Check out KCMA's recent column in the September/October issue of Kitchen & Bath Design News.
What’s Ahead for the Cabinet Industry (and the Organization That Supports it)
The start of this new decade looked a lot different than many people anticipated. The challenges facing our membership and this industry may look different, but the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) is as dedicated as ever to serving the domestic cabinet industry. This year we have actively worked with our member companies to gain insights on what is important to them to ensure the association’s programs serve the needs of the membership no matter what is happening in the world. Read on below for how KCMA adapted to an unprecedented year and what we expects to see in the future.
Resource for Critical Information
We can’t address what’s coming up for the industry without discussing the unprecedented state of turmoil the world has experienced since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. KCMA sought to support our members through this trying time by creating a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 updates at the Federal and state/local level. This serves as a central area for topics our members need to know about the pandemic including: Paycheck Protection Program, CDC Guidance documents, CARES Act, states’ guide to essential businesses, and much more. The site also features information from our own members on what they are doing within their companies to combat the spread of the virus and to protect their employees. KCMA provides up-to-the-minute information to the site and we remind our members of this benefit through social media and bi-weekly newsletters.
In addition, KCMA took the opportunity during this difficult time to bring even more value to our members through a new webinar program. Called “In the Know,” KCMA hosted a variety of webinars over the course of the last year focused on a variety of topics from how companies are handling covid-19, a presentation from the Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders, company culture, and much more.
Maintaining Quality and Green Standards
Part of KCMA’s mission is to establish and promote standards for the kitchen cabinet industry.
In 2020 (and beyond) KCMA will continue to promote the importance of third-party testing in the cabinet industry. A recent study by Hanley Wood shows that third-party certification is one of the top drivers in the cabinet selection process for builders and architects. In fact, KCMA’s Quality A161.1 Certification program is recommended by This Old House to give homeowners peace of mind that their kitchen and bathroom cabinets will stand up to the test of time.
In addition, in 2020 KCMA began using the latest version of the Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) Standard that has been updated to reflect recent industry shifts and changes. A committee made up of ESP-certified cabinet manufacturers periodically reviews the standard to ensure the requirements are still relevant to current regulations. For example, the standard has been updated for 2020 to reflect manufacturers with a program for recycling or reusing cabinets removed during a remodel, which keeps remodeling waste out of landfills, and manufacturers that have an environmental sustainability strategic plan, which demonstrates good corporate environmental stewardship.
Already in 2020 there have been several regulatory updates and changes impacting the industry. KCMA keeps a close watch on these issues so we can keep our members informed of critical information to their business:
- Environmental Protection Agency issues – Formaldehyde is one of the chemicals under review under the Toxic Substances Control Act. This impacts the level of formaldehyde (naturally occurring in wood) that cabinet manufacturers and panel producers are able to have in their products. KCMA has joined the Federal Wood Industry Coalition to address this issue
- Storm Water Discharges – KCMA has joined the Small Business Low-Risk Coalition to help protect our companies whose facilities discharge stormwater under a Federal or state-issued stormwater permit. EPA has proposed some onerous new requirements for chemical monitoring of grab samples at stormwater outfalls
Cabinetry Benchmarking Data
Throughout the year KCMA provides our members with access to surveys and research regarding cabinet industry trends and best practices to help them stay on the cutting-edge of the industry and ensure their businesses continue to grow.
Nowhere else in the industry can you find access to the benchmarking data that KCMA collects and analyzes on behalf of our members. We provide monthly Trend of Business reports measuring cabinet sales and showing each participant where they stand against their competition.
Other reports include: annual wage & labor statistics related to pay, benefits and wage increases; an annual safety survey that provides up-to-date statistics on safety practices in the industry; and an annual income and expense survey that helps members identify improvement opportunities in their business and easily identify gaps.
KCMA is excited to see what next year has in store for the cabinet industry. And just like the organization has done for the last 65 years, it will continue to advocate and provide valuable resources and information to the cabinet industry in the new decade.