Many U.S. businesses across a variety of sectors have experienced new challenges over the last year — this is particularly true for those in the mechanical, engineering, and plumbing (MEP) industries. In early 2022, the MEP sector saw labor shortages and supply chain disruptions lead to increased labor and material costs, while later in the year and early into 2023, businesses are experiencing slowing demand for building and renovation. Unsurprisingly, this dynamic has culminated in constantly fluctuating profit margins for many MEP business owners.
Employee retention is a critical key to contractor’s business success given historically low U.S. unemployment at 3.5%, and continued difficulty in filling plumbing and HVAC positions — with only one of four positions being filled.
As 2022 comes to a close it is now time to review my predictions from last year as well as predict ten more trends I see as we enter 2023. Just like last year, I will stay away from prognosticating about where the stock market will be at this end of the year; instead, I will stick to identifying trends that supply houses will find important in this upcoming year. With all that being said, let's jump right in and review my 2022 predictions.
It’s no secret that there is a major shortage of skilled workers in the plumbing industry right now. According to one report, the booming real estate market, combined with piqued interest among homeowners in renovation projects during the pandemic, substantially increased customer demand for home services that isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
This past year has been an unprecedented year for the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) space, hitting $5 trillion in volume in 2021 through over 40,000 transactions. The number of transactions in the distribution and manufacturing space has caused owners to take a closer look at their options regarding selling and/or acquisition options.
The National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) reported in what’s referred to as the "nation’s report card" in September 2022 that recent long-term reading and mathematics assessments during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that “average scores for age 9 students in 2022 declined five points in reading and seven points in mathematics compared to 2020.
While most plumbers may like to think that they’re mostly serving routine maintenance or installation customers, the most common nature of those calls is likely panicked customers with a burst pipe, a backed-up toilet or another emergency that needs a response ASAP.
A little-known fact about solar electric panels is that the hotter the panel itself, the less efficient it becomes. Studies have found a 0.05% efficiency loss for every degree of temperature that is increased. The reverse is true in that efficiency increases by 0.05% for every degree temperature decreases.