Component sales projections remain strong: Exclusive report
July 20, 2022 | 1:58 pm CDT
Woodworking Network Components Benchmark Study

Wood component and dimension stock producers continue to be upbeat in their sales projections for 2022, despite concerns over labor and raw material shortages in the aftermath of the pandemic. In a recent survey of North American manufacturers, roughly 90% of respondents said they anticipated business to be the same or better than 2021 in terms of total sales and net income.

Sales and business performance information was compiled in the fifth annual Wood Components Benchmark Study, conducted in late February through early May by the Wood Products Manufacturers Association, the Wood Component Manufacturers Association and Woodworking Network. What follows is a snapshot of the industry based on more than 100 survey results.

Woodworking Network Components Benchmark Study
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Where is the business?
Even before the pandemic, residential applications outweighed commercial, and this year’s survey yielded similar results. When asked what industries they sell to, 82% of respondents sell to the residential cabinetry and closets market, with the segment accounting for all or three-quarters of sales for 26%. Likewise, 66% of the respondents sell at least some product to the residential furniture market, with 12% selling to it almost exclusively. In comparison, 73% of respondents sold product into the commercial cabinetry market, 15% almost exclusively, while 65% were involved in contract furniture, including 4% for whom the segment provided 76% or more of their sales. (Figure 1.)

Of the remaining markets, 69% had sales in building products, 70% decorative/specialty and 41% provided some level of industrial products. A drill-down of some of the product offerings and how they rank is shown in Figure 2.

Woodworking Network Components Benchmark Study
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Not surprisingly, the combined cabinetry components category (cabinet parts, cabinet doors, and drawer boxes) accounts for the largest product segment, followed by architectural millwork and moulding and trim.
With regards to the species used by producers of these products, respondents ranked hard maple at the top, followed by white oak, red oak, soft maple, walnut, poplar and cherry although this could change as lumber shortage issues continue.

The popularity of laminated components, including those utilizing thermally fused laminate (TFL), 3D laminates (3DL), 2D laminates (2DL), high-pressure laminate, as well as decorative foils and papers, had 44% selecting composite panel (MDF/particleboard) from the list, with 45% also listing plywood. (Figure 3.)

Woodworking Network Components Benchmark Study
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Business plans
Not surprisingly, 89% of the respondents projected 2022 net income to be the same or higher, of that number, 38% said somewhat higher and 18% projected much higher. The vast majority (88%) of respondents also projected their total dimension and component sales to be the same or higher than last year, with 37% indicating somewhat higher and 20% much higher.

Almost all survey respondents also expect to see increases in expenditures, particularly in raw materials, with 92% predicting higher costs, and of those, 62% projecting “much higher” costs. (Figure 4.)

Woodworking Network Components Benchmark Study
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Plant and equipment expenditures are projected to remain steady by 34% of respondents, with another 60% anticipating expenditures to be somewhat or much higher. And with the labor market a top concern, 84% of survey respondents foresee employee costs rising in 2022, while 15% expect them to remain steady and less than 1% hope for somewhat lower.

Roughly half the respondents provided additional insight into employee-related issues. These include profit sharing (39% offer), a wellness program (21%), second or third shift incentives (offered by 36%), vacation allotment and wage information for unskilled, moderately skilled, and highly skilled employees (Figure 5). 

Woodworking Network Components Benchmark Study
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The fifth annual Wood Components Benchmark Study provides insight into market sales, product categories, business performance projections and other relevant information.

Respondents came from the Northeast United States (15%), Southeast (14%), Midwest (33%), Western United States (12%), Quebec (1%), Ontario (9%), British Columbia (4%) and Alberta (4%), with the remainder from other parts of Canada and Mexico.

For more information about the study or the sponsoring organizations, contact the Wood Products Manufacturers Association at 978-874-5445, woodprod@wpma.org or by visiting WPMA.org; the Wood Component Manufacturers Association at 651-332-6332, wcma@wcma.com or by visiting WCMA.com. View related articles on Woodworking Network at woodworkingnetwork.com.

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About the author
Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at karen.koenig@woodworkingnetwork.com