“Build Back Better”
Restrictions Are Loosening
Cash Flow Still a Critical Factor
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. Their special guests included Danny Kerr, managing partner of Breakthrough Academy and Adam Mazella, executive vice president of Sheffield Metals.
Highlights from Frank Stasiowski, METALCON Co-Founder and CEO
- The week’s biggest news: States have begun loosening restrictions but it’s important to monitor since it’s different for each state and even for certain cities/towns within each state differ; see below for image of map showing what states have “re-opened” as of Wednesday, 4/29 (updated map will be shared during this week’s event).
- Highlighted other news from around the nation including Simon Properties announcing the re-opening of 40 shopping malls but leaving it up to individual stores to decide and will require comprehensive opening plans dealing with the safety of employees and customers; Gilead Sciences reporting positive results about a drug they are testing to treat COVID-19; and stock market seeing better gains, including up 600 points the morning of our 4/29 event.
- In Frank’s book, IMPACT 2030, he predicted an economic set back in the early 2020s, followed by a boom with “unfettered innovation” including innovation in technology and also in management and marketing processes.
Highlights from Rob Haddock, CEO and Founder of S-5! Metal Roof Innovations
- Taking advantage of this time to “re-invent” how S-5! is doing business in three key areas including manufacturing, sales/marketing and communication.
- The way in which restrictions are loosening requires a “broad legislative perspective,” given how it varies from place to place and is happening faster than expected.
- Monitoring a publication called “ConstructConnect” for up-to-date information on delayed projects, construction activity reports and reports on how the construction industry is faring in both the U.S. and Canada (updated daily); keeping an eye on projects posted to bid for public and private and projects moving forward with or without a pre-bid meeting.
- Described safety measures put in place at S-5!’s plant and pleased to report so far, none of his 75 plant workers have tested positive for the virus.
- Corporate office scheduled to reopen this week.
- As for Rob’s overall outlook at the situation, he shared his personal perspective “purist at heart, pragmatist by nature.” He quoted Einstein by saying, “in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity,” and feels, “they will be a better company than before the crisis.”
- When asked how they are “re-inventing,” he offered the following examples of steps they are taking: stepping up the process to redo their CRM systems, revamping their website, and introducing methods of automation on the manufacturing side.
Special guest Danny Kerr, managing partner with Breakthrough Academy, a company made to help entrepreneurs in the trades grow a company’s profitability, while taking back control of their time. Having been a general session speaker at several METALCON shows, Danny shared his perspectives along with some practical strategies a business can take during the current situation:
- Offered general message that recessions happen every 5-10 years so while certain systems should be “timeless,” others should be nimble.
- Sales processes are getting revamped, including the use of digital tools with long-term implications vs. temporary usage.
- Suggested being “hyper aware right now about cash flow.”
- Used the metaphor, “This is like a pit-stop in the Indy 500 Race” — time to change the tires and replace the oil; you have the opportunity right now to “build out the future of a company by focusing on training right now.”
- Currently consulting with clients on their short and long-term business and sales strategies, and assisting them with their training programs.
Special guest and long-standing exhibitor at METALCON’s annual event, Adam Mazzella is the executive vice president of Sheffield Metals International, a leader in the distribution of coated and bare metal products, as well as engineered standing seam metal roof and wall systems. Adam shared the following:
- Sheffield deemed “essential” in all of their five locations across U.S.
- Pivoted quickly at the start of crisis and number one priority was the protection of their employees and customers.
- Took steps to push CRM forward with in-house training.
- On the supply side, this is usually their time of year to ramp up so they have seen that demand drop.
- “Cash is king” – they are working closely with vendors regarding payments and cashflow.
- No disruptions in supply chain.
- Received a PPP loan so now the real work begins to organize it correctly so loan can be forgiven.
- Company is offering continuing education courses for design professionals, including AIA CES Nano Courses (15 minutes each) or a one-hour option; both options earn AIA credits from the comfort of your home.
LIVE questions from participants … REAL TIME!
- Can you use more than 75% of PPP loan for payroll? Yes
- What innovations are you currently using or can recommend? Frank shared he is seeing radio and TV ads constantly from a local company, Eastern Metal Roofing, for their virtual roofing estimating product and also mentioned building inspections are being conducted remotely. Adam suggested, “If you are inspecting roofs or windows, you can do it with technology to maintain social distancing.” And Danny recommended companies like “Hover” or “Company Cam” for 3D renderings, all conducted with an iPhone; he also suggested an app called “Slack” as a good team communication channel.
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? 47% report more, 44% same and 10% reporting less
PQ #2: Are you actively taking steps to do things differently coming out of the crisis? 91% replied yes; 9% no
PQ #3: Will you grow even faster coming out of this? 60% yes; 40% no
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 May 6 at 1:00 pm EST.
Want answers on how to “re-open” your business? Download Frank’s Handout: “38 Questions to Ask-and Answer-When Designing Your Reopening Plan.”
Download Danny Kerr’s “Playbook” – https://www.btacademy.com/download2020/ – Use Code: MC0429
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.