Will You Be Adding to Your Workforce?
July 21, 2009
Survey Results as of 07/24/2009:
By the middle of 2010, the workforce at our company will be increased by:
1 to 20 people
Actually, our workforce is likely to be smaller then.
20 to 50 people
More than 100 people
50 to 100 people
The window and door industry, it would appear, falls in line with the economic forecast that job growth over the next year or so will be fairly limited. This week’s survey results indicate nearly 40 percent of the companies in our industry will see zero job growth by the middle of 2010 and nearly 20 percent could see further cutbacks. Not very promising, but consider the environment.
Reporting its 2nd quarter results, with overall sales down nearly 40 percent from the previous quarter, Floyd Sherman, CEO of Builders FirstSource noted the following, "We expect the difficult housing environment to persist into 2010, but we will continue to execute our proven strategy of conserving liquidity through cost containment programs, prudently managing credit and rationalizing physical capacity and staffing levels, and will continue our efforts to grow market share.” Other executives with window and door companies offer similar comments when discussing their strategy going forward. Containing costs, reducing capacity and staffing are not going away yet.
But there are signs of life out there in the market too. Numerous manufacturers have brought back workers in recent months—due in part to increased replacement window sales resulting from federal tax credits. And our poll suggests some optimism going forward. After all, if close to 60 percent of companies out there say they don’t see many new jobs coming at their operations, more than 40 percent of our respondents expect they will be adding to their workforce.
I doubt many of you out there are jumping up and down out there about growth prospects for the coming months, but that number to me is another sign that perhaps the worst is truly over. While I’ve been thinking that for awhile, it’s good to have those thoughts reinforced.
Being a baseball fan, I liked a quote I read recently from a pro dealer executive who suggest his company was now batting about .235. He admitted that may not sound very good, but it was a lot better than the .150 average the company had only a few months previously. It may be awhile before many of us start hitting .300 again, but let's hope we're all heading in the right direction.