On September 13th, 2021, in conjunction with GlassBuild America, the Glazing Executives Forum held its 15th annual event in Atlanta, Georgia. Sponsored by the National Glass Association, roughly 165 representatives met to discuss a wide range of topics and issues within the industry, such as labor shortage and risk management to market uncertainty and supply chain concerns.
In this article, we will summarize the top four key takeaways from the event, and why they are important to kitchen and bathroom showrooms today.
Labor shortage continues to be a top concern. Even 18 months after the start of the pandemic, the construction industry as a whole has lost approximately 1.1 million jobs.
Although residential construction continues to reach record-breaking levels, beginning in February of 2020, nonresidential construction continues to struggle.
However, other organizations have a more positive outlook. According to AIA’s 2021 Consensus Construction Forecast report, nonresidential building spend will continue to drop by 5.7 percent but is expected to bounce back in 2022.
While fair compensation is necessary to retain workers, a strong company culture with employee-focused management and incentives are also very crucial. Speakers from the Personal Issues Roundtable panel recommended other incentive programs for employees such as professional development programs, including tuition reimbursement; flexible paid time off programs and schedules to aid employees with work-life balance.
A core component of a strong company culture is communicating value and ensuring a level of ownership among team members, encouraging decision-making, creativity, and successful conflict management. Furthermore, as companies employ younger workers, building a strong company culture becomes even more important for retaining employees.
It’s no secret that the pandemic resulted in a number of unexpected supply chain issues leading to extreme shortages in products, shipping delays, and in many cases, cost inflation. (Since when does a 2 x 4 cost $7.00?)
Ken Simonson, Chief Economist of the Associated General Contractors of America explains why: “When ships start coming, they are coming too fast for West Coast ports to handle. Why? Because the terminals are stacked so high with containers. Why? Because there aren’t enough truck drivers. There are a lot more bottlenecks for construction.”
The best way to work around supply chain issues is through communication. Communicate to your customers and team members if or when you will not be able to deliver a specific quantity on time. Be sure to also put this communication in documents to customers. You can also visit agc.org for some other helpful resources to help deal with ongoing supply chain issues.
According to the Project Best Practices to Avoid Legal Headaches panel, business owners need to establish risk management practices and risk response practices for every project. This includes assessing the likelihood certain risks will occur, risk ratios, and the overall impact of the risk. Implementing risk management and response practices will allow companies to determine if the risk of taking on a particular project is too high or develop risk mitigation strategies, workarounds, and contingency plans and budgets, if they choose to move forward with the project.
Many showroom and insulation companies are still being affected by these top issues, and more. At ShowroomMarketing.com, we can work with you to not only develop strategies for coming out on top after the pandemic but ensure you stay there in 2021 and beyond.
To learn more about ShowroomMarketing.com, or to request a complimentary website review video or Market Analysis Report, contact John today at John@showroommarketing.com.