Bradley Bateman started off working for Dome Technology doing industrial construction on an international level. Through it all he’s maintained a special attitude of helping others progress in life. “As I’ve worked in industry from different levels,” says Bradley, “if I can help those around me improve themselves, I find that very fascinating. I want to spend time doing that with people”. That perspective helped him arrive at the position he is today- as CEO of Dome Technology.
Alan: Welcome back. I'm here today with Brad Bateman, he's the CEO of Dome Technology. Brad, welcome to today's show.
Bradley: Thank you, Alan. It's good to be with you.
Alan: For the listeners, before we get in to what exactly Dome does, I'd like to start with your background, your education, career, the life story that brought you where you are today.
Bradley: My history is probably similar to a lot of American's. It's a little bit of hard work and some luck. As a boy, I grew up on a dairy farm in Star Valley, Wyoming and there I learned to work really hard. In preparation to serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I needed to get a job to pay the bills, to pay for my mission. Prior to that, my father had just passed away, so I got a job working for Dome Technology as a laborer when I was 18 years old. They sent me around the world doing construction work, heavy rebar and concrete construction work. After that, I served a mission for the church, came back, got a civil engineering degree, masters in structures. Then I started working for a firm that did, again work for Dome Technology, but this time as a design engineer. I grew into that role and I lead the design team that worked on the projects all around the world. I would help negotiate those contracts with the customers and meet with their local design engineers to get the projects in place so they could be executed. Then, over time, I grew in to the role as CEO and I've been there ever since. It's been a wonderful experience.
Alan: Dome is in, what, 30 countries around the world?
Bradley: Yeah, we built in 35+ countries. We've had exposure in a lot of different environments and cultures.
Alan: What exactly does Dome Technologies do?
Bradley: We have a couple areas of emphasis that we spend our time in. Number one is our industrial bulk storage facilities, they are generally at port facilities or inland terminals. An example for one of these would be for bulk sugar. Sometimes people think they just get their sugar for their coffee and just pour it in their drink, but we built the facility to handle and store that sugar, very very large facilities. Or coal, or cement, or fly ash. Anything that's a dry product, powder or granular product, we can handle it and store that product. We built them for customers all over the world.
Alan: ***When you started with Dome, right out of school, tell me the process that Dome does when they put a structure up.
Bradley: It's a unique construction process, and that's probably where we are really different than a lot of other industrial builders. There's a ring foundation that we build, it's similar to other types of silo structures, but then we attach a fabric air form. It's a PVC membrane. It's bolted to the foundation, then we turn on some very large inflator fans that inflate this structure and it becomes the shape of the dome. Then the construction work is completed from the inside. They spray urethane foam and concrete. The concrete becomes the structure, the finished structure. The air form just makes the shape. After it's finished, you can place conveyor trusses on top to convey the material into the storage and tunnels are placed to remove the material from the inside. One of the advantages to that system is you can do work in the rain. If it's raining outside, you in an enclosed building. It's a nice environment to work.
Alan: It probably takes a lot less time to put structures up?
Bradley: Yeah, it does. The construction time is shorter and it's safer because you are in an enclosed environment outside of inclimate weather.
Alan: For the listeners who are maybe considering purchasing one of these domes, can you help them understand the type of client you seek?
Bradley: Generally, it's people who are going to own or operate a terminal that's going to handle really large products, really large quantity of products for bulk materials. For cement, for example, you want to have a cement terminal. You are going to want to bring cement in by train or truck and you want to sell it to other distribution centers. We would build a dome and facility to handle it. In addition to that, we have done work for the storm shelter initiatives in some of the different states to protect communities from tornado or hurricane events. There has been funding from the government that communities have applied for and we've gone in and built these structures so that when a tornado comes, the communities can use it as a safe room, a shelter. We've done that as a smaller aspect of our business, but we've been involved in that as well. That's a two-pronged approach to our business.
Alan: I'm visiting here today with Brad Bateman, he is the CEO of Dome Technologies. Brad, I need to take a quick break and we will be right back after these messages.
Alan: Welcome back, I'm visiting here today with Brad Bateman. He's the CEO of Dome Technologies. Brad, the first segment we were talking about what exactly Dome did with putting up structures, but I want to roll into this segment with your drivers in life. You came basically as a line worker and you moved all the way up to CEO. When it comes to getting to know Brad, what drives you?
Bradley: That's a really wonderful question, I had the same question asked to me by a gentleman in South Korea that was a client. I told him, and this is my answer, first and foremost is my faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, second is my family. Then third, I want to help people improve themselves. I try to keep those in that right order. As I've worked in industry from different levels, those around me, if I can help them improve themselves, I find that very fascinating. I want to spend time doing that with people. It's difficult to have the correct balance, right? Sometimes we work too much and our family suffers. I always try to keep that balance right. I would say that those are my three fundamental drivers in life that give me focus and direction.
Alan: It's hard in this busy world that we live in, and as technology increases, it seems to really shorten the turnaround time. How do you manage to balance life?
Bradley: It's difficult, no doubt. Technology has actually made it easier in some fashions. If you're out of town and you want to pray with your children, you can do it via facetime. I have found for myself that if you want to get stuff done there has to be a system and a process in place to manage. You can't be just a free for all. The engineering background in me helps me want to be more process-oriented. I'm quite systematic. If there seems to be a problem and things are falling apart, what's the system that can help refine the process so there's less waste of time? There is more efficient use of time inside my own personal life and also in the company. Balancing that is difficult, but I've found ways to implement systems in my own life to keep track of, for example, your email inbox can be a to do list, or it can be a big mess. For me, if there's less email, the better because it's been removed. Systems to keep track of things that need to be done are very important in this busy life.
Alan: Brad, when you are coming back to this generation today, how do you advise someone just coming out of school what to look for? If you were mentoring an individual getting ready to start a business, what advice would you have for them?
Bradley: I think a couple points of advice; number one, keep the balance. Have them defined in your life. What are the most important things? Second, be willing to work hard. Hard work is going to drive success and will drive success. Hard work can throw you out of balance, as we know in this difficult world we live in. As you're focused on the important things, especially family, and for me, my faith, hardwork in the professional world, you can accomplish amazing things. Very amazing things. If you are driven and focused in the right direction, but don't lose balance of the most important things.
Alan: You know, as we roll back to where we are today with the economy, do you find business is speeding up, slowing down? Where are you at with the company growth?
Bradley: Yeah, domestically, we felt the increase come back in the US. Luckily, we've been in the international markets and so that's helped us hedge against you will you it's against some of the domestic challenges that we faced. And so when there was trouble in the in the U. S. we had projects in Asia or Europe or South America. But it's feels like that things are turning around especially domestically it does feel like it.
Alan: I'm visiting here today with Brad Bateman, he's the CEO of Dome Technology, Brad I need to take a quick break, we'll be right back after these messages.
Alan: Welcome back I'm visiting here today with Brad Bateman he's the CEO of Dome Technology. And Brad in the earlier segment for talking about Dome's model, also we touched base on some of the things that brought you to where you are today and in this segment I want to go back through attributes. One of the things on American Dreams that we strive for is it really helping to give a perspective that nothing's forever in life. We're on a timeline and as we move through it, we're learning. So when you think about attributes that have brought you to where you are today, what would you say some of the greatest attributes are?
Bradley: I think I think maintaining your principles is really key. And and some of those principles for me are honor, respect, kindness...and people respond to it. And I think that's helped shaped me. For example I have done quite a bit of work in Asia and over there I've spent time with people and a lot of times they'll say, well you shouldn't talk to that individual on the job site because they're lower class citizen than you. And I'll always say, that man is my brother and I will always treat him with respect regardless of his economic situation. And I found that as I've stood on that principle that people have responded, my counterparts in different countries responded in kind, well if this man this businessman from America can treat this individual with respect, so can I. And so standing on our principles- I've listed a few, I think have really helped me shape my life and my business business profession.
Alan: Okay so when you look at all the years of experiences that you've gone through, what is the one thing that you learned over the years that you wish you knew when you're just starting out?
Bradley: I wish I would have known that things aren't always as bad as they seem. You get in there and you have a problem that's come up and you're like- this is really bad, how we going to work through this? It's best just to sit back and say we'll survive another day or we can work through this difficult challenge. It's not really as bad as it seems and then when you think that way, you make decisions more appropriately, you don't make a hasty decision. And if somebody would have told me that when I first started. I would have been a lot less stressed in life. In some form of fashion it's gonna work out.
Alan: What do you think about faith and moving forward with faith into levels of uncertainty, how do you deal with that?
Bradley: Yeah my faith is fundamental to my work. and I think it's goo to test the waters especially professionally and see where we move into this new market of this new country? But I'm convinced and I do know that God is in control of all things, and as we exercise our faith in something new, if it's gonna bless the lives of people that we work with he's gonna help us. And so I leverage that on a day to day basis, I look for ways to exercise that faith because I know he's gonna help us and he has.
Alan: It's interesting, the fact that we have so many cultures around the world and the way they do things in different countries are not always the same. How do you acclimate for that, or make adjustments when you're with different cultures.
Bradley: Yeah if I found that it's sometimes that is humor often the best medicine and I'll even tease the people that I work with that the white board is the universal translator. So I use it to draw pictures and to communicate that way, but oftentimes, culturally I'll meet with groups of people that for a business meeting and they want to drink some type of liquor for example or hard alcohol and I'll say, what can I drink as a substitute. And they're very accustomed to it now, and so when they go to drink hard liquor they bring me a sprite or something that nature and so I found often times if you treat the culture with respect and explain your own beliefs or understandings, there's always middle ground, regardless of faith religion or experience. There's always middle ground. And what I've honestly found most of it is is when we recognize each other as brothers or sisters, and communicate that to people of no faith and they'll say, 'You are my brother we are brothers right' and that's a very common foundation that I've built on, in countries all over the world, we build upon that foundation
Alan: You know it's interesting, when you think about it like that, there suddenly becomes a different type of connection.
Bradley: Right, yeah it's not just a business transaction, it's more like, we are brothers and we can work through difficult things and this will be a good relationship if we let it.
Alan: So when you're doing something in a foreign country- I'm just curious here with Dome Technology, do you bring the big bags to the other countries and blow them up or do you do everything on site?
Bradley: We do, that's the only thing that we'll import, the air former, we bring it and ship it and then we buy the concrete local and we use local labor, ribar is local, we try to use as much local support as we can.
Alan: You know you mentioned before that that you are a lot of dry storage containers, but you also touched a little bit on FEMA, do you see that the growing, the disaster, the doomsday?
Bradley: I do and what we provided are community shelters that have had tornado issues you know, so we're really not servicing the doomsday market if you will, but the communities that are worried about where to go when a tornado comes, where their school kids go when a tornado comes, we've built a lot of facilities in Texas, Florida and Alabama. And for us that's a neat thing, if we can protect families and families lives during a difficult time, it's been a really neat thing for us.
Alan: So I want to touch on defining success in life, how would you define a successful life?
Bradley: Yeah I think I could say my life would be successful if my children love me as a father and I was true to my principles of my faith. Outside of being driven professionally in wanting to drive the business. I think that's important but that the most important thing really is my faith and my family. So if those two things are in balance, I've been a successful person.
Alan: And then if you could be remembered for just one thing in life. What would that be?
Bradley: As a dad, a good dad. I think that'd be it.
Alan: Simply put. Well Brad, I appreciate you being here on today's show and been visiting with Brad Bateman, he's the CEO of Dome Technology and for the listeners, if somebody wants to contact Dome, how would they go about doing that?
Bradley: Yeah the best way to do it is through our website it's www.DomeTechnology.com.
Alan: And you'll go anywhere for the construction?
Bradley: Yeah anywhere in the world.
Alan: Alright so that Brad, thanks for being on today's show.
Bradley: Thank you
Alan: We'll be right back after these messages.