An Industry Mind Shift

Years ago, I remember reading an article where a lumber salesman sold 30 million a year down South. He was on the cover as the best outside salesman in the nation. We at Drexel celebrated that. We felt we could have many outside road salesman (osr)… or as we call them here quarterbacks selling that much or more. We chased that for at least 10 years.

For about the last 5 years, I could tell our quarterbacks haven’t been truly the best version of themselves. It is blatantly obvious. We said, well that’s just salesman for ya. Stressed, vocal, tough, they just needed more support. Happy Sales Ninjas, I came up with at least 3 years ago.

Nothing stuck.

The more support we gave them, the more they had to train people the more sale they had to com up with to support that staff. The less each customer saw them because they were stuck in the office training their support or chasing more sales to feed that support. And the cycle continued, all in an effort to have a quarterback get to a top number. God didn’t make many great salespeople, so let’s get the great ones more accounts we said. Always more.

Then it hit me like lightning in Jackson, Wyoming on a hike.

LESS IS MORE.

It seems to me the happiest quarterbacks and the happiest customers are when the quarterback is green (doesn’t even know a lot about the industry) but has time to invest in each customer, each project as a consultant. Organized, happy, and most importantly available. But then… you guessed it, they get more and more…and well you know how this goes.

What if we had a company where each quarterback has a handful, not over 100 as many of our quarterbacks do, but a handful of core accounts. The prospecting comes from penetration of each home, fulfilling all the categories of each house down to the lockset. Able and willing to make small deliveries, fix a lockset, install a screen, present a quote in person, and coach and train a bunch of people on their team as they go. And home in time to coach their daughter’s baseball game. No worries. That our quarterbacks would be the BEACONS of supply happiness. Not the overburdened oxen.

That means at least doubling our sales force. At least. Wow. And having some hard conversations of that MORE isn’t better. Yes, even less compensation to very well compensated people. It doesn’t matter if Aaron Rodgers make 20 million, if you take him to 15 million even if it is the best idea for him… it won’t and hasn’t already been well recieved. That’s ok… we must protect OUR CUSTOMERS, OUR TEAM, AND THE QUARTERBACKS FROM OURSELVES.

Our customers are SCREAMING for our quarterbacks to simply be available. Many still think, if I had a developed team below me, I would have more time. That is wrong and proven over and over and over again to be wrong. It’s less accounts.

Here is an example outside our industry.

Doctors. If I was dying from cancer, would I want the world’s best cancer Doctor to have 150 patients and 100 nurses to support him. Or the world’s best cancer Doctor with 10 patients and 3 nurses. Well that answer is pretty obvious.

One more.

How about teachers? The world’s best teacher in a class of 400, with 10 assistants instructing you. Or a class of 20 with one assistant. Um, yeah sign me up for the smaller class.

I have a few simple goals before I retire.

  1. Make sure we are the leaders of offsite construction in Wisconsin. So much that this is a standard practice.
  2. Make sure we build a ton of PAULS homes .
  3. Make our quarterbacks happy. If they are happy, our whole team will SWELL WITH JOY. SWELL! The blog is a start of my emotions on this.

If you want to talk about it, I AM ALWAYS AVAILABLE, (I hope someday you can say the same thing). 920-979-4045 or my e-mail is fine 920-979-4045. My schedule is always full, but always has time in it.

Let’s help each other. It starts with the shift of the mind.

People over profits. We can change the industry and dominate with this new philosphy that is needed in our industry. Drexel, although difficult, will make it happen. We may even lose some good people over this change. I hope not. I don’t want to ever lose a good person. But if that is what it takes to make people truly happy, then so be it.

SUPPLY. HAPPINESS.

JOEL

MY COVID JOURNEY

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” – Charles Dickens

Here’s my story.

The first time I was actually concerned about Covid was a Joe Rogan podcast.

A guy came on and started discussing, in scientific terms, that this indeed was a U.S. threat and it was real and it was gonna kill a lot of people. I was like Holy Buckets. Boy was I ready to fight this! Lockdown, isolate, whatever it takes!

That was aired March 10, 2020.

About a week later on a Friday I picked up my kids from elementary school. There I saw the 8th grade teacher and I said, “Well this might be their last day for a while. She laughed and said yeah right, I don’t think so.” I will never forget that conversation. By Monday it was over. We were locked down. The playground had yellow police tape around it; the kids could no longer play on the playground.

Our church went virtual. I taped the first broadcast. I wanted to help. Sacrifices needed to be made. The weak protected.

At work, all leaders were forced to make IMMEDIATE decisions based on limited facts and unknown consequences. It was mass chaos. We didn’t know if we were going to be essential or not. I am the president of a building supply company, if we couldn’t ship to jobsites, we would ruin our customer’s businesses as well. We were deemed essential. Looking back, if this thing was truly going to kill a ton of us… construction IS NOT essential. That was my first sign, my first thought of like, what the hell is going on? School was closed. Construction sites OPEN. That made no sense to me… if I followed logic.

But for 2 weeks in isolation (then 3, than 4…than more) it was a glorious time. I worked at home. I fixed up a 1916 model T that would of never got fixed up. I saw no one. Went nowhere. Sprayed down our groceries. I was scared to see my parents and in-laws in fear of giving them the Covid. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… I spent 24 hours a day with the 4 people closest to me, my family.

My wife Pam’s gym closed. Then Trie Fitness did virtual. For free. It was bizarre.

We had the community make masks for our workers that were essential. I didn’t go in the office, I wanted to show resilience. We went to a 32 hour work week. I took no pay. Surely this would spark the worst depression in the history of time. Instead, we should of been HIRING. As cash flow soared people still had money and spent it. It was essential, so jobsites operated under normal circumstances. At job sites people didn’t social distance or wear masks..and guess what …outbreaks didn’t occur. Hmm… again I thought ..what the hell?

We came back to work. We allowed people to work from home, which was completely not allowed at Drexel previously. Now it is part of our culture, granted you are the right person and the right position for that. It works! Eureka! That was awesome. We wanted to go paperless forever. This pressure, like coal, indeed made a diamond! We embraced technology and got busy getting busy… we partnered with Monday.com and now have paper free work-sharing form tools. It is truly remarkable what we did at that time. I fired our top sales manager, redid the commercial department, reworked sales people’s pay plans, and much more… things we simply were ignoring in the “good times.” Most of these ideas came in the 10 days I was home. Maybe I was home for 3 weeks…

But I did come back. We wiped down the doors hourly. Stood apart and were like… wow this is weird. We started doing google meetings. Lots of google meets (zoom meetings). I had always hated them, now an essential tool in our day to day business. Nothing replaces face to face, but this is pretty darn good. We still do. I have a few scheduled for today.

We bought Blenker Building Systems DURING the lockdown, May 1st. I was advised TO NOT DO this deal, nobody knew the future, all deals were on hold, or priced reduced. A pandemic was no time to be shy.

Everything, and I mean everything was canceled. It didn’t matter what it was, it was canceled.

And then our governor declared masks were mandatory after the CDC initially said masks don’t work, but then announced they only said that to not cause a panic. That pissed me off. Our government intentionally lied to us, or did they? I wasn’t sure. And quickly around that time, it got political. I tell you I didn’t see that coming. This was the one time we should be working together. But no, it had to be Trump’s fault, or Fauci’s, not sure again. Everyone said to follow the science, but what science? We wanted the truth and there was none. Just opinions, normally slanted toward their political persuasion. Bizarre.

The Catholic church even shut down. No sacraments. Nothing. We turned our back on God when he was there for us the most. Why? Fear. Maybe getting sued… they didn’t want to lose money. The government mandates they followed closer than they did the Holy Spirit. People didn’t want to be blamed in any problems… True cowards emerged.

We came back to work. The governor came on the news, he said you must wear masks at all times. At that point, I was against it all. Not against the virus: I could see that was real. But I sensed it was 100% blown out of proportion. The national media slanted it all to look the worst possible. Fearporn was the term and the norm. But if you questioned it, you didn’t care about people and labeled a Trumpster. No, I was just relaying what I believed and researched. Individuals didn’t have a voice. You couldn’t see a dying parent, visit a relative in an old age home, and the kids couldn’t even hang out with each other. It was all canceled for the greater good.

So back to the mask mandate in Wisconsin. We sent an email to all 600 people. Time to mask up. After 4 months of lockdowns and wiping everything down, now it was ALL ABOUT THE MASKS.

**** here was original e-mail***

Caitlin Stoll <caitlin.stoll@drexelteam.com>Thu, Jul 30, 2020, 3:39 PM
to me

Hey team… Starting Monday due to statewide restrictions Drexel will be requiring anyone within any of our locations to wear a face mask/covering. 

Here are some questions you may have regarding what this means for Drexel:
DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK? IF YOU ARE UNDER A ROOF, YES.   This also includes manufacturing.  If you are in an open shed, outside, or in your own trucks, or outdoors at a new construction job site it is UP TO YOU. 
… Installing flooring INSIDE? yep.

… Installing windows OUTSIDE? up to you.
… If you work at home... no… (kind of a little obvious humor there) 
Will Drexel make Drexel logoed masks?  NO.  Too expensive.  Takes too long to get.  And we see no reason to do this.
How will this affect Drexel?  We are BEYOND BLESSED.  In America the economy is down 32% this year (just announced).  WE ARE UP OVER 20%…NOT INCLUDING OUR NEW TEAM IN AMHERST!  It might not last but we will ride this wave HARD.  

What is the state law?  Here it is in all its glory.  https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/WIGOV/2020/07/30/file_attachments/1507337/EMO01-FaceCoverings.pdf
What is considered a mask?  Cloth covering.  Medical mask looking, buff, or bandanas all meet state regulations.
Are customers required?  Yes, it’s state law.  On them, not on US!  However, be respectful of our clients/builders. If they ask you to wear a mask at a jobsite please put a mask on.
Will Drexel provide masks? Just like your own socks or underwear… that’s ON YOU to get a mask.  Same for our customers entering. Each head coach will be sent 50 disposable masks, via Amazon, to keep at their desks. So in an EMERGENCY, YES.
My mask fogs my glasses up, what should I do?Here are some helpful tips…https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/fashion-beauty/article/3080804/how-stop-face-mask-fogging-your-glasses

If I have a medical condition, am I exempt from wearing a mask?We will follow state guidelines. We are not having a “Drexel policy” and will not be playing “mask police.” We are just doing what the state requires us to do.Will we riot at Drexel?  Not yet… but this lack of freedom is PISSING ME OFF.  
Thanks.  As they said in karate kid:  Mask on.  Mask off.Of something like that.

****

There is nothing we can do. But then, that morning at my desk, in my mask, I read the governor’s mandate. It excluded people in the governor’s office or anyone employed in the government to wear a mask. “They” were all exempt. Why? If this was such a serious thing, wouldn’t ALL be required. NOPE. In the next few minutes I sent out another e-mail saying we were mask free. Your choice. Your freedom.

I took to social media often, offering my insights. I was attacked. I actually wasn’t ready for that. I thought we were all on the same page. Wow, was I wrong. I knew people died from it, but somehow I was called insensitive and much worse. This video, which I still believe in, was my most criticized. I naively thought this video would change people’s minds. But once a person’s mind is made up… it is very difficult to sway them…instead everyone dug in their heels, either you were PRO MASK TO HELP THE WORLD… OR ANTIMASK IN THE NAME OF COMMON SENSE….there were no winners, only losers. And yet the dying laid in beds alone, the kids went uneducated in a horrible virtual world.

My family and Drexel… never did buy into the new way of living… we fought the battles where and when we could. Did people at Drexel get Covid? YOU BET! Myself included. Did anyone die? No. Did we get lucky? Yes. On any given day if you don’t die you get lucky. Did we get Covid as a group any more than say Mercury Marine in Fond du lac (a company near us that to date still is not back in the workplace)? Doubtful. The numbers don’t show that.

I researched the crap out of covid. I studied viruses. I figured out viruses have a bell curve. They go up fast. They go down fast. And that’s that. And that’s what happened at maskless Drexel. In Wisconsin. In a hyper masked up Dane County in Wisconsin. In California. In Sweden. In Mexico. In Florida. I kept posting these facts. Things did spike. Hospitals did get full, they weren’t ready for the spike. But we got over it.

I helped a little to give Josh Cadman the courage to open up the school in the little town where I work, Campbellsport. And the crazy son of a bitch did it. He took it on himself and did it. I will always remember that. Some stuff opened back up with the weirdest rules. You can play basketball, with no fans, wear masks, and no jump ball or handshakes at the end. That is friggin hilarious. Always was. Always will be. But JOEL…THE RISK! Oh, bullshit I say.

We were told in 2020..this was all to slow the spread. Then it was to stop Covid. Then is was until we are vaccinated. And then it was “watch the variants”. No matter what we did the future was always darker. But the darkness never came. We were never told why it didn’t come, but only that it was going to get worse. Never discussed why the worst didn’t happen, only that this time would be worse, and that you better be prepared.

The future was always bleak. Wait until the kids go back to school, they said. Wait until Halloween (yes even getting candy was gonna cause an outbreak.) Until Christmas (please stay home) TUntil … we are all vaccinated but even then… not so sure we are safe.

Even on May 6th 2021… Fauci said we were only at the 6th inning. Then on May 13… the CDC, stated yeah if you are vaccinated return to 100% normal life.

Just. Like. That.

The CDC was given COMPLETE AUTHORITY over our lives, the economy, even our faith! And they are a completely biased train wreck of an organization. That much is obvious. So blatantly obvious. But even this statement will be takent as: Joel’s rant on politics. Bullshit. That’s the facts. Just the facts.

Even when we are now following science the teacher’s union says …not so fast… we aren’t there yet…. California..says just to be safe let’s continue the masks… just to be safe of course. So if you followed the CDC’s guidelines,… but now you aren’t… I question that logic.

To me that says: RESPECT OUR POWER. RESPECT OUR DECISIONS OVER YOURS.

The government gave out trillions of dollars because of the restrictions they caused, that we will pay for! Did I take the money? Hell yes! If the government is going to take our money and ethically I fall under the guidelines, I will take it. I don’t believe in it though. People are getting bonuses to not work. So they are still not working. Businesses are being propped up, bad businesses, because the government is giving them money. And on and on. Trillions! Quit it already.

And it never stops: BUT JOEL PEOPLE WILL DIE. PEOPLE HAVE DIED. Yes, tons of people died. Many of them masked up and still got it and most sadly died. Locked down in an old age home ALONE to save themselves and they STILL GOT IT. Even after their death, they asked in their obituaries, MASK UP FOR ME. We did…and so sadly you still died. Death happens. Will happen.

God promises us we will die but be saved. But it was all about US, as individuals. Self-protection under any means. Our own selfishness got us. And our bitterness against others.

Suicides are out of control. People are more bitter than ever. You must be FOR something OR against something. No middle ground. That is exhausting and a damn shame.

I hope we learned. I fear we haven’t. Hopefully the next pandemic is 100 years from now and somebody reminds us of the past. But history tends to repeat… It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….

— Joel Fleischman

COVID IS OVER BUT NO ONE WILL WAKE UP

Science.

Math.

Covid.

Follow the Science. Follow the Math.

Farr’s Law. Simply,

In 1840 a dude figured out a pandemic goes up fast and falls fast using the MATHEMATICAL BELL CURVE. Goes up at the same rate it goes down. Math, science.

Literally how God made viruses work.

That math equation should be on a t-shirt.

Here is the graph of current Wisconsin Covid numbers. See anything familar?

Now, before you blow a gasket, this is a serious virus.

But on that graph, that mathematical sweet bell curve, where did the masks work, where did the restrictions, cancellations, life altering decisions do their job?

Or did the virus just do it’s thing?

And hey, it’s winding down. Will trickle on, but winding down.

There are 73 people in ICU sadly today in Wisconsin

There are 290 in the hospital sadly today in Wisconsin.

5,800,000 people live here.

Of the 290 in the hospital sadly 4% will die. 12 people.

Each day 17 BABIES ARE ABORTED IN WISCONSIN.

ABORTION RATES ARE HIGHER THAN COVID.

Does the remaining Covid problems…

warrant restrictions? Shutdowns?

Or should we be back to normal?

NORMAL. 100%

We shut down the state of Wisconsin in 24 hours basically last March. We should be able to reopen at the same rate.

So NOW. WHY ARE WE SO SCARED STILL? WHY ARE WE STILL CANCELLING THINGS? WHY?

IF PEOPLE WANT TO STAY HOME UNTIL THEY ARE VACCINATED, SO BE IT. THEY WILL ANYWAYS. AND GOOD FOR THEM.

WE CAN NOT WAIT UNTIL THE “ALL CLEAR” HAPPENS. IT WON’T…

It is up to EACH INDIVIDUAL TO PUSH THEIR “ADMINISTRATION AND DECISION MAKERS” to reopen.

WISCONSIN, LAND OF THE FREE. HOME OF THE BRAVE.

I WISH.

JOEL

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Team,

Here we go fully random.

here’s one that stuck with me… lately…

*** Always try to think about the little things people have done for you, and ways you have pained and annoyed people. ***

Instead of what we normally do…

Thinking about the things that PEOPLE DO TO annoy YOU… and the many grateful little things you do for people. That’s our default brain. Try to fix that.

HUGE DIFFERENCE. One gives you a GRATEFUL MIND, and one makes you question humanity!

Do all the little things RIGHT every day, regardless of what people think! Why do we waste our days worried what people perceive of us? Not our actual self. Not how we treat others.

HOW OTHERS PERCEIVE US.

We have NO CONTROL OF THAT. CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL. IMPROVE. LOVE. SERVE. CARE. FOLLOW A GOOD PROCESS.

Why don’t we trust people…? To better trust people. LOVE THEM. Coach them. Get to know them…. and BELIEVE IN THEM MORE THEN THEY BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES. AND TRUST THEY WILL FAIL… LOVE THEM ANYWAY. And put your EGO aside and realize… YOU MAKE MISTAKES TOO.

***************************************

REST OF THIS IS MY PERSONAL OPINION ON COVID. IF THIS IS GONNA PISS YOU OFF… JUST DON’T READ IT. IT’S THAT EASY.

Covid? Many people die, many people get sick. The old and fragile should be vaccinated and careful. Everyone else… live your damn life. This is all about CONTROL. I believe that. It’s all about money. I believe that. There are many people that LIKE US IN FEAR. THEY LIKE CONTROL. THEY ARE SCARED FOR THIS TO END… WHY? THEY WILL HAVE LOST CONTROL… THEN WHAT? Watch the little things… ATHLETES, CELEBS, THE ELITE…ON TV… don’t wear a mask, BUT IN THE BACKGROUND… THE NORMAL FOLK DO…. Us normal folk do…

THE ELITE… the money… the power…the control. Absolutely ridiculous. Why aren’t ALL schools open? Control. Fear. Change. Elitism. All of that. All. of. That. Why are some open and some closed? POLITICS. NOT WHAT IS BEST FOR THE KIDS. One man, ONE controls our mask mandate, which many follow. When will masks go away? When? 2021? 22? By then a new virus will be out. CONTROL. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO START TAKING YOUR LIFE BACK. I NO LONGER WEAR A MASK TO THE GROCERY STORE. IT’S NOT BECAUSE I WANT PEOPLE TO DIE. IT’S NOT BECAUSE I AM SELFISH. IT’S MY WAY TO SAY… ENOUGH…

WHY CAN WE CALL GO TO WALMART WITH NO LIMITS, BUT WE CAN ONLY HAVE 2 PEOPLE AT A SPORTING EVENT, IF AT ALL?

CASES ARE 80% DOWN. HOSPITALS SAME. DEATH SAME. YET… NO END IN SIGHT. THE NUMBERS NO LONGER MATTER. WE NOW LOOK AT TOTAL NUMBERS, NOT DAILY TOTALS…. WHY? CONTROL!

LOOK AT THE CHARTS…

IT NEVER MATTERED IF WE WORE A MASK. DISTANCED. ETC. THE VIRUS JUST DID IT’S THING. NOW IT’S ON IT’S WAY DOWN… NATURALLY… THE GRAPH IS HOSPITALS… CASES, DEATHS, ALL LOOK THE SAME. YOU CAN’T STOP THIS. QUIT TRYING. AND THE LITTLE DUMBEST SHIT, LIKE NOT TOUCHING CASH. OR WEARING A MASK TO GET TO YOUR DINNER TABLE AT A RESTAURANT, WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT DO? LIKE HAVING A PEEING AREA IN A SWIMMING POOL.

IT’S OK TO QUESTION THIS STUFF. SEE HOW PISSED PEOPLE GET WHEN YOU DO. AND HOW IT SEEMS, NO ONE ACTUALLY “MADE THE RULE”, THEY ALL JUST FOLLOW IT. SO WHO IS IN CHARGE? OUR HEALTH DEPARTMENT? THE GOVERNOR? PRESIDENT? THEY NOW RUN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY? FOR ALL OF OUR BENEFIT…

SHAMEFUL.

THINK PEOPLE. THINK. FOR YOURSELF. IF THERE WAS NO OUTSIDE INFLUENCE WHAT WOULD YOUR MIND TELL YOU TO DO?

GOOD THING, BAD THING, WHO KNOWS?

TGIM!

There is an old Taoist parable.

About a farmer. His horse ran away.

“HOW UNLUCKY,” His brother proclaims.

The farmer replies, “Good thing, bad thing, who knows.”

After a week the horse returns with a beautiful white mustang.

“Wow, that’s lucky,” says the brother.

The farmer shrugs, “Good thing, bad thing, who knows.”

While breaking in the wild horse, the son of the farmer shatters his leg.

“Tough break,” tells the uncle to the son.

“Good thing, bad thing, who knows.”

Later that month a war breaks out, all men under 25 are to report to go to war. The son, with his shattered leg, does not have to go to war.

The uncle/brother, walks into the home of the farmer and his son and screams, “SURELY THIS IS THE BEST POSSIBLE NEWS!”

The farmer and son reply in unison, “Good thing, bad thing, who knows.”

****

The farmer in this story doesn’t get lost in the “what if” business, but instead focuses on the “what is.”

TEAM DO NOT JUDGE THE MOMENT. AND DO NOT LIVE IN FEAR AND JUDGE THE FUTURE.

A worsening of the economy might bring along an opportunity that otherwise you wouldn’t of had.

A mistake on the job, uncovered a bigger problem that we can now solve permanently.

So don’t ride the roller coaster of WHAT JUST HAPPENED! (GOOD OR BAD) because really no one knows what will happen next.

DO NOT FEAR THE UNKNOWN.

LIVE IN THE VERY MOMENT, AND MAKE A GOOD DECISION WITH THE CURRENT INFORMATION YOU HAVE.

JUST BREATHE.

— Joel

ONE WORD GOAL

I love yearly one word goals.

2016 WISDOM 2017 TEACH 2018 LISTEN 2019 FACIL (EASY IN SPANISH) 2020 GO!

I like looking back and seeing where my brain and soul were at years prior.

This year after much reflection, this just popped in my head.


2021 DELETE

Simply no social media all year. No facebook, twitter, or the gram as the kids call it. I started early, I am 6 days in. Like any addiction, I feel a void. And I must of been on it more than I would ever admit. I have free time. I am more focused.

Don’t use that word Joel, don’t do it. No. Stop.

Bored.

Honestly, since my mind isn’t full of that jibberish, it’s almost as if I’m bored.

Now I can’t fill that void with another bad habit. I see that being maybe a larger challenge then quitting. What’s next? A good habit or another bad one(s). Up to me…

I explain one word goals more in a blog I did way back in 2017.

Here’s the challenge in more detail.

Escalation Commodity Clauses help EVERYONE

DEAR BUILDERS, DREXEL HOPES THIS IS A TOOL YOU MIGHT USE TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS!

THIS IS A LETTER TO BUILDERS IF THEY HAVE BEEN CONSIDERING AN ESCALATION CLAUSE.

Hurricanes, owls, beatles (the bug not the band), tariffs, snow, fire, labor, tariffs, and plethora of more can cause lumber prices to escalate. And in the day and age of “just in time” and “instant information” culture, the peaks and valleys are soaring more than ever.

This graph should pretty much freak you out. I hope it does. Hit the low at bid and the high at ship…and you might find yourself out of a business as the supplier or builder. It’s that serious. How do you protect yourself without losing all credibility with your homeowners and “ripping up contracts?”

More ups and downs then a roller coaster. Enough to make you puke!

It’s time to protect the homeowner, builder, and supply chain with commodity escalation clauses.

We are not a lawyer or take any liability in these contractual situations, but we do hope to provide guidance to you, and your homeowners to protect all parties.

“Escalation clauses specify that if building materials increase, by a certain percentage for example, the customer would be responsible for paying the higher cost. Including such a clause allows all parties to be on notice that the contract costs could change if materials prices change due to supply constraints outside the builder’s control.” — Jeff Turner, Sept, 2020, NCHBA.ORG

We have provided an ESCALATION CLAUSE FOR SPECIFIC BUILDING MATERIALS as provided to us by the North Carolina Home Builders Association. It is a one-page document that is transparent to the homeowner and client. It may not be perfect for you, but it’s a good starting point.

The start of a contract to build due to extended business workflow might be 6 months! That is far too big a risk for any vendor, builder or homeowner in fluctuating markets! It would only make sense to price at time of shipment, but how can you do that in a contractual way?

There are common methods to use an escalation clause. Let’s explore an article.

****

Common methods

“There are several methods commonly used when setting the escalation. The simplest is the “invoice” method, in which you use a supplier invoice or similar document to substantiate a materials price change.

A second option is the index method, under which you use a widely accepted, published price index to support your claim. Such indices are typically available for materials such as lumber, cement and steel. However, the DOL warns that any given index might not be available for a particular time period, because either price information wasn’t supplied by enough survey respondents to meet publication standards, or the index was discontinued due to a decline in the commodity’s importance in the marketplace. It’s also possible that any particular index won’t accurately account for localized cost variations.

A third option is a hybrid approach. Under one such approach, the triggering event is specified as an increase under both the invoice and index methods. Under another hybrid approach, the invoice method is subject to a limit based on a widely accepted index.

In any case, the rationale behind these hybrid approaches is to provide a check and balance on invoices by ensuring that the supplier’s prices aren’t widely different from market prices. Work with your CPA to determine an accurate method of calculating any materials price escalations.” – https://www.smith-howard.com/could-including-an-escalation-clause-in-your-contract-help-with-your-materials-costs/

Another way to call it is “trigger points.” Based on certain criteria we must charge x more because of x.

Simple and easy to understand. I think that is one of the keys in any good contract.

****

Check with your CPA and attorney what option would be best for you.

How do you explain that it indeed benefits the HOMEOWNER? Won’t they see this as a smoke and mirror tactic?

I believe honesty is the best policy. We all WANT to build this home! However, if we don’t have this clause, you might be OVER PAYING for materials as our supplier and myself as the builder have to take this risk factor into play. By putting it as an escalator clause, we are being honest with you. We hope we don’t ever have to use it, but we may and we want to be clear on that, and if you are not comfortable with that, we understand if you no longer want to build. However, with the cost of money over time, I don’t ever feel that is a good idea for most. Also, we can make changes to the home in other areas to offset the cost. And for most it is a quality of living issue, and let’s not delay that!

It’s not a cure-all. Communication is the key between you and your supplier and homeowner. The more you know the better it will be for all!

At Drexel Building Supply and our manufacturing facilities Drexel Systems, we try to keep our people informed to help you. And we try to buy it right to always offer you the best price you can find. We work directly with mills and will buy long, buy short, buy right. Our team has decades of experience and strong ties with North America’s best mills. You are in good hands. Yet we can not control the ups and the downs of the market. If you ever want to talk about pricing or anything else, call me Joel Fleischman @ 920-979-4045 or via email joel.fleischman@drexelteam.com

#PAULS

Supplying Happiness takes a journey where only God saw the path to follow.

P.A.U.L.S. – People Advanced in Using Lumber Systems.

It all kind of started with lunch. With one of my all time favorite builders. In fact, truly, our first builder at Berlin Building Supply. A perfectionist in framing homes and a guy that didn’t want to change the world, but surely wanted to change YOU. For the better. He even helped us do our very first addition in our Berlin yard.

A craftsman, not simply a carpenter.

So, I am sitting there having lunch with a customer and a friend, as well as my brother in law Craig Johnson. P.K. we call him, Paul Krause, was the builder I was meeting with. He surely thought he was buying lunch that day, but I tricked him and picked up the tab. Our conversation ebbed and flowed as it always had with P.K. We talked about life, the quality of it, the fleeting nature of it, and the joy of being a dad. We talked sports (he was a loyalist yet complained more about the loyal teams than anyone I ever met). And we talked building, construction, and the business of it.

I had a nagging question for him, then I sputtered it out. Offsite construction. What did he think about it? A one man builder, a craftsman, what he thought about robots assembling the structure and then installing it on site? Paul was a real thinker and I was truly curious what his answer would be. I would hope he would “see the future” as I have, but I respected his opinion and if he didn’t I would have to re-think what I thought I knew.

I’ll never forget his answer. As I talked P.K. truly teared up, he was a thoughtful caring soul, I’ve seen that teary-eyed look before. He said, “Joel, you have to do this. I need, we need it, as an industry. It’s exactly what will save the little guy and help us all.” ….and he added. “Joel, I will never be around to see it, but promise me you will do it, you and Drexel can pull it off, you might be the only ones to pull it off.”

You see, it was the last time I would see or talk to Paul. He was dying of cancer and we all knew it. Paul explained how good cancer was, that he got to say goodbye, enjoy every moment, connect with everything on this earth and appreciate it all. Like I said, Paul was one of the good ones on earth.

So I got in the car and later that evening slept on it. I woke up assured of my beliefs. Forward with offsite construction (you might call it panelization) and when we pull it off, we will call it P.A.U.L.S. in his honor. It needed a name that didn’t associate things with the past like panelization, fabrication, or automation. Those things have failed us somehow. PAULS it would be.

And so it is. And we will help others. And P.K. you will help us change the world.

Paul Krause, aka, PK.

What is a PAULS home?

Paul understood it was best to consolidate his purchases through Drexel. Easier and more value to do it that way.

Use our design Services

Framing Lumber package. Now with offsite construction as PK said we should. Stairs, floors, windows & doors in walls, and roof, we supply the labor

Siding and Shingles

Millwork and Doors

Cabinetry and Tops

and Flooring (in markets where we sell it).

***

And as thank you for any and all PAULS clients and builders:

For each PAULS home here in Wisconsin built we will donate a home to those in need around the world. Our first community will be in Haiti.

And we will start with 8 homes, 8 families, one for each of our locations. And we will start right now, Christmas 2020.

You see in Haiti, the needs are real. The housing is poor. We can give them a home, we can supply jobs to build and maintain them. We can help more. Each time we build here, we build there. There are hundreds of families in need.

There will be a website soon, to apply to be a PAULS home. At that point, we will review your application (just verifying it was a PAULS house) and you will be given a host family and we will sponsor a new home for them, as a thank you on our behalf to you.

“There is no place like home.” – Dorothy, Wizard of Oz.

Learn more about the homes we are building in Haiti.

Let’s meet the first PAULS families, all 8, one for each of our locations.

  1. Campbellsport
  2. Berlin
  3. Kiel
  4. Brookfield
  5. Wrightstown
  6. Little Chute
  7. Columbus
  8. Amherst

If you would like to be a PAULS customer or be a PAULS advocate and supporter or have any questions at all,

feel free to contact me, Joel Fleischman, 920-979-4045, or joel.fleischman@drexelteam.com

“And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Ephesians 5:20

THE HYPCROSICY OF IT ALL

When policies and large government get involved, it almost always leads to a level of hypcrosicy. How can yo be fair, and just to 330 million people in America. A truly uneviable task.

First, what is hypocrisy? Saying one thing then doing the other. I also believe it is making a mandate of one thing in an effort of helping, although realizing it really isn’t. If you read the Gospels of Jesus, you can see if you want to get Jesus riled up, be a hypocrite. I am not sure any problem drove Jesus more than than being a hypocrite.

So follow me here.

MILWAUKEE MARQUETTE AND THE UW-MADISON BADGERS played basketball this weekend. Maskless. They competed.

In other parts of the state, most actually High Schoolers and youth played this weekend. With a VERY STRICT MASK policy. Although it limits their breathing and they touch it 100 times during the game. It is forced on them. So it is unhealthy because their breathing is hampered. That has been documented by our health department. And is INEFFECTIVE, because they have to adjust it so much. So whatever is on their hands is now breathed in. Actually a horrible mistake.

But that… is only slightly hypocritical.

Here’s the real travesty.

In all of Dane County and all of Milwaukee County…there is NO basketball being played. Not allowed in the gyms full lock down.

Now, maybe you have no interest in sports, or understand how many young men (and women) think, act, and feel.

For many of these youth, hoops is their OUTLET, THEIR CONNECTION, THEIR DRIVE. School is something to do, to get to play sports.

Now many of these youth, haven’t had school since March 2019, and now no sports they love.

What’s their outlet now? Drugs, sex, and worse I assume.

But it is in the name of COVID, AND VIRUS REDUCTION.

Yet, our wealthy, our talented, our elite… the ones we see on TV, don’t wear a mask.

It tells us as humans, that you must strive for MONEY, FAME, WEALTH, TO BE ABLE TO DO WHAT YOU WANT… TO BE ABLE TO LIVE FREE… TO LIVE MASKLESS. But the worse off you are… you are told what to do, and limit many activities. Hopefully “relief” free meals, free healthcare, free money as a Covid package is on the way… in a manner to assist you…as the elite live freely.