Dear Valued Customers,
At Wimsatt Building Materials, the safety and wellness of our customers, employees, and communities is our top concern. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation very closely and taking steps to ensure a safe, consistent, and uninterrupted Gold Standard service experience.
As the situation evolves, we will update this page with new information related to our response.
In these uncertain times, we are working to get clarity on Governor Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Executive Order as it relates to our industry. Chief among our concerns are the safety and security of homes, multifamily, and commercial properties that either have projects in progress or are in dire need of roof repair/replacement. For these members of our community, any delay creates greater risk to the places they live and work. If our industry is halted, it prevents us from assisting those in critical need and also prevents us from mobilizing in the event of other emergencies, such as severe storms. We are thus currently operating under the interpretation that those engaged in re-roofing services are Essential Infrastructure Workers exempt from the Stay at Home order.
When you see our trucks rolling, please understand that we are strictly supporting the urgent needs of the communities we serve.
Again, let me be clear – the safety and wellness of our people and the community is of utmost importance. In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order, we have adopted mitigation measures to protect workers and customers as we continue to operate, as outlined below.
Our friends at the Home Builders Association of Michigan have developed a list of points you can raise and communicate via email to the Michigan Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, Speaker of the House, and House Minority Leader. A statewide effort could influence them to encourage the Governor to keep these points in mind when considering clarifications to her order. You can learn more about that effort here: https://hbaofmichigan.com/media/7057/gTpcIN9xx7mj.pdf
In Michigan, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-21 on Monday, 3/23 prohibiting in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life (available at https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705-522626--,00.html). The order makes exception for workers defined as Critical Infrastructure Workers, described in section 8 of the order as those workers described by the Director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in his guidance of March 19, 2020 on the COVID-19 response (available at https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CISA-Guidance-on-Essential-Critical-Infrastructure-Workers-1-20-508c.pdf). In this document, critical infrastructure workers under Public Works are defined as (our emphasis in red): Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.
Further clarification from the FAQ regarding Executive Order 2020-21 (our emphasis in red below):
Q: Is construction allowed under the executive order?
A: Some limited forms of construction are permissible, including construction to maintain and improve essential public works like roads, bridges, the telecommunications infrastructure, and public health infrastructure. Construction workers may also undertake such projects as necessary to maintain and improve the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences. In addition, businesses may designate construction firms to provide necessary support to the work of the businesses' critical infrastructure workers. All construction work that is carried out while the order is in effect must be done in accordance with the mitigation measures required under section 5(c) of the order.
5(c) of the order covers practices to promote social distancing.
- We take these orders to mean that projects such as a roof system repair/replacement, where the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of an existing residence are at risk, are allowed.
- Section 9(b)(1) of the Michigan Executive Order states: A business or operation that employs critical infrastructure workers may designate suppliers, distribution centers, or service providers whose continued operation is necessary to enable, support, or facilitate the work of its critical infrastructure workers. As such, Wimsatt Building Materials remains open to serve contractors who are Critical Infrastructure Workers that have designated us as necessary to enable, support, or facilitate their projects necessary to maintain and improve the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences.
In accordance with the above, all of our locations remain open for business and we are ready to serve your building material needs.
Health & Safety
To make sure our employees are safe and productive, we are:
- Regularly updating all employees about the evolving COVID-19 situation
- Communicating MDHHS (https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus) and CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/) public health recommendations
- Using best practices for hygiene and disinfection at all facilities, including cleaning and sanitizing all work areas and delivery equipment daily
- Reducing staffing to the absolute minimum required to maintain branch operations to handle emergency orders and having all corporate staff work from home
- Requiring sick employees to stay home
- Eliminating travel and face-to-face meetings
- Closing our showrooms
- Postponing events such as our Spring Shows
- Implementing policies that protect the health of our employees and reduce the risk of virus introduction or spread
Continuity of Service for Customers
- Whenever possible, request jobsite delivery.
- If you must pick up your order, utilize our Will-Call service. Call your order in (even from the parking lot) to minimize face-to-face interaction.
- Our showrooms are closed. We have designated a customer service area immediately inside our stores to service one customer at a time while maintaining 6' of space between the customer and our staff.
- Our Territory Managers will not be making face-to-face visits but will remain available by phone or email. They will do their best to find a safe way to fulfill your requests.
Thank you for respecting our policies. Please understand that order processing, shipments and invoicing could possibly take longer than usual during these challenging times. As we continue to address the challenges presented by the COVID-19 virus, please know that Wimsatt Building Materials is absolutely committed to delivering on our promise of the Gold Standard Experience in exterior building materials.
If you have questions or concerns, I encourage you to reach out to your local Branch Manager or Operations Manager. We are here to support your business priorities and are standing by to help. Branch contact information can be found at https://wimsattdirect.com/locations. In addition to phone support, you may leverage email as well as self-help options in the WimsattDirect customer portal for all non-urgent business questions.
As the situation evolves, we'll adapt our response. We will keep you informed of any changes that will affect you.
Thank you for putting your trust in us as a building materials supplier.
Rob G. Hoffman
President & COO
Listed below are links for contractors with helpful advice on addressing COVID-19.
- Download a copy of this letter in pdf format: https://wimsattdirect.com/news/2020/200324-Wimsatt-Customer-Letter-COVID-19.pdf
- 3/27/20 Letter from Governor Whitmer clarifying essential construction: https://hbaofmichigan.com/media/7076/lIZNjRdD3g6R.pdf
- National Association of Home Builders: NHS designates residential construction as "essential infrastructure business": http://nahbnow.com/2020/03/dhs-designates-residential-construction-as-essential-infrastructure-business
- HBA of Michigan COVID-19 Resources: https://hbaofmichigan.com/#/covid-19-hba-information
- HBA of Michigan - NAHB sample COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan for Construction: https://hbaofmichigan.com/media/7060/7Ndwkk8OzBCY.pdf
- HBA of Michigan campaign to influence clarification of EO 2020-21: https://hbaofmichigan.com/media/7057/gTpcIN9xx7mj.pdf
- Construction Association of Michigan COVID-19 Resource Page: https://buildwithcam.com/2020/03/12/coronavirus
- NRCA COVID-19 Resources for Roofing Contractors: https://www.nrca.net/covid-19-resources-for-roofing-contractors
- AGC Houston - Jobsite Recommendations: https://www.agc.org/sites/default/files/3.17%20COVID19%20Recommended%20Practices%20%282%29.pdf
- Dickenson Wright COVID-19 employer articles and blog posts: https://www.dickinson-wright.com/news-alerts/coronavirus-related-article-and-blogs
About Wimsatt Building Materials
Wimsatt Building Materials is a distributor of quality steep slope & low slope roofing, exterior cladding, windows & doors, and specialty building materials. We serve builders and contractors with our gold standard in service from eight locations across Michigan and Northern Ohio.
April 04, 2020
April 04, 2020