November 2022 Newsletter

 

New South News

Dear Friends,


Happy Thanksgiving. At this time of the year, we give even more thanks to our customers and suppliers, without whom we wouldn’t exist. I hope you have a great holiday surrounded by friends and family.


Our big news this month is that we acquired Malone Steel in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida on November 10. Malone Steel is a 30-year-old rebar fabricator and they give us the capacity to sell fabricated rebar in North Florida over to Orlando. Jeff Malone will continue to manage this location which will now been known as New South Construction Supply – Ponte Vedra Beach. Welcome to the team, Malone!


Commodity pricing continues to be mostly stable. See below for more information.


Metal scrap posted down another $20 per ton to start off November which now results in a seventh month in a row of decline. This continued scrap softening continues to be reflected on metal commodities. The domestic rebar market continues to soften with lower priced import options and demand slowing down. In our region, imported rebar coming into the Texas and Florida market continues to eat into the domestic mills overall consumption. The pricing gap between import and domestic is at its greatest closest to the ports or origin, but the domino effect of more total tonnage available in the market is impacting domestic pricing farther away from the ports. Domestic mills have been able to slow the rate of price decreases but have not been able to halt them all together. Reduced winter scrap collections may help combat a significant short-term reduction, but expectations are for rebar to continue to soften over the coming months.


The wire mesh reinforcing market has also seen significant softening. Overall consumptions levels are off from earlier in the year and there is ample supply at the domestic mills available to the market. With the residential demand slowing, lighter gauge material is seeing the quickest reductions. Heavier gauge and structural mesh remains strong as the commercial side of the construction industry continues to grow. Positively, lead times for almost all mesh sizes has reduced down to under two weeks. Most loads of standard light gauge material are delivering about a week after purchase order submittal.


Polyethylene sheeting is trending much like wire mesh. The reduction in residential construction has allowed most mills to catch up on backlogs and begin building sitting inventory. Loads containing the standard mil and dimension size poly are shipping in about two weeks from order placement. While overall demand is down slightly, import material is also impacting poly pricing. A recent influx of import poly sheeting into the region has forced domestic manufacturers to reassess current pricing and concede pricing in some areas.


The lumber market has seen a slight resurgence over the past few weeks and feels poised to correct the recent bounce along the bottom. While there are no expectations for a rapid or substantial increase, mills have been able to control their recent pricing.  Prices are slightly elevating over what has been seen over the past few months. There is still a fair amount of available inventory and lead times are running two to three weeks depending on species, grade, and dimension.


Contractors’ input costs were mixed in October, as increases in fuel, cement, glass, and paint costs offset tumbling metals and lumber prices, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data posted on Tuesday. The producer price index (PPI) for material and service inputs to construction was unchanged for the month and up 10.0% y/y (vs. 11.2% from September 2021 to September 2022). The PPI for inputs to new nonresidential construction rose 0.2% for the month and 11.2% y/y, while inputs to new residential construction dipped 0.2% from September but rose 8.1% y/y. The PPI for diesel fuel leaped 9.8% and 61.5%, respectively; cement, 2.5% and 13.4%; flat glass, 1.4% and 10.0%; and architectural coatings, 1.1% and 27.5%. PPIs plunged for steel mill products, -6.6% and -22.9%; copper and brass mill shapes, -4.9% and -11.5%; aluminum mill shapes, -3.3% and -9.3%; and lumber and plywood, which fell -2.7% for the month but increased 1.3% 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—rose 3.0% for the month and 20.2% y/y, down from the record 24.2% y/y rise in September. AGC posted tables 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, we are catching up with the team over at Hilcon, based out of Mooresville, North Carolina. Hilcon was established in North Carolina by brothers Brent and Eric Hildreth in 2019. They grew up in the construction industry and primarily focus on commercial projects. To learn more about them, click here.

FEATURED MANUFACTURERS

Owens Corning

Premier supplier of insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites

Wire Bond

Innovation in Masonry Construction

Sika/Scofield

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

ASSOCIATE PROFILE

Craig Kennedy, Market President, North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, Columbia, and Greenville, SC

Our associate spotlight this month is on Craig Kennedy, Market President over our North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, Columbia, and Greenville SC branches. Craig was born in Nashua, New Hampshire and graduated from high school at the Gaston Day School, Gastonia, NC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BS in Civil Engineering and from North Carolina State University with an MS in Civil Engineering (Construction Management. Prior to joining us in August he was employed by CRH/Oldcastle – June 2015 – August 2022 , Turner Construction – June 2008 – June 2015, and the US Navy prior to Turner. ). He and his wife, Heather have two girls – 13 and 11 Years Old – Caroline and Ava. His hobbies include hiking, travel, cooking, skiing, and working out.  It’s been great to add someone to our team who has been a project manager on some major jobs. Welcome, Craig.

NEGOTIATION TIPS

Our management article this month is my recent column on negotiation in the Upstate Business Journal. Click here to read my negotiation tips.

In closing, thanks again for your business. I hope you and your loved ones have a great Thanksgiving holiday.

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President & CEO 864-263-4377 (Direct Line)
jim.sobeck@newsouthsupply.com

Main Office/Branch: Greenville, SC
Other Branches in:
Columbia | Charleston | Myrtle Beach | Hilton Head | Greensboro | Raleigh | Charlotte | Atlanta | Jacksonville

Instagram

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

YouTube

Author of The Real Business 101: Lessons From the TrenchesTo get your copy see below:

For Smashwords (eBook version for Kindle, iPad, Nook) click here
For direct link to Amazon site (Kindle and print version) click here

Corporate Contact Information

9 N. Kings Rd

Greenville, SC 29605

Accounting Phone: 864.263.4376
Accounting Fax: 866.212.0640

President – Jim Sobeck 864.263.4377
Executive VP/COO – Abhi Singh 202.604.3270
Director of Purchasing – Peter Bemisderfer 864.650.5116
VP-CFO – Barrett Cooke 864.558.5385

Greenville Sales Office Contact Information

9 North Kings Rd
Greenville, SC 29605

Phone: 864.269.7007
Fax: 864.269.6004
Operations Manager – Dylan Logan

Sales Managers – Dexter Goodwin, Cory Nicks, Tyler Panagakos

Other Locations:

West Columbia, SC
951 Harbor Drive
West Columbia, SC 29169 Phone: 803.791.8700
Fax: 803.791.8191
Operations Manager – Jack Parker
Sales Manager – Jon Black

Raleigh, NC
1427 Mechanical Blvd
Garner, NC (Raleigh) 27529
Phone: 919.662.9012
Fax: 919.662.9412
Operations Manager – AJ Mozingo
Sales Managers – Corey Moser, Jim Morton

Lithonia, GA
5220 Minola Dr.
Lithonia, GA 30038
Phone: 404.844.2555
Operations Manager – Brian Krogg
Sales Managers – Kami Rogers, Phil Jones

Jacksonville, FL
9315 Old Kings Rd S
Jacksonville, FL 32257
Phone: 904.730.3008
Operations Manager – Buddy Jones
Sales Managers – Grant Denny, Jimmy Rhoads, Paul Mancinotti

Charleston, SC
4987 Banco Road
N. Charleston, SC 29418 Phone: 843.760.0780
Fax: 843.760.6127
Operations Manager – Joe Fulmer
Sales Managers – Joanie Allen, Lauren Gunter, Doug Pearl

Greensboro, NC
7207 Cessna Drive
Greensboro, NC 27409
Phone: 336.992.0237
Fax: 336.992.0839
Operations Manager – AJ Mozingo
Sales Manager – Angie Puckett, Corey Moser, Brian Brady

Myrtle Beach, SC
180 Rodeo Drive
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
Phone: 843.236.6447
Fax: 843.236.6521
Operations Manager – Frank Crouse
Sales Manager – Clint Paul

Charlotte, NC
140 Dorton St
Charlotte, NC 28213
Phone: 704.358.9797
Fax: 704.358.9646
Operations Manager – Colby Ruel
Sales Managers – Chris Daleus, Jason Kenney

Hilton Head, SC
358 Industrial Park Rd
Hardeeville (Hilton Head), SC 29927
Phone: 843.784.1580
Fax: 843.784.1581
Operations Manager – Sheldon Barnes
Sales Manager – Steve Melton, Chandler McDonald

Copyright © 2022 New South Construction Supply, All rights reserved.

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October 2022 Newsletter

 

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New South News

Dear Friends,


As I write this in late October residential construction has slowed a bit due to higher mortgage interest rates, but commercial and industrial construction remains strong. We’re also anticipating increased road and bridge construction in 2023 due the infrastructure bill passed by Congress a few months ago causing a lot of new road and bridge construction to start.


We have had several big wins lately so we’re not seeing any slowdown on the commercial side of our business.


As the market has flattened out a bit we are seeing price increases slowing and even going backwards  on some products. See below for more detail.


As metal scrap pricing slid slightly again in October, metal-based commodities are continuing to soften as well. Domestic rebar mills have resisted price reductions, but they have occurred. Ample stock coupled with softer demand, has pushed manufacturers and large-scale wholesalers to discount material to move inventory. Brokers are also having an impact on the marketplace by moving large volumes of rebar at aggressive prices to try and make a profit in volume sales. There are indicators that the rebar market may continue to slide through the winter months but does not appear to be at the same pace it increased over the past year.


The wire mesh reinforcing market has not done as well of a job solidifying a bottom. With mesh pricing tied so closely to scrap and wire rod pricing, any sequence of quick decreases in scrap or rod costs can send the market tumbling.  Manufacturers are sitting on high inventory levels and are looking to move product now before any future decreases. Wire mesh lead times are now more dependent on available trucking that actual sitting inventory. Loads of standard sizes and gauges are shipping within one or two weeks. There is not strong sentiment that the bottom of the mesh market will be found within the next months’ time.


There has not been much change in polyethylene sheeting prices in the past month. Inventory levels and production remain strong with lead times on most standard sizes being two weeks or less. There has been opportunity for savings when purchased in bulk quantities, but pricing on single truckload orders has not changed with any significance.


Lumber has had a slight rebound over the past few weeks. SYP pricing has strengthened with most mills claiming to be sold through the first week of November. Most sizes are being sold right at print or slightly higher, with the only exception really being 2×4’s, with those being sold slightly under print. SPF also appears to be in the rebound. One Canadian mill has already announced a curtailment of production for the remaining of the year effective immediately. This has pushed some buyers who may have been sitting idle back into activity and helped solidify the market.


Contractors’ input costs declined again on balance in September, while bid prices rose, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data posted on October 12. Specifically, the producer price index (PPI) for material and service inputs to new nonresidential construction dipped 0.2% for the month, while 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—rose 0.4%. The bid-price index rose 24.1% year-over-year (y/y), while the input index climbed 12.6%. AGC posted tables 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, we are catching up with the team over at Southeast Concrete Systems, based out of Alpharetta, Georgia. Southeast Concrete Systems was founded in 2014, after the joining of forces of CEO Adam Pearlman and President Ken Blumbek. They are a full-service commercial construction company specializing in tilt wall construction, foundations, slabs, decks, and concrete paving. To learn more about them, click here.

FEATURED MANUFACTURERS

Owens Corning

Premier supplier of insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites

Nomaco

Nomaco is a leader in the design and extrusion of custom engineered foam products

Zurn

A worldwide leader in trench drain systems

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ASSOCIATE PROFILE

Jason Kenney, Sales Manager, Charlotte, NC

Our Associate Profile this month is of Jason Kenney, a Sales Manager in our Charlotte branch. Jason was born in North Hollywood, CA and graduated from Los Gatos High School. He and his wife Amanda, have one daughter, Adrianna. In his spare time, he likes golf, skiing, boating, camping in their RV, and fishing. Prior to joining us back in February, he was an account manager for a competitor for 20 years in San Francisco, CA. We were thrilled to get a salesperson with so much experience to add to our Charlotte team.

HIRING FOR ATTITUDE

Our management article this month is a chapter from my book on “Hiring for Attitude” as printed in the October issue of the Upstate Business Journal. The only thing you can’t teach is attitude, so we look for people with great attitudes when hiring. Click here to read how I try to ascertain if a candidate has the attitude we look for.

That’s all for this month. I hope the cooler fall weather is great for productivity and that your backlog is strong heading into 2023. As always, if we ever fail to meet your expectations, I’d consider it a personal favor if you would let me know about it. My contact info is below.

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President & CEO 864-263-4377 (Direct Line)
jim.sobeck@newsouthsupply.com

Main Office/Branch: Greenville, SC
Other Branches in:
Columbia | Charleston | Myrtle Beach | Hilton Head | Greensboro | Raleigh | Charlotte | Atlanta | Jacksonville

Instagram

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

YouTube

Author of The Real Business 101: Lessons From the TrenchesTo get your copy see below:

For Smashwords (eBook version for Kindle, iPad, Nook) click here
For direct link to Amazon site (Kindle and print version) click here

Corporate Contact Information

9 N. Kings Rd

Greenville, SC 29605

Accounting Phone: 864.263.4376
Accounting Fax: 866.212.0640

President – Jim Sobeck 864.263.4377
Executive VP/COO – Abhi Singh 202.604.3270
Director of Purchasing – Peter Bemisderfer 864.650.5116
VP-CFO – Barrett Cooke 864.558.5385

Greenville Sales Office Contact Information

9 North Kings Rd
Greenville, SC 29605

Phone: 864.269.7007
Fax: 864.269.6004
Operations Manager – Dylan Logan

Sales Managers – Dexter Goodwin, Cory Nicks, Tyler Panagakos

Other Locations:

West Columbia, SC
951 Harbor Drive
West Columbia, SC 29169 Phone: 803.791.8700
Fax: 803.791.8191
Operations Manager – Jack Parker
Sales Manager – Jon Black

Raleigh, NC
1427 Mechanical Blvd
Garner, NC (Raleigh) 27529
Phone: 919.662.9012
Fax: 919.662.9412
Operations Manager – AJ Mozingo
Sales Managers – Corey Moser, Jim Morton

Lithonia, GA
5220 Minola Dr.
Lithonia, GA 30038
Phone: 404.844.2555
Operations Manager – Brian Krogg
Sales Managers – Kami Rogers, Phil Jones

Jacksonville, FL
9315 Old Kings Rd S
Jacksonville, FL 32257
Phone: 904.730.3008
Operations Manager – Buddy Jones
Sales Managers – Grant Denny, Jimmy Rhoads, Paul Mancinotti

Charleston, SC
4987 Banco Road
N. Charleston, SC 29418 Phone: 843.760.0780
Fax: 843.760.6127
Operations Manager – Joe Fulmer
Sales Managers – Joanie Allen, Lauren Gunter, Doug Pearl

Greensboro, NC
7207 Cessna Drive
Greensboro, NC 27409
Phone: 336.992.0237
Fax: 336.992.0839
Operations Manager – AJ Mozingo
Sales Manager – Angie Puckett, Corey Moser, Brian Brady

Myrtle Beach, SC
180 Rodeo Drive
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
Phone: 843.236.6447
Fax: 843.236.6521
Operations Manager – Frank Crouse
Sales Manager – Clint Paul

Charlotte, NC
140 Dorton St
Charlotte, NC 28213
Phone: 704.358.9797
Fax: 704.358.9646
Operations Manager – Colby Ruel
Sales Managers – Chris Daleus, Jason Kenney

Hilton Head, SC
358 Industrial Park Rd
Hardeeville (Hilton Head), SC 29927
Phone: 843.784.1580
Fax: 843.784.1581
Operations Manager – Sheldon Barnes
Sales Manager – Steve Melton, Chandler McDonald

Copyright © 2022 New South Construction Supply, All rights reserved.

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September 2022 Newsletter

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New South News

Dear Friends,

Summer is officially over, but here in the South you can’t tell that with many days still in the 90’s. The construction economy in our markets is still strong as businesses want to be located here and people want to move here too.

Softness in other markets has caused the manufacturers of most of the products we distribute to slow down or stop prices increases although we aren’t seeing a lot of price decreases…yet. For a closer look at pricing for our key products, see below.

Rebar has remained flat through August and thus far through September. Shredded scrap pricing posted down only $10 per ton from August’s number with the slight dip having no effect on the current market. With current rebar demand remaining steady, but not at the high pace of prior months, domestic mills have been able to adequately keep up with distribution and market consumption levels. Most high-volume buys are still being scheduled based on rebar production rollings, but spot needs and low volume requests between rollings have mostly been able to be fulfilled with shorter lead times.

Import rebar continues to gain momentum in certain markets. Competitive pricing versus domestic rebar is now being seen in markets such as Florida and Texas. The diminishing international demand for rebar has allowed rebar importers to once again focus on moving rebar into the US. Domestic freight is still high and the cost to move material over long distances remains a factor, so the competitiveness of import rebar is greater the closer the final destination is to the port of entry.

Inventory and availability also remain strong with regards to wire mesh reinforcing. Overall market demand for mesh has slowed down over the past months and domestic mills are looking to move product. Pricing continues the slow downward trend seen over the previous few months, with most requests for material able to be fulfilled within two weeks. Quicker lead times have many distributors reducing overall sitting inventory down to one- or two-months’ supply. This is an extreme change from a year ago where distributors were purchasing six or more months’ worth of inventory due to extended manufacturing lead times.

The lumber market continues to bump along the bottom. Slight pricing increases or decreases are occurring almost every week, but typically only last for the week. One specific grade and size may see a $20 increase one week and then see a decrease near the same amount the next. These little bounces up and down seem to be occurring across most grades, sizes, and species. With the threat of a potential railroad strike now behind, there is not much expectation for pricing to dramatically shift up or down in coming weeks.

Polyethylene sheeting is following a similar trend to the other commodities listed above. Demand has subsided some and available inventory and production time have increased. Lead times for standard sizes and mill thicknesses are currently running two to three weeks. Occasionally this lead time can even shrink down to a week. Recent pricing is reflecting the current availability with manufacturers willing to move on pricing to get orders. 

Contractors’ input costs declined again on balance in August, while bid prices rose, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data posted on September 14. Specifically, the producer price index (PPI) for material and service inputs to new nonresidential construction slid 1.1% for the month, while 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—rose 0.3%. The bid-price index rose 23.9% year-over-year (y/y), while the input index climbed 13.0%. Despite the recent decline in some input prices, the y/y gain still exceeds the increase that consumers or most businesses have experienced: the consumer price index rose 8.3% y/y and the PPI for final demand (all industries) climbed 8.7%. AGC posted tables 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, we are catching up with the team over at Palmetto Concrete Group, based out of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. Palmetto Concrete Group was established in South Carolina by Skylar Ashby in 2016. They specialize in heavier foundations as often required in the Charleston area as well as elevated slab and vertical concrete as a turnkey subcontractor. To learn more about them, click here.

FEATURED MANUFACTURERS

Owens Corning

Premier supplier of insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites

Hohmann & Barnard

Innovative masonry solutions

Owens Corning FOAMULAR®

Enclosure solutions

ASSOCIATE PROFILE

Grant Denny, Sales Manager, Jacksonville, Florida

Our Associate Profile this month is of Grant Denny, a Sales Manager in our Jacksonville, Florida branch. Grant was the founder of Increte of North Florida, a company that became party of New South last November. Grant was born in Gainesville, Florida and graduated from Fletcher High School. He then attended the University of North Florida where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Transportation and Logistics.  Grant has been married to wis wife, Melanie for 39 years. They have two children, Ashlyn Denny Scott, a 4th grade teacher in Sasche, TX and Louis Denny, a Sales Manager for us in Jacksonville. In his spare time he enjoys offshore fishing and golf. He enjoys Gator football and tries to travel to an away game each year He was previously employed by Increte of North Florida from 2004 to November 2021. It has been great to have Grant and his experienced team join us.
 

BENCHMARKING

Our management article this month is a chapter from my book on benchmarking as printed in the September issue of the Upstate Business Journal. Benchmarking is a great way to compare your business to a like one so both companies can learn from each other. Click here to read how I have benchmarked over the last 40 years.

That’s all for this month. I hope the summer was good from you and your business. As always, if we ever fail to meet your expectations, I’d consider it a personal favor if you would let me know about it. My contact info is below.

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President & CEO 864-263-4377 (Direct Line)
jim.sobeck@newsouthsupply.com

Main Office/Branch: Greenville, SC
Other Branches in:
Columbia | Charleston | Myrtle Beach | Hilton Head | Greensboro | Raleigh | Charlotte | Atlanta | Jacksonville

Instagram

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

YouTube

Author of The Real Business 101: Lessons From the TrenchesTo get your copy see below:

For Smashwords (eBook version for Kindle, iPad, Nook) click here
For direct link to Amazon site (Kindle and print version) click here

Corporate Contact Information

9 N. Kings Rd

Greenville, SC 29605 

Accounting Phone: 864.263.4376
Accounting Fax: 866.212.0640

President – Jim Sobeck 864.263.4377
Executive VP/COO – Abhi Singh 202.604.3270
Director of Purchasing – Peter Bemisderfer 864.650.5116
VP-CFO – Barrett Cooke 864.558.5385

Greenville Sales Office Contact Information

9 North Kings Rd
Greenville, SC 29605 

Phone: 864.269.7007
Fax: 864.269.6004
Operations Manager – Dylan Logan

Sales Managers – Dexter Goodwin, Cory Nicks

Other Locations:

West Columbia, SC
951 Harbor Drive
West Columbia, SC 29169 Phone: 803.791.8700
Fax: 803.791.8191
Operations Manager – Jack Parker
Sales Manager – Jon Black

Raleigh, NC
1427 Mechanical Blvd
Garner, NC (Raleigh) 27529 
Phone: 919.662.9012
Fax: 919.662.9412
Operations Manager – AJ Mozingo
Sales Managers – Corey Moser, Jim Morton

Lithonia, GA
5220 Minola Dr.
Lithonia, GA 30038
Phone: 404.844.2555
Operations Manager – Brian Krogg
Sales Managers – Kami Rogers, Phil Jones

Jacksonville, FL
9315 Old Kings Rd S
Jacksonville, FL 32257
Phone: 904.730.3008
Operations Manager – Buddy Jones
Sales Managers – Grant Denny, Jimmy Rhoads, Mike Smith

Charleston, SC
4987 Banco Road
N. Charleston, SC 29418 Phone: 843.760.0780
Fax: 843.760.6127
Operations Manager – Joe Fulmer
Sales Managers – Bailey Williams, Joanie Allen, Lauren Gunter, Doug Pearl

Greensboro, NC
7207 Cessna Drive
Greensboro, NC 27409 
Phone: 336.992.0237
Fax: 336.992.0839
Operations Manager – AJ Mozingo
Sales Manager – Angie Puckett, Corey Moser, Brian Brady

Myrtle Beach, SC
180 Rodeo Drive
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579 
Phone: 843.236.6447
Fax: 843.236.6521
Operations Manager – Frank Crouse
Sales Manager – Clint Paul

Charlotte, NC
140 Dorton St
Charlotte, NC 28213 
Phone: 704.358.9797
Fax: 704.358.9646
Operations Manager – Colby Ruel
Sales Managers – Chris Daleus, Jason Kenney

Hilton Head, SC
358 Industrial Park Rd
Hardeeville (Hilton Head), SC 29927
Phone: 843.784.1580
Fax: 843.784.1581
Operations Manager – Sheldon Barnes
Sales Manager – Steve Melton, Chandler McDonald

Copyright © 2022 New South Construction Supply, All rights reserved.

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August 2022 Newsletter


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New South Construction Supply

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New South News

Dear Friends,

I am beginning this newsletter with exciting news. New South won two prestigious awards in the month of August.

First, we were selected as one of the Best Companies to Work or in South Carolina, an award that is presented by SC Biz Magazine and the SC Chamber of Commerce. Given “The Great Resignation”, it is even more gratifying to see our Associates are so happy with their careers with us. We know to attract and retain high quality Associates, we need to provide a high-quality workplace. I am happy to see we are on the right track.

Second, we were named to the Fastest Growing Companies in South Carolina list. Since the start of the pandemic, we have had to deal with a lot: showroom shutdowns, product shortages, rampant inflation — to name a few of the challenges we have faced. To be able to manage hypergrowth during this time has been a total team effort. Our Customers, Associates, and Suppliers all came together to make this award possible.  

Next, below is the latest in construction pricing. The two-year run of steady increase on construction commodity products has finally peaked, and there is now a downward trending pattern for not all, but many commodity-based items. See below for more details.

Lumber is a commodity that continues to stay stuck on the bottom. Mill demands are low with buyers mainly purchasing immediate needs only. With sitting inventory available and lead times only running one to two weeks, mills are having a hard time selling at printed numbers. A month or less supply of sitting inventory seems to be the current market norm, as no major buyers see a significant rise in short term pricing that would drive industry purchase levels up. We expect lumber to remain at these lower levels for at least another few weeks.

Wire mesh reinforcing also continues to soften. With July’s lower levels of purchases, mills appear to have ample amounts of sitting inventory and are looking to move product off the yard. Positively for the mills, the large volume of distributors with sitting inventory stockpiled over the last few years has begun to dwindle down. This reduction in distributor inventory is resulting in an uptick of purchases for material being placed in the past few weeks. This increase in submitted purchase orders is not enough to shift the overall downward trend, but does seem to be slowing it some. Another positive with the current mesh market is lead time. Production is not nearly the issue it has been and lead times are mostly based on trucking availability. Lead times are only one to two weeks for most standard sizes.

The rebar market is similarly experiencing a softening over the past month. While not a dramatic as wire mesh, the availability of sitting inventory and pressure from importers, has provided some pricing relief on domestic rebar. Mills are still boasting full rolling schedules, but most distributor and fabricator needs are being fulfilled relatively quickly. Lead times for individual trucks are roughly two weeks, with multiple truckload orders being filled based on posted rolling schedules. Fabrication backlogs remain strong with most fabricators still booked out for months, but the day to day 20’ stock length (mainly residential) consumption levels are softening.  There is no anticipation for a single significant drop in pricing, but more of a slow gradual decline over the coming months.

Lastly, polyethylene sheeting is likewise seeing price retraction. Poly has been relatively stable over the past few months but is now currently seeing overall demand soften. Lower oil pricing and softening market demand has allowed mills to catch up on production resulting in shorter lead times. Shorter lead times are reducing the volume of large purchase orders that generally keep pricing stable. This softening is still new to the market and distributors will have to work through sitting inventory before the softer prices work their way through the supply chain.

Contractors’ input costs declined on balance in July, while bid prices accelerated, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data posted on August 11. Specifically, the producer price index (PPI) for material and service inputs to new nonresidential construction slid 1.3% for the month, while 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—jumped 5.4%. The input index climbed 14.6% year-over-year (y/y), but that was the smallest y/y rise since March 2021. The bid-price index rose by a record 23.9% y/y. Several materials contributed to the slowing of input costs. The PPI for diesel fuel plunged 16.3% in July but soared 71.3% y/y. Indexes for metals fell for the month: copper and brass mill shapes -9.7% (and -7.9% y/y); aluminum mill shapes, -4.0% (but up 12.5% y/y); and steel mill products, -3.7% (up 6.4% y/y). Other inputs with small declines in July include lumber and plywood, -0.5% (and -7.7% y/y); truck transportation of freight, -0.3% (but up 21.7% y/y); and asphalt felts and coatings, -0.2% (up 17.8% y/y). Prices increased in July for several inputs, including insulation materials, 3.3% (and 19.0% y/y); concrete products, 2.2% (and 14.3% y/y); and plastic construction products, 1.0% (and 22.4% y/y). AGC posted tables 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, we are catching up with the team over at Pride Masonry, based out of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Pride Masonry was established in South Carolina by James Davis, who retired in 2016, at which time he entered a buy/sell agreement with Brian Miller. Their preconstruction department has three phenomenal estimators with over 100 years of experience. In the field, they have nine crews and a dedicated maintenance/renovation division. To learn more about them, click here.
 


Featured Manufacturers

 

Owens Corning

Premier supplier of insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites

Access Tile

The ultimate solution in detectable warning systems


 

SpecChem

Makers of Chemicals and Aggregates for the Concrete Industry

 



Associate Profile

Doug Pearl

Sales Manager, Charleston, SC

Our Associate Spotlight this month is of Doug Pearl, a Sales Manager in our N. Charleston, SC branch. Doug was born in Tampa, FL, graduated from Andrews High School in High Point, NC, and he earned a B.S. Degree in Computer Information Systems from Pfeiffer University in North Carolina. He started with New South in February 2022, specializing in tilt up construction sales. Prior to joining us, Doug was with United Rentals for nine years as an Account Manager, and prior to that position, was with American Concrete Construction for seven years as a Project Manager/Estimator. He and his wife, Lauren have two daughters, Lindley and Presley. His hobbies are golf, CrossFit and boating. Overall, Doug grew up in the concrete business and is glad to be back in the industry. We are glad to have him back in the industry as well as he hit the ground running faster than anyone we have ever hired.
 


Our leadership article this month is my column in the Upstate Business Journal this month on the power of 1:1 monthly meetings with those who report to you. In this age of email/texts/cell phones, a face-to-face meeting with all who report to you for an hour or so a month helps ensure there have been no miscommunications over the last month and keeps you and your reports fully aligned. Click here to read the article.
 

Lessons from the Trenches:
Monthly Meetings

 


Well, summer is winding down and I know we will all welcome some cooler weather after a particularly hot and humid simmer here in the southeast. I hope business continues to be good for you and remember we are always interested in knowing how we can better serve you.

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President & CEO 864-263-4377 (Direct Line)
jim.sobeck@newsouthsupply.com

Main Office/Branch: Greenville, SC

Other Branches in:

Columbia | Charleston | Myrtle Beach | Hilton Head | Greensboro | Raleigh | Charlotte | Atlanta | Jacksonville

Connect with us:Instagram I Facebook I LinkedInI Twitter | YouTube

Author ofThe Real Business 101: Lessons From the Trenches.To get your copy see below:

For Smashwords (eBook version for Kindle, iPad, Nook) click here
For direct link to Amazon site (Kindle and print version) click here

July 2022 Newsletter


>> New South eNews
New South Construction Supply

New South News Header - Please load images to view newsletter properly.

New South News

Dear Friends,

We are now in the middle of summer and construction here in the Southeast continues to be very strong. The US economy isn’t as strong as it is here in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, as many people and companies are leaving other parts of the country to live here in the Sunbelt. We expect that to continue well into the future.

There has been some downward movement in the commodity markets. See below for a closer look at current pricing trends.

Many of the industry’s standard commodity-based items have seen change this month. Pricing has crested on many of these items and a softening within the market is beginning to occur.

Scrap metal pricing settled down another $30 per ton from June’s pricing to finish at $460 per ton in July. This was not as significant as a drop as was expected, but the downward trend on scrap pricing continued for another month. This recent pattern is having an impact on pricing domestically.

Wire mesh reinforcing has seen the quickest market softening. Mills are currently sitting on larger than normal amounts of inventory and looking to move product quickly. Many distributors are still working through the stockpiles of inventory that were amassed over the past year, so inbound purchases to the mills are slow. Mill purchases should pick up once these stockpiles are reduced, but the market will continue to soften until that happens.

Rebar has not only been impacted by the softening scrap pricing, but now faces more competition from importers. A soft international rebar market, combined with a strong US Domestic market, has caused international manufacturers to shift focus towards the US. For the first time in months, the price gap between US domestic rebar and imported rebar is large enough to warrant domestic fabricators and distributors to begin buying import rebar again. The price gaps between domestic rebar and import rebar increases the closer you get to the import rebar’s US port of origin. With the cost of transportation still extremely high, the domestic vs. import pricing gap in markets farther away from the ports is not near as dramatic. Import appears to be gaining some of the market share back that it lost over the past few years.

The lumber market is still bouncing off the bottom. Most species and sizes are readily available with lead times running around two weeks from time of purchase order. Slight increases one week are followed by slight reductions the very next. These slight movements up and down have resulted in no real measurable change in pricing since June.  Trucking continues to be an issue. Any small increase seen between loads is mainly being driven by trucking costs and has little to do with actual product fluctuations.

Polyethylene sheeting pricing has also remained flat since June. Demand remains strong and the poly manufacturers remain busy. Single size loads are currently running at a three-to-four-week lead time, with mixed size loads in the four-to-five-week lead time. The poly market feels stable and there is not much expectation for near term change in the current environment.

Contractors’ input costs rose faster than their bid prices from May to June but bid prices rose faster over the past 12 months, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data posted on July 14. Specifically, the producer price index (PPI) for material and service inputs to new nonresidential construction increased 1.1% for the month and 16.8% year-over-year (y/y).

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, we are catching up with the team over at Superior Masonry, based out of Fort Mill, South Carolina. Superior Masonry Unlimited, Inc was incorporated in South Carolina upon an acquisition in 2002, and under its leadership, the company has grown to its current output of keeping six, sixteen person crews busy. Their goal is to have eight crews consistently busy by the middle of 2023. Specifically, Superior specializes in high production masonry installations such as apartments, student housing, retirement housing, hotels, medical office buildings, warehouses and more. Read more on our blog.


 

Featured Manufacturers

 

 

Owens Corning

 

Premier supplier of insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites

 

 

GluDown

Superior construction and adhesive solutions.

https://mcusercontent.com/f50bf108ac23c82de92d1c6ba/images/29e61e55-5591-5803-9d73-da4c47e7398f.jpg

 

 

Hohmann & Barnard

Provider of quality and innovative products that architects, engineers, and contractors have come to rely on since 1933.

 

 


 

Associate Profile

Lauren Gunter

Sales Manager, Charleston, SC

Our Associate Spotlight this month is of Lauren Gunter, a Sales Manager at our Charleston, SC branch. Prior to joining us in January she was with Port City Concrete (2016-2021) and Republic Services (2004-2016). With her having a lot of contacts from her time with Port City Concrete, Lauren was able to make an immediate impact after starting with us. A Charleston native, Lauren graduated from Bishop England High School and earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice at the University of South Carolina. She and her husband, Paul have three boys, Finn (14), Sawyer (11), and Cooper (8). Among her many hobbies are boating, shopping, golfing, fishing, crabbing, swimming, attending football and baseball games, going to concerts, and hanging out with friends and family.


Our management article this month is a chapter from my book on interviewing tips as printed in the July issue of the Upstate Business Journal. One of the most important parts of a manager’s job is hiring top notch people. Click here to read what has worked for me over the last 40 years.

Lessons from the Trenches:

Interviewing Tips

 

 


That’s all for this month. As always, if we ever fail to meet your expectations, I’d consider it a personal favor if you would let me know about it. My contact info is below.

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President & CEO 864-263-4377 (Direct Line)
jim.sobeck@newsouthsupply.com

 

Main Office/Branch: Greenville, SC

 

Other Branches in:

 

Columbia | Charleston | Myrtle Beach | Hilton Head | Greensboro | Raleigh | Charlotte | Atlanta | Jacksonville

Connect with us: Instagram I Facebook I LinkedIn I Twitter | YouTube

Author of The Real Business 101: Lessons From the Trenches.

To get your copy see below:

For Smashwords (eBook version for Kindle, iPad, Nook) click here
For direct link to Amazon site (Kindle and print version) click here

June 2022 Newsletter


>> New South eNews
New South Construction Supply
New South News Header - Please load images to view newsletter properly.

New South News

Dear Friends,

As I write this in late June, construction in the south is still going strong, and we expect this momentum to continue for the foreseeable future. We have talked to a lot of our customers and suppliers, our leadership team has reviewed a lot of economic forecasts, and we have reached the conclusion the southern United States economy is the strongest in the country. People and companies keep moving to the southern states due to lower taxes, great weather, affordable labor, and more affordable homes and land. We also don’t see the overbuilding and lax mortgage lending standards that led to The Great Recession. We’re of the opinion that even if the south sees a recession, it won’t be deep or long-lasting. Let’s all hope we’re correct.

The recent lack of many price increases is continuing. See below for a closer look.

There was little movement on most of the commodity-based products in June, but there were signs of price increases developing towards the end of the month.

Lumber remained flat with pricing moving slightly up or down each week. Buyers remained hesitant to purchase in bulk with the recent months of a soft market. Purchases were typically made on an immediate need basis while mills and brokers tried to find the market levels. This hesitant approach persisted throughout the month, but reports of a bounce in the Western US market slowly made its way across the country. This did not have any impact on SYP in the Southeast, but it did have a slight impact on the Canadian SPF market. SPF prices continued to increase slightly each week throughout the month and the expectation is for increases to continue at least until the week of July 4th. Lead times on loads are running 2 to 4 weeks depending on species and size needed.

Polyethylene sheeting is another commodity that remained flat. The price increase pushed through in mid-April has been full accepted by the market with orders continuing to flow into poly mills. Lead times are currently 3 to 4 weeks on straight truckloads of single size and mil, while mixed loads are taking about a week longer. There is little expectation for a decrease in cost over the next month, especially with the price of oil remaining so high.

Rebar and wire mesh, while remaining flat through June, appear to be the commodities with the highest potential for movement in July. Scrap once again posted down and both rebar and mesh mills are feeling pressure from buyers to lower costs. Wire mesh has the most potential to see a pricing correction the quickest. Even if there is a pricing reduction from the mills, the reduction may not be reflected into the market until late July or August. Many distributors are still sitting on large volumes of inventory from purchases made when lead times were extremely stretched. It appears many are/will deplete sitting inventory before restocking new inventory in any large volumes.

Rebar manufacturers also are beginning to feel pressure from brokers and distributors regarding price relief. As of now, the mills are holding firm on pricing saying demand remains extremely high and rolling schedules remain fully booked out. Import rebar has once again become a factor in the marketplace. While US domestic demand remains high, the need internationally is beginning to soften. This international softening has caused import suppliers to once again shift focus to the US market. For the first time in a while, import rebar is starting to look like a viable option for some fabricators and distributors. If import rebar can gain a foothold in the market, the mills may have to react accordingly and provide some long-needed price relief.

Contractors’ bid prices rose at roughly the same rate as their input costs for the first time since September 2020, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data posted on June 14. However, for the month, the change in input costs in May outran the change in bid prices, implying pressure on contractors’ profit margins will persist. Specifically, the producer price index (PPI) for material and service inputs to new nonresidential construction increased 1.9% for the month and 18.9% 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—rose 0.4% for the month and 19.3% y/y.

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 of McKenzie R. Jordan, President of Chancel Construction Inc., a second generation, family-owned construction company with 50 years of construction leadership experience in the Myrtle Beach, SC market and the surrounding area. Their name is inspired by their first-ever project as a company on the chancel, or front portion, of a church sanctuary. It represents a significant milestone in their company history and serves as a metaphor of their commitment to be upfront in all that they do. To learn more about McKenzie and Chancel Construction, read more on our blog.


 

Featured Manufacturers

 

 

Owens Corning

 

Premier supplier of insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites

 

 

Zurn

A worldwide leader in trench drain systems

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/f50bf108ac23c82de92d1c6ba/images/f173c96c-5b2b-4524-a834-09580b71b72e.jpg

 

 

Simpson Strong Tie

Connecting systems for wood, steel, masonry, and concrete

 

 


 

Associate Profile

Tyler Evans

Manager of Talent Acquisition

Our Associate Spotlight this month is of Tyler Evans, our Manager of Talent Acquisition. Tyler was born in Houston, TX and raised in Spartanburg, SC. He graduated from Dorman High School and then went on to the University of South Carolina, where he earned three degrees, a BA in Spanish (2013), MA in Linguistics (2016), and a Master of Human Resources (2020). Prior to joining us earlier this year, he worked at Eastman Chemical Company (2020-2022), Spartanburg County Public Libraries (SCPL) (2017-2019), and the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program (2016-2017). His hobbies are film, travel (he’s been to ten countries), languages and rock climbing. He has a long-time partner of 12 years and also a pet rabbit named Dennis Hopper. With hiring being very difficult these days, Tyler has been a very welcome addition to our team.


Our Leadership article this month is from my latest column in the Upstate Business Journal, My Top 10 Productivity Tips.  Over the years, I’ve read a lot of books and attended many classes on time management, and this article sums up the top tips and tricks I’ve learned as a result. Click here to see what works for me.

Lessons from the Trenches: My top 10 productivity tips

 

 


That’s all for this month. As always, don’t ever hesitate to let me know how we can serve you better. I’m always open to suggestions and even complaints.

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President & CEO 864-263-4377 (Direct Line)
jim.sobeck@newsouthsupply.com

 

Main Office/Branch: Greenville, SC

 

Other Branches in:

 

Columbia | Charleston | Myrtle Beach | Hilton Head | Greensboro | Raleigh | Charlotte | Atlanta | Jacksonville

Connect with us: Instagram I Facebook I LinkedIn I Twitter | YouTube

Author of The Real Business 101: Lessons From the Trenches.

To get your copy see below:

For Smashwords (eBook version for Kindle, iPad, Nook) click here
For direct link to Amazon site (Kindle and print version) click here

May 2022 Newsletter


>> New South eNews
New South Construction Supply
New South News Header - Please load images to view newsletter properly.

New South News

Dear Friends,

As I write this in late May, construction remains one of the strongest parts of the US economy. All our divisions are firing on all cylinders, and we expect this to be the case through the end of this year. Next year isn’t as clear but we remain hopeful that business will remain strong.

We continue to set records every month. Our tilt up backlog is now into October and we are getting new RFP’s every day. Out biggest challenge now is hiring enough people to handle demand. We have 12 open positions right now and we’d appreciate your help in filling these openings. See https://www.newsouthsupply.com/careers/ for our current available positions.

Last month, we announced we signed a Letter of Intent to acquire American Contractors Supply, based in Atlanta. I am disappointed to tell you that they had a change of heart and terminated the acquisition. We are still friends and hope to close this acquisition when the time is right for them. Selling a company is very emotional for founders, we respect their decision in not going forward with the acquisition at this time.

Despite the strong market, commodity prices have mostly remained stable. See below for a closer look at pricing trends for the main products we sell.

As construction season enters the busy season, commodity prices have had minimal changes since April. With the potential of finding some relief this summer from a two-year run of massive price increases on commodity-based items, buyers are cautious to stockpile or go long on many of the commodities we distribute.

Rebar demand remains strong through May, and the $2.00/CWT increase on 20’ stock bar, in April is holding firm for now. Mills are reporting all May rollings are booked and much of the rollings scheduled for June are also booking up quickly. With demand high, availability remains an issue and is allowing the domestic mills to stick with the elevated pricing. The opportunity for the market to soften has everything to do with the reemergence of import offerings and falling scrap metal pricing. Turkish rebar pricing has reduced to levels that now offer competition to domestic mills. Domestic mills are holding firm on current pricing stating demand is too great to see a price decrease, but with scrap metal decreasing and now competition from importers; wholesalers, distributors, and large-scale fabricators are hesitant to stock up on material. We do not predict a change in pricing in May, but the potential for reduction in June or July feels plausible. Domestic mills will not lower pricing easily or quickly, so the potential market shift should not be as extreme as it was on the way up.

Wire mesh pricing remains flat from April. The availability of wire mesh has begun to improve, with lead times being quoted in weeks instead of months. Mills, having caught up on back orders, have been able to build sitting inventory over the past few months. While pricing has not moved with the increased availability, we will continue to monitor the scrap metal market for indicators. If mill sitting inventory continues to build and scrap prices continue to reduce, we may see some relief on pricing in the coming months.

Lumber remains on the low side of the market again for the month of May. Many brokers and distributors do not feel the lumber market has hit bottom and are being extremely cautious when buying inventory. This cautious buying is keeping pricing suppressed with mills actively looking to move material. Loads are being bought and sold near print, with some willingness from the mills to negotiate on pricing depending on size and volume of need.

Poly sheeting was one of the few commodities to see a recent increase as poly manufacturers pushed through a 4-7% increase in mid-April. The market appears to have accepted this increase with little pushback from buyers. With availability being stretched back out to 4-5 weeks, pricing is a secondary concern compared to availability. Longer lead times bring heavier purchases within the industry, which in turn creates even longer lead times. With oil pricing and lead times remaining high, we expect poly pricing to increase and availability to decrease.

Construction input costs rose faster than bid prices year-over-year (y/y) again in April, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data posted on May 12. The producer price index (PPI) for material and service inputs to new nonresidential construction increased 0.8% for the month and 20.9% 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 4.1% for the month and 19.9% y/y. April was the 19th-straight month in which the cost index rose more than the bid-price index on a year-over-year basis, but the one percentage-point gap was the smallest since November 2020. AGC posted tables and a graph 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 of Bernie Walraven, President of Pinnacle Contracting Services. Bernie started his company in 2011, which is a high growth concrete company in the Residential and Multi-Family Home Construction Market. When Bernie started the company 11 years ago, he took a risk to begin the company when his wife was pregnant with their first child, where he worked very hard for the first year as the only employee, and then the business took off from there. Learn more about Bernie’s background, the projects he is most excited by right now, and how they differentiate themselves from the competition by reading the full interview on our blog.
 


Featured Manufacturers

 

Owens Corning

Premier supplier of insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites

SpecChem

Makers of Chemicals and Aggregates for the Concrete Industry

 

Makita

Manufacturer of power tools, drill bits, blades, and other equipment

 


Associate Profile

 

John Bennett

Manager in Training, Greensboro, NC

Our Associate Spotlight this month is of John Bennett, a Manager in Training in our Greensboro, NC branch. John was born in Kernersville, NC and graduated from East Forsyth High School. He went on to graduate from Liberty University with a B. S. in Business Administration. Before joining New South, he worked at a local Commercial Real Estate company during summers throughout college. He is married and enjoys pending time with family and being outdoors, traveling, and going on spontaneous adventures. He joined us last January and has impressed us with being a hard worker and a fast learner.


Our Leadership article this month is one of my columns from the Upstate Business Journal, Lessons from My Mentors. I’ve been fortunate to have had some great mentors who taught me a lot of things the easy way. Click here to see the column.
 

Lessons from My Mentors

 


That’s all for this month. As always, don’t ever hesitate to let me know how we can serve you better. I’m always open to suggestions and even complaints.

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President & CEO 864-263-4377 (Direct Line)
jim.sobeck@newsouthsupply.com

Main Office/Branch: Greenville, SC

Other Branches in:

Columbia | Charleston | Myrtle Beach | Hilton Head | Greensboro | Raleigh | Charlotte | Atlanta | Jacksonville

Connect with us: Instagram I Facebook I LinkedIn I Twitter | YouTube

Author of The Real Business 101: Lessons From the Trenches. To get your copy see below:

For Smashwords (eBook version for Kindle, iPad, Nook) click here
For direct link to Amazon site (Kindle and print version) click here

April 2022 Newsletter


>> New South eNews
New South Construction Supply
New South News Header - Please load images to view newsletter properly.

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

Sika/Scofield

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)
jim.sobeck@newsouthsupply.com

Main Office/Branch: Greenville, SC

Other Branches in:

Columbia | Charleston | Myrtle Beach | Hilton Head | Greensboro | Raleigh | Charlotte | Atlanta | Jacksonville

Connect with us: Instagram I Facebook I LinkedIn I Twitter | YouTube

Author of The Real Business 101: Lessons From the Trenches. To get your copy see below:

For Smashwords (eBook version for Kindle, iPad, Nook) click here
For direct link to Amazon site (Kindle and print version) click here

March 2022 Newsletter


>> New South eNews
New South Construction Supply
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New South News

Dear Friends,

As I write this letter in late March, winter is officially over, and the mid-70’s in the south are a sign that the spring construction season is here. The construction industry is still booming, and our products and materials remain in stock with the things you need for your residential and commercial construction jobs. We have another 2,000 tilt-up braces coming next month, and we have been told we now have the second largest inventory of tilt braces, not just in the south, but in the country.

The beginning of the industry’s busy season is here and there have been significant changes impacting commodity pricing and availability. See below for a detailed look at what’s going on.

Due to the dramatic rise in domestic and international metal scrap prices, both rebar and wire mesh have been severely impacted. On March 8th, one of the region’s largest mills announced a price increase of $100 per ton effective immediately. By March 10th, the other three major mills in the Southeast all followed with $100 per ton increases of their own. The massive increase of scrap metal pricing was listed as the root cause for the $100 per ton increase. With the war in the Ukraine still raging, scrap metal prices are surging not only internationally, but domestically as well. Ukraine is one of the largest producers of steel (and resulting scrap) in their region, and with all three of their mills down, regional availability has plummeted, and surrounding countries are scrambling to find inventory to feed need. Turkish and Italian rebar is helping to supplement some of the regional demand, but that is also resulting in very little import rebar being sent west towards the United States.

Domestic transportation costs are also having impact on both rebar and wire mesh pricing. To add on top of the high scrap pricing, domestic fuel price increases and trucking shortages have caused manufacturers to push through a freight increase on all loads shipping after April 1st. This will roughly be an increase of 30% over prior freight rates resulting in an additional price per ton increase of $10 to $12. This freight increase is on top of the $100 increase on material mentioned earlier.

With rumors of another pending material price increase to be announced by the mills before the end of March, we could possibly see rebar prices increase over $200 per ton in just the month of March.

Wire mesh has followed the same path as rebar and has also seen multiple increases in March. Mesh pricing is now 10 – 12% higher than February’s numbers. Expectations are for both rebar and mesh to climb until the market can bear no more and projects begin to be put on hold.

Metal goods are not the only commodity seeing increases. The recent increase in the price of oil is having a major impact on the polyethylene market. Multiple poly manufacturers have sent out price increase notices in the month of March. These increases are ranging from 8-10% on all orders placed on and after April 1st. Lead times are holding firm in the three-to-four-week range depending on size and mil thickness needed.

The only commodity that has not seen an increase over the past month is lumber. The lumber market appears to have crested and is slowly working back down. Given the recent volatility within the lumber market, the dip may not last long, but buyers are currently holding off on large purchases in hopes the market will continue to soften. Should a flurry of purchases begin to come in, the market could once again change if inventory tightens.

Construction input costs outpaced bid prices in February, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data posted on March 15. The producer price index (PPI) for material and service inputs to new nonresidential construction climbed 2.0% for the month and 21% 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. There were double-digit y/y increases in numerous input PPIs. The PPI for steel mill products soared 74% y/y despite declining 9.9% for the month. The index for diesel fuel jumped 14% in February and 57% y/y; aluminum mill shapes, 6.2% and 37%, respectively; plastic construction products, 1.3% and 36%; copper and brass mill shapes, 0.8% and 24%; lumber and plywood, 4.1% and 23%; gypsum products, -1.3% and 21%; asphalt felt and coatings, 2.1% and 21%; architectural coatings, 9.9% and 20%; insulation materials, 0.6% and 18%; truck transportation of freight, 2.0% and 19%; concrete products, 0.9% and 10%; and flat glass, 0.2% and 10%. 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, we are highlighting Andy Jones as part of our Catching up with our Customers series. Andy is Co-Owner of Grey Gold Concrete out of Inman, South Carolina (close to Spartanburg and Greenville, SC), where they do concrete foundations mainly on the residential side. Originally from New Hampshire, both Andy and his business partner Jeff started this business back in the 2000’s, and their business continues to boom by setting the foundations for ultra-luxury homes across the Upstate and Western North Carolina. They pride themselves on gaining business by doing the work others won’t do (think: very difficult terrain and building homes on a mountainside). Check out the interview by visiting our blog.
 


Featured Manufacturers

 

Owens Corning

Premier supplier of insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites

Hohmann & Barnard

Provider of quality and innovative products that architects, engineers, and contractors have come to rely on since 1933

 

 

Simpson Strong Tie

Connecting systems for wood, steel, masonry, and concrete
 

 


Associate Profile

Marshall Stookey
Manager in Training Greensboro, NC

Our Associate Spotlight this month is of Marshall Stookey, a Manager in Training at our Greensboro branch. Marshall is a native of Greensboro and graduated from Southwest Guilford High School in High Point, NC. Prior to joining us he was in inside sales at Steel Bar Corp in Greensboro, and he was a property manager at Scott Williams Property Management Group in Gastonia, NC. Earning his B.A. in Political Science from UNC-Charlotte in 2018, Marshall’s hobbies include playing pool and going to live music events.  Marshall joined us in August 2021, where he immediately made an impact on our team.


Our management article this month is a recent column of mine from the Upstate Business Journal (Greenville, SC), on whether your website is helping or hurting your business. Check it out here.


That’s it for last month. Enjoy the nice weather and never hesitate to let me know how we can serve you better. My contact info is below.

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President & CEO 864-263-4377 (Direct Line)
jim.sobeck@newsouthsupply.com

Main Office/Branch: Greenville, SC

Other Branches in:

Columbia | Charleston | Myrtle Beach | Hilton Head | Greensboro | Raleigh | Charlotte | Atlanta | Jacksonville

Connect with us: Instagram I Facebook I LinkedIn I Twitter | YouTube

Author of The Real Business 101: Lessons From the Trenches. To get your copy see below:

For Smashwords (eBook version for Kindle, iPad, Nook) click here
For direct link to Amazon site (Kindle and print version) click here

February 2022 Newsletter


>> New South eNews
New South Construction Supply
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New South News

Dear Friends,

Construction is still booming and New South continues to remain busy supporting clients across our ten branches in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. We have gotten several, recent large PO’s for tilt up and other types of jobs, and our new Jacksonville, FL branch is exceeding expectations, breaking us into the Florida market quickly. Commodity products were all basically flat from January through February, with the only exception being lumber. See below for details on the key products we supply.

The lumber market continues to struggle for consistency with many of the familiar factors causing supply chain disruptions. Low sitting inventory at mills and extended lead times on shipments are back to being the norm. Pricing continues to climb as availability continues to decline. Import lumber typically used to help offset domestic supply chain issues is also seeing supply chain constraints. Severe logistic and transportation problems at the ports continue. Many of the inbound Euro SPF loads moving through the ports are arriving to their final destination weeks after originally promised. These availability issues and high prices are expected to remain for at least the next 4 to 5 weeks.

Rebar has stayed flat for another month and pricing remains at the levels set in early December. Inventory remains fairly accessible with mills having more sitting inventory available than in the months prior to the December price increase. The regional mills appear to be on different rolling schedules for each size, so inventory has been slightly easier to acquire if buyers are willing to work across multiple mills.

Wire Mesh has also remained flat through February. There are rumblings of a potential price increase in the coming months, but nothing has been firmly established on what that increase would look like.  Lead times have improved slightly with lead times closer to 8-10 weeks. Expectations are for lead times to remain in this range well through summer.

Poly has also remained flat over the past month, but like lumber, the lead times have begun to stretch out. Lead times for straight loads of single size rolls are averaging close to three weeks, while mixed loads are averaging between four and five weeks from time of order placement. There are not expectations for price to drop soon, so bulking up on springtime inventory should be to concerning.

Construction input costs and bid prices both accelerated in January, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data posted on February 16. The producer price index (PPI) for material and service inputs to new nonresidential construction climbed 2.6% for the month (up from 0.9% in December) and 20% 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 3.8% for the month and 17% y/y, the most in the series’ 12-year history.

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

Catching up with our Customers

In this month’s segment of “Catching up with our Customers,” we highlight Kyle Daigle, Owner of Bottomline Construction Services, a concrete foundations company based out of Savannah, GA and with an office in Charleston, SC. Kyle started his business after years working up the ranks at Firm Foundations in Atlanta, GA, another great customer of ours. Kyle works primarily with Steve Melton, our Market President, and the Hardeeville, SC (Hilton Head Island/Savannah area) branch. We had a great interview with Kyle, where we learned more about how he got started in the business, the story of how he opened his second office, and talked through construction predictions for the rest of 2022. Take five minutes to read the informative interview by visiting our blog.
 


Featured Manufacturers

 

Owens Corning

Premier supplier of insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites

SpecChem

Makers of Chemicals and Aggregates for the Concrete Industry

Zurn

A worldwide leader in trench drain systems

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/f50bf108ac23c82de92d1c6ba/images/f173c96c-5b2b-4524-a834-09580b71b72e.jpg

 


Associate Profile

Raymond Aiello
Manager in Training Hardeeville, SC

Our Associate Spotlight this month is of Raymond Aiello, a Manager in Training at our Hardeeville, SC branch. Ray was born in Beaufort, SC and received his high school diploma from the Beaufort Academy, class of 2012. He received his bachelor’s degree at Georgia Southern University with a degree in Criminal Justice, and he is in the process of earning his Masters of Business Administration at The Citadel Military College. He is 75 percent complete as of this newsletter. He got married in February 2021, and he and his wife are expecting a baby girl this June. Ray has been a great addition to our team in Hardeeville.
 


Our Leadership article this month is, Great Leaders Share These Three Characteristics.
How many of them do you have?
 

Great leaders share these 3 characteristics

By Dan Rockwell

#1. Ready to say YES:
Consistent results require stable environments. ‘No’ protects the status quo; ‘Yes’ disrupts.

If you aren’t careful, ‘no’ becomes your default response to input and ideas. If you frequently say ‘no’, people choose sleepwalking over engagement.

5 ways to lean toward YES:
Be ready with a first response that leans toward ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’.

  1. How can you give that a try?
  2. What are you trying to accomplish? Instead of simply saying ‘no’, explore goals.
  3. What do you need to make this happen?
  4. What needs to be true for you to take this idea forward?
  5. Who is impacted if you move this idea forward?

You tell people their ideas matter when you lean toward ‘yes’.

Tip: Use caution when ideas impact others more than the idea giver. It’s easy to know what others should do.

#2. Ready to finish stuff:

Starting things is a distraction when you aren’t committed to finish stuff.

You end up overworked and stressed out when you habitually add to your bucket without taking something out.

Manageable time pressure increases concentration. Running from one thing to the next invites frustration, mediocrity, and cutting corners.

 If you’re a leader who loves to start things, finish something old before you start something new.

#3. Ready to learn:

Learners go further than knowers.

You can be ready to say ‘yes’ and ready to finish stuff, but you’ll crash and burn if you aren’t ready to learn.

  1. Show up asking, “What can I learn?”
  2. Stay open to learning from unexpected people.
  3. Ask, “What am I missing?”
  4. Record learnings.

There is a lot to look forward to this spring. The worst of winter is over here in the south and construction may even get more heated as the weather warms up. 

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President & CEO 864-263-4377 (Direct Line)
jim.sobeck@newsouthsupply.com

Main Office/Branch: Greenville, SC

Other Branches in:

Columbia | Charleston | Myrtle Beach | Hilton Head | Greensboro | Raleigh | Charlotte | Atlanta | Jacksonville

Connect with us: Instagram I Facebook I LinkedIn I Twitter | YouTube

Author of The Real Business 101: Lessons From the Trenches. To get your copy see below:

For Smashwords (eBook version for Kindle, iPad, Nook) click here
For direct link to Amazon site (Kindle and print version) click here