Pivoting Through a Pandemic

This is not a doomsday article, or an alert for our customers to worry. This is us being transparent and extending to you some honesty about how the pandemic has affected and continues to affect businesses, particularly ours.

The pandemic has resulted in an increased understanding of the importance of hygiene, distancing, and applying common sense when it comes to spreading germs. Perhaps an even deeper impact has been the realization that society’s way of existing, living, and operating business is far from sustainable. In order to support the health of the entire planet, we must consider the importance of working, living, and conducting business regionally.

Anyone in the past year+ who has required parts, products, labor, or shipping has probably experienced the unprecedented lack, or at a very minimum, delay of resources. We as a population of desperate humans, have finally gotten to the point of joking about it. Have you seen the meme of an engagement ring box with a sliver of lumber inside saying “He went to Lowe’s.” This play on “he went to Jared’s” isn’t extremely far from the truth when you consider the current price of lumber!

As with many aspects of life we can either bemoan the situation or decide to move on and attempt to take advantage of a lesson learned. We can use this as a call to action. If one thing is certain, the pandemic taught all of us that we are capable of adapting to make things work. Digital “paperwork” and virtual meetings are just a small part of the adjustments. Businesses like ourselves have faced and are facing material shortages (manufactured products and plants), equipment shortages, shipping delays, price increases, and labor shortages (thankfully this one only affected us indirectly). At the end of the day, that affects who we serve. All of this is due to factory closures, logistical issues and a lack of labor forces. It trickles down to us – resulting in schedule delays (Ryan and Kristin get an award this year for making it all work somehow and we appreciate your patience!).

In order to adapt to the new realities and to continue to succeed as a business, we have shifted a few key elements of how we operate. Some of these adjustments allow for cost effectiveness while others accommodate logistical issues.

  • Regionally and locally grown plants vs. shipped
  • Using more locally and regionally sourced natural stone vs. manufactured concrete products (Natural stone is actually coming in similarly priced to manufactured stone for material; while natural does require more time and skill, the end result is preferrable)
  • Finding ways to circumvent freight costs when needed (not ideal, but we have to do what we have to do)
  • Using our online portal for all newly incoming business
  • Encouraging clients to take advantage of virtual meetings and the ‘getting started’ feature of our website (this creates a better understanding of what we do and budgeting)

We are not alone in adapting our business model. Other businesses also are adjusting and considering ways to maintain resiliency. Support businesses and business people who:

  • Treat their teams and employees well
  • Give back to their communities and the communities they work in
  • Support smart growth and sustainable goals for their communities and contribute to that work
  • Are working toward a more sustainable business model

We all are going through a bit of a metamorphosis, changing our ways of thinking and acting. Although we may not all emerge as beautiful butterflies, we definitely will have benefited from many lessons. We are so glad to have our customers along with us on the journey. We are all in this together!

Thank you for your support and patience!