Suppliers Have Their Say

Laura M. Porinchak / September 2016

Since this is the suppliers’ version of our annual Buyers’ Guide, we decided to take things with the suppliers one step further and interview suppliers for their opinions about the business climate in the wall and ceiling industry. And, boy, did we learn a lot!
    
Suppliers have a unique vantage point in that they are not only running business (like contractors) in the same or a similar environment, they also have the attention (and ears) of their contractor customers. Do suppliers and contractors see things in the same way? We frequently ask AWCI’s contractor members about trends, backlogs, challenges, etc., but this is the first time in a while we’ve gone to the other side of the desk. You’ll have to turn to page 34 to read about how the suppliers’ responses match up against those of contractors. We asked them for their opinions about trends in materials, the labor shortage, their outlook for the future and more; do you agree with their assessments?

And as I mentioned, this is also our Buyers’ Guide issue. Last month the focus was on manufacturers, this time it’s on the suppliers. This special section starts on page 41.
    
Of course there’s more. Some other highlights include these articles: Bob Grupe discusses the proper usage of sealants on acoustically rated steel framing partitions in “Wachuwannano” on page 27, Mark L. Johnson looks at demographics and the changing labor market in “InSync” on page 24, and Vince Bailey examines innovation and progress in “Estimator’s Edge” on page 23.

Coming next month we’ll take an even harder look at the labor shortage, and following that in November will be a special article on leadership. We close out the year with our December issue by looking ahead at the 2017 economy. What subjects would you like us to tackle in 2017? Will the industry keep getting healthier, stagnate or drop? How will the U.S. presidential election affect construction? How will the labor shortage be resolved, and more importantly, how can we attract more young people to construction? These are just some of the questions we’re pondering as we near the end of 2016, but I’d like to know what you think. Feel free to look me up and message me on Facebook with your thoughts, www.facebook.com/lauraporinchak, or send an email to me at porinchak@awci.org.
    
Speaking of Facebook, how is it that we have more than 30,000 magazine readers yet I have barely 150 Facebook friends? Where are you all? I have to say that my 150 or so friends are of the quality variety, but I also know there are a lot more of you out there who would benefit from such one-on-one availability and communication with your favorite industry magazine editor. And it’s a two-way street, folks. I may not always notice everyone’s birthday, but I do enjoy seeing jobsite photos, and sometimes I may even share your company news on AWCI’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AWCIwall). You can also find me and AWCI on LinkedIn and Twitter. Let us hear from you!

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