Tick tock – half of 2020 is officially in the books. It has been a tumultuous and unprecedented year for our company, country and the world. I cannot imagine anyone having predicted all the things we have faced since March. No need to recap it all here, it’s on the news in our living rooms every day and I have commented on it through various special editions of CoolTimes.
I’d like to use this edition to focus internally on the goings on inside our company. How have we fared? What does the second half of 2020 look like? I’m not one to pull any punches, and I pride myself on being totally transparent, so let’s look at the good the bad and the ugly.
- Service is picking up and the “busy season” is upon us. Most areas of the country are seeing strong upticks in volume
- Total company revenue through May is actually up year over year. Our business is faring pretty well although certain areas are still struggling. In a normal year, our company would be showing tremendous growth.
- Employee engagement and morale is high. Our teams are energized and productive — even those that have been working from home for more than three months now
- We’ve had some big contract wins, taking advantage of competitor weakness and in one case, a sizeable competitor’s bankruptcy (Artic Mechanical)
- We’re celebrating the closing of our first acquisition of the year and anticipate 5 more coming between now and year end. Look for press releases on each as they close!
- Installation is spotty across the country. Some areas have been impacted much worse than others. Backlogs are down and many projects in grocery have been postponed.
- While grocery service has remained strong, we have really taken a hit in the restaurant and retail side. Our customers in those segments are just beginning to reopen after forced store closures. And, unfortunately, we’ve seen some big bankruptcies some of which have impacted us directly.
- Margins are way down. During all this upheaval, we have seemingly lost our focus on basic blocking and tackling. We need to get back to the basics with efficient use of manpower, material, and with a focus on improving first time fix rate, getting our paperwork done on time, etc. There are plenty of distractions in the world around us, and we need to do our best to adapt and overcome adversity.
- We still have 72 employees on furlough and most of them are in Installation. This is down from a high of near 200. While we are heading in the right direction, I will feel better when our customers stop pushing out projects and begin a return to normalcy.
As the country opens up, more and more people are returning to work and other activities. And, as citizens become more lax in their social distancing and the wearing of masks, we may see an uptick of COVID-19 cases. Because of uncertainty, and the fear of a second wave, we at CoolSys have decided to continue working from home, where desired and possible. For those that return to the office, we need to stay vigilant to keep each other safe. It remains important to follow local guidelines and do what we can to protect ourselves.
I’m cautiously optimistic that the economy will continue to improve and that by 2021, we will be in a more normal place as a company, a country and a world.
Hang in there CoolSys Nation! We have built a strong ship and although we have taken a pounding in some very rough seas, we are still afloat and heading on our journey into the future. We are in this together! I appreciate your efforts!