April 2018 Newsletter

April 2018 Newsletter



April 2018 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Not a lot has changed since last month. Price increases continue unabated and steel products continue to be in short supply. Hopefully the supply/demand ratio will equalize in the next few months as more domestic steel capacity comes online. Until then, please bear with us as we do our best to get you your steel products as you need them.

See below for a deep dive into pricing for the major products which we distribute.

As in March, several manufacturers of construction materials we distribute, either increased prices in April or announced future price increases. The tariffs imposed by the Trump administration in March on imported steel and aluminum, as well as increased demand, continued to drive prices upward for steel and aluminum construction products. The price for steel on the Chicago Metals Exchange increased by $20/ton the first week in April and resin manufacturers continued to increase prices or announced price increases in April, all of which will result in higher prices for the construction materials we distribute.

Tremco, Inc announced on April 4th a 4% price increase effective June 1st on their entire line of waterproofings, joint sealants, and air barriers. Only extruded rubber products are exempted from the June 1st price increase. Increased raw material costs and inflationary pressures were cited by Tremco as the reasons for the June 1st price increase. 

Fortifiber Building Systems Group increased prices between 5 to 8% on their entire line of products including Moistop under slab vapor barriers, flashings, weather resistantbuilding papers, and other building products on April 23rd. All orders placed by April 23rd must be shipped by May 4th to be invoiced at prices prior to the April 23rd price increase. Substantial increases in transportation and raw material costs were given as the reasons for the price increase.

On April 11th dee Concrete Accessories, one of the premier manufacturers of straightand radius steel forms announced a 5% across the board increase effective May 1st. Recent increases for steel was cited as the primary reason for the May 1st price increase.

For the fifth consecutive month, domestic rebar mills increased prices in April, this time by $20/ton. As with prior price increases, the April price increases went into effect the days the mills announced their price increases. Currently, domestic rebar prices are approximately 25% higher than they were in November and with little to no competition from imported rebar, most analysts expect domestic mills to increase prices in May. The shortage of rebar is expected to continue as May and June rollings for most popular sizes are already sold out. As we recommended in our March newsletter, we strongly recommend you buy out any projects you have that require rebar in order to try and avoid project delays, due to the long lead times that are expected to continue for the next several months.

After increasing prices on most steel concrete accessories on March 23rdMar-Mac Industries increased prices for all new nail orders by 10% on April 2nd and will increase prices as follows again on May 2nd; nails by10%, Contractor brand of concrete accessories (imported) by 5%, Premium brand (domestic) of black annealed products by 5%, and Premium brand of plastic coated products by 5%

PNA Construction Technologies increased prices by an overall average of 6% on PD3 dowel basket assemblies, steel dowels, and other steel products they manufacture on April 20th. Diamond Dowels were exempted from the April 20th price increase.

Although none have announced a price increase for May, most analysts expect concrete reinforcing wire mesh manufacturers to increase prices again in May, as wire rod manufacturers increased prices by as much as $60/ton in April and have announced May increases ranging from $40 to $60/ton. Currently concrete reinforcing wire mesh prices have increased by approximately 20% YTD. Most mills are now backordered by as much as 4 weeks on some gauges of wire mesh for both sheets and rolls, and this situation is expected to continue into June. As with rebar, if you have any projects to buy out that require concrete reinforcing wire mesh, we strongly urge you to buy out these jobs as soon as possible to try to avoid job delays and to avoid paying higher prices in the coming weeks.

Several manufacturers of construction products that are made from PVC resins have notified their distributors that they will substantially increase prices in May and/or June. Manufacturers of PVC resins either increased prices in April or will in early May by as much as 30%. Please be sure that if you are bidding any projects that specify PVC products, such as waterstops, flashings, vinyl key way, etc., that you get a current quote from your New South sales representative.

BoMetals, a leading manufacturer of metal keyway, smooth dowels, anchor slots andanchors, PVC waterstops, and other concrete accessories, will increase prices on selected products on May 1st as follows;
Metal Keyway, Keyway Stakes, Anchor slot, and Anchors – 10%
Smooth round dowels and Nail Stakes – 15%
Waterstops and Plastic Concrete Accessories – 5%
Polyethylene Foam Expansion Joint and Foam Accessories – 10%

The producer price index (PPI) for final demand in March, not seasonally adjusted, rose 0.5% from February and 3.0% year-over-year (y/y) from March 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on April 7. AGC posted tables and an explanationfocusing on construction prices and costs.

Click here for the latest update on the construction economy from Ken Simonson, the chief economist of the AGC.

Featured Manufacturers

Surface Sheilds

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Connecting systems for wood, steel, masonry, and concrete

Associate Profile

Our associate profile this month is of Steve Williams. Steve is a manager in training at our Tucker (Atlanta) branch who joined us last October.  Steve was born in Atlanta and grew up in Snellville, GA. He went to Brookwood High School followed by living abroad for two years. He graduated from Kennesaw State University with a degree in business management and a focus in international affairs. He has been married to his wife, Lizzy, for two years. They do not have children but their dog, Dave, is like a child to them. Steve and his wife enjoy traveling internationally, cooking, exploring Atlanta restaurants, and camping. He previously worked for GATC, a German marketing firm so he is new to the construction industry but he has caught on quickly. He is a diehard Atlanta Braves and Georgia Bulldogs fan. If you haven’t met Steve yet please stop into our Tucker branch and say hello.

I also again want to encourage you to visit our YouTube site. We have a lot of product application demonstrations on the site and I think you will find it helpful for you and/or your Associates.

Our management article this month is titled, It’s OK to Say No Sometimes. As a manager, it can be hard to say no but sometimes you need to. Saying yes to every request of you can lead to burnout and poor performance. This is something I’ve personally been working on recently.

April’s Management Article

It’s OK to Say No Sometimes
By Joel Garfinkel

Most of you will experience a period of work burnout at some point in your professional careers.
The temptation is always there to do more, be more, achieve more. You might feel the pressure from those above you or from yourself and your own desire to succeed. Time and effort, however, can reach a point of diminishing returns. You can work harder and harder and accomplish less and less. This can lead to frustration and an even more frantic desire to put in more hours to try to “catch up.”

This cycle rarely leads to satisfaction, or quality output. Before you get to that point, check out these tips for ways you can combat burnout and maintain your balance and productivity.

Say No

It may seem obvious, but one of the first tactics is to learn is how to say no. This may mean adjusting your perspective on what “no” means. If you’re someone who always wants to help out and who wants to please, it can be difficult to turn down a request or to pass on a piece of work. Consider it from a different angle, however. Saying no means you are committing to the best quality for the tasks you already have, and maintaining your own balance, so you can stay on top of your game for the long haul.

Saying yes to everything makes no room for the tasks you really want and need; the tasks that will challenge you, expand your skillset or raise your profile in the organization. Remember that saying no to being overloaded is healthy for both you and your company.

Make space in your calendar

If you want to avoid that sense of being overburdened and overallocated, don’t forget to make room in your calendar for your own tasks, whether work or personal. It’s easy to let your day fill up with meetings and drop-by chats. Be sure to set aside the hours you need to accomplish your tasks, preferably with the door closed, the email notifications turned off and the other distractions set aside.

Set yourself up for success by prioritizing time to concentrate, and don’t forget to include downtime, too. Make sure you book regular lunch time — even if it’s just a few minutes — away from your desk. Take breaks and walk around, and tend to your personal life too. Achieving balance is not a luxury; it’s a necessity to ensure that you’re working your best. While it may seem self-indulgent to set a task down and just go home (or go on vacation!), it really isn’t — everyone benefits when you take time to relax, recharge and return to work refreshed.
Don’t pretend things are OK

Many of us can fall into the trap of thinking we’re feeling overwhelmed and burnt out because we lack motivation. We can tell ourselves we’ll wait to tackle some things when we’re finally inspired (leaving them to pile up and weigh us down) or we chastise ourselves for feeling low and struggle on ahead anyway, usually accomplishing little.

Instead, consider this: it’s OK to be frustrated. Take a step back, acknowledge that you’re overwhelmed, and then make a plan to do the work anyway. Instead of just putting your head down and grinding away, break your project or task down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Do them one by one, and allow yourself to celebrate the small victories as you progress.

The work will be the same and you’ll be just as busy, but the feeling will be different, and you’ll actually make more headway overall.

Stop trying to be perfect

It seems counterintuitive that flawlessness would be the enemy, but trying to control and fine-tune every aspect of your work will just burden you with needless stress, with little added value. Instead of striving for perfection, work to achieve excellence. Your goal should be great work, not picture-perfect minutiae.

Feeling burnt out is far from an uncommon sentiment. It’s easy to stretch ourselves too thin, whether from taking on too much or being over pressured by others in the organization. It’s one thing to have a busy and stressful week or month, but when the grind seems unrelenting, it has a negative effect on both ourselves and the quality of our work.

Avoid getting to the point of desperation and despair by creating strategies to stay balancedand still provide quality output. Make your own plans, develop positive habits and stick to them! Everyone benefits when you avoid burnout.

In closing, I hope the steel and lumber markets will calm down soon as I know it is wreaking havoc on a lot of jobs for which you have provided a fixed price before the markets took off. We’re doing all we can to help you with this problem.

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President 864-263-4377
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Author of The Real Business 101: Lessons From the Trenches
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