Monthly Archives

March 2016

Spring Market Update

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Spring Market Update

Over the last six weeks lumber pricing has bumped up a level.  I know, the last time we talked we didn’t think pricing would go too far one way or the other without intervention because there seems to be ample supply.  Two factors are contributing to the upward trend. The first is better than anticipated weather hasn’t “cooled off” buying enough to let pricing subside. The second factor relates exactly to how the threat of governmental interaction pushed the futures upward.

I know I don’t’ need to talk much about the weather in the Midwest… everybody I talk to tells me they don’t feel like they got the break they typically do from a winter slowdown.  The big news is Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited President Obama in Washington where they talked about a timeline for re-visiting the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) which promptly scared the futures market.  Cash wood is promptly rising right along with the futures pricing.

Analysts are on the fence as to where it is going.  Technical analysis says it has a little more room to run but the data is mixed because there appears to be more sellers than buyers at the mill level with more buyers than sellers in the other reportable categories.  There also appears to be a lot of wood with secondary suppliers at the moment.  Regardless of the level you and I want or think pricing is headed, the stock charts suggest we simply moved up to around the five year average.

Market Update Graphic

That all being said, this increase really reflects increases in narrow dimensional 2×4 and 2×6 product offerings like lineal and studs, but I still maintain that I don’t think pricing will go too far one way or the other.  I think once we get past the spring push lumber will level off and there will be more opportunities for the “deals” we have received thus far this year.  The OSB and Engineered wood markets are relatively stable, wide Western dimensional pricing is mixed, and SYP is mixed.

The only really noteworthy information regarding pricing involves treated lumber.  Sometime this summer we can also expect to see slightly higher prices on some treated lumber as well.  The American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) changed their standards to reflect higher treatment retention levels in specific applications like “ground level decks and walkways”, “decks and freshwater docks”, and “export products”.  The reason for the change is cited as “common misuse by homeowners and contractors using Above Ground treated material in Ground Contact applications.”  At this point the impact appears to mainly affect the 2×8, 2×10, and 2×12 materials as the new standards require “bond boards”, “joists”, and “beams” to be treated “Ground Contact” but spares many applications of 2×4 and 2×6 such as bottom plate.  Stay tuned on this… the new AWPA standards reportedly take affect the end of May while ICC – ES standards for Micronized reportedly change sometime in July.  Please look for more information to follow.

John Colley
Purchasing Manager

Now Hiring: CDL-A Delivery Driver

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Location: Wyoming, MI

Job Title:  Driver III                                                     FLSA Status:    Non-Exempt

Department:  Zeeland Truss & Components             Reports to: Dispatch / General Manager

 Summary: Drives a tractor with one or more trailers (18-wheel) on public streets or highways to transport materials and merchandise.  May load or unload truck using Moffett and Skytrak equipment.  Drivers are responsible for securing the load using approved devices and methods.  Requires a valid Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Move materials from one location to another.
  • Delivery of materials to customers.
  • Pick up materials from customers as required.

Qualifications / Requirements

  • Energetic, forward-thinking and creative individual with high ethical standards and a appropriate professional image.
  • Ability to read shipping documents.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Strong analytical and cognitive skills.
  • Commitment to company values.

 Education / Training / Experience

  • High School Diploma or GED Equivalent.
  • Valid Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

 Reporting to this Position:     No direct Reports

Physical Demands and Work Environment

 The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Physical Demands: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; balance; stoop; talk or hear.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 80 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
  • Work Environment: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time.  The noise level in the work environment is usually minimal.


The above is a list of activities routinely performed by this position and includes the essential functions an individual must perform for the position.  The above list is not all inclusive and the President reserves the right to add and/or remove any job duties as deemed necessary at any time.  The employee is expected to adhere to all company policies and to act as a role model in the adherence of policies.

Now Hiring: Branch Operations Manager

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Location: Mishawaka, IN

Job Description:

The Operations Manager plans, directs, and coordinates all activities of the operation and ensures the most effective and economical production of quality goods in a timely and safe manner. The Operations Manager aligns closely with customer service, quality, finance and others in tactical support of the overall strategic goals and objectives of the organization. This person would be responsible for profit contribution by managing staff; establishing and accomplishing business objectives, setting goals and action plans to achieve results.

Job Duties:

  • Manage branch warehouse and inventory.
  • Maintain and report on financial part of business such as labor hours, overhead, supplies, expenses, billing, forecasting and any changes to these areas.
  • Manage operation schedule and work closely with corporate to handle overflow situations
  • Plans and develops work schedules to ensure adequate service.
  • Find efficiencies through optimum work schedules, branch configuration, and placement of employees. Identify inefficient areas and work with employees to overcome challenges.
  • Audits and maintain inventories supplies and equipment.
  • Analyzes & facilitates budget requests to identify areas in which reductions can be made.
  • Monitoring direct labor hours, project costs, and work schedules.
  • Ensure budget is maintained and labor scheduling does not exceed budget requirements.
  • Monitor variances in material and labor in coordination with Project Managers to obtain maximum efficiency.
  • Builds company image by collaborating with customers, and employees; enforcing ethical business practices.
  • Assist in the promotion of services performed to develop new markets, increase share of market, and obtain competitive position in industry.
  • Develop necessary business plans to enhance all program requirements; including throughput, labor hours, cycle, cost producibility, and image.
  • Maintains quality service by establishing and enforcing organization standards.
  • Be responsible for meeting all established cost, quality, and delivery commitments.
  • Provide leadership for process improvement, regular team meetings and safety; facilitates proactive problem-solving.
  • Customer focused from both an internal and external perspective.
  • Provide leadership in supply chain management to create value and minimize risk to the operation and to the organization. Ensure optimization of supply chain partnerships focusing on performance, quality, delivery, and cost.
  • Select, hire, train, develop, and provide ongoing leadership and direction of assigned employees.
  • Demonstrated ability to raise performance by building and maintaining positive relationships with all associates through coaching, development and instilling a continuous improvement mind-set.
  • Able to effectively work across all organizations and create alignment and focus.
  • Conduct and attend meetings to communicate top down, and bottom up on a consistent real time basis, with customers, clients, and employees.
  • Ability to deliver, meet deadlines, and have results orientation.
  • Ability to handle multiple projects.
  • Complex problem solving capability.

 Job requirements:

 Excellent interpersonal communication skills.

  • Strong operational aptitude, with problem solving skills.
  • Extensive knowledge of the building product industry, with a wide scope of knowledge in regards to our product groups.
  • Ability to lead and motivate others.
  • Warehousing and Inventory Management experience is required
  • Bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 5 years operations management experience
  • P&L management experience is highly desired
  • Experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Warehousing and Inventory Management experience is required
  • Management, Staffing, Management Proficiency, Coordination, Coaching, Developing Standards, Financial Planning and Strategy, Process Improvement, Decision Making, Strategic Planning, Quality Management