Laticrete's senior vice president of sales and marketing, Ron Nash, shares his insight on how the coronavirus will impact the tile/stone industry. 

Q: How is Laticrete creating a leadership community in this situation?

A: To keep up with what other businesses are doing amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, I (Ron Nash) started a Facebook group where tile industry experts can share/discuss their business operating status and impact. The group is meant to be an open channel for those in the tile/stone installation industry to share information, look for help, ask business-related questions, or vent about current issues in a non-political way.

Q: Unlike the recessions of 2008 and 2009, is a pandemic or natural disaster usually much shorter to recover from compared to other financial crises?

A: Based on my personal experiences and research, I have learned that when the market crashes due to a natural cause such as a pandemic (especially when compared to past pandemics i.e. SARS, H1N1, etc.) versus financial, the negative market impact is usually more short term. That said, we really are off the map with this virus, we have never before seen anything like it in modern history. But, we are hopeful that the recovery follows the same pattern as other pandemics. 

Q: What is your outlook on construction? 

A: Luckily, even under the new policies set in place, the construction industry has been deemed essential so work has not come to a halt. With a huge push for commercial construction work to continue, OSHA has come out with safety measures that have been put in place during this time. I am hopeful that these new guidelines will aid in minimizing the impact to these construction businesses as much as humanly possible, while also increasing personal protection and safety.

Q: Are you seeing unity or division among businesses? 

A: The whole world is in the same boat, which is positive because no one is losing jobs to another country or offshoring work. From a global perspective, we are all on the same team right now versus competitors.

Q: Are we still in a good place to have a great rest of 2020?

A: Right now things are changing and they are changing fast. However, once we get over the hump and people come out of the quarantine, we will see an enormous amount of demand which will make for a great Q3 and Q4. Think of it like a "V-Shape" recovery.

Q: What is Laticrete doing to sharpen their skills? 

A: Laticrete is being a leader by providing digital tools, trying to get people to train through its Laticrete University program, shattering records everyday and creating a digital platform where people can communicate. Our Laticrete University e-learning program makes it possible for anyone within the industry to train on industry standards and Profit Through Knowledge (PTK) Technical Seminars from the comfort of your home or office 24/7. Now anyone can receive the quality information that was only once possible during live training without leaving your couch or home. Laticrete University presents vital industry and product information in short, easy online tutorials that can be taken at any time online, 24/7. You can learn about new products and industry standards right away without the delay of waiting for a scheduled event or for a representative to visit you.

Q: How is Laticrete staying positive through these hard times?

A: Our supply chain is still going strong, we are in constant communication with all levels of our company. We’re still working hard, receiving and delivering orders. However, we aren’t taking this lightly. We are utilizing this time to realign our priorities and we have confidence in our economy to weather this temporary storm.

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