In the Loop: June 2023

Message from Adam

Bigger, Better… or Both?

2022 was a tremendous year for PDM with both Precast and Metals having a high-volume of work and doing it successfully consistently throughout the year. The year had us both get bigger and better at the same time, a difficult feat and something that took a lot of dedication from employee-owners throughout PDM. As we celebrate our ESOP with the share price reveal luncheons, I want to say thank you for 2022 one more time.

2023 is shaping up to be another good year but it will have a different set of challenges than 2022. As we have experienced recently, there are some ups and downs in the production levels at our facilities as the marketplace has been moving with a little more caution given the current economic outlook. With that said, there is still a lot of work to be done and I’m optimistic that we will be busy as we move to and through the second half of the year.

PDM’s rapid growth was a main subject at a recent management meeting where we discussed what we would like PDM to become over the next 10 years. Over PDM‘s history, and especially over the last few years PDM has grown dramatically and that has been a good thing. But the question is whether continued dramatic growth is what we’re looking for or whether we want to focus more on being better and more consistent with what we do and how we do it. The conclusion of this discussion was an agreement that moving forward we hope to grow more modestly, while focusing on being the best in our three business units, precast, metals, and glass. 

While we will always look for opportunities to grow, PDM‘s leadership focus will be on supporting the three existing business units to be the best that they can be, while trying to ensure that we can keep a relatively consistent production level in each facility. This is a challenging goal, but one that leads PDM to being the safest, highest quality version of itself while being a great place to work.


In our weekly meetings with leadership in both of our facilities, we discuss numerous challenges, goals, and issues that we face daily. These issues exist in every business and the question is; 

“How do you prioritize these and what is most important?”

At PDM, we have made a conscious decision to rank these issues in a very specific way, so that the most important issues can be addressed first.

That ranking is:

1. Safety 

While many things are necessary to make a business successful, none of that success means anything if an employee is seriously injured on the job. There is no amount of business success that is worth damaging an employee’s health; and ensuring that we do everything we can to promote a safe workplace is our top priority. When I say, “stay scared,” that is my way of reminding everyone that we work around potential dangers daily and both hourly employees and management need to be constantly diligent about ensuring our processes and actions promote safety at all times. We must constantly remind ourselves that the best practice is to anticipate a failure and to put yourself and others in positions to eliminate or at least minimize any risks. Fight becoming complacent in your tasks. Take your time and follow the process while using the right tools correctly. Ask for assistance whenever you feel uncomfortable. You are empowered to say no and ask for help!

2. Quality 

Delivering a quality product to our customers is next on the list. Without doing so, we won’t be in business for long as our customers will find a more reliable source for their products. So, while we’re always looking for ways to become more efficient, the first hurdle with any change that we make is whether that change will make us safer and improve the quality of our product. A cost-saving change that doesn’t accomplish either of those priorities will not be considered. 

3. Employee Happiness 

Leadership has talked a lot over the last two years about what we can do to constantly improve and maintain employee happiness. Much has been done physically (with new facilities) and culturally (food trucks, better communication, resource and capacity planning, and so on) to make our work environment better, and we will continue to look at ways to make PDM a desirable place for people to make their careers. I always enjoy hearing about referral bonuses being issued because that tells me that our employees believe that PDM is a place that they are comfortable recommending to family and friends. 

4. Everything Else 

There are many other important issues for the company, whether we are talking about schedule attainment, meeting our commitments or anything else, but my belief is that if we are meeting the challenge on safety, quality and employee happiness, all PDM employees will work together to meet all of these other goals and initiatives. 

Teamwork can and will accomplish a lot, especially when it is with a culture that promotes safety, quality and employee happiness.

– Luke


PDM is proud to provide structural steel and precast for Altorfer CAT’s new facility in Cedar Rapids. The 138,000 square foot project includes 225 pieces of precast totaling 79,000 square feet and 90 linear feet of precast columns, as well as 584 tons of structural steel in steel columns, beams, crane beams, and a mezzanine steel structure.

Support Your Community

Our committee has had a busy start to the year! As you can probably remember, folks that attended the PDM holiday party were asked to vote for the charities they wanted to donate from a group of five. 

The results were:

  • $3,000 to Dorothy’s House 
  • $2,000 to Food Bank of Iowa
  • $1,000 to Cover My 6 Iowa 
  • $500 to Chrysalis Foundation
  • $250 to B. Well Foundation

PDM also fulfilled 70 shoe requests from Brubaker Elementary.
We will hold the employee owner shoe drive in September!

PDM purchased a table at the Carlisle Dollars for Scholars fundraising event. It sounds like a good time was had by all that attended.  


Des Moines Area Community College Tour and Learn at Metals

Matt Crane, Jimmie Bridges, and the metals facility hosted a tour with current DMACC fabricator students on February 23rd. After a tour, each student (with all their welding gear) was assigned to one of our fabricators so that they could job-shadow with that person and ask any questions. PDM focuses time with tours like this and with job fairs to recruit new employees and show the community what PDM does. This was a great experience for the students and gave our fabricators a new experience as well.


Trevar Seibert

Position: Precast Bed Laborer
Year started at PDM: 2022

Q. What do you want to tell us about yourself?

A. I played hockey from age 5 to 22. I played on teams in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, and Canada.

Q. What is something about you that surprises people? 

A. I’ve lived in 5 different states.

Q. What do you do for funoutside of work? 

A. Disc golf and weightlifting.

Q. Favorite Food?

A. Bacon wrapped stuffed chicken!

Q. What are you most proud of?

A. I am most proud of my family and the people I surround myself with. I am proud of where I have come from and where I am now. 

Q. What would you like to doin the future? 

A. I would like to buy a home and go back to school (at night).


Bill Wiley

Position: Sr. Engineering Coordinator
Year started at PDM: IPC: 1995; PDM:2012

Q. What do you want to tell us about yourself? 

A. I have been drafting for over 40 years. Even if I could, I would not have made a different career choice.

Q. What do you do for fun outside of work? 

A. I like to cook and am always looking for new things to try. I also enjoy taking my hound dog JoJo to different parks. She likes to hunt all of Iowa’s big game…frogs, butterflies, grasshoppers, etc.!

Q. Favorite Food? 

A. Pretty much anything someone else makes for me.

Q. What are you most proud of? 

A. I have never appeared on America’s Most Wanted.

Q. What would you like to do in the future? 

A. Finish my tour of visiting all of Iowa’s state parks, and travel the full length of Route 66.


Vince Olmstead

Position: Welder, Finished Good Handler
Year started at PDM: 2021

Q. What do you want to tell us about yourself? 

A. I’m 59 and married to my wife Sue since 2008. Combined, we have 5 children and 7 grandchildren. I was born and raised by my mother here in the Des Moines 4-mile area of the northeast side.

Growing up without a father, my brother and I were pretty wild and put our mother through a lot of hell. Music was a big deal in our family, our mother encouraged it. My brother pursued a musical career while I decided to work for a living. I am a Metal Head.

Q. What is something about you that surprises people? 

A. Most people are surprised to learn that I am not a felon and that I am Mormon (RLDS).

Q. What do you do for fun outside of work? 

A. I love to ride although it isn’t as fun as it used to be because all those little kids on their big wheels and battery powered cars have grown up now and like to tailgate and blind you with super bright headlights.

I play guitar and drums when I have the time and like to build Rocket Stove heaters. I like to make what I need instead of buying it. I’m a “tinkerer.”

Q. Favorite Food? 

A. Tacos. I’ll also eat black beans and raviolis cold out of the can.

Q. What are you most proud of? 

A. I am most proud of my wife and my bike, not in that order sometimes. I am also proud of my Welsh heritage. My grandpa started working in the coal mines when he was 12. He died of Black Lung when I was 3.

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