A year ago, we were finishing up a year which provided a glimmer of hope that our industry was in full rebound mode from the economic challenges we all faced for a few years. 2014 started with a strong order book for us and for many of our customers. Unfortunately, a difficult winter threw some cold water on the enthusiasm we had for the first quarter. Thankfully, this proved to be a short-lived setback and 2014 roared to life as the snow melted.
This past year has seen the strongest market for most of us since 2006 and 2007. This was particularly true through the second half of 2014. Our customers are almost unanimous in their sentiments that things are the best they have seen in quite some time. They are seeing continued growth in both new construction and replacement segments of the market. While most of our customers report a strong close to the year, they are optimistic that the growth will continue.
The biggest challenge for us and for many of our customers has been trying to keep our lead times manageable. We have committed substantial internal resources to keeping as much standard equipment on hand as possible to minimize our lead times. We have increased staff and continue to seek out quality individuals who can enhance our SMI Team.
We must thank all of our customers for their support in the slow times and their patience when things have gotten busy more quickly than we anticipated. Keeping a strong team together to provide the industry’s finest products and support to our customers is vital to our success as well as those who rely on us. Adding to that team as the market gains steam is important but making sure we are adding the best people for our team and for our customers takes time. We are committed to continuing our focus on providing the service you expect from us as we grow and the market strengthens.
Thank you for all the support! Everyone here at Stürtz wishes you happiness, good health and prosperity in 2015!