Phillips Screw tightens its U.S. strategy
A familiar name in fasteners eyes the U.S. market with Lightning relaunch.
The Phillips Screw Company, the company that invented the Phillips-head drive system and received a patent for it in 1935, sees an opportunity today for its new Lightning fastener system. With labor dwindling, and housing demand growing, a screw that fits snugly on the bit and can be drilled with one hand can save considerable time at the job site.
Todd Ruehs of Phillips makes the strong case that the screw is far-and-away the most-often-handled item at a construction site, and he’s done the math. It takes 48 screws for a sheet of drywall, 42 screws for a sheet of subfloor a 22 for a fiber-cement board.
Into this equation, the Lightning screw brings a message of speed and efficiency. The fastener head fits snugly into the bit, without a wobble, for easy one-handed drilling.
The Lightning screw is a strong player in the United Kingdom and is ready to expand. “We are now relaunching into North America,” said Ruehs, VP of business development and brand strategy for the Phillips Screw Company. “The reason we believe now is the right time and our products will be accepted is that. the construction industry is getting ready to face a silent crisis. There are not enough people to build houses.”
The Lightning Multi-purpose wood screw features the company’s patented Phillips Square-Driv drive system with “Stick-Tight” wobble free engagement. The interaction between bit and screw allows for one-handed operation and “never a dropped screw,” the company says. The Lightning screw’s patented low energy threads are designed to ensure an instant start and fast installation.
The new Lightning site case kit adds even more convenience, creating a water-tight, organized package for 805 screws in 8 popular sizes.
“If you can drive it with one hand, wobble free, then that allows a contractor to build more and faster,” Ruehs said.
Builder confidence rises in May
Lumber’s high prices makes it tough for builders to produce competitively priced homes for newcomers.
Additional proof that consumer interest in single-family homes is at a strong level was provided by the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).
Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose two points to a level of 70 in May after a downwardly revised April reading on the HMI. This is the fourth time the HMI has reached 70 or higher this year.
“The solid May report shows that builders are buoyed by growing consumer demand for single-family homes,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “However, the record-high cost of lumber is hurting builders’ bottom lines and making it more difficult to produce competitively priced houses for newcomers to the market.”
“Tight housing inventory, employment gains and demographic tailwinds should continue to boost demand for newly-built single-family homes,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “With these fundamentals in place, the housing market should improve at a steady, gradual pace in the months ahead.”
The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.
The HMI chart gauging current sales conditions increased two points to 76 in May while the indexes measuring buyer traffic and expectations in the next six months remained unchanged at 51 and 77, respectively.
Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the West and Northeast held steady at 76 and 55, respectively. Meanwhile, the South and Midwest each edged down one point to respective levels of 72 and 65.
NRLA names Mid-Atlantic regional director
As EBMDA director, Philip Jagiela will work with membership in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.
The Northeastern Retail Lumber Association has hired Philip Jagiela as regional director for the Eastern Building Material Dealers Association (EBMDA).
As regional director, Jagiela will be responsible for servicing and expanding the association’s membership in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.
“This is an exciting time for the NRLA,” said NRLA President Rita Ferris. “Philip brings an entrepreneurial spirit and a track-record of working with not-for-profit associations to add value, enhance programs, and increase membership.”
Regarding his new role Jagiela said, “”I am truly looking forward to being a part of the NRLA team. I am excited for the opportunity to meet our current members, and establish relationships with our soon-to-be members to enhance our overall brand.”
Jagiela brings 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and association executive. During this time, he founded the Aries Transportation Group, served as Executive Director of the National Limousine Association, and was CEO of PALM Association Management and Consulting.
Eastern Building Material Dealers Association (EBMDA) is a non-profit trade association representing independent building material dealers and their associates in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.
The Northeastern Retail Lumber Association (NRLA) is a 1,100-member association representing independent lumber and building material suppliers and associated businesses in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.