AD hosted its 2021 Gypsum Supply Division Virtual Spring Meeting from April 20 – 21, offering members and suppliers a multi-day agenda filled with informative industry speakers and collaborative sessions.
Coinciding with AD’s annual meeting theme, Let’s Grow, the meeting was the largest of the three Gypsum Supply Division virtual events, with over 266 attendees representing 94 member companies and 43 supplier companies. The theme’s energy was apparent throughout the event, as members and suppliers are focused on looking to the future and continuing to build new and strengthen existing relationships.
The business meeting started with a presentation from Keith Hughes of Truist Securities, a corporate investment company. Hughes delivered an industry analysis discussing a wide variety of topics, including key trends of interest rates, non-residential and residential construction, as well as updates on the wallboard, insulation, ceilings, and roofing business.
Dan Maroni, president of the Building Materials Business Unit and Gypsum Supply Division addressed the group by providing a 2021 and beyond financial outlook and highlighted many key gypsum supply initiatives. One initiative Maroni discussed was the electronic data interchange (EDI) automated transactions program, which AD launched to its Gypsum Supply Division members in April of 2019. The EDI program is used to communicate purchasing information between member and supplier companies. Benefits of the program include cost reduction through automated transactions, reduction in keying errors, enhanced visibility and control into the transaction process, and mitigates the risk of fraud. Participating companies in the program have doubled since its launch.
“We miss seeing our members, suppliers, and friends and remain optimistic that we will meet in the fall of 2021,” Maroni said. “I would like to take a minute to reflect over the last couple of years that we have gone through. I express appreciation for the strength of our industry over this challenging time versus some other industries that were held back or even decimated due to pandemic. We are hopeful the strong demand in our industry, particularly the housing market, will continue through 2021 and way beyond without too many obstacles. Thank you to our membership for hanging in there during challenging times and to supplier partners for keeping lines of communication open to address our needs and customers’ needs.”
AD Chairman and CEO, Bill Weisberg, provided business meeting attendees with an overall 2021 outlook and plans across AD’s nine industries. Weisberg credited the positive above-market growth in 2020 to the leadership and resiliency of the independent distributor members.
“Last year with the pandemic issues, it was a tough situation to navigate,” Weisberg offered. “I am so proud of members and suppliers who, to a great extent, found a way to not only survive it but to make relationships and business better, as well as improve personally. Independents and other strong leaders find a way to overcome it; they find something positive and continue. It’s a great testament to the strength that we have in the independent community and the suppliers who support the independents.”
The second day of the event was comprised of three topic-driven and informative breakout webinar series for members:
- A platform demo from Mineral formerly known as ThinkHR, a GSD value-added benefit program to help members mitigate employee risk and save time and money. Mineral offers live real-time advice and answers from HR experts, access to building customizable employee handbooks, compliance research tools, and online training courses.
- Supplier sponsor ClarkDietrich provided a steel market update for members.
- Supplier sponsor CertainTeed Gypsum concluded the webinar series, delivered an industry update and highlighted their product CertainTeed Corners – Level Line Residential Stick.
The event concluded with members participating in best-practice groups, which were conducted virtually for the first time. These groups are a landmark of AD meetings and are highly rated collaborative sessions, allowing the opportunity for each group to network among non-competing distributors.