Formed with Focus
Milis Flatwork raises professional bar to deliver quality finish
Slabs-on-grade, massive feed pads and industrial floors might look like simple concrete systems to most, but for Dylan Milis, these vital pieces of infrastructure represent a mission statement, a roadmap to demonstrate workmanship at its finest—no matter the end use.
Founded in 2012 by Dylan, Milis Flatwork, a Wisconsin-based concrete construction company, specializes in agricultural, industrial and commercial projects, constructing surfaces that range from feed pads and waste storage facilities to distribution centers and parking lots as well as all aspects of concrete construction from foundations to roofs.
The company performs work primarily in Wisconsin and the Midwest; however, its owner and founder has an eye on expansion through a combination of skilled crews, technology and a structured plan for career advancement that keeps his people at the top of their game.
Engineering a New Future
Dylan did not start out wanting to be a concrete professional—though he did work for a local concrete contractor pouring garage slabs and patios and sidewalks while in high school and college. His goal was to be an engineer.
Following high school, he earned a degree in civil engineering with an emphasis in transportation. He worked closely with general contractors and specialty contractors on city and street projects.
During this time, the owner of a local agriculture farm mentioned that his concrete contractor backed out of a job to pour a 20,000-square-foot pad. Dylan took it as a sign. He told the owner that he could do it, called some friends and took on the job.
That job rolled into a few more and, not long after, Milis Flatwork was formed—though Dylan has not left his engineering expertise behind. “I believe my experience as an engineer strengthens my ability to communicate solutions for owners, general contractors and subcontractors,” he adds.
Milis Flatwork quickly gained a strong reputation in the agriculture market of Wisconsin, taking on concrete jobs for dairy, poultry, goat and other farm projects.
He says that one of the biggest reasons the company has grown is the final work product. “As a young engineer, I also performed inspections for concrete companies. I noticed that in many cases, the contractors weren’t pouring with care, particularly on agriculture jobs. The assumption was that the cows won’t care and nobody is going to see it,” Dylan explains. “That perception is wrong, and I hold myself and my crews to higher standards, tighter tolerances and superior finishes.”
Along with a skilled team, Dylan strives to give his crews the best possible productivity tools in the field—tools that range from laser screeds to 3D systems and total stations.
He notes, “3D systems and laser screeds give us a decisive edge in terms of quality, from more accurate designs and field layout to improved productivity on a job. Bottom line, the combination of our skilled crews and good equipment delivers flatter floors.”
With that mindset, Milis Flatwork crews have built credibility in the agriculture and commercial market segments as fast and on time, and capable of achieving high-quality results.
Just recently, Dylan’s crew poured 10,000 yards of concrete for Johnsonville, LLC, the sausage and brat company in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. The entire pour was completed in two weeks with a medium broom finish for skid resistance.
Dylan recalls, “Every pour was over an acre of concrete, with the largest pour requiring the placement of 83,000 square feet and 2,075 yards in nine hours with Somero Enterprises, Inc.’s Somero S-22EZ Advanced Laser Screed equipped with a 3D profiler system. We ran multiple crews to complete pouring, sawcutting and sealing.”
“3D systems and laser screeds give us a decisive edge in terms of quality from more accurate designs and field layout to improved productivity on a job.” Dylan Milis, Founder and Owner, Milis Flatwork
One of the projects Dylan and his team are particularly proud of is the Veritiv distribution center for Veritiv Corporation in Appleton, Wisconsin. The project scope included a 200,000-square-foot interior floor with a floor flatness (FF) requirement of FF50 and floor levelness (FL) requirement of FL35. The project also included another 200,000 square feet of exterior paving. The crew again used the Somero S-22EZ Advanced Laser Screed to help place the floor and assist with delivering a highly flat surface, while an operator using a power trowel machine delivered a smooth, hard trowel finish. The Milis team far outperformed the owner’s requirements, achieving FF91 and FL84.
Other concrete flatwork customers range from supermarket and grocery stores to airports, hospitals and foundries.
Milis Flatwork’s emphasis on quality and efficiency has been recognized by the concrete industry multiple times, including five Wisconsin Ready Mixed Concrete Association (WRMCA) awards in the last two years. Just recently, the company received the 2018 WRMCA Concrete Design Award for its work on the Spring Breeze Dairy farm in Bryant, Wisconsin, where crews poured and finished a 625,000-square-foot waste storage facility. The company won the 2017 WRMCA Concrete Design Award for its work on a 470,000-square-foot goat facility for the Drumlin Dairy in Brothertown, Wisconsin. The firm was also a WRMCA Design of the Year Award Nominee for an 80,000-square-foot parking lot for DSD Transport LLC in Denmark, Wisconsin. In addition, the firm won a WRMCA award for the parking lot overlay at Hand to Shoulder Center of Wisconsin in Appleton. This 80,000-square-foot parking lot was poured in two days without disturbing the flow of medical staff and patients at a doctor’s office.
Behind all of these projects is a group of professionals dedicated to delivering a quality finish with efficiency.
Structured for Growth
Now in its eighth year of operation, Milis Flatwork has built a strong name for itself in terms of quality and efficiency throughout the agricultural, commercial and industrial markets in the area.
“I believe the difference between us and our competition is our crews,” Dylan says. “They’re very skilled finishers. Concrete is a team sport and the better we can develop the skills of our team members, the better we perform together.”
In Dylan’s mind, maintaining that edge requires continuous improvement. That’s why he’s developed educational “tracks” and a structured continuing education program to provide a path for growth. He adds, “I take great pride in having highly skilled crew members, and we want to see everyone advance their career to the next level. Many on my team are looking to improve, and I can show them how.”
He’s pulled together industry resources from associations and manufacturers to get his employees the hands-on training and certifications they need to succeed.
Dylan concludes, “Pouring concrete can be hard work. My goal is to provide opportunity for growth for all my team, which in turn improves our quality and services. Our mission is to be the industry leader in concrete construction and give our customers the best possible product.”