Beyond the Build

Customer Relationships

These Two Years

For the last couple of years, building and maintaining relationships has been harder than I have ever seen in my career. Zoom, along with its video conference first cousins, has been a bandaid for our mental health, but these have eliminated a lot of sidebar and casual conversations that use to take place while walking the job site or just visiting in those moments of downtime. A certain amount of decorum is lost when people email, text or meet as a group with a dozen or so of your closest friends are all looking at each other on the screen. Beyond all the severe impacts to our lives and health, I think the most disappointing pandemic side effect is the impact to ongoing relationships.

I am encouraging our folks to call their contacts, make personal connections, and try to find a way to stay connected. In the meantime, I have faith that we will figure out a way to solve these health, commodity, supply chain and labor challenges. While we wait, it’s a good time to figure out our real strategic partners in business and take whatever steps are needed to ensure these connections don’t get stagnate. The good news is that the days are getting more daylight and spring is a couple of months away. A new day is just ahead.

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.