The stock market has been volatile. Swings of 1,000 points every few days seem like the new normal. Although all the economic fundamentals appear to be in great shape, volatility surrounds us. The economy grew 4.2 percent in the second quarter of the year, and this quarter, growth slowed to 3.5 percent. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates yet again, and homes sales show signs of slowing.
The volatility is affecting everything, and roofing contractors face clear risks because of it. Many contractors report long backlogs; in some parts of the U.S., contractors report they are even booking work for early 2019. This generally is something NRCA applauds. But even in the current economic environment, it causes pause and a word of caution.
Every level of the supply chain wants assurances. Start with your customers. They want to know the price you quote during the estimate is going to be the actual price when you do the work. You want your roofing distributor to provide materials when you need them at the price you were quoted even though you may not purchase the materials for 90 days or more. A distributor wants the same assurance from roofing manufacturers, and manufacturers want it from the raw material suppliers. So why is it if we all want the same thing, we can't have it? Now, there is some irony for you.