From BrassCraft to contractors: the new Zip-It tool
BrassCraft Manufacturing is courting plumbing contractors with the new Zip-It tool, a cost-effective, chemical-free solution to common clogged drain problems.
"Zip-It could save the contractor time and is easy to use; it’s always worth a try on a clogged drain," said channel marketing director Charles Pryde. "Every contractor should have one of these in his tool box and keep a ready supply on his truck."
The 20-inch plastic tool (featuring 18 inches of barbed length) can be used in many residential drains, including most household sink, shower and tub drains. According to the company, it can single-handedly unclog drains in 10 minutes or less.
It works by opening the drain stopper, turning on the water, inserting the Zip-It and then removing it slowly. Once used, it can be thrown away.
UFPI affiliate purchases 50% interest in Upshur Forest Products
A subsidiary of Universal Forest Products has purchased a 50% ownership interest in Upshur Forest Products, which owns sawmill operations in Gilmer, Texas.
According to a statement released by UFPI Monday, the acquisition will help expand the company’s footprint in East Texas and western Louisiana, supplying raw material to nearby UFPI affiliates and to new industrial operations that will be established at one of the mill locations.
"Among our strategic goals is to grow our industrial business, and we’re doing that in a steady manner by adding to existing industrial operations and growing our presence in areas we haven’t been able to serve economically," said Universal CEO Matthew J. Missad. "Our new strategic partnership with Upshur will allow us to add industrial manufacturing operations adjacent to the mill and serve customers in East Texas and western Louisiana at a substantial freight savings. In addition, we will lock in our supply of specialty mill items and certain hard-to-find dimensions and grades."
Sales for Upshur Forest Products in 2015 are projected to reach $10 million. The transaction closed on March 27, 2014.
Pro dealers take on Washington
Arlington, Va. — In a hotel conference room here filled with pro dealers about to make their lobbying rounds on Capitol Hill, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association’s Jonathan Paine and Ben Gann rallied the troops.
Up on the screen was a list of 24 names, all Republicans. It was a lobbying hit list of congressmen from Rob Bishop of Utah to Don Young of Arkansas. These legislators had supported previous versions of the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act, but who have not signed on for the current version — HR 2746.
A clear opportunity, according to Paine. "Remind them that they have supported this legislation in the past," he said. "There’s no reason these folks should not support this bill again."
One of the key points to bring to these legislators, and anyone else for that matter, is that retailers should not be held liable for merely selling a product. "That’s the message that has to get across," Gann offered.
A dealer asked about the bill’s impact on consumer protection (separate issue). Another asked about a senate version (The act needs support in the house first). And through the room, dealers took notes and prepared talking points for a day of lobbying.
The scene above played out during the 2014 NLBMDA Spring Meeting & Legislative Conference, which brought together dealers and building material suppliers from around the country to push the lumberyard industry’s national agenda. (Click here for more information.)
In addition to the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act, the NLBMDA’s talking points included three other priority issues. Collected here are excerpts from the talking points:
Reform EPA Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule
Key point: The rule that requires certain renovation work to be supervised and performed by EPA-certified firms is an example of excessive regulation. The removal of an opt-out clause for homes without children or pregnant adds $336 million to compliance costs.
The ask: Cosponsor the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act and support reforms to the program.
Online Sales Tax Fairness
Key point: The same rules that apply to community-based retailers should apply to online retailers.
The ask: Encourage members of the house to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act.
Improving Energy Efficiency
Key point: Green building rating systems should be product neutral.
The ask: Pass the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, ensuring that federal agencies do not unfairly exclude certain building materials, such as wood.
The NLBMDA Legislative Conference runs through Wednesday.