Executive appointment at Rent-A-Center
Plano, Texas-based Rent-A-Center Inc. appointed Anurag Gupta to VP, enterprise project management office (EPMO).
Reporting to Doug Guziec, senior VP and chief strategy officer, Gupta is charged with broad oversight of Rent-A-Center’s portfolio of business initiatives. His responsibilities include the establishment of processes and controls designed to manage all phases of these initiatives. He’s also tasked with the strategic evaluation of prospective business initiatives with an eye for determining which are green-lighted and when they are to be initiated.
With a career steeped in a culture of transformational business initiatives, Gupta brings more than 17 years of leadership experience to his new post. Most recently, Gupta served as a senior director at Devon Energy Corporation where he spent the last five years developing, socializing and executing on roadmaps within business functions and IT.
Gupta earned an MBA from Duke University, a Master of Science in computer engineering from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science in computer science and engineering from Indian Institute of Technology.
“Anurag brings vast knowledge to a key function,” said Guziec. “His background is certain to prove useful in the realization of our strategic objectives.”
Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Oct. 10, 2014
*Western – regional species perimeter foundation; Southern – regional species slab construction.
Crow’s Market Recap — A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow’s Weekly Market Report.
Lumber: SPF mills in both eastern and western Canada experienced moderate sales activity despite order files extending well into the final days of the month. Mill lead times for 2×4 #2&Btr were as far out as the first week in November. Needing to replenish inventories and more comfortable with the lower Southern Pine lumber prices established last week, buyers continued to purchase significant volumes. That demand firmed prices and removed much of the discounting from the market. Demand for 2×6 #2 was the strongest of all items. Coastal species lumber prices continued to trade within narrow ranges of the prior week. Mills reported less sales activity than the week prior, but most prices held up. Green Doug Fir pricing was stronger than dry. Inland producers are participating modestly, showing some willingness to negotiate on stock they have on the ground. They are not, however, willing to discount on any other material or to negotiate on advance sales. Overall demand for studs was not as strong as the prior week, but mills came away with order files extended through much of October, which left prices firm or gaining a little. Moulding manufacturers have turned to Radiata Pine for material supply. Increased use of Radiata caused some backup at mill level for domestic producers. Ponderosa Pine Shop buyers continued to purchase both 5/4 and 6/4 #3 Shop at discounted levels. Again Ponderosa Pine producers note that the weakest grade of 4/4 boards is #4 Common, with #3 Common also lacking energy. A very tight balance in supply and demand has kept the Eastern White Pine market very stable and secured with regard to prices. Demand for shipments of Western Red Cedar in the near-term largely consisted of fill-in volumes made up of highly specified items.
Panels: Following the announcement by some producers that they would go off the market, OSB markets received “definitely a boost,” according to one source. The reactions to these announcements were quite varied, depending on the region and the market situation of the one reacting. Southern Pine plywood demand remained solid, pushing mill lead times out into the week of Oct. 27. Producers elevated prices a few dollars higher and, at current high price levels, often focused more on moving order files out than raising prices. In Western Fir plywood, buyers continued to show concern over high prices and purchasing for shipments that will not deliver until November. Some producers edged order files into the week of Oct. 27; however, availability at other mills was sooner. Following a week of bargain hunting among Canadian plywood buyers, with some tidy volumes of wood being sold, this week reversed the tendency to discount at mill level and ended with prices stepping up a notch. Neither particleboard nor MDF pricing experienced much pressure in either direction, leaving prices stable.
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Bellawood releases new flooring styles for fall
Bellawood has released a new finish and several new flooring styles for the fall season, including a line of matte "oil-look" prefinished floors.
The result: a completely upgraded collection of flooring, featuring 140 new colors, styles and species.
The new matte offerings boast "a modern style and classic Americana aesthetic," said the company.
Bellawood touts floors that it says are twice as scratch-resistant as other hardwood floors.
"The Bellawood team worked closely with our style experts to create a gorgeous look with dramatically improved durability," commented Stacy Maddox, director of production operations. "The new Bellawood now has a finish that’s considerably more resilient than other floors on the market, offering customers a beautiful floor that will last for generations."