Stay on Your Toes

Jim Keller

February 2009

It is now confirmed that 2008 was the worst year for the economy since 1931, the year of the biggest financial bust ever. We continue to evolve and witness events and changes like never seen before in the past two generations. Words rarely used before now have meanings for these times: pirates, bailouts, Ponzi schemes and economic stimulus, to name a few.

Now more than ever we must tend to the store. The comfortable way most of us used to do business must change with these conditions or we will not survive this global economic downturn.

Receivables are the life blood of our business, and staying on top of collecting money owed is now more important than possibly anything else. I have never seen so many mechanic’s liens filed; in fact, nationally liens are up 60 percent! It is essential to know who you are really doing business with.

Solid relationships developed in the past will be paramount to our future success—both from a collections and a new work standpoint. Now is the time to kick your estimators and project managers out of the office to go make that face-to-face contact we all struggle to get our people to do.

While we are at it, make this magazine accessible to your staff during their slack time. AWCI’s Construction Dimensions continues to be an invaluable resource, providing relevant news, education, product information and an overall picture of day-to-day dealings in the field. Other than at our INTEX Expo, nowhere do we see information on the latest products, tools and materials presented so well in one package. The staff that AWCI has assembled is by far the best in the industry in the publication arena.

It is no surprise that AWCI’s Construction Dimensions is held in such high esteem in the industry in part because of the work of two individuals: Editor Laura Porinchak and Associate Publisher Brent Stone, both of whom have been here longer than any other employees—including CEO Steve Etkin. They are a tremendous resource for AWCI, and they in turn have assembled an excellent support staff.

So, in closing, keep your chin up, rally your staff, and take the time to really get into this magazine and let it help you develop your business.