Monthly Archives

April 2017

Now Hiring: Field Service Technician I

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Location: Zeeland, MI

Job Title:  Field Service Technician I                         FLSA Status:    Non-Exempt

Department:  Window Service                                  Reports to: Branch Manager

Summary: Field Service Technician is a mobile repair or assessment technician who travels to a site to troubleshoot equipment/product issues.  Technician’s job is to repair and maintain all makes and models of a windows, doors, garage doors & operators.  Assist in custom Millwork shop using power tools. Other product categories may be added at discretion of supervisor.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Establishes service by studying system requirements; ordering and gathering components and parts; completing installation; performing acceptance tests.
  • Maintains rapport with customers by examining complaints; identifying solutions; suggesting improved methods and techniques; recommending system improvements.
  • Keeps personal equipment operating by following operating instructions; troubleshooting breakdowns; maintaining supplies; performing preventive maintenance; calling for repairs.
  • Documents service and installation actions by completing forms, reports, logs, and records.
  • Assist in custom Millwork shop using power tools such as  planers, sander, belt sander, jig saw, table saw, band saw, portable drills, drill press
  • Shop customer service and processing credits
  • Insure that safety policies and practices, concerning vehicles, tools and equipment are complied with.
  • Maintains customer confidence by keeping service information confidential.

Qualifications / Requirements

  • Knowledge of residential construction and the ability to use hand tools is desired. Must be able to work from ladders and scaffolding, and work well unsupervised.
  • Energetic, forward-thinking and creative individual with high ethical standards and an appropriate professional image.
  • Ability to listen, troubleshoot and problem solve.
  • Ability to plan projects and work independently.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Strong analytical and cognitive skills.
  • Commitment to company values.  Maintain confidentiality and focus on quality

Education / Training / Experience

  • High School graduate required, some college preferred.
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Must have 3 years of experience with installation, service, and repair.
  • Qualified candidates will possess 1-2 years of related education and/or experience, particularly in the area of building materials or construction.
  • Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications.

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.

  1. Physical Demands: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to walk; sit; use hands and fingers to 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 100 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.
  1. 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.

Summary:

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 ZCS Division Manager 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.

Lumber Market is bracing for the Countervailing Duty Verdict

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Whats happening in the lumber market

This week was a tough week for SPF and studs. Those of you that follow politics may feel West Fraser has invoked their own “nuclear” strategy while addressing concerns of the Countervailing Duty and Anti-dumping lawsuits.  For those that don’t recall we are approaching the determination date for the Countervailing Duty which aims to level the playing field between the United States and Canada with regard to lumber trade.  The U.S. feels Canada subsidizes their mills by letting them cut timber on government owned and managed lands while U.S. mills have to own and manage their own timber lands.  Obviously this oversimplifies the disagreement but you get basis.

The Anti-Dumping lawsuit was extended 50 days due to the shear amount of data that must get analyzed.  Towards the end of January, West Fraser pulled off the market and raised their prices as we moved past the dates where the countervailing duty claims and the anti-dumping lawsuit claims became retroactive which were 01/24/17 and 02/03/17, respectively.   For those that don’t follow it that close the market moved up approximately 15% and has been channeling sideways.

Charts and Graphs

Last week West Fraser invoked the same tactic again … Fraser went off the market again and raised pricing on all shipments sold into the U.S. in anticipation of a 25 to 30% duty.  The market promptly reacted with a couple up-limit days to end the week.  Currently the futures are trading close to $400/m.  Here is a look at the futures chart… I think you can see the trend.  This chart represents a car of 2×4 dimensional lumber with a specific tally but most forest products correlate to some degree.

2 Year Price ABS

Decreasing supply and increasing demand contribute to the problem.  Shipments in February from Canada have been dropping this spring compared to last year and new home starts have been increasing in the U.S.  Here is a look at the current U.S. housing data and its trend line.  You can see the trend follows the same pattern as the Lumber Futures chart.

US Housing Starts, Countervailing Duty

What does this mean for you?

Looking at Canadian Exports to the U.S., William Knochel noted Statistics Canada’s observation that “Canadian lumber exports totaled 1.43 billion board feet (BBF), a drop of 3.2% from January’s total and 5.8% from February 2016.” The market is also feeling an impact from a shortage of rail cars.  Currently most producers are only guaranteed cars on high velocity lines which is a problem that appears to be a short term issue.

What does this mean for you?  Please prepare yourself for higher pricing.  Analyzing the lumber futures it appears the equation leaves pricing up more than 70% from the 2016 low and it continues to rise.  We are doing our best at trailing the market but the events surrounding the current market are out of our control.  We hope to have some answers after the April 24 Countervailing Duty deadline but until then the uncertainty continues to push pricing higher.

John Colley, MBA
Purchasing Manager
Zeeland Lumber & Supply

Now Hiring: Senior Administrative Assistant

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Location: Wyoming, MI

Job Title:  Senior Administrative Assistant                FLSA Status:       Hourly Non-Exempt

Department:  Wyoming Branch                                                Reports to:         Branch Manager

Job Description:

The Senior Administrative Assistant provides administrative support in a lumber operation, truss plant, or wall-panel plant in two or three functional areas such as human resources & safety, credit, etc.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • In coordination with corporate Human Resources, places job ads, performs initial screening interviews with applicants, provides information about applicants to operations management or supervision and assists in scheduling additional interviews as appropriate.
  • Assists management with the running of background checks and MVR on applicants as directed by management.
  • Performs reference checks on applicants
  • Assists management in the onboarding process of the employees. This includes completion of new-hire paperwork, submission of new-hire packet to corporate human resources, assisting employees with enrollment in benefits, etc.
  • Assists management in the record keeping and form submission requirements for on-the-job injuries and vehicular accidents.
  • Assists in maintaining documentation of training completed.
  • Assist manager with the compilation of data and reports as necessary and appropriate.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Perform duties in a safe manner.
  • Greeting customers as they enter our office/showroom
  • Answer phones
  • Assist customers with pricing, order, product and delivery status information
  • Partner with sales reps to meet and exceed customers’ service expectations

Qualifications / Requirements

  • A minimum of three years of successful work performing administrative duties.
  • Strong experience with Word and Excel.
  • Must be highly organized
  • Must be highly attentive to details
  • Must have the ability to maintain very favorable relations with management, employees, and applicants.
  • Must be able to learn how to effectively interview applicants and to use good discernment as to whether they could make a good employee.
  • Must be able to be precise and consistent in all communications.
  • Must accept and demonstrate the core values of Zeeland Lumber & Supply Company.
  • Excellent time management including but not limited to excellent organizational skills, detail oriented, manage multiple priorities, work logically and systematically, etc.
  • Working knowledge and everyday use of technology including but not limited to email, phones, internet, MS Word, MS Excel, BisTrack, WMS, & ADP
  • Flexibility and the ability to manage change.
  • Positive attitude to continued learning and continual improvement.

Education / Training / Experience

  • Technical studies/school certification
  • Experience of minimum 2 years in related field.
  • Prior experience with employment agencies or with human resources work will be a plus but is not required.
  • Product & building industry knowledge will be a plus but is not required.

Reporting to this Position:           None

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.

  1. 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 20 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.
  1. 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 CFO reserves the right to add and/or remove any job duties as deemed necessary at any time.