Message from the President - Oct '21

President's Message,

Supply Chain issues have been all over the news of late. The savvy contractor and erector needs to take this seriously and make sure they have their projects buttoned up. Just like with the Covid-19 pandemic, when we needed to pivot quickly and adapt to the “new normal”; this is no different. 
Gone are the days when you plan around the longest lead time item, namely the building; every component of your project now has a long and erratic lead time. It goes without saying that long and erratic lead times also means prices are incredibly unstable and short-lived. Planning materials and labor now require incredible skill, finesse and foresight.
I think about supply chain issues from a very basic perspective: if we don’t have material we can’t build. And if we can’t build, we can’t bill. And if we can’t bill - we can’t pay our employees or ourselves! 
So what do we do? We prepare like we did for the pandemic. First, take care of yourselves and your family. It’s hard to concentrate at work when you are stressed at home. Don’t hoard but make sure you have plenty of, YES, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, canned goods, etc.
Second, really focus on long range planning. Too often we bounce from one project to the next; but today you need to be constantly looking ahead, juggling multiple things simultaneously. Every project needs reviewed with a fine tooth comb. Get your orders in well in advance and please consider those items that were not necessarily specified but you know will eventually be needed. 
Whether you are a contractor, erector, supplier or sub-contractor – keep your customers informed. Get out in front of bad news so you do not blind side your colleagues. Know this: there is no sugar-coating to make delays and backlogs more palatable. It is your job to manage expectations. Bad news does not improve with age. Ignoring a problem does not make it go away; in fact, the longer you delay invariably it gets worse. 
As with every down turn or set back, only the strongest will survive. Your strength comes from your ability to plan, your tightly managed cash flow, and your communication skills. Know that you are not alone; we are in this together. Use the resources at your disposal. Look to the MBCEA for assistance. Plan and communicate. We will get through this together. 
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Seth Collins-Dunn Building Co., Tom Granitz-Plyco Corporation, Bryan Harshbarger-Briner Building, Dave Tomchak-Bay Insulation, and Jarrod Turner-TBT Construction as they were recently approved to join the Board beginning in January, 2022. We would also like to thank John Iveson, Dave Bergholz, Steve Moore, Keith Wentworth and Justin Waller for their service.
Stay safe!
Art Hance
President, MBCEA
President, Hance Construction
P.S. MBI's Guidelines for Temporary Bracing are now available for sale. The purpose of this important book is to assist Metal Building Contractors and Erectors in developing temporary bracing and sequencing requirements for each metal building project. There are things we Assemblers have traditionally done that we ASSUME are right. With lives and reputations at stake, assumptions are never a good plan! (MBCEA members are eligible for a discount off the base price!)