For Mouldings, Business is Picking Up

March 26th, 2012 by DWM Magazine

The Moulding and Millwork Producers Association (MMPA) wrapped up its meetings last week and member companies reported that many are seeing increasing order files. When members of the Foreign and Domestic Committee gathered during the association’s meeting, members went around the room and reported on business activity. While some may see order files stretch six weeks out and others a few weeks out, one thing is for sure: the moulding market, at least, seems to be on the rise. Yes, members agree that challenges still remain, but it is nice to see some positive activity.

John Morrison, committee chair, said order files at his company, Sunset Moulding, based in Live Oak, Calif., are “creeping up” and if some expected international business comes through, “we will need more good, qualified employees.”

In the Southwest Frank DeMott, Best Moulding Corp., based in Albuquerque, N.M., said his order files are six-eight weeks out.

“We have made some new hires and we would like more if we could find them,” he said. “It’s amazing. It feels like it did four years ago,” adding however, that some of the increase could be due to the fact that as many as seven moulding plants in his area closed in the past several years.

In the Midwest, Morrison reported that Sunset’s order file for the MDF plant in that region extends six weeks out.

“It has been spectacular,” he said. “We have been on overtime and we project that to continue.”

Alexis Boulanger, Roland Boulanger and Co., based in Warwick, QC, reported that sales have been pretty even.

“We’re not sure if that is due to the weather,” he said. “That’s the beauty of being in a market driven by weather.”

The climate definitely played a role in many markets this year and Al Delbridge, East Coast Mouldings, reported that, “12 weeks doesn’t make a year, but it’s nice to have the nice weather.”

Pacific MDF Products sells to the entire United States and its president, Cliff Stokes, reported that order files are stronger on the East Coast than the West.

On the equipment side, Claus Staalner, C.S. Industries, reported that when it comes to sales companies are still employing a “wait-and-see attitude.”

Ted Smith, Smith Millwork, based in Lexington, N.C., reported that last year was the worst in company history but “December was unusually busy and we have been up every month since then ,” he said. “We also have seen some signs of new single-family construction.”

Craig Young, TLC Mouldings, said his company’s moulders aren’t running at full capacity but they have been busy all year and “we don’t see it slowing down.”

So it was a successful meeting of the association that Les Baker, MMPA president, Best Moulding, said, “has retained membership through the worst recession in decades and is continually looking for ways to adapt as an association.”

Baker presented outstanding member awards to Claus Staalner, C. S Industries and Bob Simon, Gossen Corp., for the tireless work they do on behalf of the association, including recruiting new members. Paul Turcotte, Roland Boulanger and Co., who is retiring this year, was also recognized for participating in 34 MMPA meetings.

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