Volume 47, Issue 4 - May 2008

Moulding the Future
From the WMMPA
by Kellie A. Schroeder executive vice president of the Wood Moulding and Millwork Producers Association.

This Guy
Industry Professional Will Put Your Market Blues Into Perspective

I am heading to Rhode Island this summer to enact my own version of “Mythbusters,” a popular TV show on cable. My good friend Pete Delaney of Port-O-Lite Corp., (which is located in New Hampshire), spun me an adventurous tale here awhile back outlining his death-defying underwater feats in the cold Atlantic waters and ended it with screaming lobsters. I could hardly believe my ears. So engrossed and taken with the story, I now will conduct an experiment to verify Pete’s tale. Anyone who knows Pete will understand why; he is the consummate storyteller. But enough of Pete for now. Let’s talk about the moulding market and why you may want to know about one special guy heading to Newport, R.I., with me this summer. 

Raw material suppliers, secondary manufacturers and distributors—and anyone connected to them in any way—all are suffering this year. The market is the worst it has ever been. The newspapers state this is the worst economy since WWII. Ouch! Everyone I know has taken a black eye from the market in 2008, yet we all know the market is going to change and we just have to hang on until it does. 

An Alarming Sound
Until the market alarm clocks ring in new life to the industry, you should be looking for ways to keep yourself tethered to your peers and armed with pertinent business information. This July, manufacturers of moulding and millwork—to include wood, MDF and PVC/polyurethane—will come together to listen to one very long-winded guy speak extensively on their market. As a speaker goes, he is well-spoken and down to earth, operating from the floor rather than behind a podium. A perfect blend of PowerPoint slides, data charts and biting humor sprinkled among his anecdotes, revelations and predictions always draws interest and always entertains. And, you have to admit, if he can keep the interest of a bunch of moulding manufacturers … well, he has to be good, right?

With access to raw material suppliers, secondary manufacturers and distributors, THIS GUY researches the moulding and millwork market from beginning to end-user year round. Yeah, you know who I am talking about, THAT GUY. Well, he is speaking at the WMMPA Summer Business Meeting being held at the Hyatt Regency Newport, July 15-19, 2008. And better yet, THIS GUY typically participates in the industry roundtable session held during the meeting, giving attendees direct access to his gray matter on a personal level, which is always an added bonus if you utilize your question allowance correctly. 

We’ve all been around; we know there are only a handful of truly good industry speakers, and WMMPA thinks THIS GUY is one of them. Who cares if he is long-winded, when THIS GUY will cover all aspects of the industry from North America to offshore? And when I say long-winded, I mean it in a good way. THIS GUY is passionate about the ins and outs of the millwork industry, and knowledgeable to the point that he could talk about it for hours on end. 

Being Well Connected
To borrow a catch phrase, THIS GUY “has people” who have their own people with people under them. He is well-connected and travels the world seeking out focused information on the millwork industry. If you have been to a WMMPA Summer Business Meeting before, you know WHICH GUY of whom I am speaking. If you haven’t, you really should make a commitment to get yourself to Newport this summer to hear him. Even in these bad market conditions, it will be money well-spent. 

Not sure THIS GUY will be enough to justify an airplane ticket purchase? What if I told you selling was taking place during the meeting? Small- to medium-sized manufacturers meet face-to-face with the larger (wood moulding) WM® members to sell products that will augment inventories and offer product variety. I also could tell you that one of WMMPA’s newest PVC manufacturing members attended our Winter Business Meeting in March and commented he could not obtain the moulding and millwork information he received during that program anywhere else. And to think, he hasn’t even heard THE GUY conducting our summer session. However, I understand this is a tough sell for anyone that has not been to a WMMPA meeting. Until you have experienced the information sharing among the manufacturers, it can be a hard concept to grasp and/or believe. 

A Leap of Faith
Those that take a leap of faith to attend WMMPA’s Summer Business Meeting can expect sessions on: a raw fiber movement taking place within the world; raw material supply for wood, MDF and PVC/Poly; panel discussions on moulding tolerances/set-up; the future of primers and coatings; regional first-hand market reports for North America; and equipment options. All of those topics in addition to THE GUY’S presentation on housing starts and remodeling, U.S. moulding consumption by supplying country and substrate material and emerging global supply/demand dynamics that may influence where mouldings are produced, distributed and consumed. Yes, we will insert a golf scramble, sailing and boat activities and a few tours to round out the package, but for the most part, we’re all business on Thursday and Friday during our program, so come prepared.

The WMMPA Summer Business Meeting is a family-friendly event. Spouses and children will all enjoy a summer getaway to picture-perfect Newport while you obtain relevant market information. The Hyatt Regency Newport is nestled right on the water’s edge and offers a trolley to all downtown attractions. Oh, and here is another added bonus. If you attend, you will be able to view my “Mythbusters” experiment I mentioned so many paragraphs ago first-hand. I’ve decided not to go into full details here so as not to ruin the live demonstration for the Newport attendees, but can promise it will be one tasty outcome if all goes well. 

Go Online
If it turns out you cannot come listen to THE GUY this July, try visiting the WMMPA’s new website at www.wmmpa.com to keep tabs on the manufacturers and their products. There is an updated searchable database for specific moulding and millwork products (pine, finger-joint, MDF, PVC, etc.) and a brand-new, easy-to-use secure online bookstore for ordering new WM® pattern books or quality standards. 

Should I even ask when the last time you ordered a new WM Pattern Book was? Is your pattern book cover orange, blue, brown or black? If it is, go online to order the latest WM Softwood Series Pattern Catalog and take a look at our other literature offerings while you are there. 

To receive your registration packet for the WMMPA’s Summer Business Meeting featuring THE GUY, contact the WM® office at 530/661-9591 or send a meeting invitation request to info@wmmpa.com. If you have questions regarding the program and how you may best benefit from attending, you may certainly give me a ring, but I suggest you call Pete Delaney at Port-O-Lite Corp. Pete is WMMPA’s ambassador of goodwill for good reason. Pete can best speak on Newport as a family destination since it is basically his backyard and, from a manufacturer’s point-of-view, why you should really purchase the plane ticket to rub elbows with him and the other WM members this summer. In closing, I just want to say if you do call Pete, go ahead and ask him about the screaming lobsters—it is one fascinating story! 

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