The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association is committed to bringing you the most up-to-date information in the industry. Here’s a look at what’s happening:
HOUSING IS SO HOT THAT U.S. BUILDERS HAVE TO STOP TAKING ORDERS
Long waiting lists, rising construction costs and labor shortages send new-home prices soaring.
Demand is so fevered -- and construction costs are climbing so quickly -- that overwhelmed builders are suppressing orders and shifting away from fixed prices. Companies including D.R. Horton Inc. and Lennar Corp. are experimenting with blind auctions in areas such as Texas, Florida and southern California. Some smaller firms have stopped signing contracts altogether.
“We’ve shut off sales until homes are nearly completed,” said Greg Yakim, a partner at CastleRock Communities, a privately held builder in Texas. “We have huge waiting lists.” Read more.
SUPPLY-CHAIN ISSUES CONTINUE TO HAUNT THE HOUSING INDUSTRY, WHILE THE COST OF MATERIALS IS AN EVER-GROWING CONCERN
This was readily apparent based on member feedback received from the Q1 2021 NKBA/John Burns Kitchen & Bath Market Index (KBMI) report. The two most persistent and concerning challenges are supply-chain disruptions and cost of materials. Rounding out the top three is availability of skilled labor, The only fourth-quarter concern that has shown a noticeable drop in the latest study is the one surrounding COVID-19. Read more.
WHAT IS A BRAND?
There’s a lot of talk about a company and its “brand” these days, and lots of money being spent trying to do what people call “branding.” One recent article pointed out that all marketing, especially advertising, works to enhance or modify brand image.
But, what is “brand” in the case of a manufacturer of cabinets, bath cabinets, or other residential cabinets who are members of KCMA? Is the manufacturer’s brand what drives sales and specifications, or do other factors like the power designer influence, showroom trends or even consumer demand drive the image? If you were to task ten people at random what brand of kitchen cabinet in their kitchen, how many would know? How many would mention YOUR brand? Read more.
LUMBER FIRMS APPLAUD, HOME BUILDERS ANGRY AS U.S. MOVES TO DOUBLE CANADIAN LUMBER TARIFFS
NAHB: Tariffs Shows White House Does Not Care About Housing Affordability
The U.S. Department of Commerce says it will seek to double tariff rates on most Canadian softwood lumber, angering home builders.
New rates vary by company. West Fraser goes from 9 percent to 11.4 percent, Canfor from 4.6 to 21 percent, Resolute Forest from 20.3 to 30.2 percent, and J.D. Irving from 4.2 to 15.8 percent.
The overall increase is from 9 percent to 18.32 percent.
Home builders, who had been urging for a removal of tariffs, expressed their disappointment. Read more.
SKILLS GAP THREATENS HEALTH OF MANUFACTURING SECTOR
A new study launched by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute (MI), warned that if the skills gap persists, 2.1 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled in the U.S. by 2030, and could cost the U.S. economy $1 trillion.
The Study Concludes Finding Talent is 36% Harder Than in 2018
"Analysis found that through the end of 2020, warehouse and storage not only recovered all of the jobs initially displaced by the early months of the pandemic, but they went on to add another 100% of jobs. These types of jobs are in direct competition to entry-level manufacturing production roles." Read more.
WORKSHOP FOR WARRIORS IS REBUILDING AMERICAN MANUFACTURING, ONE VETERAN AT A TIME
Workshops for Warriors (WFW) is a GuideStar platinum-rated 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides training for veterans, wounded warriors and transitioning service members to fill America’s void of qualified CNC machining, 3-D printing, welding and advanced manufacturing workers.
The program provides veterans with extensive hands-on training on state-of-the-art equipment to gain employment in their chosen field. Students earn nationally recognized third-party credentials in welding and machining, going on to become mill and lathe operators, parts designers and programmers.
There are currently 2.3 million U.S. manufacturing jobs that go unfilled each year. In 10 years, that demand will grow to 3.5 million. Workshops for Warriors addresses this need directly. Students earn stackable, portable credentials that allow them to obtain careers anywhere in the USA. Read more.