A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing
& Supplier Members
January 19, 2012

New CODBS Makes Participation Easier, More Rewarding

The new Web-based AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey (CODBS) offers exciting new benefits to participants in 2012. Give it a try to gain better control of your business costs...and profit margins!

The new format creates a confidential database of your financial information which allows for trend analysis over the years. And, a new "Lite" version of CODBS will ease participation for newcomers to the survey.

According to AWI Financial Management Committee Chair Sebastien DesMarais, past participants in the CODBS have suggested improvements that the NEW Web-based tool should meet including:
  • increased participation;
  • ability to track year-over-year trending;
  • more user-friendly instruction.


Benefits of the New CODBS Format

The new Web-based survey will make participation easier, faster, more useful, and more secure for all participants, with the following exciting new features:

  • Creates a fully secure, online database of your company’s financials. If you have participated in the past three (3) years, this data will be automatically pre-populated for you into the database. In future years, the database will maintain all of your subsequent CODB survey data, giving you a powerful trend-analysis tool.
  • Replaces the previous CD handout, allowing you to compare your results across different industry breakouts (for example, by revenue levels, profitability levels, region, etc.), as well as the ability to export and print these unique reports and trend data. Participating members will continue to receive the complimentary Cost of Doing Business Survey and Compensation Study results book.
  • Allows multiple users to enter data, take notes for future reference, and save partially completed surveys for later completion.
  • Contains built-in help features that will clarify most of your questions on how to enter and group your data, as well as built-in error checking to alert you of potential errors.
  • Includes complimentary pre- and post-survey webinars to ease participation, data entry, and understanding and use of the results.

As in the past, data entered into the new online system will be kept private and will continue to be maintained independent of AWI, by the consulting firm Inverra. Neither AWI nor any other member will ever have access to your private financial data, only annualized averages of all participants.

CODBS "Lite"

In 2012, there is a financial management tool for everyone! To ease participation into the annual Cost of Doing Business Survey, AWI is offering a "Lite" survey version for eligible new participants. While all members can take the full version of the survey, eligibility for the "Lite" version will be limited to companies who either have never participated in the CODBS or have not participated in the past three years. "CODBS ’Lite’ will be a much quicker survey to complete that will not require the detailed financial and HR breakouts that the full survey requires. It is estimated to take only 10-15 minutes to complete," Mr. DesMarais said.

More Details

The survey will launch March 15,
one month later than in previous years.  Watch for e-mails inviting participation of all AWI Manufacturing Members.

Read more both versions of the 2012 CODBS in the January edition of AWI NewsBriefs, AWI’s monthly print newsletter for members. It should arrive in your mailbox this week.

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Business Tools

Why Do AWI Manufacturing Members Consider the CODBS Vital for Business Growth?

Find out how Lange Bros. uses the AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey results. 

Lange Bros. has participated in the AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey for years. It is a good roadmap that allows us to benchmark and measure not only our company trends over time but also our company’s trends compared with our industry’s high-profit firms. After filing our corporate taxes we are using the data to get the most current picture of our financial situation as possible. It’s so important during these economically uncertain times.

Participation in the survey is even more critical during bad times. When firms with consistent trend lines over the years experience changes in those figures, the CODBS Report can help reveal what is either going right or wrong. The figures will also show opportunities for change to keep your firm on course with high-profit firms in the industry. And, if you are a high-profit firm, you want to maintain that status especially when forces outside of your control may be adversely impacting your bottom line.

When you download your figures side-by-side with industry averages you can reflect on your operating costs, margins, and other practices, and get some creative ideas for tweaking your business strategy. The CODBS is the best benefit of membership we receive from AWI.

Randy Lange
Lange Bros. Woodwork Co., Inc.
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Get a Grip on Your Cost of Doing Business: Start with AWI’s FREE CODBS Webinar

Who cares about the AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey? Savvy woodworkers and other high-profit firms do...and you should too! Get started during an AWI CODBS webinar, February 1.

Gain better control of your business costs...and profit margins! Discover the answers...in your own financials. This is the year to participate in the CODBS in either the full version or the NEW "Lite" version.

Now, more than ever, during these challenging economic times, you need to understand how your costs can eat away at your profits. Discover the answers...right in front of you in your own financials.

Registration is now open for a complimentary AWI webinar for new and continuing CODBS participants. If you have any questions, please contract AWI Senior Director of Operations Teresa McCain at tmccain@awinet.org.

WEBINAR: "Who Cares about the CODBS?"
February 1, 2012
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST
Registration: Click here

Sebastien DesMarais, CFO, Hollywood Woodwork, and Chair, AWI Financial Management Committee

Benefits of participating:
  • To keep current in your industry
  • To educate you and your employees on financial intelligence
  • Know what your competition knows ... separate yourself from your competition
  • Learn how to manage your business using your financials; how to make informed decisions based on data
  • Use it as an outline for getting your tradesmen to understand business and finance. Consultants are expensive, this is free

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A Roadmap for Reconnecting with Past Customers & Aged Prospect Lists

Aged data from trade shows, lead lists and more still offer opportunities for capturing new sales leads.

Even if you haven’t used the data in years, it can be useful, according to Sales & Marketing Update (free subscription).  “To help you understand the potential and steps to take to revitalize these target lists, Response Point has written a white paper entitled ‘Finding Diamonds in the Rough.’"

Click here to register to download the paper.
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What's the Talk This Week?

What are the hot topics this week among AWI members connecting on the AWI LinkedIn network, now over 1,600 participants strong? 

Some of the current topics being discussed:

  • Digital Social Media
  • Time Spent Online Doing Business
  • Improving Profitability
  • Employment Opportunities
  • Qualities of Finish Room Color Matcher Specialists
  • “Man-Cave” Designs Using Exotic Woods
  • Why People Fail
  • Equipment Goes to Auction
  • And much more...

Click into the forums anytime to find out what’s important among architectural woodworkers. The AWI LinkedIn home page is here. See what your peers are saying. If you’re not yet registered with LinkedIn, do it when you check out the current discussions. It’s free, a useful networking tool among AWI members.

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Noncompetitive Peer Groups Help Members Improve Business

AWI Best Practices Groups (BPGs) have been thriving for many years.  Learn what Rose Murphy of John Murphy Millworks, LLC says about their value.

Click here for her comments on AWI’s YouTube Channel.  Seven BPGs currently bring together eight to ten top management officials from across the country who discuss and mentor group members experiencing business challenges they may have confronted themselves.  Join a BPG by contacting AWI Project Manager Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org.  She’ll advise you about the requirements for participation, the logistics involved, the scope of group discussions.

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February 1 is the Deadline to Gain Honors, Recognition & Customers

Submit your beautiful project for inclusion in AWI’s Design Solutions Magazine as an “Award of Excellence” honoree.  There is still time to meet the February 1 deadline for submissions.

Custom Source Woodworks is a fall 2011 AOE honoree. One of the beautiful projects fabricated by the company is featured in the fall edition of Design Solutions Magazine. 

Pictured here is the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in New Orleans project featuring millwork by Custom Source Woodworks, Olympia, WA. The 10,000 sq. ft. steakhouse took approximately 10 months to design and construct.  Quarter sliced and sawn cuts of Mahogany brought added interest to the richness of the wood. African Sapele Obelisks at the entryway set the tone for elegance. Other views of the architectural woodwork throughout this project can be seen in the fall 2011 issue of Design Solutions.

Photo Credit: Marc Sanders, Lacey, WA

Visit the AWI Web site for information and submission forms for the upcoming (spring 2012) AWI "Award of Excellence" (AOE) program. The deadline is February 1, 2012. If you have any questions, contact Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org.

Use an AOE award to market your excellence and gain a competitive edge during these challenging times when others are seeking entry into your markets. All Manufacturing Members are eligible to participate. Gain exposure among the outstanding projects of AWI Manufacturing Members who are featured in Design Solutions Magazine, AWI’s official quarterly journal.

Benefits to AOE honorees include exposure in the online issue of Design Solutions Magazine which is open for business 24/7, plus distribution to more than 25,000 industry professionals. Design Solutions showcases, quality, professionalism and creativity among architectural woodworkers.
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AWI Learning Forum

Upcoming Webinar: “Making the Q Work for You”

Please join us for the upcoming one-hour AWI webinar at 2:00 pm on January 25.  Learn how to make certification work for you. 

WEBINAR: “Making the Q Work for You”
January 25, 2012
2:00 – 3:00 pm EST
Presenters: QCC’s Ashley Goodin and Greg Parham

Free of charge to AWI members
Limited Participation – Register Early
How to Participate: Contact AWI Communications Specialist Chelsea Vandenburgh at cvandenburgh@awinet.org.  E-mail your name and company name to register.

This is a how-to on project registration for woodworkers on the front end.  The presenters will discuss registering a project, who is ultimately responsible, and the advantages of registering early...and often.

Learn more about project registrations vs. certification orders and the timeline dictated by QCP Policies as well as the reasons for that timeline.  Achieve greater success with less hassle through teamwork and clear communication – before and during your certification process.

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Trade Shows / Forums

Setting Up a Finishing Department Training Program

According to Phil Stevenson, founder of AWFI, less than 10% of woodwork shops have an effective employee training program.  Learn about upcoming classes.

Upcoming AWFI Classes

  • Industrial Wood Finishing 1:  March 12-13, 2012
  • Advanced Industrial Wood Finishing II: March 14-16, 2012
  • Antiquing & Glazing III: April 9-10, 2012
  • Color Matching VII: April 11-13, 2012

Lean more by clicking here.

AWFI is a for profit organization that provides educational training, consulting, and process engineering for the industrial coatings application industry. 

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10th Anniversary Executive Briefing Conference

Network and explore visions for the future of the architectural woodwork industry – March 4-6, 2012 in Charlotte, NC.

The EBC provides a venue for businesses of all sizes to explore concepts, learn about new technologies, and discover opportunities in a non-commercial environment, with the goal of uncovering "What’s Now, What’s New, and What’s Next." Providing strategic and practical information to help solve manufacturing challenges, the EBC is an occasion to be introduced to new ways to succeed.

Visit www.stilesmachinery.com/ebc to register and for full details.  AWI is industry partner of Stiles Machinery for the 2012 EBC.
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Safety Matters

Concerned about Managing Risk?

AWI’s new online Safety Solutions Portal offers help. Check it out. “Time Savers” may be useful to you, along with the other resources online.

Stay current with OSHA regulations; locate safety training resources; find answers to your safety questions; reduce your risk potential. This exclusive AWI member benefit is accessible to all members in good standing via the new AWI Web site, www.awinet.org

Regardless of the current state of your plant safety program, the new AWI Safety Solutions Web portal is a resource you can turn to frequently for your company’s risk management needs.

AWI Safety Solutions will help you work smarter, reduce your costs, and make training easier. Thousands of tools save you time and reduce your concerns about your risk potential.

This one-stop AWI resource is open 24/7 providing all AWI Manufacturing and Supplier Members access to thousands of safety resources using a link within the "Members Area" of the AWI Web site. The vast majority of resources on the site (exclusive of custom-designed training programs, etc.) are readily accessible to AWI members.

Access the Safety Solutions Web portal by visiting www.awinet.org and logging in (at top right of the menu bar) to enter the "Members Area" using your NEW username and password.

Tips for Navigating Your Way around the Site & Finding Information:

Check out “Time Savers” by clicking on “Time Savers” on the main (top) menu bar.  “Time Savers” are any document that
helps you do your job better and faster. Prewritten forms, checklists, employee newsletters, and written plans save you preparation time and allow you to focus on keeping your employees safe.  You’ll find workplace safety management checklists, policies, forms, plans and more.
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2012 Heartwood Award Call for Nominations; Participant Winner Announced

CNA and AWI congratulate Mark Bernhard, with Bernhard Woodwork Ltd., for participating in the 2012 Heartwood Award call for nominations.  The nomination submission period is still open.

As a nomination drive participant, Mr. Bernhard’s name was drawn to receive the $250 Visa® gift card prize, sponsored by CNA.

Created by the AWI Insurance & Safety Committee, the Heartwood Award is presented to AWI member companies and suppliers for developing and implementing, in 2011, a product or process that introduces unique safety attributes to the woodworking discipline. Distinctive designs, practical applications and safety innovations are considered in determining a winner. In addition to gaining instant recognition as a woodworking safety and innovation pioneer, the 2012 Heartwood Award winner will be invited to demonstrate their product or process to AWI members.

If you missed out on the initial call for nominations, there's still time to recommend your fellow AWI member companies and suppliers for this distinctive safety award. Self nominations are also welcomed and encouraged. Simply visit www.cna.com/heartwoodaward to submit your 2012 nomination today. The Heartwood Award will be formally announced at the 2012 AWI Annual Convention, October 31 through November 2, in Phoenix, AZ.

Any taxes owed in connection with the incentive awards are the sole responsibility of the winners. This incentive award program is void where prohibited by law. CNA is a registered trademark of CNA Financial Corporation. 
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Chapter News

Business Contracts: Drilling down the Hidden Risks

Have you considered how business contracts could be exposing your woodworking operation? Take the opportunity to bring your AWI chapter members together to learn more about this very important issue.

Join Roger Wilson, Underwriting Consulting Director for CNA (AWI’s safety insurance partner), for an informative one-hour presentation that will explore the risk transfer and insurance coverage implications associated with both existing and new business contracts.

Click here for a flyer with more details.  To schedule this free presentation for your local AWI chapter today, contact Roger Wilson directly at 312-822-2645 or roger.wilson@cna.com.
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Upcoming Chapter Events

What’s happening in your local AWI chapters and architectural woodwork communities?

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. To reach any of the chapter officers for more information, click here.

AWI New England Chapter
When: January 24, 2012
What: Networking Reception & Associate Displays, Luncheon, Tabletop Exhibitors’ presentation, "The Evolution of Cabinetry, Door & Hardware" program
Sponsors: Häfele America & Raybern Company
Presenters: Charlie Spears, Häfele, Inc., and Paul Speight, Raybern Company
Where: Raybern Company, Charlestown, MA
Registration: See attached for details and to register
Information: Chapter Executive Director Tye Waller at tye.waller@neawi.org

AWI Wisconsin Chapter
When: January 29, 2012 (4:30 pm till)
What: Holiday Party to celebrate the season, the people and talents within the industry
Where: Matty’s Sports Bar & Grill  (backroom), New Berlin, WI
Information & Registration: Click here
Questions: Sarah Williamson, (p) 414-839-0903; swilliamson@back2design.com

AWI Carolinas Chapter
When: February 17, 2012 (9:00 am – 3:00 pm)
What: Irwin Industrial Tools Plant Tour & Brief Business Meeting
Program: Demonstrations and Hands-on Training of many Irwin woodworking tools
Where: Newell Rubbermaid Learning & Development, Huntersville, NC
Information: Click here
Questions : Chapter President Kristine Cox, (p) 336-887-0700 x24; kcox@awicarolias.org

AWI Washington Chapter
When: February 22, 2012 (5:00 pm)
What: Chapter Meeting & Plant Tour
Where: Sierra Forest Product, Kent, WA
Questions: Kirsten Ingham, kirsteni@pearsonmillwork.com

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
When: March 1, 2012 (6:00 – 8:00 pm)
What: "Then Commandments of Contract Management" program
Presenter: Michael P. Davis, Esq.
Where: C. Ted Lick Wildwood Conference Center, Harrisburg, PA
Information: See attached for details and registration
Fees: $35 pp, Chapter / AWI Members; $70 pp, Non AWI Members; Tabletop Exhibits - $100
Questions: Garry A. Astles, gastles@northwayind.com
; (p) 717-503-6295

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
When: May 10, 2012 (12:30 – 3:00 pm)
What: Lunch, Tabletop Exhibits, Presentation
Program: "QCP & the Architectural Woodwork Standards"
Presenter: Joe Sorrelli, President, Quality Certification Program
Where: C. Ted Lick Wildwood Conference Center, Harrisburg, PA
Information: See attached
Questions: Garry A. Astles, gastles@northwayind.com; (p) 717-503-6295

All chapters are encouraged to plan their events early to allow for ample promotion of your activities in this section of AWI e-briefs as well as through other avenues. Contact Greg Bednar, AWI Chapter Coordinator, at gbednar@awinet.org.

Members are encouraged to check chapter event listings in the most recent issue of AWI e-briefs, as well as with chapter officers and chapter Web sites for program changes. As plans become finalized, dates and presentations may change for chapter programs previously listed. This issue of AWI e-briefs contains the most current information available to AWI National.

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AWI News

What to Watch for in AWI e-briefs

Our twice monthly publication is being completely redesigned.  It will feature a new look, new features, and new functionality for our readers’ convenience.  What else will you find?  A poll and more.

New features in AWI e-briefs will be a periodic poll by which AWI members can express their views and opinions about a range of topics.  Plus, you’ll be able to rate articles for their usefulness, etc. And, don’t forget to use “Forward to a Friend;” this feature allows you to easily call attention to an article you wish to share with a colleague.

Stay tuned...for a new and improved AWI e-briefs in 2012!  It’s coming to your e-mail box soon.
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published February 2, 2012.
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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

Click on the sponsors below to visit their web sites! Get better acquainted with these AWI Supplier Members and generous supporters of AWI.
Stiles Machinery, Inc.
CNA Commercial Insurance

M. Bohlke Veneer

Chemcraft ®

Gemini Coatings, Inc.

M.L. Campbell Company
Adservco Group

Art For Everyday, Inc.

ETemplate Systems

Flexible Materials, Inc.

Häfele America Company

IMA / Schelling
American Alliance


Pollmeier, Inc

SCM Group North America

Sherwin-Williams Company

SL Laser Systems

Star Moulding & Trim Company

States Industries, Inc.

Waco Composites, Ltd


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May 3-4, 2012

AWI Speakers Bureau Training
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2012 AWI Annual Convention
Biltmore Hotel
Phoenix, AZ
Oct. 31 – Nov. 2

2012 Call for Nominations
AWI Heartwood Award

Click here to submit a

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Cautionary Disclaimer

The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) makes every effort to ensure that published information is accurate and current. Neither AWI, nor any content contributor, officer, or employee of AWI warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published in AWI News-Briefs and/or AWI e-briefs, nor endorses any products, services or other information resources linked from AWI’s editorial content and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information. Portions of the information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at their own risk.


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