Over the course of the year we have talked a great deal about the importance of communication and how through strong two-way dialogue we are able to develop and deliver products, services and tools that help differentiate us in a competitive marketplace. From the people on our teams to the products we deliver and the tools we employ to generate and share information, we use our knowledge and experience to keep our fingers on the pulse of the industry and our customers.

Putting our commitment to customers and our investment strategy to the test was the focus of our recent Partner Panel meeting. Held this September, the meeting allowed us to address issues and opportunities for both Kawneer and our customers and not only share what we have accomplished during the past year, but also learn more about how customers view our current levels of performance and hear suggestions for improvement going forward.

In summary, customers told us they were encouraged by the new product launches as well as recent software enhancements. Customers felt there is a need to improve our sales presence with architects to become the “basis for design.” And on the service side, we received feedback and input on opportunities where we can improve responsiveness in acknowledgments, lead times and Service Center communication. We will continue to review input from this meeting and make assignments to take action on many of the observations and recommendations made by the Partner Panel.

Collaborative communication with customers is critical to developing and improving our business initiatives and to ensuring you have the most up-to-date information when the company is faced with difficult situations.

As you are aware, this fall our Bloomsburg facility was affected by severe flooding, which presented manufacturing and delivery challenges. Recovery efforts are underway with initial clean up complete as well as equipment assessments. Our number one objective is addressing order fulfillment needs. We noted in earlier communications that every existing order that has been affected by the Bloomsburg flood will be rescheduled beginning with December 2011 dates. We are continuing to work as quickly as possible to re-establish production in Bloomsburg and will keep you updated as we progress.

Though 2011 has presented its share of challenges, we continue to work diligently to deploy initiatives that will help us increase both performance and opportunities in the coming year. From ultra thermal and energy efficient solutions to increased communication outlets and new product development activity, we have plans in place that will position Kawneer and our customers for increased success in the midst of continued market volatility. We remain focused on the future and value your ongoing input and support. We would like to wish everyone all the best this holiday season and look forward to a successful 2012 together.

Diana Perreiah
General Manager, Kawneer North America