>> January 2016 News
January 2016 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

As 2016 begins the bullish projections for the economy in general, and the construction economy specifically, have been tempered by the significant decline in the stock market, falling oil prices, and additional terrorist attacks in the United States and around the world. Hopefully things will get better, not worse, and we will get back on track for a great 2016. There certainly is a lot of pent-up demand for construction, especially residential housing, which then leads to an increase in commercial construction.
The above events, coupled with the deceleration of the previously red-hot Chinese economy, has kept most commodity price increases at bay. For a more in-depth look at pricing for the major product lines we sell, see below:
Prices for most of the products we distribute remained unchanged in January and few manufacturers have announced price increases for February. For the first time in months the price of scrap steel posted up by $30.00/ton on the Chicago Metal Exchange the first week in January. Prices on some foreign metal exchanges also posted up by $10.00/ton or more in January.  Nucor and Gerdau announced the second week in January that they will increase prices on wire rod by $30.00/ton effective February 1st citing their increased cost for scrap steel as the reason.
On December 29th BASF Construction Systems notified there distributors they would adjust prices on February 1st. Prices for most items will increase, but prices for some items will remain the same. The percentage increase will vary by product group with increases of less than 2% to 5% for most items, although there will be double digit increases on some items. If you have projects you are bidding which specify BASF Construction Systems products, we suggest you ask us for a current quote.
Domestic rebar mills in the southeast continued to hold the line on prices in January and indications are prices for February shipments will be unchanged. Availability of less expensive imported rebar increased as some shipments arrived at ports in the southeast in January and several other shipments are due to arrive by mid-February. Most analysts expect imported rebar prices to hold at current levels into March.
Prices for polyethylene sheeting where basically unchanged in January, although a few manufacturers offered a discount of a few percent the third week in January to book orders for February shipment. Despite oil and natural gas prices being at historic lows, some resin manufacturers announced a price increase for February shipments. If resin manufacturers are able to get the February price increase expect polyethylene prices to increase 3 to 4% in March. 
Due to the announcement by Nucor and Gerdau that they will increase prices on wire rod February 1st, masonry reinforcing manufacturers notified their distributors that they will increase prices March 1st, if the wire rod price increase holds. If you have projects which require masonry reinforcing we strongly urge you to buy out these projects in February to avoid the expected March 1st price increase.
Concrete reinforcing wire mesh prices have held steady for the past few months; however, if the February wire rod price holds, expect wire mesh manufacturers to increase prices in March. As with masonry reinforcing, if you have any upcoming projects which require concrete reinforcing wire mesh, consider buying out these projects in February.
The producer price index (PPI) for final demand in December decreased 0.4% from November on a not-seasonally-adjusted basis (-0.2%, seasonally adjusted) and 1.0% from December 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on January 15. AGC posted tables and an explanation focusing on construction prices and costs. Final demand includes goods, services and five types of nonresidential buildings that BLS says make up 34% of total construction.
Click here for the latest update on the construction economy from Ken Simonson, the chief economist of the AGC.

Wells Fargo just released their updated construction industry forecast for 2016 and it is largely positive.  The full report and summary graphs can be found at http://mail.wellsfargoemail.com/constructionforecast

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Associate Profile


Our associate profile this month is of James “Leroy” Holden a warehouse associate/CDL driver at our Myrtle Beach branch. Leroy is a native of Conway, SC and a graduate of Conway High School. He and his wife Nancy have been married for 19 years and have one son, Trystan. When not working Leroy enjoys playing golf with his family, fishing and hunting with his son and friends, and he loves to travel. Prior to joining us he was a restoration technician with Full Steam Ahead and was a foreman for Carter and Gordon Construction. Leroy has been with us since June 2014 and has made a great addition to our Myrtle Beach team.

Our management article this month is entitled, How to Successfully Market Your Brand. It has been my experience that a lot of construction companies don’t give much thought to “branding”. If you are one of those companies I suggest you read this article. You might decide to put more emphasis on your branding in future.

January's Management Article

By Katrina Olson

Think about the Office Depot brand. Until its recent merger with Office Max, the company's branding message was "taking care of business." Back in 1992, they even ran a commercial featuring the song by Bachman Turner Overdrive.

In 2001, Office depot replaced "Taking Care of Business" with ""What you need, what you need to know." What?

Then in 2005, they returned to "Taking Care of Business" because research showed the new tagline didn't resonate with customers. D'ya think?

Since the merger between Office Depot and OfficeMax last year, they've been using the tagline, "Gear Up for Great," accompanied by both logos. This may just be a temporary advertising slogan. But then, why do store employees (sometimes) answer the phone by saying, "Office Depot, this is Susie. How can I help you take care of business today?"

Clearly there's some confusion, both internally and externally, about their brand message.

To save yourself from the same fate, follow these guidelines when developing and communicating your brand.

Do your homework.
Find out how customers currently perceive your company. Fix anything internal that needs fixing to change or support perceptions. Rebrand if necessary.

Create a persona for your brand.
Are you approachable and friendly, businesslike and professional, helpful and accommodating? Define the character attributes that describe your brand and reflect that voice of that persona in all communication, especially social media. For good examples of this, check out Taco Bell's or Groupon's Twitter account.

Develop visual branding standards.
Use the same logo, font, color scheme, and type of imagery to reflect a specific look and feel—in all of your advertising, marketing materials, and sales literature. That doesn't mean all your ads will look the same; that would be boring. However, customers should easily be able to identify the ads as yours.

Share your brand image widely, internally and externally.
Use your logo everywhere—not just on your business cards, envelopes, letterhead, and website—but on your bills, statements, email signature, shirts, jackets, trucks, notepads, pencils, pens, presentation binders, iPad cases. Put it anywhere customers and employees will see it.

Write and liberally use a tagline.
Choose ONE tagline and use it consistently across all platforms and media including your ads, recruiting materials, trade show displays, sales materials…everything. Make it clear, concise, memorable, meaningful, and reflective of your personality and brand essence.

Be faithful to your brand identity, personality, messaging and promise.
Fail to keep your brand promise, and customers will get angry and not come back. Only 4% of customers who have a bad experience will tell you about it; 96% will not say anything and 91% will never return, says a study called "Understanding Customers" by Ruby Newell-Legner.  And according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, a dissatisfied customer will tell twice as many people about a bad experience as they will a good one.

Use the brand consistently.
You will get bored with your logo, tagline, color scheme, etc. long before your customers do. Avis Car Rentals used the "We try harder" tagline for 50 years before replacing it with "It's your space" in 2012.

Here's the good news: if you develop a strong brand and back it up with superior performance, 3 in 5 Americans will try a new brand for a better service experience, according to a 2011 American Express Survey. The same survey revealed that 7 in 10 Americans are willing to spend more with companies they believe provide excellent service.

Another 2010 study by Harris Interactive/RightNow revealed 9 out of 10 Americans would pay more for superior customer service.

So, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, "Whatever you are, be a good one." Create your brand personality and image, communicate it with words and images, and support it with performance. Then, promote the heck out of it.

You have to go all in, because 80% won't cut it in today's competitive environment. And those who don't commit 100% to their brand will be left behind. 

That’s it for this month. Let’s hope that the things mentioned in the first paragraph of my letter improve so that we can all have the kind of year we were looking forward to. As always, thank you for your business and never hesitate to let me know how we can serve you better.

Best regards,

Jim Sobeck
President 864-263-4377
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Author of The Real Business 101: Lessons From the Trenches
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New South Construction Supply Contact Information

Corporate and Sales Office Address

9 North Kings Rd
Greenville, SC 29605

Corporate Contact Information

Accounting Phone: 864.263.4376
Accounting Fax: 866.212.0640

President - Jim Sobeck 864.263.4377
Director of Sales - Josh Miller 980.214.4801
VP Purchasing - David Hodgin 704.358.9797
VP Finance & Admin - Jimmy Sobeck 864.263.4380

Greenville Sales Office Contact Information

9 North Kings Rd
Greenville, SC 29605

Phone: 864.269.7007
Toll-Free: 800.849.4454
Fax: 864.269.6004
Operations Manager - Kevin Keller
Sales Managers - Russ Lott, Rob Hovanec, Dexter Goodwin

Other Locations

951 Harbor Drive
West Columbia, SC 29169 Phone: 803.791.8700
Fax: 803.791.8191
Operations Manager - Rodny Dahlgren
Sales Manager - Jon Black

1427 Mechanical Blvd
Garner, NC (Raleigh) 27529
Phone: 919.662.9012
Toll-Free: 800.849.4677
Fax: 919.662.9412
Operations Manager - Vic Murray
Sales Manager - Corey Moser, Bud Driggers, Jim Morton

3250 Centerville Highway
Snellville, GA 30039 (Atlanta - with Kentec)
Phone: 404.844.2555
Operations Manager - James Kennedy
Sales Managers - Rob Hovanec, Kami Rogers

4987 Banco Road
N. Charleston SC 29418 Phone: 843.760.0780
Toll-Free: 888.224.3140
Fax: 843.760.6127
Operations Manager - Andrew Myers
Sales Manager - Bailey Williams

Other Locations

9050 D W. Market St.
Colfax (Greensboro) NC 27235
Phone: 336.992.0237
Toll-Free: 800.609.0889
Fax: 336.992.0839
Operations Manager - David Perkins
Sales Manager - Angie Puckett, Corey Moser, Emory Banner

180 Rodeo Drive
Myrtle Beach SC 29579
Phone: 843.236.6447
Toll-Free: 800.821.2676
Fax: 843.236.6521
Operations Manager - Frank Crouse
Sales Manager - Clint Paul

140 Dorton St
Charlotte NC 28213
Phone: 704.358.9797
Toll-Free: 866.375.9660
Fax: 704.358.9646
Operations Manager - Adam Nelson
Sales Managers - Chris Daleus, Rick Bunch

358 Industrial Park Rd
Hardeeville (Hilton Head) SC 29927
Phone: 843.784.1580
Toll-Free: 866.326.8802
Fax: 843.784.1581
Operations Manager - Andrew Black
Sales Manager - Steve Melton