Volume 18, Number 1, January 7, 2019
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.
Happy New Year from MLA!

We've flipped the calendar page to a new year. MLA wishes you continued success in 2019! Members are our mission and our passion - and we couldn't do what we do without you. Thank you for your kind support and encouragement throughout the past year. We look forward to seeing you and helping you find solutions and increase your connections in the new year!

Register Today!

Winter meetings are set for all members. Please click on the links below for complete information and a registration form.

Jan. 11       MLDAC Winter Meeting –  Columbia, Missouri - Last Day to Register!

Jan. 24-25     Kansas Winter Meeting – Hays, Kansas - Hotel cut-off is Thursday, January 10th. Register today!

We hope to see you at a meeting this month!
401(k) Lawsuits are Surging. Here’s What it Means for You…

“Litigation related to 401(k) plans — which had declined after the Great Recession — has surged again recently. Over 100 new 401(k) complaints were filed in 2016-17, the highest two-year total since 2008-09. A  recent study  explores the causes and potential consequences of this litigation.” Read more .

Offering a retirement plan to your employees is good business, but also carries some liability. You can reduce your fiduciary responsibility by joining the Mid-America Lumbermens Association Multiple Employer Plan (MEP*) 401(K) retirement savings plan.

The Mid-America Lumbermens Association 401(K) plan may be just the tool you need to get all the advantages of a complete retirement savings plan with a well-diversified portfolio of investment options.

By leveraging the combined buying power of all MLA members, the MLA 401(K) plan provides each adopting employer with its own customizable retirement savings plan at a reduced cost, with the added benefits of a no-hassle plan installation, offloading of fiduciary liabilities, and limited administrative responsibility.

If your business has only a few employees, you may think you’re too small or it’s too expensive to offer a complete 401(K) retirement savings plan. Not so! Companies with as few as two employees can participate in the MLA 401(k) retirement savings plan. Click here for more information – or just contact Bill Male at Tax Favored Benefits: 913-648-5526 or billm@tfbusa.com . It costs nothing to ask questions.

Bill Male is a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative offering securities and investment advisory services solely through Ameritas Investment Corp. (AIC). Member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and registered investment advisor. AIC and Tax Favored Benefits, Inc. are not affiliated. Additional products and services may be available through Bill Male or Tax Favored Benefits that are not offered through AIC. Representatives of AIC do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax advisor or attorney regarding your ci rcumstances.
What are the Top Six Warning Signs a Customer is in Trouble?

Managing credit risk is not for the faint of heart: 90 percent of contractors will fail in the first 10 years of business, and most of these contractors will fail within the first three. The question of bad debt is really not a matter of if, but when it will happen to you and how badly.
The key to protecting yourself is to understand the difference between a customer who is having a temporary dip and someone who is becoming a dangerous credit risk. Read more .

Source: BlueTarp
Solutions for Time-Critical Freight

PartnerShip® has alliances with world-class LTL freight carriers and expeditors to ensure we can help you meet any need and any speed. You benefit from our ability to tap multiple networks and carriers to find you the right service at the right price. On-time. Guaranteed.

Service Options
·          Coordinated air and ground modes
·          Domestic and international services
·          Home delivery and specialized handling services
·          Customer-defined delivery dates, including holidays and weekends
·          Customer-defined delivery times
·          PartnerShip account representatives proactively monitor your shipment
·          Time-critical “weekend advantage” shipments move over the weekend
·          Specialized equipment, such as air charters, cargo vans and dedicated trailers
·          Delivery and satisfaction guarantees available

This tip is brought to you by PartnerShip®, the company that manages the MLA Shipping Program. For more information or to enroll, email sales@PartnerShip.com or call 800-599-2902.
Member News

Delden Promotes William Dahms… William “Willy” Dahms has been promoted to Director of Operations, working in Delden’s corporate office in Kansas City, Missouri. Willy began his time with Delden during the summers throughout his teenage years, working full-time in Delden’s Springfield, Missouri, office in 2003 and moved back to Kansas City in 2006.

Dahms has worked at various positions including production, installation and garage door sales. Additionally, he was number one in sales for eight consecutive years. Dahms will oversee various aspects in production, sales, service and management. He will be responsible for generating multiple reports with a continuous aim on improving processes and procedures from the corporate level.
Lumber News

Lowes Announced Major Restructuring… As part of a transformation for how it operates its stores, Lowe’s announced a major restructuring of its workforce on Friday. The net impact on the company’s total employee count isn’t clear, however. In a statement, Lowe’s said it is discontinuing its project specialist interiors program, which employs workers responsible for overseeing every phase of complex home projects such as kitchen remodels. But the company would not say how many people the program employs. Read more .
Source: Charlotte Observer via Craig Webb on Twitter, January 7, 2019
President Trump Signs $867 Billion Farm Bill Supported by NLBMDA… The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) applauds the signing last week of the Agriculture Improvement Act (H.R. 2), better known as the Farm Bill, which includes several priorities for the lumber and building material (LBM) industry. The action taken by President Donald Trump follows final passage two weeks ago in the Senate and House of Representatives. Read more .
Source: NLBMDA, December 24, 2018

Smart Homes Are the Future (and the Present) - Are you selling these important products? When C.R. Herro talks about Meritage Homes’ standard smart house features, he doesn’t start with the Wi-Fi enabled video doorbells, light switches, thermostats, smart door locks, advanced garage door openers, or weather-sensing irrigation systems included in the firm’s branded M.Connected Home. Instead, Herro, vice president of environmental affairs at Scottsdale, Arizona–based Meritage, talks about a hypothetical 36-year-old soccer mom. Read more .
Source: Builder Online, January 7, 2019
HR Question of the Month
Can an Employer Require Stated Reason for Inability to Perform a Task?

Question: We have an employee that has stated she is unable to perform a particular task. We have requested that she put this in writing. She is not willing to state the reason she is unable to perform the task. We are willing to transfer this task to another employee but want to know if we have the right to insist on having the employee state the reason?   Click here for the answer .
This service provided courtesy of Federated Mutual Insurance Company, your association’s recommended insurer.
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 1,000 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
The Last Word

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

~ Albert Einstein   
Mid-America Lumbermens Association | 800-747-6529 | 816-561-1249 (fax)| oholcombe@TheMLA.com | Website