Digital engagement here to stay
Most anticipate “new normal” to resume in 60 days
Crisis will create new business opportunities
It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since METALCONLive! first launched. We can’t thank you enough for your support and participation. METALCON Co-Founder and CEO, Frank A. Stasiowski, FAIA, in partnership with the Metal Construction Association and Rob Haddock, CEO and Founder of S-5! Metal Roof Innovations, led last week’s robust discussion addressing current challenges and workarounds to the current coronavirus crisis. Joining them for this lively discussion were special guests Heidi J. Ellsworth, partner with RoofersCoﬀeeShop® and owner of HJE Consulting and Scott Hutchings, sales director of U.S. Construction with SFS.
Highlights from Frank Stasiowski, METALCON Co-Founder and CEO
- Discussed the PPP Loan and reminded participants if you qualify and/or receive money, 75% of the money must be used for payroll over an 8 week period or the loan must be paid back in full with interest.
- Commented on a call with some of the largest international engineering firms: overall they expressed optimism; most reported having a positive cash flow; they are seeing greater productivity since staff are working from home; no furloughs and getting a steady number of requests for proposals.
- Stressed how important “optics” are right now; “know that what you do right now impacts internal and external customers;” how you position your message right now is important for your employees, marketplace and customers.
- Shared a map of the United States showing current status of which states are open for construction. (Source: Engineering News-Record)
Highlights from Rob Haddock, CEO and Founder of S-5! Metal Roof Innovations
- Seeing an “uptick” in optimism based on seeing an increase this past week in “inbound orders.”
- S-5! continues to stay on course with its scenario planning outlined over the past several weeks and not having to make any serious adjustments at this time.
- Sees “lack of testing” as being an issue with some states planning to “reopen” and suggests proceed with caution; anticipates “public carelessness” might become an issue.
- Still rests with original prediction of late May for “re-opening,” although “construction economy” may be a week or two prior to then.
- Closing comments included, “Don’t be a victim — use this unique opportunity to re-invent and re-direct.”
METALCONLive! welcomed back special guest Heidi J. Ellsworth, partner with RoofersCoﬀeeShop® and owner of HJE Consulting, to the discussion, having joined us in week two of the town hall. She shared the following insights from the roofing industry:
- Still seeing similar progress with roofing industry as we were seeing two weeks ago.
- Roofers considered “essential” even in states where construction has been halted.
- Roofing contractors and manufacturers staying busy with re-roof and restoration projects.
- New construction projects are slower.
- Gigantic leap forward in the use of technology with roofing contractors; e.g. TAMKO is providing a “visualizer” to customers to visually show what a new roof would look like and do a full bid without even stepping into the home and EagleView is able to measure roofs using sophisticated aerial technology.
- RoofersCoffeeShop reporting higher numbers in April, which indicates the industry is tapping the available digital resources during this time proving “if you don’t jump into technology, you’ll be left behind.”
Special guest Scott Hutchings, sales director, U.S. Construction with SFS, a worldwide leading supplier of mechanical fastening systems and precision components, shared the following status of his company along with his observations of the current supply chain:
- Saw a strong 1st quarter but 2nd quarter is showing a slow-down.
- SFS’ plant is operating at normal capacities and has actually hired new employees recently vs. letting anyone go.
- Looking ahead at June as a possible date for sales travel to restart.
- Seeing an opportunity for growth and “expecting to do 12 months of business in 10 months in 2020.”
- Sees an increase in new business coming on line to meet future market demands.
- 60-70% of its core products are coming from overseas and processed here in the U.S.; SFS doesn’t see this changing.
LIVE questions from participants … REAL TIME!
- If you are just getting started with using technology, what are the best steps? All speakers offered the following advice: 1) Talk to metal manufacturers and distributors regarding their technology packages. 2) Check resource sites for already vetted information (i.e. RoofersCoffeeShop, METALCON, MCA, etc.). and 3) Be sure you are using technology that matches your business needs.
- Do you think digital engagement will change when more people return to work? Rob and Heidi firmly believe a heightened digital engagement will be part of the “new norm” and become a robust means of communicating messages going forward.
- What will be the impact of the “Infrastructure Bill” if it passes? Scott “sees it as a positive impact and believes this development as fundamental.” Heidi is very optimistic about it and commended the “NRCA/ROOFPAC lobby group for the tremendous work they’ve done on the bill over the past several years.”
POLLING QUESTIONS (questions asked “live” during the course of the event to get a “pulse” of the industry from week to week)
PQ #1: Compared to last week, are you more, less or same optimistic? 55% report more with about 7% reporting less; compared to last week when 32% reported more optimistic and 15% reported less optimistic so these numbers seem to be moving in a positive direction.
PQ #2: How many of you have received PPP money? 79% replied no with about 21% saying yes. Number continues to move in the right direction with more people receiving monies.
PQ #3: Do you have the technology tools required to adapt to new/virtual sales methods? 78% yes; 13% no; 13% no, but planning to buy.
PQ #4: Will this crisis create more business opportunity in the U.S. supply chain?
- 63% responded YES – additional new companies will be started
- 66% responded YES – existing competition will invest more
- 11% responded NO
PQ #5: When do you think we’ll be back to “normal” business?
- Already there/we’re busy – 0
- 30 days – 8%
- 60 days – 43%
- 90 days – 25%
- 120+ days – 25%
“Crystal ball” predictions from the speakers
As it relates to the U.S. loosening restrictions, all speakers agreed it will most likely be more of a “rolling” opening with the impact depending on the different market sectors.
For more information about Rob Haddock, check out his recent articles: “Accept the Things You Cannot Change” in Modern Metals Magazine and “Seize The Opportunity Presented By These Uncertain Times” in DesignandBuildwithMetal.com.
Click HERE for a list of S-5!’s upcoming FREE Webinars; the next one is scheduled for April 29.
Want answers on how to “re-open” your business? Download Frank’s Handout: “38 Questions to Ask-and Answer-When Designing Your Reopening Plan.”
Join RoofersCoffeeShop® every Thursday morning (6 a.m. Pacific), for their weekly “Coffee Conversations.” The team at RCS video chats with the roofing industry and leading professionals in a Q&A format.
Planning is in full swing for METALCON, scheduled for October 21-23 in Las Vegas, and we are excited to announce brand new programs including the “Architect’s Experience” and “Women Connect.” PRE-REGISTER now to be the first to know when registration officially opens next month.