A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members February 19, 2009
Learning Forum

“Contracts: The Profits Are in the Details” Seminar Protects YOUR Interests

In today’s volatile economy, subcontractors need to arm themselves with knowledge to negotiate mutually beneficial contract terms for every project. AWI’s contracts seminar on April 30 in Charlotte, NC, can help you increase your negotiating skills and avoid contract language pitfalls. Here are some contract trouble clauses.

*  Pay-if-Paid
Beware of some particularly troublesome contractual provisions, such as the pay-if-paid clause. State laws and the contract language come into play here and may impact the subcontractor’s legal right to be paid. The potential effect of this type provision is that, if the General Contractor (GC) does not get paid, the subcontractor doesn’t get paid. You may not know the financing situation of the project owner but the GC is in a much better position to know whether sufficient, dependable financing is in place when the project begins.

*  Termination for Convenience
A situation recently came to AWI’s attention in which a subcontractor had a large contract with a GC who attempted to re-bid the work based on the owner’s desire to reduce the price of the job. In this case, the GC re-bid the project based on a "termination for convenience" clause. "Every contract is imbued with an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing," Michael Davis, Esq., AWI seminar presenter, advises. To protect against "termination for convenience," clauses used simply to obtain lower prices, subcontractors should add to the contract language "except for cases where owner or contractor base a termination for convenience strictly to obtain lower prices," Davis advises.

*  Indemnification
Some GCs essentially place burden on subs for anything that goes wrong on the project. The GCs are trying to spread financial risk to all the trade contractors. This is one of the contract provisions that most trade contractors often ignore. For instance, out of 30 subcontractors, it is highly unlikely that every sub needs to share the same risk. "Woodworkers should be accountable for only the work done by them, and possibly a percentage of work done by other trade contractors that may indirectly relate to the woodworker’s work," Randy Jensen, AWI seminar presenter, says.

Davis points out that language like "The trade contractor shall indemnify the General Contractor, owner and architect, for any and all liability arising out of the Work, except for the General Contractor’s sole negligence "unfairly shifts the risk of the GC’s own negligence to the trade contractor. Here’s a tip – whenever you see the word "sole," in this provision, strike it out because in a dispute there is rarely a clear-cut case of one of the party’s sole negligence. If the word "sole" is deleted from the contract, the court will generally apply the principles of "comparable negligence" or contributory negligence so that the trade contractor will not be required to bear liability for others’ bad acts.

A trio of particularly troublesome clauses, dubbed the "Unholy Trinity" by Davis, consists of "broad form indemnification combined with requiring additional insured language in the contract and waiver of subrogation. This means that almost all risk and anything that goes wrong on the job is shifted to the trade contractor and his insurance carrier," Davis adds. For instance, if there is an accident caused by the GC, they can turn a claim into the subcontractor’s insurance company. This is language that woodworkers rarely notice in the contract.

For more information on contract language, register early for "Contracts: The Profits Are in the Details."  This is one of many practical in-depth seminars for architectural woodworkers featured April 29 – May 2, 2009 as part of the AWI Spring Professional Development Seminars in Charlotte, NC. Visit awinet.org to register.

Also, watch for the March issue of AWI NewsBriefs featuring more practical tips about contracts from Randy Jensen and Michael Davis. They discuss the bid process, negotiation strategy, and other contract issues.

This information should not be construed as legal advice. Always consult your attorney concerning specific instances of negotiation and specific contracts.
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“AutoCAD for Woodworkers” Seminar Helps Fine-Tune Expertise

The AWI seminar, "AutoCAD for Woodworkers," set for April 30 during AWI’s series of comprehensive Spring Professional Development Seminars in Charlotte, NC, is a MUST for experienced CAD users who want to ratchet up their knowledge and experience to the next level. Improve your skills in X-refs, creating templates, and other elements of AutoCAD drafting. Learn more right here about blocks and dynamic blocks.

"One for the CAD Department," a tutorial prepared on dynamic blocks by Tim Schramm, Engineering Manager of Hardline Corporation, is a step-by-step reference for experienced users. Click here to download this great resource.

The tutorial on dynamic blocks is just the tip of the iceberg. Attendees at "AutoCAD for Woodworkers" will learn more about a wide range of drafting techniques through hands-on demonstrations, practice, and guidance. Gain tips and tricks that will improve your productivity and help you manage changes through the lifecycle of the project’s woodwork specifications. Draw faster in a more organized, consistent and proficient manner.

Visit awinet.org to register today! Visit Hardline Corporation at www.hardlinecorp.com.
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New smartSHOP Exhibit Area and Seminar at AWFS®Fair

The 2009 AWFS®Fair will feature a new area called the smartSHOP, a fully operational cabinet shop, this summer to show attendees how automated woodworking equipment can increase shop efficiency.  The AWFS®Fair is scheduled for July 15 – 19, in Las Vegas.

The machinery that will be demonstrated in the special small shop booth will include nesting machines, multi-head horizontal boring machines, edgebanders, motorized case clamps and hinge insertion machines, all working in tandem. 

Gero Sassenberg, a woodworking expert and furniture consultant specializing in management and engineering consulting to the cabinet and furniture industries, will be operating the smartSHOP and will use equipment from participating exhibitors to demonstrate how all the processes of cabinet construction, from data input software to cabinet assembly can be automated, saving time and money. He’ll also be available to answer attendee questions. 

Sassenberg will also be teaching an efficiency seminar in the smartSHOP space, "Simplicity in Automation for the Small Shop," as part of AWFS’s Special Machinery and Relevant Technology (SMART) educational sessions. Sassenberg’s session will take the mystery out of designing and building Euro-cabinets using CAD/CAM.  He will take observers through software selection and application, nesting, machine layout, material handling and the machining of parts and assembly. 

For more information and to register for the trade show or the College of Working Knowledge (CWWK), AWFS’ educational seminar program, visit www.awfsfair.org
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Discover, Comment about AWI Education Efforts

Be the first to know. Your AWI Education team is building a powerful college of woodwork knowledge.

To learn about (and to contribute your two cents on) both our face-to-face and distance learning, click here.
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Business Tools

AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey Launched

You are invited! Accept AWI’s invitation to participate in the 2009 AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey and you will access one of the best resources available for AWI Manufacturing Members to manage their business profitably anytime, but especially during uncertain economic times.

Invest time to participate in this confidential survey not available anywhere else to gain valuable tools for managing your business.

Follow the link in AWI’s e-mail on February 13 to participate or click here to download the survey input tool. Complete the form and e-mail it to AWI’s confidential survey administrator at awi@inverra.com.

To gain full benefit from the 2009 CODBS, submissions must be received by April 10, 2009.

Reminder: Only participants will receive a complimentary copy of the full survey results this year - A CHANGE FROM PRIOR YEARS.
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Energy Resource: Google PowerMeter

Google in your plant.  Energy use in your factory is a big part of your "fixed" expenses.

If there was a no-cost/low-cost way to put those dollar back in YOUR pocket would you do it? Sure you would. Learn more about the Google PowerMeter development here. Learn more to reduce your electrical energy consumption.
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Standards

Others Have Previewed, Commented...Have You?

The NEW Architectural Woodwork Standards are just about to be published. Have your say along with others who have visited the Web page for the Standards.

The Joint Industry Standards team will meet this coming weekend in Phoenix and members are pleased to see over 1,200 hits on the download page in January and February. Be a helper. Send in your comments. To learn how, click here.
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AWI News

Delmac Joins 2009 Sponsors

AWI is pleased to welcome Delmac Machinery Group as a 2009 AWI Sponsor.

Visit the company at www.delmac.com or click on their logo in the right-hand column. Visit the Web site of Delmac and all other AWI sponsors by clicking on their logos. Their sponsorships help AWI deliver services for all members throughout the year. These sponsors are supporting you by supporting AWI.
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Workforce

WCA Announces Road Map for Skills Standards & Credentialing Project

In mid-January, the Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) held a planning summit to design a road map for the future in producing and publishing a Skill Standards manual and credentialing program for the woodwork industry.

During the three-day summit, WAC members discussed the characteristics and functions of developing performance standards and methods to measure performance levels of woodworking skills. "Action plans for the next five years were developed to keep the outstanding momentum we have created continuing and growing," reports Scott Nelson, WCA President, and JCEO of Central Plains Millwork, Inc. of Lincoln, NE.

WCA announced that a pilot manual is currently in production and that it plans to have a version finalized by the end of the year.

Find out more about the advantages of Skill Standards for maintaining the reputation of today’s woodwork manufacturing industry and sustaining industry professionalism in the future at www.woodworkcareer.org.
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Safety Matters

Missed the Combustible Dust Webinar?

If you missed the Combustible Dust Webinar this month please note that a copy of the PowerPoint Presentation is available on the AWI Web site.

This Webinar launched the 2009 series of safety related webinars developed and delivered by CNA, AWI’s safety insurance partner. Please visit the "Members Only" section of the AWI Web site to review the Combustible Dust Webinar presentation as well as the other Safety and Loss Prevention resources available to AWI members.

The webinars are designed for shop employees and are available at no cost to AWI members. The AWI Insurance & Safety Committee invites members to attend and participate in these online sessions. Each webinar in the series will be offered twice to accommodate schedules and work shifts.

Mark your calendar for the upcoming 2009 Safety Webinars:

Slips/Falls
Learn housekeeping tips, shoe selection and stacking ideas for prevention of slips and falls.
Broadcasting June 1, 2009, repeating June 5, 2009

Struck By/Against
Learn where to look for hazards and what you can do to minimize losses.
Broadcasting August 3, 2009, repeating August 7, 2009

Motion is Money…Controlling Back Injuries
Learn how to safeguard your body and go home feeling good.
Broadcasting November 2, 2009, repeating November 6, 2009
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OSHA Reminds Employers to Post Injury and Illness Summaries

On February 1, employers were to begin posting a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred last year.

Employers are only required to post the Summary (OSHA Form 300A) – not the OSHA 300 Log – from February 1 to April 30, 2009. Copies of OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301 are available on the OSHA Record-keeping Web page.
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Green Scene

Learn, Exchange Ideas & Information, Pose Questions for AWI Members

Watch for the March issue of AWI NewsBriefs to learn about one company’s success and philosophy about "green" initiatives. In the meantime, tap into AWI’s LinkedIn online communications resource to get answers to your business and industry questions.

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Learn from others. Comment about issues posted. Share your ideas and expertise with the community of AWI members. Join the AWI LinkedIn Group online. It’s free and easy to join.

AWI wishes to use this new online service vehicle to facilitate quick and simple discussion among members. To join this free service, that is spam-free, visit linkedin.com.
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ANSI Approves National Green Building Standard

The National Green Building Standard™ (ICC 700-2008) for all residential construction work including single-family homes, apartments and condos, land development and remodeling and renovation has been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The National Green Building Standard is the first green building rating system to be approved by ANSI, making it the benchmark for green homes. The standard defines what green practices can be incorporated into residential development and construction on a national scale and how home owners can operate and maintain their green homes.

As part of the stringent process required by ANSI, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the International Code Council assembled a fully inclusive and representative consensus committee composed of a broad spectrum of builders, architects, product manufacturers, regulators and environmental experts. This group deliberated the content of the standard for more than a year, held four public hearings and evaluated more than 2,000 public comments submitted for consideration.

The NAHB Research Center, an ANSI Accredited Standards Developer, administered the development of the standard. The Research Center also administers a national verification and certification program for green homes through NAHBGreen, the NAHB National Green Building Program, and can now offer certification for residential projects to this new standard.

A teleconference about the National Green Building Standard took place on February 5.  

Interested parties may listen to a full replay of the teleconference by calling 877-344-7529 and entering 427664 followed by the # sign when prompted for the account number. The replay will be accessible until 5:00 pm today, February 19.
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How Many See Green Building Growing

It seems to be universally agreed within the architectural woodwork industry that "green" is good in general and for wood in particular.

A February 9th edition of ISWonline reported on green building trends, increased education about green, what it really is, and studies about relevant certification. Click here to review, "Green Building Branches Out." (subscription required)
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AWI Building “Green” Issue Resource Online

Sustainable building is all the rage. Woodworkers can profit from it AND sell the benefits of using wood.

We are building a Wiki, including information on the new Construction Specification Institute (CSI) GreenFormat here. Check it out; get involved; tell us what you think.
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Online Study Resource for LEED® AP

Those seeking LEED Accredited Professional (AP) designation can tap into a free online resource for a study guide, practice tests, and more.

Visit www.intheleed.com.
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Member News

Registration Deadline Extended for LIGNA World Fair Excursion

There is still time to register for the international tour announced by Stiles Machinery in conjunction with the LIGNA World Fair for the Forestry and Wood Industries which will be held May 18-22, 2009 in Hanover, Germany. Registration has been extended to March 5.

Stiles Machinery and AWI are offering an all-inclusive tour package with airfare, ground transportation, accommodations, meals, translators, LIGNA registration fees, and much more for the low price of $2,995 per person. With all the business challenges and opportunities in the marketplace, experiences such as this tour can help you stay ahead of the game.

Registration is limited to 30. Click here for full details and to register. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please contact Lorraine Bush at 616.698.7500 or at lbush@stilesmachinery.com.
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Federal Scene

Economic Stimulus Bill Breakdown of Construction Funds

Last week it was touch and go whether Congress would agree to a massive Economic Stimulus bill. But after what appeared like a made-for-television drama, the Senate and House finally reached a compromise on nearly an $800 billion funding package to create jobs, stimulate spending, and provide tax breaks. The President signed the bill into law on February 17. Find out who gets what funds, particularly for construction.

According to an American Institute of Architects (AIA) estimate, about $130 billion of the funds approved are earmarked for construction-related spending. To view the breakdown, click here for access to "The Final Stimulus Bill, Sector by Sector," published in Architectural Record (subscription required).

The Associated General Contractors’ (AGC) ief economist estimated that "every $1 billion invested in infrastructure projects would create over 28,500 new direct and indirect jobs." AGC, the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) and other construction coalition partners, urged Congress to include buildings, in addition to roads and bridges, in the definition of infrastructure.

During the heavy lobbying period, AIA raised questions about how "ready-to-go" building is defined. Another issue, AIA said, is the ability of government contracting agents to handle a heavy load of projects in the pipeline.
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Chapter News

Upcoming Chapter Events

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities? Learn about the upcoming events sponsored by AWI Florida, Ohio Valley, Carolinas, Chicago, Texas, Central Pennsylvania, and New Mexico Chapters.

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 Florida Chapter
When: February 20, 2009
Program: Winter Plant Tour and Board of Directors Meeting
Where: TBA
Information: Phone – 813.977.6683

AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
When:
February 22, 2009
Program: LEED®/Sustainability
Presenter: Margaret Fisher, LEED authority and Market Development Manager at Saunders Wood Specialties
Where: TBA
Information: For key chapter contacts visit awinet.org

AWI Carolinas Chapter
When: February 27, 2009 (all day)
What: 40th Anniversary AWI Carolinas Chapter Gala (including meeting, tour of Childress Vineyards, RCR Museum and Race Shop and dinner)
Where: Holiday Inn Express at the Vineyards, Lexington, NC
Information: Kristine Cox, kcox@awicarolinas.org

AWI Chicago Chapter
When: March 11, 2009 (5:30 pm)
What: Dinner Meeting with Featured Speaker and Hafele Showroom Open House
Where: 154 W. Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL
Information: Homer Lathrop, Chicago Chapter President, homerlathrop@sbcglobal.com

AWI Texas Chapter

When: March 16-17, 2009
What: "LEED® & the NEW Architectural Woodwork Standards"
Presenter: Margaret Fisher, LEED authority and Market Development Manager at Saunders Wood Specialties
Where: AIA, Austin, TX
Registration: $95 per person through March 1;
$125 per person after March 1
Information: Phone – 512.452.4332; www.aiaaustin.org

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
When: March 18, 2009 (3:30 pm – 4:00 pm seminar on Standards)
What: Central PA Chapter – CSI, 34th Annual Exhibitor’s Show & Seminar on the NEW Architectural Woodwork Standards
Presenter: Joe Sorrelli (AWI President – 1993-1994)
Where: Radison Hotel, Camp Hill, PA
Registration: Free, but reservations are required by March 16, 2009
Information: Click here for details and to register
Questions: Garry Astles, Central PA Chapter President, phone - 717.503.6295

AWI New Mexico Chapter and Sherwin Williams
When:
March 20, 2009
What: "Touch Up Solutions" Seminar
Where: Casework Technologies, Albuquerque, NM
Information: Click here for details
Questions: Shelly Hardwood at sharwood@acie.com

AWI chapters are encouraged to plan their events early to allow for ample promotion of your event in this section of e-briefs as well as through other avenues. Alert Greg Bednar, AWI Chapter Development Services, about your upcoming events via e-mail at gbednar@awinet.org.

 


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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published March 5, 2009.


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