Paint demand is forecast to rise
The demand for paint and coatings in the United States is expected to rise 7.8% annually through 2015, according to a study by The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based market research firm. The market is expected to expand strongly in both volume and value terms, rebounding from the declines of the recession-impacted 2005 to 2010 period.
However, the U.S. paint and coatings industry will continue to be impacted by the trend toward sustainability, and growing environmental concerns will subject manufacturers to increasingly stringent government regulations. As a result, paint and coating suppliers will continue to invest heavily in the development of innovative, higher-value formulations.
The large architectural market will grow at an annual rate of 10.8% through 2015, reaching more than $14 billion.
Demand will be promoted by renewed strength in the housing market, particularly as home-building activity rebounds from low 2010 levels. The interior paint market will remain larger and grow faster than its exterior counterpart.
Sales of paint and coatings in manufacturing markets will expand at a respectable rate through 2015, reversing the downward trend of the 2000 to 2010 period. Among the various market segments, furniture and fixtures will enjoy one of the best growth prospects, and will remain the leading outlet for coatings over the forecast period, according to the report.
WoodTrac promotes green manufacturing initiatives
Archbold, Ohio-based WoodTrac Ceiling System by Sauder is promoting environmental standards, including recent energy conservation measures, mandating material recycling and air quality preservation. In addition to product production guidelines, the WoodTrac product features a unique “green” design that saves raw materials.
According to Sauder Woodworking, more than 90% of the WoodTrac Ceiling product and packaging is made from recycled material.
“Sauder Woodworking is always striving to create products that are not only of great quality but are environmentally responsible,” said Dan Sauder, VP engineering, “We are always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, both through our products and through our manufacturing facilities.”
WoodTrac is made up of laminated medium density fiberboard (MDF), meaning it is made up of more than 90% pre-consumer recycled content. Unlike solid wood panels that only use around half of a tree, WoodTrac uses more than 95% of the actual tree product. This reduces massive amounts of lumber waste that typically goes unused, including bark and scrap materials. All wood panels used in Sauder production are “Environmentally Preferred Product” (EPP) by the Composite Panel Association.
The Sauder Woodworking Co. has also implemented its environmental sustainability efforts into its 230-acre, 4 million-sq.-ft. production facility located in Archbold, Ohio, reducing its carbon footprint by 10,000 metric tons over the next two years.
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Three days in October
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich reached the podium to a standing ovation. He assessed his audience for a moment. “This is a very intense, serious looking group,” he said.
The group in question consisted of the pro dealers and suppliers gathered for the 2008 ProDealer Industry Summit, the first-ever conference that resulted from the merger of the NLBMDA’s Industry Summit and Home Channel News’ ProDealer Conference. The organizers of the event did a great job predicting that the first three days of October would be an electrifying time in the nation’s capital.
And the group had every right to look serious and intense.
Here’s the picture of Monday Oct. 1, when most of the 240 or so attendees began filing into the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Va.:
• Congress was working overdrive on a contentious $700 billion financial bailout plan;
• Attendees were planning ahead to Tuesday’s highly anticipated Vice Presidential showdown; and
• Newt Gingrich, his “Platform for America” in hand, was walking around the hotel.
I felt like a witness to great events.
Even though we were just outside the beltway in Chantilly, Va., the political gravity was intense. Political junkies attending the conference — and there were many — were basking in the situation. And those who couldn’t care less — well, there weren’t any of those.
On Wednesday, during the middle of a panel discussion on “The Supply Chain Revolution,” the word came. The House passed the Paulson plan! Cheering erupted. And the show went back to business.
Based on the length of the line to take a picture with the “Speaker,” Gingrich’s address was a highlight of the event, largely because it promoted the spirit of American democracy.
There were other highlights and other spirits.
• Spirit of diversity: When outgoing NLBMD chairman Harold Baalmann of B&B LUmber introduced incoming chairman Paul Hybert of ProBuild, the company’s represented ran the spectrum from the biggest to the smallest. But the mutual respect expressed by both dealers was about equal.
• Spirit of togetherness: The hotel theater was packed, partisan and pro-Palin during the vice presidential debate. But more importantly, it was together.
• Spirit of humility: The Pro Dealer of the Year dinner recognized Keim Lumber as Independent Pro Dealer of the Year and Curtis Lumber as Multi-unit Pro Dealer of the Year. Both companies showed double digit growth on the 2008 HCN Top 350 Scoreboard. And both companies, when addressing the audience, pointed to all the employees back home for their success. The standing ovations were much deserved.
The industry is living the Chinese curse: “May you live in exciting times.” Events like the ProDealer Industry Summit could not solve the housing market’s woes or the credit crisis. But it served the industry by bringing competitors and partners together for mutual improvement.
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