Volume 18, Number 2, January 21, 2019
MLA Lumber Industry News Express
Here's the new issue of the Mid-America Lumbermens Association online newsletter. We'll send another 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.
Register Today!

The Kansas Winter Meeting is set for this week, January 24-25. Please click on the link below for complete information and a registration form.

Kansas Winter Meeting – Hays, Kansas - Register today!

We hope to see you in Hays!
Lumber Talks Releases
New Episode:
"Understanding the Crane Rule"

Lumber Talks, NLBMDA's public policy podcast, has released its second episode. Listen to our January episode, "Understanding the Crane Rule, Part 1", on   our NLBMDA website Ben Gann, NLBMDA's Vice President of Legislative & Political Affairs, sits down with Frank Moore, former Regulatory Counsel for NLBMDA. The two discuss the certification requirements for the revised OSHA Crane Rule and dive deep into the evolution of the rule and what it means for dealers today.

Click here   to learn more about Lumber Talks!
Take Caution in Appearing to Advise Employees

“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.
Do You Accept Credit Cards as Payment on In-house Accounts?

A national supplier faced a common dilemma: many business customers were using credit cards to pay their in-house account balances. Though this practice is widespread, it presents suppliers with two problems. First, it’s against card association rules to use a credit card to pay a terms-based account, which could result in stiff financial penalties though it’s rarely enforced. Second and more important, it’s expensive. Read more .

Source: BlueTarp
Shipping Construction Materials:
What You Need to Know

Moving building materials to and from the job site is a major logistical challenge for even the most seasoned of shippers. MLA members need to know not only the basics of truckload shipping, but also what particular challenges are part of the industry. What type of carrier you need, which equipment works best for which loads, excessive length restrictions, and carrier liability coverage are all important factors to consider. The truckload shipping experts at PartnerShip® have your back. Learn more about how to best prepare yourself for any bumps in the road. Have a truckload shipment ready to go? Get a quote for your next move.

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.
Lumber News

New Identity for Guardian… Guardian Building Products, Inc., the distributor of roofing, insulation, and building materials, is launching a new name and corporate identity. The company will now be known as Cameron Ashley Building Products, Inc. A new website address – cameronashleybp.com – has already been launched and a new logo will also soon be unveiled once Guardian legally changes its name to Cameron Ashley. Read more .
Source: HBS Dealer, January 8, 2019
Alexander Lumber to Close or Merge Seven Illinois Lumberyards… Alexander Lumber Co. has announced that the company will be closing several of its legacy lumberyards in rural Central and Western Illinois. After conducting extensive market research, Alexander Lumber’s leadership affirmed that major metro and mid-sized markets should be the company’s core focus. It also became clear that trying to balance small, rural markets did not fit this strategy and, in the end, exhausted precious resources. Read more .
Source: LBM Journal, January 9, 2019

HDW Winds Down Operations... Hardware Distribution Warehouses Inc., the Marshall, Texas-based distributor of hardware and building material products that services more than 2,000 retailers in the Mid-South, is closing down both of its distribution centers. Read more .
Source: HBS Dealer, January 11, 2019
HR Question of the Month
Copies of Employee IDs with I-9 Forms?

Question: Do we need to keep copies of employees’ Identification along with their I-9 form? Or can we just physically verify it and fill the information in on the form?  Click here for the answer .
This service provided courtesy of Federated Mutual Insurance Company, your association’s recommended insurer.
Employee Training that's Just Right, Just Enough and Just in Time

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

“The best car safety device is a rear view mirror with a cop in it .

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