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Home | HOUSTON | Focus | Focus – Construction Forecast – Maintaining a great staff is key for 2017

Focus – Construction Forecast – Maintaining a great staff is key for 2017

image Kevin Smith, President and CEO, Equipment Management Services LLC, Houston, TX

HOUSTON – What is your projection for 2017? I think 2017 will be another good year for the business. We feel good about our market position at the moment.

    We expect the industry at large to grow and a lot of that is driven by the maritime industry and the Port of Houston’s impact on the container trade.
    This allows us to have greater inventory of containers. We expect to see an uptick in the service business. It allows us more availability of containers for resale and rental. We are focused heavily on that part of the business. We expect that business component to grow in 2017 as well.

Have you seen any material or cost in- creases in your industry?
    We have not seen a dramatic increase in material or supplies costs that we would consume in a normal course of our business.
    There have been some relatively small increases here and there. We expect to see some increases in steel prices in 2017.
    That is going to equate to the value of containers at the end of the day. We also expect to see increases in the sellout prices in 2017.

What do you think the keys to success will be for 2017?
    I think it is important to focus our energy on different components of the market. We have seen an uptick in the construction business as well from a rental perspective.

What will be the challenges in the next year?
    We have some very good competitors. They are out there trying to do the same kind of things we are doing under whatever their management programs are to try and compete in a market that is very active but also very competitive.
    We look at them as our biggest challenge, and possibly right up there with our competition is our people. We have to maintain a great staff, which we have done a good job of and we are very proud of them.
    We certainly have to maintain the right people in the right jobs.

Have you seen an uptick in commercial construction in Houston?
    Yes, we have seen an uptick in commercial construction. The commercial side has been good to us from a rental perspective, especially modified type containers where we might modify one into a mobile office or a mobile job shack in addition to the standard storage needs of contractors.
    We have also seen a little bit of activity in the residential side which is new to us as far as residential contractors renting containers for different developments and keeping those for a longer period of time.

Is there anything you would like to see happen on the local, state, or national levels to benefit the industry?
     I think in Texas, we have some more advantages than some other states. Texas is small business friendly, contractor friendly and generally a business friendly state. That is a major benefit to the construction industry and us. We have had the opportunity to work in many states over the years and consistently, Texas is a very user-friendly state
     The only thing we could say to our local, city and state government is to keep that attitude.
Equipment Management Services LLC rents and sells containers to the construction and maritime industries. –ab

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Abby BeMent abby@constructionnews.net