SHELTER
November/December 2004

     AMD REVIEW

Utah Was the Place
AMD Attendees Exchanged Ideas in Salt Lake City

Nestled at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains and extending to the body of water for which it’s named, Salt Lake City was host to the 41st Annual Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD) Convention. Not only did attendees to this year’s convention have a scenic view, they also were able to become more educated on topics that affect their companies, see what new and existing products manufacturers have to offer and network with peers—all within the beauty of Salt Lake City.

Educational Seminars
If attendees weren’t out at the AMD Golf Tournament on Saturday, October 9, then they were attending educational seminars at the Grand America Hotel. 

Dr. Sam Sherrill of Crow Publications presented the first educational seminar, which took a look at the U.S. moulding and millwork industry. In his presentation, Sherrill examined the prices of imported finger-joint mouldings during 2003 and 2004; the moulding sources, the recent history of moulding imports and some of the factors that will contribute to the industry in coming months; and the demand in the U.S. that provides the outlets for mouldings and millwork. 

“Seeing this surge in the market for finished mouldings and the strong demand from both new housing and remodeling, the future would appear bright for moulding distribution,” said Sherrill. “If so, the surge will not come without certain changes in the market, some of which are being initiated now. A quick assessment of the leading suppliers of mouldings to the U.S., together with some comments from those suppliers is a revealing process.”

Allen Wishner of Flexible Benefit Service Corp. presented the second seminar on how tax-advantaged health care plans work. 

Wishner said that the new strategy in dealing with rising health care is to combine affordable high-deductible medical insurance with a tax-advantaged health care account. The idea is that employers will save on premiums and employees can enjoy major medical protection with first-dollar benefits that can grow from year to year. 

Wishner suggests that the majority of health care incurrence can be paid more effectively with a health savings account (HSA), health reimbursement account (HRA) or flexible spending account (FSA). 

The third presentation was given the same title as the presenter’s new book, “Facing the Forces of Change®: The Road to Opportunity,” which was presented by Adam J. Fein of Pembroke Consulting Inc. In his speech, Fein identified the four forces of change as customer self-service, strategic sourcing, fee-based services and pricing, and logistics and fulfillment. 

Fein said that strategic imperatives for the supply chain include reducing your costs (without lowering service levels), solving customers’ problems (and get paid for value) and embracing the future (by focusing on customer needs). 

The final presentation on how to transform a sales force for the 21st Century was by Dave Kahle of DaCo Corp. The objective of Kahle’s presentations was to challenge attendees to think different, to instill some concepts to help grow attendees’ businesses and to generate specific ideas attendees could act on immediately.

Kahle said there are two big reasons a company’s sales force should be different in the future: pressures from the environment and pressures from customers.
While Kahle gave much helpful information on transforming a sales force, and he stressed the idea of continuous improvement. 

Opening Session
Former Congressman John Kasich (R-Ohio) was this year’s opening session speaker. Kasich discussed the events of September 11th as well as where he sees our country going in the future. 

During his speech, Kasich told how, as a freshman in college, he wrote President Nixon a letter in which he said that he was free to come to Washington to discuss his views further with the President. Kasich was granted an invitation to visit. He said that he spent more time in the oval office during that visit as a college student than he did the 18 years he served in Congress.

Standards and Codes
On the last day of the convention, Sarah Rice, who has been hired as AMD’s independent code consultant, hosted a question-and-answer session about industry standards and codes, discussing the side-hinged exterior door standard specifically that was recently approved by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA). 

Rice said she would be doing two things predominantly for AMD: researching regulations that would affect door distributors and working with AAMA and the WDMA to make sure AMD’s concerns are heard.

Then Rice addressed the document in question—AAMA/CSA/WDMA 101-I.S.2/A440 (“A440”). Rice said, “The document is done,” but attributed the document to property damage done in the past by Hurricane Andrew.

Rice said that the standard isn’t an issue until a city accepts a code. 

“It doesn’t apply to anyone yet,” Rice said. “Unless someone legally adopts it, it means nothing. The reason it has to be watched is because it could come in effect.”

AAMA and the WDMA have already proposed code changes, which means including A440, to the International Residential Code and the International Building Code.

Rice will be watching the 20 largest cities to see what they are planning to adopt into their building codes, but she said that if distributors have an issue with A440 in their area, they should contact her through the AMD office. She will be writing articles for the AMD newsletter to keep distributors abreast of A440 and other standards.

Awards Breakfast
The awards breakfast this year had a full agenda. This year Brian McIlwee, president and chief financial officer of J.J. McIlwee Co., gave a heartfelt speech with a poem about how much his year as AMD president has meant to him. Then it was Terry Bumgarner’s turn to accept the position as president for the next year. Bumgarner, who is president of King Sash and Door of Clemmons, N.C., joked that he might talk slower than Chicago’s McIlwee, but he looks forward to his year as president and looks forward to continuing the association’s long-range strategic plan.

Besides Bumgarner and McIlwee, the executive committee for 2005 will also include: Carl Deterring of The Deterring Co. as first vice president, Don Houghton of Reeb Millwork as second vice president, Dan Barber of Barnett Millworks Inc. as treasurer and AMD executive director Rosalie Leone as secretary. 

The awards breakfast also marks the time at which retiring board members are honored. Joe Bayer of Bayer Built Woodworks, John DeSimone of New England Millwork, Doug Hart of OrePac Building Products, Bob Kasten of K-K Distributing, Tim Lyons of Brockway-Smith Co. and John Kerr of Reeb Millwork—all retired from the board.

Jack Cortese of Bridgewater Wholesalers Inc., Jeff Johnson of Western Pacific Building Materials, Carl Liliequist of Huttig Building Products, Steve Post of Brockway-Smith, Mary Beth O’Meara Moynihan of J.B. O’Meara Co., Jeff Wedge of HDC Sacramento and Larry Ray of GHG, Inc., will join the existing board members to make up the 2005 board of directors. 

Also at the breakfast, the Ron Taylor Award, which is awarded on the basis of three components—connection, commitment and contribution, was awarded to Ned Guilbeau of Lafayette, La., who retired after 48 years of service in the millwork industry in 2003 but continues to consult for both Lafayette Woodworks and WoodWare Systems. The award was also given posthumously to Darrell Rice, a past president of AMD.

While AMD isn’t releasing their attendance numbers this year, it seemed to many attendees that the numbers were less than previous conventions.

Convention Feedback
“Each day was slow and Tuesday was very bad. Luckily for us, we saw a fair amount of current customers, but the leads were pretty slim … We will be back next year because it is in New Orleans which is a much better draw and it is close to home,” said David Miller, national sales manager of GlassCraft Door Co. of Houston.

Angelo Marasco, director of marketing for ODL of Zeeland, Mich., said he was concerned before the convention about the possibility of low traffic, but that he was pleased at the number of key customers his company met at the show. 

“The show promotes a productive dialog with customers on products and merchandising which we find to be very beneficial,” Marasco said

.

Paul Bellows, marketing manager, for MAi Wood Doors & Stair Parts of Wylie, Texas, said his company was happy with the results that were attained at the show, even though attendance appeared down.

“We hope the association will take steps to add new members and promote better attendance at future shows,” Bellows added.

Paul Buntin, division manager of FrontLine Building Products of Green Bay, Wis., said Salt Lake City was the best convention in the past four years.

“The display crates were situated for early display set-up and were also delivered promptly for fast display teardown. The Salt Palace was wonderful, along with the accommodations at the Grand America. All organizers of this year’s event deserve a pat on the back,” Buntin said.

“Each year, I measure the success of the AMD annual convention based on the attendees’ feedback of the overall view of the program,” Leone said. “Based on the responses this year, attendees recognized and appreciated the quality of the convention program and the changes. Attendees focused on business, networking and the educational sessions offered. This year’s [convention] provided a take-away for everyone: distributors, manufacturers, reps, first-time attendees and spouses. Salt Lake City was very well received.”

Next Year’s Convention
The 42nd Annual AMD Convention will be held in New Orleans October 7-11, 2003, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, which is only a short walk from the Marriott and Sheraton Hotels.

“Next year’s [convention] is already the talk. AMD members are excited to revisit New Orleans and so are the 2005 Annual Program Committee and AMD staff,” said Leone. “The association’s strong leadership, clear direction and supportive members (who are genuinely committed to the AMD) not only enhance the association, but also contribute to its success.”

AMD Resources
To learn more about the moulding and millwork market, visit Crow Publication’s website at www.crows.com

For more information on HSA’s, HRA’s and FSA’s, visit www.flexiblebenefit.com.
All of the ideas that Fein addressed in his presentation can be found in his book, which can be ordered at www.NAWpubs.org. Fein also has free articles to download at www.pembrokeconsulting.com and offers a free quarterly Channel Trends newsletter.

(Note: See Fein’s article in the July/August issue of SHELTER on page 29.)

To learn more about Kahle’s sales force strategies, visit www.davek

AMD Products on Display
If you didn’t attend the AMD Convention, here are some products or new services that you might not know about yet:

Contact Expands Its Moulding Inventory
Changes in customer preference patterns and a subsequent emphasis on hardwood species products for interior use have allowed Clackamas, Ore.-based Contact Lumber to expand its product offerings of natural wood wrapped mouldings. The product line has expanded to include the most available veneer species and hundreds of patterns, including those used in interior moulding applications, as well as window and door components. 

In an effort to further support the consumer shift, Contact has introduced an inventory management program, Contact QuickShip Inventory (QSI). The program allows distributors to offer certain species and profiles to their customer base without having to directly hold the inventory. Instead, Contact keeps the inventory in-house for quick shipment of smaller-than minimum order quantities. 

Info+ circle card 170.

Setzer Offers Different Programs

Setzer Forest Products Inc. of Sacramento, Calif., operates mills in Oroville, Calif., and Sacramento, and recently purchased three state-of-the-art Weinig moulders—two Powermat 2020s and one Hydromat 23C.

According to a company release, it strives to fit the distributor’s every need, such as providing solid, finger-jointed or MDF mouldings and millwork.

Info+ circle card #171.

Endura Products Demonstrated Components
Endura Products Inc. of Greensboro, N.C., demonstrated seven new or improved components for entry door systems at the AMD Convention. The company’s exhibit showcased the conditions in the building industry that require improved assembly, installation and improved product solutions to ensure the long-term daily use of entry door units.

Info+ circle card #172.

Ferche Simplifies Moulding Selection Process
Ferche Millwork of Rice, Minn., has a series of mouldings—the Decorator Series—designed to simplify the moulding selection process. Base, casing, crown and chair rail are made to match one another within each family grouping.
Available in red oak, cherry, hard maple, birch and poplar, the mouldings are available in two weeks. This and other information on mouldings are available on the company’s website at www.ferche.com.

Info+ circle card 173.

DecraTek® Offers Ready-to-Install Systems
DecraTek of Escondido, Calif., says it provides complete ready-to-install Arched Door Systems for exterior, interior and 20-minute fire-rated applications. The system does not require any framing changes, cutting or fabrication of any material. 

The DecraTek system includes the door, jamb, moulding, arch corner framing blocks, margin and reveal spacers and a racking spacer for an installation. DecraTek was awarded a patent for its jamb and was the first to lower the cost of this distinguished product with production manufacturing, according to the company. While the company does not manufacture doors, it arches almost any door brand to fit in their system.

Info+ circle card #174.

Friedman Offers Solutions for Manufacturers
Deerfield, Ill.-based Fried-man Corp. is a provider of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application software specifically designed for the business needs of building products manufacturers. The company’s flagship ERP solution, Frontier, delivers in-depth functionality to integrate islands of information, knowledge, and people throughout an organization to improve customer satisfaction, reduce inventory and cut lead-times. PowerBids is Friedman’s dealer-based order-entry solution for field sales, dealers and distributors of windows and doors. It is fully integrated with the Frontier ERP system or can be interfaced to any existing ERP or legacy system using the standardized program interfaces. 

Info+ circle card #175.

Frontier Specializes in Container Lots
Stile and rail doors, cabinet and drawer components, exotic hardwood flooring and granite/marble custom-cut delivered to your door worldwide—that’s what Frontier Trading LLC of Anchorage, Alaska, offers distributors.

The company specializes in container lots for good pricing, but it can ship lower volumes of select products from its U.S. warehouses. In addition, the company says it has personnel on site at its factories in China to insure quality production to its and its customers’ standards. 

Info+ circle card #176.

Therma-Tru to Offer Sliding Styles Next Year
Maumee, Ohio-based Therma-Tru Corp. announced that next year it will introduce a new line of Fiber-Classic® and Smooth-Star® sliding patio door systems, previously only available in hinged styles.

The doors will be made in 6-foot, 8-inch and 8-foot heights with two-, three-panel and bi-parting four-panel configurations in widths up to 12 feet. According to a company release, these fiberglass doors are a better alternative to wood and steel. The doors have a standard multi-point locking system, available in four finishes: white, brass, brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze.

Info+ circle card #177.

Worldwide to Open Facility in China
Worldwide Door Components, Inc. has operating facilities in Florida, Texas, Mississippi and Indiana with a new facility in Pinghu, China, set to open in fall 2004. 

The company says its line of products include: fixed thresholds, vinyl cap thresholds, adjustable thresholds, handicapped thresholds, wood T-astragals, aluminum T-astragals, vinyl door sweeps, sill covers, vinyl channels, kerf sweeps, door bottoms, flushbolts and hinges. 

Info+ circle card #178.

Flashing System for Window and Door Installation
SureSill, Ltd. of Austin, Texas, provides a technically-advanced, user-friendly flashing system for window and door installations. The company’s system includes a sloped sill pan flashing, called SureSill™, and a sloped head flashing called HeadFlash™. Its system was developed from years of experience in homebuilding, expert testimony and forensic engineering, according to the company.

The company’s products and accompanying documentation (Water Management Guide and Assembly Guide) were designed to meet and exceed any window or door manufacturer’s installation requirements, as well as the International Residential Building Code 2005, ASTM Standards, AAMA Guidelines and Generally Acceptable Trade Practices.

Info+ circle card #179. 


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