A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members April 3, 2008
Association News

AWI CODB Survey Launched April 1 – No Kidding!

The annual AWI survey of AWI Manufacturing Member operating practices and costs of doing business launched on Monday, April 1, and this is no April Fool’s joke! Make certain to participate in 2008; AWI has changed the distribution policy for 2009. 

Maximize the value of this unique management tool that hundreds of AWI Manufacturing Members use to improve their bottom line.  Participating AWI Manufacturing Members will receive special tools not available anywhere else, including a personal financial profile, profit modeling tool and AWI-specific compensation calculator covering 28 hourly and salaried jobs. 

All participants will also receive a comprehensive results book with more than 7,000 industry specific benchmarks. However, this is the last year that non-participants will receive a copy of the full report book from the survey results free of charge.  Starting in 2009 – with next year’s survey – non-participating AWI Manufacturing Members will only receive a complimentary Executive Summary of the survey results.  However, they will have an opportunity to purchase the full report at a special AWI Manufacturing Member price.

The 2008 CODB survey period closes on June 1.  But don’t delay; submit your data early. Click here for more details and instructions about data submission.  There’s a download and Help Center for answers to questions. This year, it will be easier and faster to submit financial information which has been significantly simplified. Time spent completing the survey is a small investment in a year-long resource for analyzing costs, trimming expenses and maximizing profits.

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Professional Development

AWI Accepting Registrations for Spring Professional Development Program: Space Is Limited; Sign Up Today!

Two must-attend seminars are scheduled, May 8-9, 2008, for architectural woodworkers who want to better manage and build the profitability of their business.  The two sessions will deliver strategies, analysis guidelines, tips and techniques that can be used immediately to improve your bottom line. Gain the “Profit Power” you need to develop the formula for successful sales, marketing and financial management strategies.

May 8 – “Money Matters” Understanding Your Profit and Making it Work for You” will deliver 13 money-making management tools at this new AWI financial management session. Attendees receive an added bonus – complimentary copies of The Great Game of Business and A Stake in the Outcome.
May 9 – “Sales and Marketing” with Jack Warkenthein, author of Life’s a Sales Call, and longtime AWI education partner, will take you through the paces of relationship building and communications.

Register today; space is limited.  To make your hotel reservation at the Westin Tysons Corner in Falls Church, VA, click here.  Hotel reservations are not included in tuition fees.  Both programs will be held in Falls Church, VA, 20 minutes from downtown Washington, DC and both major airports in Virginia.
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Fox Valley Technical College Contributes to Skill Standards Project

The Foundation of Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) in Oshkosh, WI, has donated $500 to the work of the skill standards initiative, bringing the number of supporters to 13. 

A number of FVTC faculty and former faculty are active in the writing and editing of the standards. This outstanding school for woodworking professionals has supported practical training and education for our industry for more than a quarter century. Skilled young men and women from FVTC produce and manage the production of fine woodwork in many plants and offices in North America.

The Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) thanks the FVTC and all other contributors for their support of this initiative that is advancing the skill standards initiative under the terms of a matching U.S.D.A. Forest Service grant of $92,000.

WCA Sponsors:
Architectural Woodwork Institute
Association of Woodworking & Furnishing Suppliers
Fox Valley Technical College
Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America
WoodLINKS
Woodworking Machinery Industry Association

And the following AWI Chapters:
Arizona
Chicago
Colorado
Iowa/Nebraska
New England
Ohio Valley
Texas
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Industry News

New Addition to ConsensusDOCS Model Family of Documents To Pave Way for Best Practices in the Digital Age

ConsensusDOCS, a family of model contract documents, has been supplemented with a building information modeling (BIM) addendum that will be issued sometime before mid-year.

The ConsensusDOCS BIM Addendum is the first and only industry standard document to globally address the legal uncertainties associated with using BIM, according to the American Subcontractors Association (ASA).

BIM is the process of generating and managing computerized, multi-dimensional models linked to databases that house the design specifications, schedules, and other documents related to a construction project. BIM provides all parties involved on a project with shared, up-to-date project data, subsequently allowing for a richer design process, increased budget control through predictions about the project’s construction process, and fewer surprises with respect to potential design and scheduling conflicts among trades — long before ground is even broken.

The ConsensusDOCS BIM Addendum will be published as part of the ConsensusDOCS comprehensive catalog of contracts and forms, which address all project delivery methods. The BIM Addendum provides a tool to use BIM from start to finish, thereby allowing contractors to more closely integrate project delivery with owners and design professionals. It is also flexible enough to be used as an addendum in more traditional contracting methods.

Twenty-one construction associations representing owners, contractors, subcontractors, design professionals and sureties launched the groundbreaking ConsensusDOCS on September 28, 2007.  The ConsensusDOCS are a set of more than 70 collaboratively drafted model contract documents.

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IWF 2008 Preparation Underway – Housing & Registration Available through AWI

AWI members, along with thousands of woodworking industry representatives, will be traveling to the International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair-USA® for IWF 2008, August 20-23, 2008, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.  Make sure your register early and obtain your hotel accommodations through AWI.

Hotel rooms within the AWI block are available at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta at the special rate of $130 for a single or double room.  Access the “AWI Housing Reservation Form” for IWF to assure you obtain this special rate.  To save on registration fees, make certain you register for the IWF before July 25, 2008. 

IWF is Atlanta's and the Georgia World Congress Center's largest tradeshow. With over 1,200 exhibitors and 800,000 net square feet of exhibits, IWF ranks #12 of the largest trade shows held in the United States.
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Architects’ Billings Down Sharply in Early 2008

More bad news for the construction industry arrived with architectural billings data released by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on March 20. 

The Architectural Billings Index (ABI), a survey of firms’ billings compiled by AIA, tumbled almost nine points in February. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI shows an approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. AIA reported that the February ABI rating fell to 41.8, its lowest level since October 2001, and down dramatically from the 50.7 mark in January (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The inquiries for new projects score was 54.3.

“This is a clear indication that there could be tougher times ahead for design firms and a noticeable slowdown in commercial construction projects coming online in the foreseeable future,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Interestingly enough, we have also had some survey members reporting that their business is in great shape rom a billings and demand standpoint. The one bright spot continues to be the institutional sector with continued positive conditions for construction projects such as schools, hospitals and government buildings.”

Key February ABI highlights:

• Regional averages: Northeast (51.5), South (48.3), West (46.3), Midwest (42.6)
• Sector index breakdown: institutional (54.9), multi-family residential (46.6), mixed practice (43.9), commercial / industrial (40.6)
• Billings inquiries index: 54.3

For more information, visit the AIA Web site.  
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Regulatory Issues

DHS Issues Supplemental Proposed Rule with Employer Guidance Regarding No-Match Letters

On March 21, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a Supplemental Proposed Rulemaking for the No-Match Rule previously issued on August 15, 2007. This Supplemental Proposed Rulemaking provides a more detailed analysis of how DHS developed the No-Match policy and will help responsible employers ensure that they are not employing unauthorized workers.

This rulemaking addresses three issues cited in a decision of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California enjoining the August 2007 No-Match Rule.

The rule does not create new legal obligations for businesses. It simply outlines clear steps an employer may take in response to receiving a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating that an employee’s name does not match the social security number on file. If the business follows the guidance in the No-Match Rule, comprising various actions to rectify the no-match within 90 days of receiving the letter, they will have a safe harbor from the no-match letter being used against them in an enforcement action.

The original No-Match Notice of Proposed Rule Making was published on June 14, 2006, and the comment period was open for 60 days. The department then incorporated the comments and issued a final rule on August 15, 2007. DHS is requesting public comment on the Supplemental Proposed Rulemaking for 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register.  To view the Supplemental Proposed Rulemaking, click here.
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In the Chapters

Chapter News

AWI chapters are on the move with a historic log cabin project in Texas and a successful symposium in Missouri.  Learn more about progress being made, such as new Web sites, successful programs, elections, and other chapter news.

Successful Symposium

The AWI Missouri-Illinois Chapter drew 120 attendees to its successful High Performance Products Symposium.

The AWI Missouri-Illinois Chapter held its High Performance Products Symposium on March 19 in St. Louis at the Alberici Contractors headquarters. The event was designed to educate architects and designers on LEED® project qualifications and green woodworking products. More than 70 architects and designers attended in addition to 50 other guests. Ten local suppliers displayed their “green” woodworking products.  Two featured speakers included: Tom Shaff, a representative from North Star Surfaces, who made a presentation about “What Do You Mean by Green?” and Margaret Fisher, a national speaker for AWI, who spoke about USGBC FSC/CSI Wood Certifications.

Historic Shop Project
The AWI Texas Chapter reported on a project of the Wylie High School Shop Class that made history with a piece of history itself, an old log cabin. The Wylie High School dismantling and re-assembly project began in 2006, with the planning of an event which started in the summer of 2007, and finished in late 2007. “I know with commitment of instructors like Allen Morris, along with the support of industrial arts departments and communities, students across the country can enjoy the challenges and rewards of projects like this.  This project is now part of Historical Downtown Wylie,” said Greg Lutz, President of the AWI Texas Chapter.  Greg added, “What a well put together project of original woodwork, history, and the integration of today’s technology to complete a project which will live in the community for years to come.” Texas TV station WMBS reported on the project which was documented on video by the Wylie High School students and graduates who executed the work.  Watch this presentation by clicking here (large file - be patient while loading).
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Chapter Events Ahead

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  See what the AWI Central Pennsylvania, Great Lakes, and Chicago Chapters are planning.

Check out the informative AWI chapter programs sponsored in your area. Tap into your local AWI chapter for vital information that can help your business grow and put you in touch with fellow AWI architectural woodworkers and suppliers.

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
When: May 1, 2008 (2:00 - 4:00 pm)
What: “Hardwood = LEED® = Sustainability Success” program and Table top Displays
Presenter: Margaret Fisher, Saunders Wood Specialties
Registration: $30 Chapter/AWI Members; $50 Non-chapter/non AWI members
Information: Click here
Questions: Garry Astles, President Central PA Chapter, gastles@northwayind.com

Forest Products Society - Great Lakes Section
When:
  May 13, 2008
What: “Green 2008 & Beyond”
Presenters: Include several AWI Great Lakes Chapter members
Where:  Holiday Inn, Lansing, MI
Registration: $135 FPS Members; $35 Students
Information: Alan at Applegate@paladinind.com or call 616.698.7495

AWI Chicago Chapter
When: May 14, 2008
What: Plant Tour of Cain Millwork
Where: Rochelle, IL
Information: Call Homer Lathrop or Don Lupa at 815.561.9700
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Safety Matters

OSHA Affirms Actions about Combustible Dust Hazards

In addition to documents reference in the March 20 issue of AWI e-briefs about combustible dust hazards, AWI members will want to take note of OSHA’s new fact sheet and poster on combustible dust.

To access the fact sheet, click here.  For the poster, click here.

Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. has issued a memorandum, along with OSHA's Safety and Health Information Bulletin on Combustible Dust, to OSHA's state plan administrators urging state-run occupational safety and health agencies to join OSHA in its focus on combustible dust hazards.

In a separate action, OSHA recently reissued its Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP) Instruction to increase enforcement activities and focus on specific industry groups that have experienced frequent or catastrophic combustible dust incidents. The purpose of this NEP is to inspect workplaces that create or handle combustible dusts, which can cause intense burning or other fire hazards when suspended in air, and possibly lead to explosions. Under this expanded NEP, each OSHA area office is expected to inspect at least four facilities each fiscal year.
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Safety Tip Challenge: Prizes Offered for Best Job Safety Tips 

Seeking safety tips from AWI Manufacturing Members, including employees of AWI member firms...enter your tips in the Safety Tip Challenge.  Encourage your employees to submit safety tips – get them involved!

Each winner receives a beautiful Starrett Model S909Z combination square valued at almost $300, compliments of the AWI Safety Committee and our partner in risk management, CNA Insurance.

Click here to enter the Safety Tip Challenge.

AWI Manufacturing Members are encouraged to post in their shops the attached Safety Tip Challenge” flyer.  Invite employees to participate; they could win a prize, and tips submitted could help you maximize safety on the job AND limit your insurance costs. See the attached flyer for details about how the Safety Tips Challenge works.  Safety pays!
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published April 17, 2008. 

 
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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.

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