Volume 16, Number 19, September 18, 2017
MLA Lumber Industry News Express
Here's the new issue of the Mid-America Lumbermens Association online newsletter. We'll send a new issue every two weeks to let you know what's happening in the industry, at your MLA, and in the world that affects your business. We welcome your opinions and ideas. If you have information you'd like to share with other members, we'd be happy to include it in our next issue. We welcome both personal and industry-related news - members would love to hear your news and views - so don't hesitate to email us with information.
Deadline Extended! Register Now for the Fall Fling!
This year marks the 15th anniversary for the MLA Fall Fling, and plans are underway to change the format and make this the best one ever. You won’t want to miss this event, filled with opportunities for meaningful conversations with other dealers and an unprecedented line-up of outstanding speakers! We've extended the early-bird deadline to September 20 so sign up today!

With speakers such as Rick Davis, Tony Misura, Ed O'Malley, Craig Webb, Kevin Hancock and more, this meeting is well worth your time. You'll walk away with information to improve your profitability and effectiveness immediately.

Join us in Kansas City October 4-6 for the first ever joint conference with dealers from the Mid-America Lumbermens Association and the Mountain States Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association. We will be bringing our dealers together for networking, fellowship, and most important, to learn about leadership skills that will help propel our respective organizations to the next level and beyond. 

Register now and save the dates - October 4-6, 2017. Sharpen your leadership skills as you learn from the best and brightest educators in the LBM industry!
Have You Checked Out the MLA Online Campus?

The MLA Online Campus provides you and your employees with high-impact, "real-world" training that develops your leaders, retains your best people and increases your customer loyalty. Each employee has a unique username to access the campus, which houses more than 700 courses on customer service, sales, leadership and more. Want to try a program for yourself? Click here to view an example. If you like what you see, contact us for a one-week trial subscription to see the hundreds of available courses. Learn more
Are You Prepared for the Next Downturn?

If an economic downturn occurs in 2017, are you prepared? Scott Simpson, president and CEO of BlueTarp, offers advice on the five steps you should take now to prepare and survive the next downturn.

According to Scott, your preparations should focus on these key areas:

  •  Accounts receivable
  •  Credit policies
  •  Customer concentration
  •  Credit management
  •  Banking relationship

Learn how   to survive and even thrive through the next downturn, while your competitors may go out of business. You’ll be well positioned to increase business when the economy is roaring again.

Source: BlueTarp, September 12, 2017
Time to Consider the MLA MEP
MLA has offered a “group” MLA 401(k) plan for members for more than two years. It is saving participating dealers on their fees and offering a great benefit to reward their loyal employees. If you haven’t taken a serious look at this program, now would be a good time. Find out why smart dealers are making the move to the MLA program. Call the MLA Hotline at 800-747-6529, or click here to learn more .
Lumber News

A Unified Meek’s Names a New CEO… Meek’s has long operated as a tale of two companies – one division in California, and one in Missouri. But with Charlie Meek promoted to the role of Meek’s CEO, the $325 million lumber and building material dealer is essentially unified, and looking to benefit from the synergies of combined operations. Read more .
Source: HBS Dealer, September 15, 2017

At Westlake, an appetite for growth… Westlake Ace Hardware, the retail division of Ace Hardware Corp., opened its 101st store in early August through the acquisition of Indian Hills Ace Hardware in Wichita, Kansas. The purchase of Indian Hills Ace comes right out of the strategic playbook drawn up when Ace Hardware Corp. purchased Westlake back in 2012. Among the rationale for that industry-shaking deal was the idea that the Lenexa, Kansas-based hardware chain could be positioned to buy other Ace stores that were looking to sell. Read more .
Source: HBS Dealer, September 8, 2017

Thea’s Mailbag: Why People Aren’t Answering Your Credit Requests… Between granting credit, collecting money, and dealing with day-to-day challenges, trying to find time to respond to credit reference request falls to the bottom of the list. Depending on the company you work for, you may find yourself getting a half a dozen or more a day, not including the 2nd or 3rd request faxes or emails. Trying to squeeze it all in is quite the juggling act. Read more .
Source: ProSales Magazine, September 7, 2017
Forces of Nature

Natural disasters can occur anytime, anywhere and can destroy years of hard work in an instant. With proper planning, their impact on your livelihood can be minimized. If you haven’t developed a disaster plan for your business, or need to update your current plan, the following steps may help.  Read more .

This service provided courtesy of Federated Mutual Insurance Company, your association's recommended insurer.
The Last Word

"Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts."

- Winston Churchill   
Mid-America Lumbermens Association | 800-747-6529 | 816-561-1249 (fax)| ruhler@themla.com | Website