Wood industry representatives from various industry associations were queried on the climate of their wood products market, including expectations for 2013 sales. Below are some additional comments by Matt Lundahl, immediate past president of the Architectural Woodwork Institute.
Wood & Wood Products: Overall, what are your members’ sales expectations for 2013 and how do they compare to 2012 figures?
Matt Lundahl: In general the consensus is that 2013 will mimic 2012, with a bit of optimism that prices will go up a bit.
W&WP: What will be the biggest challenges to your members and your industry in 2013? What are the biggest opportunities?
Lundahl: The industry trend of GC’s adding to our scope (stone, Glass, Specialty metals) continues to grow in the Architectural millwork arena. This certainly creates opportunities, but it comes with a price both in money and risk as all of these scope categories require up front monies that the typical contract does not provide for. So the opportunity comes with a cost that many of the smaller firms simply can not finance, not to mention the risk of doing work that many woodworkers are not intimately familiar with.
W&WP: Are you still seeing a big demand for sustainable/green certified products? Is it throughout the United States or more of a regional preference?
Lundahl: Yes, green is here to stay, it is stronger on the coasts but is gaining ground ion the middle of the country too. The challenge is that it continues to be a moving target of who and how it will be managed and controlled, AWI is following it closely and working to stay on top of the changes to assist our members and the industry in meeting the requirements.
W&WP: What current or pending legislation is having, or will have, the greatest impact on the North American architectural woodwork industry and why? (i.e., Lacey Act, etc.)
Lundahl: The prompt pay act that many of the states have implemented and others are looking at are critical to our industry due to the high capital and up front costs associated with our portion of the construction contract.
W&WP: Any additional comments and/or observations about architectural woodwork industry or the woodworking marketplace in general?
Lundahl: The is quite a bit of talk concerning the ability of our industry to meet the demand for our work as the economy rebounds, long with the need for skilled workers.
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