Global Perspective of Crisis
Shortage of Residential Metal Roofing Contractors
Metal is Changing Perception in Residential & Commercial Design & Usage
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, continued the focus of “Build Back Better” with special guests Ken Gieske of McElroy Metals and Ray Smith of Australia-based AppliCad Software. Read on for important take-aways from last week’s discussion and REGISTER today for this week’s METALCONLive! as we welcome expert specification writer and architect, Mark Kalin of Kalin Associates Specifications.
Highlights from Frank Stasiowski, METALCON Co-Founder and CEO
- Current news is focused on states and businesses re-opening. While there are still areas of the country slower to open than others, loosened restrictions are sweeping across the U.S.
- As a result of conversations Frank has had with design professionals across the country, companies need to reopen with a “written plan” so they can be held accountable to employees.
- As businesses begin to reopen, a new concern about HVAC systems and the spread of the virus has risen. (Check ASHRAE’s website for the latest information).
- An Infrastructure Bill is still a possibility but we won’t know more until the end of May.
- CBRE announced their projections for a stronger 3rd quarter and an even stronger 4th quarter.
Highlights from Rob Haddock, CEO and Founder of S-5! Metal Roof Innovations
- AGC (Association of General Contractors) released results of a survey conducted among 800 of its members that reported almost one million construction jobs were lost in April.
- AGC’s survey results paint a different picture to what the metal construction industry is reporting to which Rob commented that one would need to compare and analyze the demographics of the respondents more closely to truly understand the key influencers.
- From what they are seeing at S-5!, numbers and projections are still consistent with what Rob has been reporting over the past six weeks. S-5! is still using this time to sharpen business practices.
POLLING QUESTIONS (“live” questions asked during event to poll participants)
PQ #1: Compared to last week, are you more, less or same optimistic? Week 7 – 40% more, 46% same and 14% (shifted marginally compared to last week’s numbers which were: 52% report more, 40% same and 8% reporting less)
PQ #2: Based on everything you know right now, when do you think this crisis will be essentially over? July – 0%, August – 13%, September – 14%, October – 19%, November – 12%, Beyond – 43%
PQ #3: With air handling systems on airplanes deemed to be the safest, when do you think people will begin to fly normally again? July – 6%, August – 8%, September – 16%, October – 15%, November – 12%, Beyond – 42%
PQ#4: Are you currently planning to ramp up sales activities in case the construction backlog diminishes in 4-6 months? Yes – 81%, No – 19%
Highlights from Ray Smith, owner of AppliCad Software, a roofing software company based in Australia. Ray is the first international guest to join us on METALCONLive! offering a more global perspective on the crisis and “building back better.”
- AppliCad offers roofing software including a 3D roofing + cladding estimating product for any commercial, industrial or residential project; and serves 140 countries including the U.S.
- Ray commented, “It is interesting to be the one looking at the U.S. from the outside and seeing the contrast compared to every other country in the world.”
- Fears that if everyone goes back too early, a resurgence of the virus is inevitable (cited examples including S. Korea, Japan and Singapore).
- In Australia, the government has focused assistance on hardest hit industries including the service industry.
- Seemingly their “lockdown” was effective — Melbourne, one of Australia’s largest cities, reported having only 98 deaths.
- Like in the U.S., Australia’s construction industry has continued especially on the residential side.
Frank asked Ray to comment on the technology side given that is his company’s expertise.
- Ray has more than 30 years of using technology in the industry.
- Stressed importance of speaking to customers about the proper use of technology:
- Understand their issues and find solutions
- Create technology centered around how to find the solutions
- Due to the software’s unique licensing process, the greatest benefit of AppliCad’s software in this crisis has been the flexibility for customers to install the software on multiple work stations.
- Most of their work during the pandemic has been customer service oriented; assisting customers with software, etc.
- Key Learning is 99% of all the people working from home have been doing it efficiently.
- Biggest concern is “normal” won’t return for a long time so how long can companies stay in business? Asked the question, “Do you have enough cash to stay in business through Christmas?”
- As it relates to the use of metal roofing in Australia, 98% of commercial use in Australia and over a 20-year span, increased residential usage from 20% – 75%; attributes some of the growth to reducing waste in the estimating process with the AppliCad Software. Not seeing same growth rate in the U.S.
- Rob commented “this could also be attributed to cost factors since asphalt is a key competitor in the U.S. and not in Australia.”
- Backlog is continuing to grow at McElroy Metals.
- A lot of McElroy customers “aren’t experiencing a lot of change.”
- Seeing a definite shortage of residential roofing metal contractors, along with it being an excellent niche market for workers to get into.
- Key take-away for Ken, “How can the metal industry adjust and adapt to doing business differently and more effectively as a result of the crisis?”
- Even in times of recession, “When you need a new roof, you need a new roof.”
- Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) offers a “find a metal roof professional” feature on their website.
- Commented on metal as a design element:
- Use of metal in the design process is still evolving but definitely a growing trend.
- Increased growth in metal siding; cited recent MCA study showing increase in market share on the wall side.
- Growth of Insulated Metal Panel (IMP) usage among architects is growing based on versatility of productand its effectiveness as a carrier for insulation.
Metal is Changing Perception in Residential & Commercial Design & Usage
Frank led a robust conversation revolving around the opportunity to shift marketing of metal usage to architects in order to increase metal sales coming out of this crisis. Rob agreed and feels the perception of metal is still dated and sees an opportunity to turn this around. Ken shared, “When MRA started, they did focus studies and found that metal was not part of the consideration step.” As a result, “MRA designed their mission around shifting perception of metal usage and have been successful in increasing market share from 2% to 14% on the commercial side.” Frank believes this crisis gives us “the opportunity as an industry to focus on these issues and pivot an individual business on a new or increased use of metal.” There is an opportunity to focus on increased engagement with architects in the design process.
METALCON 2020 PREVIEW:
Registration will open soon. This year’s show will offer two new programs including “The Architect’s Experience” and “Connect! The Women’s A/E/C Network.” CONTECH will also return! To help METALCON better serve you, please complete this 5-minute TECHNOLOGY SURVEY. PRE-REGISTER today.
NEW: ACCESS PREVIOUS METALCONLIVE! RECORDINGS –
IN OTHER NEWS:
MCA has announced that they will hold a Virtual Summer Meeting from June 15-18 and opening it up, beyond their membership to anyone who would like to participate. REGISTER HERE.
MBCEA Annual Conference has also gone virtual starting tomorrow, Tuesday, May 19, offering one-hour sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. REGISTER HERE.
METALCONLive! is YOUR online weekly business-boosting broadcast that connects you with other metal construction company owners, contractors, fabricators, suppliers, and experts for the strategies that enable us all to BUILD BACK BETTER.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EST
Frank and Rob will be joined by special guest and Mark Kalin, President of Kalin Associates Specifications.
Mark Kalin (FAIA, FCSI, LEED) is a highly experienced specification writer, author, speaker, and registered architect. Mark is a CSI certified construction specifier, USGBC LEED accredited professional, and one of only 27 individuals who advanced to fellowship in both the American Institute of Architects and the Construction Specifications Institute. Mark has been involved in more than 4,000 specification projects since 1984, including 250 LEED projects. He has taught Architectural Specifications at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.
How will the glut of steel in the market affect the metal construction industry?
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Receive a complimentary copy of the PSMJ A/E/C Market Forecast monthly supplement by answering this brief 2-minute survey.
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 Wednesday, May 20 at 2:00 EST on “Install of PVKIT 2.0 on Standing Seam Metal Roof.”
For 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 “Coronavirus Leadership Playbook” – https://www.btacademy.com/download2020/ – Use Code: MC0429. Danny Kerr was a special guest during our May 6 METALCONLive! and has appeared at several METALCON shows as a speaker.
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