When I was writing my inaugural Spring 093000 article, I thought and hoped that by this summer issue, a good part of our challenges and problems would be gone; the war in Ukraine would end with the Russian retrieve; and the gas prices would come down. Oh, boy was I wrong! We still face shortages of materials and qualified labor, long lead times, high gas prices, and guid price increases; it seems and feels like it has been this way for months. Yet, we are still here, adapting to the current climate and overcoming the challenges and changes we are all experiencing.
Bidding is still strong, but the large projects we are bidding now are at least one and a half or two years away, and some of them have not even broken ground. Owners, general contractors, and construction managers are trying to award those future projects now in order to lock the contract price and to avoid any possible inflationary increases. Bidding and negotiating those HEADWINDS AND POSITIVE THINKINGdistant projects leads to the educated guessing games of the labor escalation cost and material price increases. Some of the projects are coming back for a rebid from two to three years ago, but still, a lot of previously bid projects are on hold.
Enough of the “headwind;” let’s talk about “positive thinking!” Many new products are coming to the marketplace to help us be more productive and more efficient in the field, as well as to achieve better installation quality. Some of the new setting materials are designed to combine multiple steps into one single application, reducing labor costs and minimizing possibilities for errors.
This year I attended Coverings in Las Vegas and can tell you if you are interested in learning the latest and greatest in the tile industry, that is the place to be. There are great seminars and speakers, tile setting demonstrations, and tile manufacturers from around the world. I anticipate the same great educational experience as well as many new products to be introduced this fall at the Total Solutions Plus annual conference in Indian Wells, Calif.
Thank you and until next time, Michael Kriss – Krisstone, LLC.