Change at Association Reflects Shifting Market
After inviting producers of PVC millwork products to its meetings two years ago, the Wood Moulding & Millwork Producers Association voted officially to drop “Wood” from the association’s name this past August. “Our membership realized the moulding and millwork substrate may be different, but the same marketing, freight, human resource and distribution challenges face wood, MDF and PVC producers,” states Kellie Schroeder, CEO and executive vice president.
“Composites are the shiny, new toy in the toy chest, and the MMPA views their launch into the marketplace with excitement,” she says. “[The] question of whether or not composites will be able to reign supreme in the years to come will be played out in the promotion and marketing of those products as composites manufacturers establish themselves within the industry.”
Schroeder acknowledges that the initial entry into the market for composites has been a strong one, but she also points out that builders should not forget the long track record of wood.
“Wood and MDF moulding and millwork are known performance enhancements in the marketplace with great value-added benefits for the homes in which they are installed,” she states. “Composites are now positioning themselves for a turn on the big stage, and the package they offer to buyers is turning heads.”
The new MMPA itself is gearing up to serve manufacturers of all types of products. “Raw material supply sourcing and predictions for solid, finger joint, MDF and PVC mouldings cannot be rolled out in one session, obviously,” Schroeder notes. “Knowing we will have four types of manufacturers looking for education from us, we have elected to instigate a wish list from the membership.” As MMPA grows its Poly Blends Group (PVC, polyurethane, polystyrene, composite, plastic, etc.), it is asking new members and prospects what their objectives in attending or joining the group are.
Schroeder notes an open invitation to all synthectic millwork manufacturers and their suppliers is on the table for MMPA’s next winter business meeting, scheduled for next March in Lake Las Vegas, Nev. The group has already made some changes since initially inviting non-wood product suppliers. “Meeting participation only within your substrate category has been replaced,” Schroeder notes. “Our members recognize the unique opportunity they have each time they attend one of our business meetings. The wood and MDF producers are intrigued by the poly blends session and vice versa. The poly producers sit in on the wood and MDF sessions to gain insight into what is affecting those markets, and are taking that information back to their companies to share in future marketing and business plans.”
The association now is predicting “an interesting time as the four types of manufacturers sit down together and share their views on the moulding and millwork market” over the next couple of years. Information about the MMPA and its upcoming winter business meeting is available at www.wmmpa.com.
(This article was prepared as a sidebar to a feature in our November issue looking at the growth of synthetic millwork in the market in general.)