Volume 18, Number 5, March 4, 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.
How can companies prevent violence when firing someone?

Nothing about the Henry Pratt Co. suggested it would be the site of a workplace mass shooting. But the manufacturing company, tucked in the Chicago suburb of Aurora, turned into a scene of carnage when  a man who was just fired pulled out a gun  and started shooting everyone around him,  killing five people .

So what can companies do to help prevent a similar tragedy? Experts say there are plenty of steps businesses and fellow employees can take -- and some may be surprising. Read more .

Source: CNN, February 19, 2019
MLA Scholarship Applications Now Available

The MLA scholarship program continues to be one of the most valued benefits enjoyed by members, their employees, and their children. If you know a deserving high school senior you would like to recommend for a scholarship – either a relative, an employee’s child or someone working in your lumberyard, please take a look at the MLA website and have them apply. The deadline for application is March 15, 2019. Click here for more information .

Register Today!
Do early-pay discounts deliver the value they are costing you?

Let me be direct: Early pay discounts are costing you money. Whenever I make that comment at a conference or even just in a one-to-one conversation with a dealer, I typically get one of three reactions:

1.         You don’t know what you are talking about.   
2.        What do you mean?
3.        I know, but I can’t take them away.

Look, I get why they exist. I also understand the competitive pressure of not offering early pay discounts, when other suppliers are.   Read more .

Source: Scott Simpson, BlueTarp
Show Your Employees the Path to Retirement

One thing that can make or break a business is the employees you hire. They represent your company, so you want to make sure you're taking care of them in a way that invites them to stay with you and your business long term.

Health benefits are a great way to get started, and if you’ve already done that, you’re likely also considering offering a 401(k) benefit plan. While some finance experts believe a 401(k) is the best retirement plan a business can offer employees, others advocate for different options.

To help you determine the answer that best fits your business, take the advice of these eight members of Forbes Finance Council.

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.
Freight Quotes: Which Factors Matter Most?

Freight rates are increasing for everybody, and a tight capacity market has become the new normal. It’s important for shippers to understand all the factors that go into a freight rate. That way, you can determine how best to offset the increase in cost and stick to your budget. Learn more about the fixed and variable costs that go into your final freight quote, from carrier capacity to fuel costs. MLA members can ship smarter and save on freight with the MLA Shipping Program, managed by PartnerShip®. Create an account today.

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.  

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

Lowe's Posts a Q4 Net Loss… Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s fourth quarter performance was weighed down by an impairment charge in Canada and various store closing costs on its way to an $824 million net loss for the period ended Feb. 1. Lowe’s Q4 net sales were $15.6 billion, up from $15.5 billion in the same quarter last year. Comparable-store sales for U.S. stores were up 2.4 percent. Read more .
Source: HBS Dealer, February 27, 2019

Pending Home Sales Bounce Back in January... After hitting its lowest level since early 2014 last month, pending home sales rebounded in January. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), is a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts. The PHSI increased 4.6 percent from 98.7 in December to 103.2 in January, but was still 2.3 percent below the level one year ago, marking the thirteenth straight month of declines on an annualized basis. Read more .
Source: NAHB Eye on Housing, February 27, 2019

NLBMDA Signs Letter in Support of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill... On February 6, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) sent a letter to House and Senate Leadership urging the development and passage of a comprehensive infrastructure investment bill. NLBMDA and over 140 other organizations signed on in support of substantial long-term investments in the nation’s infrastructure. NLBMDA supports increased infrastructure investment to reduce congestion on America’s roads and bridges, as well as expanding the supply of affordable housing. Speaker Pelosi’s office assured NLBMDA during a meeting last week that affordable housing would be supported as part of any infrastructure bill. NLBMDA will continue to work closely with NAM to make infrastructure spending a priority. To view the letter, click here .
Source: NLBMDA E-Update, February 18, 2019

Interested in NLBMDA's Political Activity? Complete a Prior Approval Form Today! The Lumber Dealers Political Action Committee (LuDPAC), the political action committee of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA), has important information to share with you about their political activities. However, your written permission is needed before we can send this information. This in no way obligates you to contribute to LuDPAC. Click here to fill out your Prior Approval Form.
A Key to Successful Business is a Strong Risk Management Culture!
Federated's Risk Management Academy provides a unique opportunity for businesses to learn best practices and network with industry peers through 2½ and one-day risk management seminars. These seminars are designed for individuals in positions of risk leadership including owners, operations management, service management, risk management, or human resources. The key to a successful business is implementing and leading a strong risk management culture, so attendees should be in a position to take action!

The class runs for 2 ½ days. The program starts at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 6, and will conclude at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 8. It is being held at our main home office location.   Learn More and Register Online .
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

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly.

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