A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members January 19, 2006
Association News

Get on AWI’s "Who's Who" List, Get Great Exposure

One of AWI’s most practical resources for members’ use in doing business with each other and for building more business opportunities is included as a benefit of membership.  Want to reach 3,000+ architects, designers, suppliers and woodworkers?  All AWI members in good standing with dues paid for 2006 by Jan. 31, 2006 will be included in the 2006 AWI Membership Resource Directory.

The reference guide is produced annually with updated member listings that are also incorporated into AWI’s web site directory of Manufacturing and Supplier Members.  Make sure your listing is correct in this “Who’s Who” of architectural woodworkers and suppliers.  It’s one of a kind.

AWI thanks all members (over 80%) who have remitted payment for their 2006 dues to date.
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Two New 2006 Sponsors Sign On to Support AWI and Member Companies

AWI welcomes a growing number of corporate sponsors whose generosity is commendable not only for helping fund AWI programs but also because the programs benefit all AWI members.

Welcome and thanks go to two new Level 2 Sponsors: Microvellum Inc. and Hafele America Company.  Click on the logos of these and all the sponsors listed in the right column to go directly to their web sites.  Find out more about their products and services.
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What’s a Benefact and How Will It Help Your Business?

With your January mail pack of NewsBriefs and other flyers, you’ll find a new feature – the AWI Member Benefit Profile – one in a series of Benefacts to help you maximize the return on your AWI dues investment.  Featured this month is the AWI Award of Excellence Program.

For a description of the Benefact, its value to your company, and more click here and consult the flyer.  Consider what submission of a project for an AWI Award of Excellence can mean to your firm.  Could you benefit from exposure of your outstanding projects to 25,000+ design professionals, contractors, property owners and facility managers?

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2006 AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey Launches Feb. 1

One of AWI’s most practical resources for members is its annual Cost of Doing Business Survey and Compensation Study Report which is produced from results of the annual CODBS.  This year, member input is vital for gaining regional benchmark data that accurately measures economic improvement experienced within the architectural woodwork industry. 

While you’re preparing your year-end financials, compensation information and benefits program summary, use the data (in strict confidence) in the CODB survey. 

AWI will send you an e-mail soon announcing the opening of the survey period with a link to the CODBS.  All instructions and submission forms will be included.  As in the past, all data is held in strict confidence by the survey specialist, Inverra, and will be used for aggregating totals only for use in the final report.  Each participant will receive a customized CD-ROM with their financial profile, and more.  Watch for more information in AWI NewsBriefs and future editions of e-briefs.
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Professional Development

AWILL CATE Week to Feature Software & Supplier Vendors

If you haven’t already registered for AWILL’s Winter Career and Technology Education (CATE) Week, Feb. 22-25, 2006, don’t wait too long.  Some of the seminar sessions are limited to only 25 attendees, while others can accommodate only 50.  In either case, attendance is limited to allow for interaction among participants and a productive learning environment with give-and-take among attendees.

CATE will be held at the Harris Conference Center in Charlotte, NC.  The Center is situated within a contemplative wooded are of the Central Piedmont Community College. 

Winter CATE will include a new feature at AWI education sessions – software demonstrations.   Software and supplier vendors include Alliance Millsoft, Microvellu, Trakware, Tradesoft and Tesko. The companies will set up hands-on demonstrations for attendees at the Harris Computer Laboratory.  Take a test drive of each program to learn how you can improve the efficiency of project management and estimating.

Other sessions and events include:

  • Contracts: Protection and Prevention
  • Fundamental of Project Management
  • Plant Scheduling
  • Advanced Project Management (two-day course)
  • Fundamentals of Estimating
  • Advanced Estimating (two-day course)
  • Quality Certification Program Workshop
  • Managing Quality: How Do the Masters Do It?
  • Project Management Software Shoot-Out
  • Estimating Software Shoot-Out
  • Special Guide-on-the-Side Networking
  • Computer Laboratory

Register for Winter CATE now!  For more details and to sign up today, visit http://homepage.mac.com/gheuer212/AWILL/Education9.html.  Click on the “AWI File Transfer” page at top right of the screen or call Kimberly Haynes at 434.975.0191.  You can download a registration form from the site.  Early-bird registration continues only through Jan. 27, 2006 after which prices will rise from $159 per day for AWI members to $245 per person per day for members.  Take advantage of the discounted fees and get an even better return on your investment!
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Safety Matters

AWI and CNA to Co-sponsor Safety Awards Program

AWI and CNA’s Annual Safety Awards Program will begin Feb. 1, 2006.  All Manufacturing Members are eligible to submit information.  Participation is free and requires only your OSHA year-end Form 300 Submission.

Take 10 minutes to participate and gain the reward of recognition for safety in the workplace and on the job site.  Winners will receive awards at the 2006 AWI Convention & Meeting, Oct. 5-7, 2006 in New Orleans.

Watch for details in an e-mail from AWI’s survey specialist Inverra.  You won’t win if you don’t participate.

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OSHA Offers Tips to Protect Workers in Cold Environments

With cold weather here, OSHA is reminding employers and workers to take necessary precautions, such as those listed on OSHA's Cold Stress Card, to prevent and treat cold-related health problems.

Workers in construction, commercial fishing, maritime and agriculture are among those who need to take precautions. OSHA's Cold Stress Card provides a reference guide and recommendations to combat and prevent many illnesses and injuries.

For free copies of this laminated, fold-up card in English visit http://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3156.pdf
or in Spanish visit http://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3158.pdf.  For more information, check the OSHA publications page at http://www.osha.gov or call 1.800.321.OSHA.
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Legislative News

SBLC Targets Priorities for Congressional Action in 2006 to Help Small Businesses

The Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC) plans to ask Congress to “improve public policies on critical issues facing small businesses...including health care system reform, estate tax repeal/relief, product and services liability reform, immigration reform, and the protection of intellectual property,” the American Subcontractors Assn. (ASA) reported. 

The SBLC Board of Directors, which includes ASA Executive VP Collette Nelson, recently discussed the ramifications of tax reform for small business in addition to identifying the top priorities for small business in 2006. For more information, visit www.sblc.org.
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House Votes To Expand Health Savings Account Benefit

Before its adjournment for the holidays, the U.S. House of Representatives voted for a pension reform bill (H.R. 2830) that would expand benefits for employees who use tax-deferred spending accounts in a cafeteria plan to pay health care costs. 

“The language in the House bill would allow employees to forward the balance remaining in their spending accounts at the end of the year to a Health Savings Account for the following calendar year,” according to the American Subcontractors Assn. (ASA). Current law requires that balances remaining at the end of the year revert to the employer.  The "use it or lose it rule" applies.

Meanwhile, in the Senate bill (S. 1783) there is no language expanding the benefit.  A conference committee must iron out the differences between the House and Senate versions.
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Regulatory Issues

IRS Provides Safe Harbor to Heavy Equipment Dealers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued guidance that provides heavy equipment dealers with a safe harbor that allows them to approximate the cost of the equipment parts inventory using the replacement cost method of accounting. The IRS issued guidance on the safe harbor for heavy equipment dealers in Revenue Procedure 2006-14, which will be published in IRB 2006-4, dated Jan. 23, 2006.

The safe harbor applies to heavy equipment dealers that are engaged in the trade of selling heavy equipment parts at retail and are authorized under an agreement with one or more equipment manufacturers or distributors to sell, or sell and lease new heavy equipment. Under the replacement cost method, the dealer determines the costs of the heavy equipment parts in its inventory using a standard price list and must satisfy the book conformity requirement. 

Dealers currently using the replacement cost method described in the revenue procedure may continue to use it without applying for a change in their accounting method. A dealer wishing to change to the replacement cost method may do so for a tax year ending on or after April 30, 2005, by filing Form 3115, “Application for Change in Accounting Method.” This is done by following the automatic change in accounting method provisions of Rev. Proc. 2002-9, 2002-3 IRB 327, with modifications.

The Revenue Procedure is generally effective for tax years ending on or after April 30, 2005.
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IRS Announces Additional Agreements to Assist Disaster Victims

The IRS has expanded its partnerships with four additional tax professional organizations that have agreed to help the agency provide assistance to taxpayers at local disaster recovery centers established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

The National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP), the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Taxation, the National Society of Accountants (NSA) and the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) are the latest organizations to join IRS employees in staffing disaster recovery centers and assisting taxpayers affected by recent hurricanes.

This adds to agreements signed earlier with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) and the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants (AAA-CPA).

When the President designates an area to receive federal disaster assistance, FEMA opens local disaster recovery centers where individuals and businesses may register for disaster aid. IRS assigns employees to staff these local centers to provide tax assistance to taxpayers. Currently, employees and volunteers are providing tax assistance in dozens of FEMA sites.

Assistance includes aiding with the preparation of tax returns and claims, providing copies of transcripts and returns, distributing disaster relief kits and answering questions about casualty losses and other issues.

More information regarding disaster tax relief may be found on the IRS’s web site at www.irs.gov.

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In the Chapters

Chapter Events Ahead

Check out the upcoming education programs hosted by AWI chapters in your area.  Five chapters are hosting informative programs that can help your business become more profitable.

AWI Chicago Chapter (with CSI)
Jan. 24, 2006
Program: 5:00, Tabletop Displays, 5:30, Dinner; 6:30, “Lessons Learned: Architectural Woodwork” – a discussion of problems and their solutions
Where: The Union League Club, Chicago, IL
Contact: Debby Heidler at 630.325.3634 or e-mail dheidlerawi@comcast.net

AWI Minnesota Chapter
When: Jan. 19, 2006 (4:00 – 7:00 pm)
Program: Financial Management Seminar – Find out how Project Managers can make projects more financially successful
Where: Ramada Inn Airport at Mall of America, Bloomington, MN
Contact: Rick Siewert at 612.721.1181

AWI Texas Chapter
Feb. 8, 2006
Program: “Knowledge is the Key to Innovation...A Quality Standards Seminar for Architects”
Where: Grapevine, TX
Contact: Vicki Lutz, 469.855.8677

AWI Great Lakes Chapter
Feb. 8-9, 2006
Program: CAM Expo (Visit chapter member displays of their work during this builder and architects expo.)
Where: Rock Financial Expo Center
Contact: Donna Baker at dbaker@daiekwoodwork.com

AWI New England Chapter
When: March 1, 2006
Program: “Cost Saving ‘Best Practices’ for Woodworkers”
Speaker: Edward F. Johnson, Jr., CPA
Where: Wyndham Hotel, Westborough, MA
Contact:  www.neawi.org – New England Chapter web site

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Next Issue of AWI e-briefs

The next edition of AWI e-briefs will be published on Feb. 1, 2006
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Founded in 1953, AWI is a nonprofit organization representing over 3,500 manufacturers, suppliers, and design professionals in the architectural woodwork industry.

AWI Mission:
The authoritative resource for excellence in architectural woodwork.

Copyright Architectural Woodwork Institute www.awinet.org

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Feb. 22-25, 2006
Charlotte, NC


AWI Spring Leadership Conference
Apr. 5-8, 2006
Sterling, VA

Jun. 20-24, 2006