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[WRE UPDATE | BUSINESS]


“I think a moment like this reminds us, especially the companies and leaders in the industry who have been hesitant to use technology, that it’s time to embrace it. It’s how a lot of companies are staying afloat now, and it’s certainly how we’ve been able to inform our members and advocate on their behalf via government agencies and related organizations.”


- Beth O’Quinn, SC&RA Senior VP, Crane & Rigging


However, Stramer is confident that once the economy starts to open back up, Link-Belt and many others will see a reasonable upswing in business.


“Te speed of that is totally dependent on the actions of each state and the timing of when they move back to a normal construction environment,” he said. “As to the potential for a tsunami of construction on the horizon, we believe that a return to a more normal environment certainly would provide momentum for an expanded environment. However, the uncertainty of the oil and gas business will provide, without a doubt, significant headwinds to the overall market.” Regardless, he added, flexibility is key. “No matter what plans you have in place or emergency business operation strategies might have been considered beforehand, this pandemic has taught us all that we need to be flexible and measure the issues on a daily basis, and respond as quickly as possible to new and unexpected challenges of the moment.”


REASONABLE PACE Out in the Pacific Northwest, where Covid-19 initially landed in the U.S., NessCampbell Crane & Rigging President John Anderson knew about the importance of adaptability probably before just about everyone. “Every jobsite and scope of work


John Anderson


has forced us to reevaluate our pre-task plans and implement new ways to perform the work under the guidelines of the CDC, the state, and our customers’ requirements,” he pointed out. “Te


real challenge is being able to purchase and deploy the proper recommended PPE and retrain our employees in the importance of social distancing and the importance of sanitizing the equipment and keeping themselves healthy.” While he agrees that uncertainty has become a part of American daily life, Anderson does see the economy picking up in the third and fourth quarters. “Although


76 MAY–JUNE 2020 WIRE ROPE EXCHANGE


it’s hard to predict the future with any accuracy, I hope the experts are correct on their prediction [of a jump in production with a reopening]. If they are, NessCampbell is poised and ready to rise to the occasion.” Overall, Anderson calls this moment a humbling experience. “Te realization that there is something out there that can just stop us in our tracks in a matter of days is very frightening,” he said. “My advice would be to stay as diversified as you can, and always be flexible and ready to adapt as needed.” Jeff Latture, Senior Vice President of Sales &


Marketing at Barnhart, echoed Anderson in regards to takeaways during a time like this. “Tere is always a ‘black swan’ event coming, so being highly leveraged with little access to cash is high risk,” he stressed. “Te other concept is that we must make good money in the good times. Killing each other with irrational pricing during a boom spells a disaster for lean times.” Latture explained that, at Barnhart, every project has been affected to one degree or another. “Distancing, masks, temperature checks, travel, and quarantine are all new realities. Tat said, most work in progress continues until completion or an easy stopping point. New work has been pushed. However, if the states begin to open up the restrictions, we will see a spike in demand. We’re hoping for a strong recovery, if oil can recover, as we release the economy.” Latture added that many companies in the crane and rigging space should be used to adjusting to changing conditions. “Changing environments, new conditions, challenges, and demanding schedules are a part of being in our industry. It’s the way we work every day. We can ramp back up tomorrow.” As for the aforementioned construction tsunami on


the horizon connected to a reopening, Latture plans to avoid overthinking it and approach the future with measured optimism. “If it goes much longer, a recession will have its own momentum, and this will no longer be a pause. Tat said, oil prices will prevent a tsunami, but it should get back to a reasonable pace as we begin to release the economy.” y


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