in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in the mid-1980s, Fricks chose to enter the more specialized food industry flooring market instead of general business. “I wanted to target the food industry, because everyone has to eat, and I thought it was more stable and didn’t want to be tied to any local economy,” he says.

The Fricks Company’s capability to install VNA floors brought it a number of customers after the change, and it remains a small part of the company’s business today. “That was a springboard to get us into the national market, because we were one of a only a few players that could place [VNA] floors,” Fricks adds.

In The Family

The Fricks Company remains family owned more than 30 years into its history. Terry Fricks retired earlier this year, leaving the company to his sons Greg and Brad, now the owners. 

Greg Fricks, the company’s president, has been in the family business for 20 years and Brad Fricks, the company’s vice president, has been in the family business for 16 years. “The next generation is doing fine,” Terry Fricks says.

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