April 2022 Newsletter

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New South News

Dear Friends,

Spring has sprung in the south and the construction industry has kicked into high gear even MORE than the boom we have already been seeing. In fact, growth has been the name of the game this last year, as we recorded our best months ever by from December 2021 through March 2022, and March was roughly double last March.

Our biggest news this month is on April 21, 2022, we received a signed letter of intent from American Contractors Supply (ACS) in Atlanta, GA to join the New South Construction Supply team. ACS’s sole focus is tilt-up concrete construction, and they serve customers all across the East Coast, from Pennsylvania down to Florida. Our combined tilt brace fleet will number about 20,000 after we conclude the acquisition. We believe that will give us the largest or second largest fleet of braces in the Carolinas, Georgia, and North Florida.

Jason Reuter, CEO of ACS will become president of our new tilt-up division and Ron Barteski (GM/CFO) of ACS will be VP-Operations for the new tilt-up division. Both have well over 20 years’ experience in tilt-up construction and will take our tilt-up sales to new heights.

This is our second acquisition in the last five months, and we aren’t done yet. We think the Carolinas through North Florida is the hottest construction market in the United States, so we are doubling down to better serve you, our valued customers and suppliers.

The strong construction market has created more demand than supply, so price increases continue to come for many of our key product lines. See below for a closer look at pricing trends.

As the construction industry kicks into high gear, there has been some pricing movement on many commodity-based products.

The lumber market has found it’s bottom and is beginning to solidify. The brief one month decline in lumber pricing has come to and end with most SYP sizes and grades being quoted at or above print. There is little excess sitting inventory at the mills and most dimensional lumber is shipping in two to three weeks after order placement. Inbound orders at the mills have increased substantially over a month ago, and the increased demand has decreased availability, resulting in price increases. Brokers and buyers are hesitant to predict how long this upward push will last, but most are willing to predict it will last at least a few weeks.

Wire mesh remained flat through April with no change in pricing since the mid-March increase. Wire mesh pricing is tied extremely tightly to metal scrap pricing, and with no major movement in the past few weeks, pricing has held firm. This is an item we will continue to monitor closely as price increases can come quickly if demand spikes and scrap availability becomes an issue.

Rebar saw yet another increase in April. A $2.00/CWT ($40/Ton) increase was pushed through on April 14th by one major mill in our region with all other mills following over the next two days. The surprising aspect of this increase is that the $2.00/CWT increase only impacts stock 20’ length rebar. With little to no competition from import rebar, domestic mills were able to push this increase through with little pushback. Demand for all lengths of rebar continues to soar, and mills are already selling out on future months’ rollings. Lead times are stretching out to four or five weeks depending on each mill’s rolling schedule.

Poly sheeting saw a 4% increase in mid-April. This was not a shock with the price of oil and gas skyrocketing over the past few months. Demand remains extremely high for poly and lead times are once again stretching out to over a month depending on your mix of need. Until oil prices lower, poly sheeting pricing will remain high.

Construction input costs outpaced bid prices again in March, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data posted on April 13. The producer price index (PPI) for material and service inputs to new nonresidential construction jumped 2.7% for the month and 21.5% year-over-year (y/y). The PPI for new nonresidential building construction—a measure of the price that contractors say they would bid to build a fixed set of buildings—increased 0.6% for the month and 17% y/y. March was the 18th-straight month in which the cost index rose more than the bid-price index on a year-over-year basis. AGC posted tables and graphs of construction PPIs.

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

Catching up with our Customers

This month’s Catching up with our Customers spotlight is on Carl V. Carney, Owner and President of Davie Construction Company. Founded in 1993, this North Carolina-based GC firm has been dedicated to providing the highest quality construction and general contracting services, across the south. Learn more about Carl’s background, Davie Construction’s typical projects and, and their impressive growth across the South by reading the full interview on our blog.

Featured Manufacturers


Owens Corning

Premier supplier of insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites


The #1 Ranked Brand Name in Decorative Concrete Color, Texture and Performance Systems


Access Tile

The ultimate solution in detectable warning systems


Associate Profile


Abhi Singh

Executive Vice President and COO

Our Associate Spotlight this month is of Abhi Singh, our Executive Vice President and COO. Abhi was born in Youngstown, Ohio and grew up in Akron, Ohio. He graduated from Revere High School in Richfield, Ohio and went on to earn a degree in Finance from Kent State University. After college he entered the management training program at Ferguson Enterprises, then Hughes Supply, White Cap, Atlantic Supply (his own business he sold in 2012), Hajoca, AH Harris & Sons, Harvey Building Products, and prior to joining us, Mid-Am Building Supply, so as you can see, he has a deep background in our industry. He and his wife, Anna, have a ten-year-old son, Samir. His hobbies include family, golf, guitar playing, working out, martial arts, any Cleveland area or Ohio State Sporting event, and he is an avid live music fan. He has served on the board of the National Kidney Foundation and currently the American Red Cross. Fun fact: He has lived in 12 states, 20 cities (some twice), and every US time zone at least once. Abhi has been a great addition to our team since joining us last July.

Our leadership article for this month is, How to Unlock Value from Your one-on-one Meetings. If you do one-on-one meetings with your reports here are some good tips on how to make them more effective. If you don’t do them, I highly recommend you try a few and here are some tips to get started.

How to Unlock Value from Your one-on-one Meetings

By Art Petty

I’m consistently surprised by how few managers and executives have a game plan for their one-on-one sessions with team members. Just ask those people, as too many describe these sessions with the boss as infrequent or inconsistent, ineffective and, in some cases, intolerable.

That’s too bad. For everyone in a leadership role, one-on-one time with your team members is precious real estate on your calendar. These sessions, when appropriately run, offer both boss and employee an opportunity to pause, breathe, reflect, strengthen rapport, and re-energize for current and expected challenges.

In this article, I share ideas on how managers and their team members can structure and facilitate quality one-on-one sessions that all parties appreciate.

Here are seven ideas to unlock the value from your one-on-ones:

1. Reframe (together) the purpose of your one-on-ones

For both parties, it’s essential to define one-on-ones as opportunities to share ideas, identify opportunities and zero in on solutions to vexing problems.

I encourage managers to work hard to let their team members know that one-on-ones are not trials, judgment sessions or, worse yet, meetings where they should feel yet again compelled to justify their existence.

Frame the sessions as essential opportunities for both parties to work on the business at hand and support each other. You’ll be positively surprised how interesting, valuable and looked-forward-to they become.

Leaders, consider working with your team members to define a charter for your one-on-ones. Start with: “The purpose of our one-on-one sessions is to…” Have fun completing this exercise together.  

2. Tailor timing and frequency to their needs

I learned this lesson the hard way. I’m a morning person by nature and enjoy the early-morning sessions with team members to calibrate and offer support.

After an organizational change, I had two new managers reporting to me. One seemed to thrive with our early interchanges early on Tuesday mornings. However, the other individual was sending signals that suggested talking with me was not a priority. I asked what I was doing wrong. His frank feedback taught me a valuable lesson:

“You’re literally the last person I want to talk to in the morning. I’ve got my game plan lined up, and I’m working with my team members to execute our plan. I feel distracted. However, later in the day, I appreciate the chance to share what worked, what didn’t and to explore ideas on what I can do differently going forward.”

Ouch! Lesson learned.

Managers, work with your team members to understand their schedules and preferences and flex to their timing and frequency needs.

3. Beware the gravitational pull of status updates

One of the biggest mistakes I see managers make is compartmentalizing one-on-one sessions as simply status updates. The manager views the one-on-one as an opportunity to understand better what’s going on and what the employee is doing to move things forward. Those aren’t in and of themselves wrong; they’re just not a great use of precious one-on-one time.

Solve the status update problem outside of the one-on-one session. Use dashboards or other project tools to communicate status and reserve this precious time for addressing challenges, uncovering opportunities and light coaching.

An interesting byproduct of managers not making employees feel that they are justifying their existence or replaying their greatest hits of the past week is an increase in trust. Showing that you trust your team members to manage their business, communicate problems if needed and live up to commitments is rocket fuel for performance.

4. Set the tone for creativity from the start

I love when these sessions kick off with something other than “How’s it going?” To stimulate creativity for her one-on-ones with employees, one manager used the question, “What’s one idea you or your team members have that seems a little crazy and potentially really valuable?”

This manager’s “one idea” approach ensured the sessions start on a divergent thinking note. Instead of “It’s going fine,” the one-on-ones began with energy and ideas and then mutual brainstorming on how to bring them to life as experiments.

Try your twist on this question and open the creative floodgates from the beginning of your one-on-one sessions.

5. Share and create context in one-on-ones

Performance is always the goal of manager and employee interaction, and few things stimulate performance more effectively than arming people to understand how their work fits into the bigger picture.

One manager I know allocates 10 minutes in a 60-minute one-on-one to share what he’s learned about the organization’s strategy, key performance indicators and marketplace issues. The follow-on discussion focuses on ensuring the employee’s work efforts are aligned with the organization’s and makes sure all parties see how they connect to the bigger picture.

Another manager personalizes this process by offering “Here’s what I’m excited about for our business,” and “Here’s what’s keeping me awake at night about our situation.” The transparency and authenticity in both of these statements strengthen the quality of the discussions.

Choose an approach that fits you, but strive in every one-on-one session to share what you’ve learned, and then help the employee connect it to their work.

6. Rotate responsibility for leading the sessions

I love the idea of alternating responsibility for facilitating the sessions between manager and employee. This simple adjustment in approach turns these meetings into learning opportunities for all parties and keeps the interchanges fresh and relevant.

One senior manager offered, “It takes a lot of critical thinking to choreograph a quality one-on-one. When it’s a team member’s turn, they have to decide what’s important and what they want to gain from this exchange.”

For the manager, this simple twist in meeting ownership offers insights into the employee’s situation and helps identify coaching and development ideas.

7. Don’t be afraid to free-form your one-on-ones

I’ve long believed variation is the food of creativity, and routine the drag on innovation. Instead of letting your one-on-one sessions fall victim to the tyranny of the repeating meeting on your calendar or the same old format, mix things up.

You can change locations, change your medium, change the timing, change the agenda or all of the above. Some of my best one-on-ones have been walking sessions, shared taxi rides or lunches. If you give me truth serum, the walking sessions are the best. If you’re remote, both of you push away from the camera, pop in the earbuds and head out for a walk and start sharing. In a few instances, we’ve thrown the agenda out the window based on the opening prompter, or we’ve adjusted to focus on real-time challenges and opportunities.

What about career development in one-on-ones?

Career development is an agile project, best handled opportunistically and frequently. You will find opportunities in your one-on-ones to coach, share ideas on next steps or new initiatives and that’s great. However, don’t reduce career development to just a standing agenda item. Seek other opportunities to cover this important topic beyond the one-on-ones.

The bottom line

You want to send employees out of your one-on-ones with fresh ideas, a growing sense of belief that you trust them, and the tools and support they need to push essential items forward. Alternatively, you as the manager want to know that you’ve created clarity around strategies and goals and gained an opportunity to both coach and support someone.

With both of you working together, the one-on-ones might just become the most critical engagements on either of your calendars.


That’s it for this month. I hope the last few months have been as good for you as they have been for us. As always, if we ever fall short of your expectations, I’d consider it a personal favor if you’d let me know.

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President & CEO 864-263-4377 (Direct Line)

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