Top workplaces identified by research firm
Ace Hardware, BEHR, Generac Power Systems and Grainger are on the list of 319 large companies have been deemed as a “Top Workplace” by WorkplaceDynamics, a research firm.
The results were based on a survey of more than 4,000 companies with 1,000 or more employees. Topping the list: Container Store.
What makes these companies stand out? “Put simply, the most successful companies appear to be the ones that employees believe in,” said Doug Claffey, CEO, WorkplaceDynamics.
Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for June 15, 2012
*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: Sluggish demand for SPF lumber and eroding order files generated spotty price weakness. Deals in the West were apparent, although major producers tended to hang onto quotes despite having very thin order files. Bearish Southern Pine lumber buyers continued to purchase just enough volume to cover the essentials while no price bottoms were in sight. Varying degrees of aggressiveness on the part of producers generated broad ranges of sales prices. Coastal species lumber producers were forced to discount prices in order to sell the week’s production. Deep counters were turned away, but buyers were able to come away with volumes of most dimension items at $10 to $15 below the prior week’s levels. Inland lumber species felt the ripples from weaker Coastal and Canadian lumber markets. The price adjustments are viewed as being basically positive among both producers and buyers. Radiata Pine industrials are tight and firmly priced. Increased demand has enabled Ponderosa Pine industrial lumber producers to keep most of their prices very firm or moving up slightly. Mldg&Btr prices remain fixed. All the lower-grade Shop is very firm, with P99 showing some increases. Some seasonal slowness has been reported in the Ponderosa Pine 4/4 board market, especially in the West. That slowness has affected the pricing of Selects in California and #2 Common in the entire region. Eastern White Pine boards are very firm and reasonably active for pre-arranged tallies destined for big box stores. Producers have seen an increase in overall demand, but they are adamant about keeping production levels unchanged. Western Red Cedar mills continued to nudge prices higher where the opportunity presented itself.
Panels: OSB producers have taken long order files, based on that buying activity, and are either holding their prices at very firm levels or testing slightly firmer numbers. Buyers, seeing the volumes of orders they have placed, are now awaiting delivery of those orders and contemplating their next moves. Trading was fluid in the Southern Pine plywood market. Producers were able to keep order files out in front of production, but buyers preferred to purchase only conservative volumes when the need arose. Western Fir plywood prices remained on an upward tilt, shaped by demand continuing to outpace production. Helped by a strong plywood market in Canada, supplies for shipment in June are very thin. Most order files extended into the week of July 9; some beyond that week. The Canadian plywood market is still very firm. Buyers are not desperate for wood, most of them having stayed in line and taken mill price increases as they came. Mills continued to book relatively strong volumes of particleboard and MDF. Particleboard order files kept pace with production, although some buyers have pulled back.
Fifty winning retailers, state by state
Home Channel News selected 50 hardware stores — one from each state — for inclusion in the second annual Hardware Store All-Star list. The stores distinguish themselves with strong customer service, innovative approaches to retail and a connection to community and customers.
The alphabetical listing of All-Star stores, one from each of the 50 U.S. states, continues here with Oregon, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island:
Myrtle Point, Ore.
Housed in a historical landmark (circa 1890), Hometown Hardware retains the original hardwood floors and hand-pressed tin ceiling. Product categories touch on legacy items (i.e., Landmark 30-year architectural shingles) to new (i.e., the latest kitchen cabinets and bath vanities). Lumber is a big seller here. Owner J.R. Morgan protects the lumber from the elements to preserve the superior quality for customers.
New Milford Hardware
New Milford, Pa.
In the last two years, gas drilling in northeast Pennsylvania has surged. The result has been a jobs boom that has fueled business for New Milford Hardware. What began as a small mom-and-pop store has tripled in size, albeit one that still maintains its old-fashioned country charm, co-owner Gary Stone said.
Jerry’s Paint & Hardware Co.
“He’s a people person.” That’s how Robert Ferraro Sr. describes Robert Jr., the third-generation manager of Jerry’s Paint & Hardware. Robert Jr., 33, also impressed the NRHA enough to be recognized as one of five Young Retailers of the Year. Last year was the best year for Jerry’s Paint & Hardware sales. And the store recently expanded from 6,000 sq. ft. to 9,000 sq. ft. Robert Jr.’s All-Star advice: “Do what others aren’t doing.”