July 2019 Newsletter

July 2019 Newsletter

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New South News

Dear Friends,

As I compose this letter in late July the rains have largely been holding off and business has picked up for most of us. Despite this there have been only a few price increases from our main manufacturers.  See below for details:

The end of June and the beginning of July have really seen an increase in activity. Job starts and overall construction activity are starting to reach the anticipated summer levels. Better late than never. We should see a busy remainder of the year while contractors try to get back on schedule wherever possible.

Rebar pricing remained flat yet again through the last half of June and into July. Scrap metal pricing moved up and down a few times but rallied late to settle right back where it began the month. Consistency is currently being viewed as a positive and most are hoping this will cause the market to firm up a bit. Some mills have announced increases on other steel prices they produce, but rebar pricing has remained out of the limelight.

Domestic reinforcement wire mesh has continued to stay soft. Ample production and high levels of stock at the mills have contributed to this softening. Lead times are still shorter than in previous years, with the main issue affecting lead time being available trucks to deliver material. As mentioned last month, it continues to be a very good time to purchase wire mesh. With the overall pick up in construction, these soft numbers may not stay around all summer.

After last month’s curtailment by a few large lumber mills, there have been a few price changes in the lumber market. The severity of price increase has mainly been dependent on the species. SPF has seen the largest impact. SPF pricing jumped with the high volume of orders coming in from customers trying to grab available inventory, but once those orders were fulfilled, the demand dropped again. SYP saw a slight impact, but nothing like spike we saw earlier this year. SYP availability remains strong and should stay steady throughout the summer barring some unexpected outside influence.

We did see some price increases from construction material manufacturers come through since last month’s newsletter and they are listed below:


Lyons Manufacturing announced a price increase that will be effective starting September 2. Lyons stated the increased price of raw materials and increased freight costs due to the new ELP mandate as the main reasons for the increase. Updated pricing reflecting the increases should be available in the next few weeks.

Dayton Superior also announced a price increase effective July 15, 2019. The May 10th tariff increase from 10% to 25% on Chinese import products was the main reason stated for the increase. Existing quotations will be valid for 30 days from the actual quote date with no extended delivery dates available.

Diamond Professionals also cited the tariffs as the reason for their price increase. Diamond Professionals will push through the price increase on July 15, 2019. New pricing is now available.

Quad-Lock, a manufacturer of insulated concrete forms and accessories, announced a price increase for August 1, 2019. According to Quad-Lock, the tariffs with China on steel and aluminum products have reached a point where a price increase is necessary. New pricing will apply to any order shipped on or after August 1, 2019.

Contractors’ bid prices increased 0.2% from May to June, while materials and services input costs declined 0.6% for the month, based on the latest producer price indexes (PPIs) that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) posted on July 12.

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

Our featured suppliers this month are:

  • Hohmann & Barnard
  • J. D. Russell
  • Sonoco Products

Our associate profile this month is of Garrett King, an inside sales/warehouse associate in our Garner, NC branch.

Our management article this month is entitled, Develop Talented Employees Using These 3 Strategies. Finding and keeping talent is especially hard in this low unemployment market so I think you will find this article very helpful.

In closing, most construction industry forecasters are calling for a strong balance of the year. We hope that will be the case in your market. As always, thank you for your business. We never take it for granted.

Featured Manufacturers

Hohmann & Barnard

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

J.D. Russell
Manufacturers and distributers of quality construction materials and landscape edging products.
click image below for full sized ad!

Sonoco Products

The World’s Largest Producer of Tubes, Cores, and Fiber Concrete Columns


Associate Profile

Garrett King
Inside Sales/Warehouse Associate, Garner, NC Branch

Garrett was born in Raleigh and graduated from Harnett Central High School. He then attended East Carolina University where he studied political science. He is single and his hobbies are watching football on the weekend and playing flag football in the spring. He joined us as a rebar fabricator in November of 2017 and moved into his current position in September of 2018. He quickly made a name for himself as a person who is more than willing to go the extra mile for customers by making deliveries at night and on the weekend. He has been a great addition to our team.

July’s Management Article

Develop Talented Employees Using These 3 Strategies
By Deborah Sweeney

Did you know 30% of today’s workers feel undervalued in their current positions? This percentage,
though not particularly overwhelming, should serve a silent red flag to employers across the United
States. When talented employees feel undervalued, they start to look for jobs at companies where
they will be valued. The same thing happens to employees that do not receive encouragement for
their hard work. If you feel undervalued, or not valued at all, chances are you’ll keep one foot
perpetually out the door for a new opportunity.

The good news is that savvy small businesses can nip this issue in the bud right now. There are
several tried and true tactics for developing talent in a small business. These strategies will ensure
your employees feel satisfied in their roles and happy to come to work and contribute to the
company each day.

Create Opportunities For Growth

Let’s say you notice one of your employees in the marketing department has a knack for graphic
design. They’re adept at creating designs for print materials like brochures and digital like e-
newsletters. Their skill set is so impressive, they might actually be a better fit to transition into the
design department.

Create opportunities for growth throughout your business. Let employees know that these
opportunities exist from day one, AKA when they first apply for jobs within your business. If you
notice one of your employees has skills that could make them stand out in another department, meet
with them one-on-one. Have a conversation about the possibility of transitioning them to a new role
beyond their initial department where they can apply these skills and thrive.

Give Talented Employees A Challenging Workload

If an employee feels undervalued, chances are their workload may factor into those feelings. They
may be doing too much work to the point where they feel overwhelmed. Or, they could be doing the
opposite with a ton of boring busy work.

Switch up the routine with a challenging workload. Assign projects that allow employees to take the
lead. Allow them to conduct research, work alongside other team members, and give them a
deadline as further drive and motivation to get the task at hand done as thoroughly as possible.

Encourage talent to take initiative, too. If they notice something in their department that the company
is not doing or should be doing, allow them to pitch their plan to you for what’s missing and how they
plan to solve the problem. Then, give them the reigns to strategize and complete what needs to be

Make It A Habit To Say “Great Job!” All The Time

Anytime you see a talented employee going above and beyond, let them know it. Praise their hard
work by saying “Great job!” You can do this face-to-face with the team member, email them directly,
or even send out a companywide email highlighting them as the employee of the month.

Share moments where they did a fantastic job with the rest of the team, and keep encouraging talent
to reach for the stars with their workload. Will it make them feel much more appreciated and valued
overall? You bet!

That’s it for this month. I hope your business is booming and that you will think of us when you need quality building materials.

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President & CEO 864-263-4377 (Direct Line)
Connect with us: Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | LinkedIn

Author of The Real Business 101: Lessons From the Trenches
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