I stumbled on this video today and it reinforced the fact that we are a MICRO shop. The amount of duct that some companies can produce in such a short time is mind boggling. A straight section of trunk duct form beginning to end takes me roughly 8 to 10 minutes. I have heard that companies, like the one in the video, can produce that same section in under 10 seconds. It has become tougher and tougher to keep a shop like ours going because of this gap in production time and more importantly cost of production. Another problem is, most of the work available is commercial in nature and far too involved for a company like mine. Therefore, we are left to pick up the scraps of much smaller commercial work and of course, residential (our bread and butter). But residential and home owner projects seem to be fading more and more even though the housing market has "bottomed".
Walking this line of keeping the shop smaller in size or taking out loans and making it bigger is a scary proposition. The lack of motivated workers and young people in the field is also something that can be worrisome. Shops like ours will always be needed, but if work can't at least sustain the owner and his family, then smaller shops will continue to fall and go out of business.