Wood Products Manufacturers Association https://www.wpma.org Wood Products Manufacturers Association Wood Products Manufacturers Association HOW YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM WALKING IWF SHOW IN ATLANTA, GA https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/79 Thu, 16 Aug 2018 08:53:44 EST https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/79 <p>The International Woodworking Fair (IWF) is held every two years in Atlanta, GA.&nbsp; It is the largest woodworking fair in North&nbsp; America.&nbsp; Companies from around the world will be exhibiting the latest products and technologies.&nbsp; The majority of the equipment will be fully operational.&nbsp; as someone once said, "if you can't find it at IWF, you don't need it."&nbsp; </p> <p>This four day show is scheduled August 22-25, 2018.&nbsp; You may say, why should I care, my business is good and I have orders.&nbsp; The overall answer is that your competition will be there to learn what customers (including your customers) are looking for and what they may be able to offer them to have them switch to become their customer.&nbsp; If someone is doing something more efficiently, for less money, and that meets a pressing need, it is better to find out before it is too late.&nbsp; Once you have lost a customer it is extremely difficult to win them back. </p> <p>People often say I can't afford to take a few days off from my business.&nbsp; The truth is that if you loose too much business you will have a lot of time to find out the cause. </p> <p>The other critical item that all business professionals are faced with, is the lack of time to accomplish all that you desire.&nbsp; As an example, say your company is interested in purchasing a new CNC router for your business.&nbsp; You have the ability to fly all over the country to visit different machinery suppliers and see the equipment in full operation.&nbsp; What do you do if you want to compare machine A with machine B?&nbsp; You must fly to another state to visit with a different machinery supplier.&nbsp; This can be extremely time consuming and take you away from your business much more than you would like. </p> <p>At IWF you can see all machines operating and do a full comparison in a number of days vs. a number of months.&nbsp; A wise owl once said "sonny, time is money."&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p>So my question to you, is how can you NOT afford to take a few days from your busy schedule once every two years to learn where your industry is headed?&nbsp; The answer, is you can't and need to walk the show in Atlanta this year. </p> <p>Since 1929 WPMA has been helping members compete in a global economy.&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p>For more information on how WPMA can help you and your company be more competitive please call Philip Bibeau, Executive Director at 978/874-5445.</p> Will New Trucking Regulations Eliminate Lean Manufacturing in Woodworking Plants? https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/78 Mon, 16 Jul 2018 10:26:50 EST https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/78 <p>Over the last 20 years woodworking facilities have worked extremely hard to implement Lean Manufacturing in order to improve efficiency, eliminate waste, and improve delivery and profitability.&nbsp; Besides changing the mind-set of employees, one of the key components of Lean Manufacturing is just in time delivery of raw materials.</p> <p>Up until recently this was not a major concern.&nbsp; In 2018 Obama mandated regulations became effective which requires truckers to use an Electronic Log for all time spent driving.&nbsp; This mandate has removed thousands of trucks from the roads, reduced the number of hours that a person may drive, and caused rates to increase 400-500%.&nbsp; The biggest concern is that now instead of taking a few days to find a truck and have a load of lumber picked up it is sometimes taking weeks and even a month.</p> <p>The end result is that companies that used to plan their deliveries down to a day or a week are now forced to inventory over 30 days worth of raw material or face a shut down.&nbsp; This is counter to the principles of Lean Manufacturing which stress just in time delivery to eliminate tying up valuable resources that will hopefully be matched to incoming orders.</p> <p>The big question is, will changes in the trucking industry change the way that woodworking facilities produce their products?&nbsp; Will over 20 years of work be eliminated in a few months?&nbsp; What can be done to bring things back the way they were?</p> <p>Since 1929 the WPMA has focused on providing our members with information that can help them remain competitive and prosper in a global economy.</p> <p>For more information please contact Philip Bibeau, Executive Director at 978/874-5445 or visit our website at <a title="http://www.wpma.org" href="http://www.wpma.org" target="_blank">www.wpma.org</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Today's Customer https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/77 Mon, 16 Jul 2018 10:24:06 EST https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/77 <p>The customer of today is much different than they were ten years ago. In the past your customer would place an order for six months of product along with release schedules.&nbsp; Today it is much different.&nbsp; Due to different marketing techniques and cash flow restrictions today's customer is very different.&nbsp; They have grown up expecting everything to be extremely easy for them.&nbsp; They have wonderful ideas that are well suited to today's technologies.&nbsp; They are also good marketers.</p> <p>The major difference between the customers of today and those of ten years ago is that today's customers are asking the manufacturer to do everything.&nbsp; They would like the product manufactured to an extremely high quality, finished, laser engraved, packed, warehoused, and drop shipped as each individual order arrives.&nbsp; Many customers are even asking manufacturers to delay payment for items they have produced until they are sold.&nbsp; Basically they want to sell their items and get paid but do not want any of the manufacturing responsibilities.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Lean manufacturing has helped manufacturers perfect small quantity production in a way that allows them to remain profitable.&nbsp; But we have been hearing from more and more of these customers who have gotten their idea off the ground and have been purchasing and paying for products.&nbsp; Their ideas are taking off and they are seeking suppliers who can produce their items in larger quantities.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>As this trend continues to grow, current manufacturers are going to be forced to re-think their business model to accommodate this new type of customer, or their competition will.</p> <p>Since&nbsp; 1929 the WPMA has been helping its members to remain competitive in the global economy.&nbsp; The sharing of information is one of the many services we provide to small to medium size woodworking companies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For more information on customers or other programs/services offered you may call Philip Bibeau, Executive Director at 978/874-5445.</p> 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>