What WCMA has to offer: networking & growth opportunities
By Steve Mashl
April 26, 2019 | 3:41 pm CDT
Steve Mashl, WCMA President, owner Valley Custom Door

The wood components market is changing at a rapid pace, with material options/products, as well as the fierce technology surge. The Wood Component Manufacturers Association has an active role in bringing people together to brainstorm, be introduced to new technology and ideas, and expand the influence of the industry moving forward.

Networking, international exposure, and growing our future leaders is at the core of what we try to accomplish yearly. “Networking is all about connecting with people. But then again, isn't that what life is about? The more time you can find to get out of the office and build true friendships, the farther your company will go.” I want to take this opportunity to share the experiences and opportunities WCMA has to offer.

The WCMA helps bring our busy woodworking leaders together to share experiences and knowledge about their industry segments in a non-competitive atmosphere. The association works as a strong facilitator, gathering great woodworking companies and pulling innovative visionaries together to make the entire industry stronger and more successful. The number one benefit of membership in the WCMA is the multitude of networking opportunities that the organization provides throughout the year, including the European Plant Tours and the Fall Conference & Plant Tour events.

The European Plant Tour event, held March 2018, was an amazing opportunity. Members and Tech Partners on the tour all had positive takeaways. Sponsored for three days by Stiles Machinery and two days by Pollmeier Inc. the event included visits to highly automated factories engaged in panel and solid wood processing, plus tours of the HOMAG factory and Pollmeier sawmills. The combination of the plant tours, networking with members, and seeing how other businesses operate was truly an incredible experience.

It is evident that utilizing automation to meet customer’s needs, production times, to work around an unreliable workforce, and efficiently produce the quality products customers expect is the direction our industry is heading.

In the high-paced world of on-the-go customers, short lead times, high tech equipment/processes and a feeling that “we are just maxed out” the WCMA provides relief to members. Outsourcing wood products and sourcing items that generate overhead and consume valuable time that could be better used elsewhere is what the WCMA is all about. In order to continue to do this, we need to continue to grow our membership and educate the next generation of workers.

WCMA provides a platform for wood industry leaders to consult, share ideas, and plan for the future of the wood component industry. If you are interested in locating a potential supplier or would like information about the WCMA, please visit WCMA.com or contact Amy Snell, Executive Director, at 651-332-6332, WCMA@WCMA.com.

Author: Steve Mashl is the president of the Wood Component Manufacturers Association and also the owner of Valley Custom Door.


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