Wood Products Manufacturers Association https://www.wpma.org Wood Products Manufacturers Association Wood Products Manufacturers Association ARE YOU AN EMPLOYER THAT SOMEONE WOULD COME TO WORK FOR? https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/76 Mon, 30 Apr 2018 14:36:27 EST https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/76 <p>A large percentage of the phone calls we are receiving are from employers who are having difficulty hiring and retaining qualified employees.&nbsp; In addition to wages being offered, many owners are at a loss regarding what else they have to offer a potential employee. </p> <p>Long gone are the days when a weekly paycheck was enough to entice a new employee to join your firm.&nbsp; Today, many people are looking for a work/life balance.&nbsp; They are expecting and almost demanding that there must be more than a financial benefit to their employment. </p> <p>The first question I ask a company is if they have walked around their plant at break or lunch time?&nbsp; Does the company provide a clean and comfortable lunch room that is conducive to networking and good times among fellow employees?&nbsp; Or are people sitting alone outside your facility on a bucket or in their cars having lunch in bad weather?&nbsp; If you were a 22 year old would you like to spend the rest of your working career sitting on an old 5 gallon bucket? </p> <p>What type of advancement or growth opportunities are available for new hires?&nbsp; Will they be doing the same operation or is their an opportunity to grow as a person? </p> <p>The biggest factor that many of the millennials&nbsp; mention is that if they are going to move out of their parents basement and have to pay rent, they want more of a work/life balance and don't want to work five (5) days per week.&nbsp; They are expecting to be able to tele-commute at least one to two days per week.&nbsp; This is the hardest component for a manufacturer to grasp.&nbsp; How to make this work in their manufacturing operation.&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p>The advice we give employers is to put yourself in the shoes of a potential hire and ask yourself "Would I Want to Come to Work for this Company?" </p> <p>The world is changing and we must all adapt to a changing workforce. </p> <p>Since 1929 the WPMA has been helping manufacturers compete in a global economy.&nbsp; </p> <p>For more information about this or other programs and services provided by the WPMA please call Philip Bibeau at 978/874-5445</p> How Are Domestic Markets Changing? https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/75 Mon, 09 Apr 2018 15:23:39 EST https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/75 <p>With the virtual elimination of credit lines, many manufacturers are being forced to operate on cash flow which has dramatically reduced the size of orders placed with suppliers.&nbsp; Companies may have increased the frequency that they order, but much smaller orders have forced companies to re-evaluate how they manufacture products.&nbsp; Gone are the days when a company would purchase a two or three month supply of parts.&nbsp; Today their purchases are based on a "pull system" where they only order the exact number of parts to produce orders currently in house.</p> <p>As the economy continues to improve and people have more available cash to spend, the limiting factor will be a sufficient number of skilled workers to produce the products that people are willing to purchase.&nbsp; As far as the lumber supply goes, when is the last time you heard a junior high school student say that their goal in life was to become a logger. </p> <p>Regardless if the logs are being shipped export, or sold to a US manufacturer, prices will be irrelevant if there is no one willing to cut the logs to bring them to market. </p> <p>The other important consideration for many companies is the ability of their good customer to pay their invoices.&nbsp; As more and more companies are operating on cash flow, they are only able to pay their supplier when they are paid for their product.&nbsp; It all rolls down hill.&nbsp; We have heard of more companies going out of business and closing the doors in 2017 than all of 2016 and 2015 combined.&nbsp; Remember, just being busy does not guarantee that the company is profitable or working with a positive cash flow.&nbsp; </p> <p>With more and more orders being "re-shored" from Asia, we are seeing much smaller quantities of very specific products being requested. </p> <p>In order to compete in today's marketplace, manufacturers will be required to be more nimble and able to adapt to more specific requests. </p> <p>Since 1929 WPMA has been working with its members to assist them to be able to compete in a global economy.&nbsp; Keeping members posted on changes in the marketplace is one of the many services we provide. </p> <p>For more information please contact Philip Bibeau, Executive Director at 978/874-5445.</p> How Demand for Products in China that are Manufactured with American Red Oak May Affect Your Business https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/74 Thu, 01 Mar 2018 08:15:58 EST https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/74 <p>The Government banning the harvest of timber in China, coupled with a huge increase in demand for products manufactured from American hardwoods, has placed a strain on the availability of logs for US sawmills. Demand increases outpaced production increases in 2017 and that gap will likely widen this year, even though quite a few producers are adding drying and processing capacity. </p> <p>The limiting factor in 2018 will not be mill capacity, but rather, the economic availability of Red Oak logs will determine how much lumber is produced relative to how much of the resource is exported in log form.&nbsp; There is no shortage of Red Oak timber in the woods.&nbsp; There is an extreme shortage of loggers to harvest this timber. However, if 2017 repeats, competitive pricing pressure will make that timber too expensive for more and more mills to saw at a profit. </p> <p>Because Red Oak lumber demand will rise faster than production, prevailing lumber prices should continue to rise in 2018.&nbsp; There will be growing tensions, between green producers, who need higher prices to compensate for log price increases (especially with so many logs being exported) and their customers, especially in China. The bottom line is as more and more hardwood logs are exported from the US to help meet the rising demand for lumber in China, you will experience continually increasing prices. </p> <p>This information has been provided by Dan Meyer, Editor, and our friends the Barrett Family of the Weekly Hardwood Review, January 12, 2018. </p> <p>Since 1929, the WPMA has focused our efforts to assist our members to be profitable and competitive in the global marketplace. </p> <p>For more information contact:&nbsp; Philip Bibeau, Executive Director at 978/874-5445.</p> Congratulations on Promotion https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/72 Fri, 02 Feb 2018 11:39:49 EST https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/72 <p>Continental Underwriters, Inc., a Richmond, VA based Managing General Underwriter and Wholesale Broker specializing in providing insurance and risk management solutions for companies in the forest products industry, is proud to announce the promotion of Amanda Huang to Chief Operating Officer.</p> <p>Amanda has been part of the Continental family for over 12 years, and has spent the entirety of that time learning every detail of the business. Amanda has excelled in each role she has taken on, from underwriting to accounting to operations. She has built a strong foundation of knowledge, leadership, and culture that has helped Continental Underwriters, Inc. thrive in a niche focused and highly competitive segment of the insurance industry.</p> <p>&ldquo;Amanda is a key component of the value driven, customer focused, and employee centric culture of Continental,&rdquo; says C. Preston Herrington, III, President and CEO.</p> <p>When you work with Continental Underwriters, Inc. you notice the difference Amanda brings. You see it in the service they provide, the products they deliver, and the partnerships they create.</p> <p>Working closely with over 30 carriers who specialize in, or have an affinity for, forest products, Continental Underwriters, Inc. is equipped to manage any forest products placement for an agent or broker. The Continental Underwriters, Inc. team provides unmatched attention to detail, superior service, and a high-quality product tailored to the forest products industry.&nbsp; The Continental team is passionate about what they do, and eager to share their expertise. You can check out their website to learn more about what they offer: www.contund.com.</p> <p>Congratulations to Amanda on this recognition for her hard work.</p> How will tariffs imposed on imported Chinese hardwood plywood affect US manufacturers? https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/71 Mon, 15 Jan 2018 10:51:59 EST https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/71 <p>The International Trade Commission recently upheld tariffs on imported Chinese hardwood plywood that average 208% due to findings that they were "dumping" product on the US market and were having an adverse affect on US manufacturers.&nbsp; We have been receiving calls from member companies asking what can they do to locate new suppliers?&nbsp; The problem is that due to an average of 75-85% of Birch logs from the Soviet Union being exported to Asia, the supply of Russian Baltic Birch is unable to keep up with the demand.&nbsp; One importer has stated that log prices are "going through the roof" and that prices are rising $10-20 per month per cubic meter.&nbsp; It is felt that prices will continue to rise until they equal the price of the Chinese stock with the tariffs added as there is only so much that can be produced regardless of the price.</p> <p>The problem is that many US manufacturers have based their costs on the lower priced Chinese material, and as a result, are unable to adjust on a monthly basis.&nbsp; The consumer is the one that will have difficulty with the constantly changing prices.&nbsp; No one is really sure as to how this scenario will play out, all we can do is watch and pay attention.</p> <p>Since 1929 the WPMA has been working hard to keep members informed on conditions that could affect their business and ability to operate profitably.&nbsp; This is a situation that we will keep our members apprised of.</p> <p>For more information on the Wood Products Manufacturers Association you may visit our website at <a title="www.wpma.org" href="http://www.wpma.org" target="_blank">www.wpma.org</a> or call Philip Bibeau, Executive Director at 978/874-5445</p>