The International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair 2012 will offer woodworkers more than three dozen educational courses, from basics in wood finishing and production to marketing strategies, business management and best practices in lean manufacturing.

Full-day symposia on Tuesday, Aug. 21 include Finishing, Wood Bioenergy, Window and Door Market Trends, Closets as a Niche, and Countertops.

Regular education sessions start on the Fair’s opening day, Wed., Aug. 22, and run until Friday, Aug. 24. Tracks include business management, manufacturing, furniture, marketing, sales, and wood. Following are eight representative course samples.

Educating Woodworkers at IWF 2012Tues., Aug. 21

Wood Bioenergy Symposium, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Developed by Biomass Power & Thermal Magazine, the Wood Bioenergy Symposium is designed to examine the role that woody bioenergy plays in the demand for forest fiber and primary and secondary finishing residues and will walk attendees through the technologies and economics of converting woody biomass to energy products. Attendees will hear from industry experts as they examine the impact energy production from woody biomass has on the cost of inbound material and the revenue potential for either on-site energy production or off take agreements.

Moderator: Tim Portz, Program Director: BBI International

Closets - Your Niche for Growth, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Who should attend the Closet Seminar at IWF this year? An accomplished woodworker looking to build skill in this niche, a passionate remodeler who gets requests but is out of his comfort zone, a young custom closet company that’s looking to improve it’s operations? The answer is - all of them.

Partner: Association of Closet & Storage Professionals (ACSP)

Speakers: Jeff Klein: The Closet Specialist; Mike Carson, ACSP Director: ClosetWorks; Jeff Turner, President: Closets To Go; Bob Lewis, ACSP Director: Closet and Storage Concepts

Wed., Aug. 22

How to Specify Hardwood Plywood, 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

The Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association will present a seminar on specifying hardwood products. They will cover topics such as how to use the ANSI/HPVA HP-1 standard to specify physical properties, how to use grades and different veneers to get the desired look at the right value, and how to specify in order to get the “most green points.” They will also touch on the topic of North American quality.

Presenters: Kip Howlett, President: Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association; Alan Hubbard, Face Sales Manager: Veneer Technologies; Richard Poindexter, Specialty Products Manager: Columbia Forest Products; and Brian Sause, Director of HPVA Laboratories-Testing and Certification: Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association

Working Local and Regional Markets for New Sales of Cabinets, Furniture and Millwork, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

A marketing “how-to” session for growing sales in local and regional markets for cabinets, furniture and millwork value-added wood products. Multiple small shop owners and managers will discuss how they have focused on local and regional markets in order to sustain and/or grow sales during the challenging economy since 2008.

Ideas on how to leverage resources that shops typically have will be presented to provide attendees with improvement ideas they can consider when developing new business strategies and planning activities. Moderator: Harry Watt, Business Improvement Specialist: North Carolina State University

Presenters: Jon Benson, Vice President: Hale Manufacturing; Mark Goldman, President: Pennville Cabinet Company; Rick Lawson: Natural Capital Investment Fund; Kyle Edwards, President/Owner: The Sawmill, LTD; Louie Vorhees, Owner: Tidewater Lumber Co.

Thurs., Aug. 23

Back to Basics: How to Write a Marketing Plan, 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

With so many marketing options at our disposal, many businesses of all sizes dive in before they have developed a comprehensive marketing plan. This topic will look at each step involved in developing a marketing plan, including defining your competitive advantage, establishing a budget, developing creative and messaging options, looking at advertising possibilities and putting it all into action.

Presenter: Phil Zaleon, Owner: Z promotion & design, Inc.

Lean 2.0 - Workplace Organization On Steroids, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Broadening the application of the 5Ss (Sort, Set-in-Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain) to cover all of the tools in the Lean toolkit in order to add continuity and standardization to the Lean transformation process. Example - Reducing inventory by Sorting all of the necessary inventory for immediate need from unnecessary inventory; Setting needed inventory in order so it can be easily retrieved for processing; Shining (cleaning up) the inventory to identify quality issues before processing; Standardizing how inventory will be managed; Sustaining the transformation through audits, engaging all of the staff, and consistently following agreed upon standards and policies.

Presenters: Jim Lewis, The Center for Lean Learning

Friday, Aug. 24

7 Rules for Great Web Content, 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Video is the fastest and most powerful way to get attention and traffic to your website. Google attaches more and more importance to your content, and who is sharing your content, every day. Learn seven simple rules that will show you how to add great video and written content to your website. You’ll learn simple and inexpensive techniques to produce web content for your company and you also will learn how to find and use other people’s video and written content to improve the look of your website, and drive more traffic to it.

Presenter: Ralph Bagnall, Senior Consultant:

Increasing Lumber Yield With ROMI, 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Improve lumber yield and operation efficiency by simulating your lumber cut-up using Virginia Tech’s and the USDA Forest Service’s free rough mill lumber cut-up simulation tool ROMI 4.0. Bring your laptop (MS Windows operating system) to install the ROMI software for free and have experts help you get started.

Presenters: Urs Buehlman, Associate Professor: Virginia Tech; R. Edward Thomas, Research Computer Scientist: USDA Forest Service; Timo Grueneberg, Postdoctoral Research Associate: Virginia Tech

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