Wood Products Manufacturers Association https://www.wpma.org Wood Products Manufacturers Association Wood Products Manufacturers Association Notice of Proposed Rule Making: Overtime Update https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/87 Mon, 01 Apr 2019 08:45:19 EST https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/87 <p>On March 7, 2019 the Department of Labor announced a proposed rule that would make more than a million more American workers eligible for overtime.&nbsp; The question to start asking yourself and your managers is "how will this rule affect our business?"</p> <p>Under currently enforced law, employees with a salary below $455 per week ($23,660 annually) must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week.&nbsp; Workers making at least this salary level may be eligible for overtime based on their job duties. This salary level was set in 2004.</p> <p>This proposal that is expected to be passed into law would boost the proposed salary level to $679 per week (equivalent to $35,308 per year.) Above this salary level, eligibility for overtime varies based on job duties.</p> <p>The proposal increases the total annual compensation requirement for "highly compensated employees" (HCE) from the currently enforced level of $100,000 to $147,414 per year.</p> <p>A commitment to periodic review to update the salary threshold as well as a requirement for notice and comment periods for the rule would be mandated.</p> <p>The proposal would allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) that are paid annually or more frequently to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level.</p> <p>There were no changes in overtime protections for:</p> <p>-Laborers including; non-management production-line employees.</p> <p>- Non-management employees in maintenance, construction and similar occupations such as carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, iron workers, craftsmen, operating engineers and construction workers.&nbsp; These employees must continue to be paid for overtime as established in the law that went into affect in 2004.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Source:&nbsp; Callie Haman, National Association of Manufacturers</p> <p>The question all owners must be asking their managers are there ways to ensure the company is not accruing any unnecessary overtime and can anything be done to reduce your exposure as this will definitely affect the company's bottom line?</p> <p>Since 1929 the WPMA has always prided itself on providing it's members with timely information that helps a company remain competitive in the global marketplace.</p> <p>For more information, you may contact Philip Bibeau, Executive Director at 978/874-5445.</p> What Are You Doing Today To Increase Business in 2020? https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/86 Mon, 04 Mar 2019 08:24:24 EST https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/86 <p>Based on a large volume of member calls and attendance at a number of shows, the consensus is that business is not as strong as people would like and many business owners have said their companies have "excess manufacturing capacity."&nbsp; In other words, people can use more business.</p> <p>When you speak to many people and ask them what they are doing today to generate new orders in 2020 they look at you like you are from another planet.&nbsp; When business is good people forget the importance of following up to stay in touch with your current customers to ensure that you and your company remain a "partner" in their success as a critical supplier.</p> <p>The other thing that people forget is the fact that it often takes more than a full year to convert a company that is a prospect to a customer.&nbsp; By waiting till the last minute before you lay people off (due to lack of work) to find new orders you are making a big mistake.&nbsp; As more and more manufacturers learn the key to success involves working even closer with their suppliers, it gets harder and harder to get your foot in the door to prove that your company may in fact do a better job for them.</p> <p>To help companies develop new and profitable business the WPMA has been advertising for inquiries and acting as a clearing house to connect manufacturers with new customers since 1929.&nbsp; We continue to exhibit at national trade shows seeking inquiries that we can pass along to our members.&nbsp; Many of our members will refer a prospective customer to the WPMA office to help them locate a supplier if it is not something they are able to produce.</p> <p>Since 1929 the focus of WPMA has always been to provide programs and services to help members compete in the global economy.</p> <p>For more information on how WPMA can help you and your company please contact Philip Bibeau, Executive Director at 978/874-5445.</p> Tariffs - What Will They Do To Your Business???? https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/85 Mon, 04 Feb 2019 09:38:08 EST https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/85 <p>We have received many calls from members talking about the affects that proposed tariffs if enacted will have on their business.&nbsp; We are hearing from many log/lumber suppliers that have explained that over 50% of their sales are now destined for Asia.&nbsp; They have explained how their business will be devastated if the tariffs take affect and the layoffs it will cause.</p> <p>As is the case in a free market economy companies are allowed and encouraged to sell their products where they can make the most amount of money and best benefit their company.&nbsp; In speaking with many owners they explain that most of their new sales to Asia have occurred in the last 5-7 years.&nbsp; We have been told "the prices are so good I couldn't afford to ship the item to old customers in the States."&nbsp; Many have told us that they believed foreign governments were subsidizing the purchase of raw materials which drove the prices so high, but they didn't care as long as they were getting paid.</p> <p>Once the government applied partial duties and things slowed down, the game changed.&nbsp; Now material was backing up and prices were dropping as the only customers were located in the US and Europe.&nbsp; Businesses are being forced to re-connect with old domestic customers and develop long neglected sales.&nbsp; End users are telling us that their calls are being answered again.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the "benefits" of the tariff threat is the fact that companies must again work to expand their customer base to include both domestic and export customers.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Since 1929 the WPMA has been working with members to help them increase sales and remain profitable in a global economy.&nbsp; We continue to distribute leads for new business to our members.</p> <p>For more information please call Philip Bibeau, Executive Director at 978/874-5445.</p> Do You REALLY know your costs? https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/84 Thu, 03 Jan 2019 15:44:04 EST https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/84 <p>We are hearing from people that are trying to enter a market with a new product or would like to outsource the production to a current WPMA member.&nbsp; The preconceived idea is that this is what I can pay for the item based on what they think they can sell it for. Unfortunately these same people have mp&nbsp; concept of what something costs.&nbsp; Many times they are trying to get the item produced for less than the cost of the lumber utilized in the product. </p> <p>As companies are forced to run as lean as possible, it is often difficult to spend a lot of time with someone that does not understand costs.&nbsp; This is a two edged sword for manufacturers as many times it is difficult to train and maintain a person that understands your costs and is able to offer a price on an item to help your firm remain profitable. </p> <p>The old saying "just because you are busy does not mean you are making any money."&nbsp; It seems we are hearing from more and more small start up firms that have great idea, but no real idea of what they are looking for.&nbsp; The key for successful businesses is to be able to focus their efforts on the companies that do understand that there is a difference between purchasing 50 pieces of an item vs. 50,000 from Asia and want the price to be 20% less.&nbsp; </p> <p>By truly knowing your costs, your company will be a survivor and not one that is auctioned off for 10 cents on a dollar. </p> <p>Since 1929 the WPMA has been focused on helping our members prosper in a global economy.&nbsp; We act as a clearinghouse to provide accurate and timely information to assist your members. </p> <p>For more information contact Philip Bibeau, Executive Director at 978/874-5445.</p> Not Asking Detailed Questions Could Have A Major Affect on Your Business https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/83 Mon, 03 Dec 2018 08:28:15 EST https://www.wpma.org/pages/news/entry/83 <p>A member in PA recently brought a potentially crucial situation to our attention that could affect their business as well as that of a large number of our members.&nbsp; Everyone realizes that being able to dispose of your wood waste (even at little or no profit) is critical to your business being able to operate.&nbsp; The problem occurred when a Department of Agriculture inspector visited a large woodworking facility and found that their solid wood waste contained less than 2% of MDF sawdust.&nbsp; The inspector immediately filed a cease and desist order and did not allow them to operate or sell their wood waste to a company that was distributing it for animal bedding.&nbsp; This action would have shut down a very large number of wood products manufacturing companies as they found companies they could pay to landfill their wood dust waste. </p> <p>After a great many phone calls to legislators and department heads the ruling was temporarily halted until everything could be sorted out.&nbsp; The woodworking companies were allowed to resume production. It was felt that this action was caused by an inspector that did not truly understand the industry, who benefited from the sawdust, and the regulations that were currently in place. </p> <p>Your fellow member asked us to pass along some advice that has been learned&nbsp;the hard way over the years.&nbsp; Anytime that an inspector such as OSHA, EPA, Department of Agriculture, etc. wants to write you up for a violation of any type you should ALWAYS ask for a written copy of the regulation you supposedly are in violation of.&nbsp; In a large number of cases, the inspector will not fully understand the regulation and you will be found to be in compliance.&nbsp; As he said, always document and have everything in writing.&nbsp; It could be the difference of you operating or operating without a major fine. </p> <p>Since 1929 the WPMA has always been focused on helping our members to compete in the global economy.&nbsp; We focus our energy on helping our members and providing solutions to their problems. </p> <p>For more information please contact Philip Bibeau, Executive Director at 978/874-5445.</p>