EDITORS NOTE: Strength by Association

By / 1 year ago

A lot of things have changed in the past quarter century, but I remain a firm believer in the unique role that our associations play.

My introduction to this industry dates back to early 1990, with a two-month contract position working for the former Building Material Retailer (which was the official magazine of the National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association—NLBMDA). At the time, I knew something about business and journalism, but next to nothing about the LBM industry. One of the first lessons I learned is the important role of associations in our industry. A lot of things have changed in the past quarter century, but I remain a firm believer in the unique role that our associations play.

That’s why every issue of LBM Journal has at least two pages devoted to NLBMDA. The first is a page with highlights of the association’s legislative and regulatory efforts. If you’re concerned about issues like the EPA’s Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule, or competing against online sellers who don’t charge sales tax, or any of the myriad ways that government affects your business—then NLBMDA is working on your behalf. This month’s coverage, which begins on page 70, recaps NLBMDA’s annual Spring Meeting, which includes dealers like you visiting their representatives on Capitol Hill. If you’re not involved with NLBMDA, the best place to start is with your local or regional LBM association. Drop me a line at Rick@LBMJournal.com, and I’ll be happy to steer you in the right direction.

While NLBMDA is the one national association focused on the needs of lumberyards and other LBM dealers, there are other associations that affect our industry as well. One step up the supply chain, the North American Wholesale Lumber Association (NAWLA), represents the interests of LBM wholesalers and manufacturers. The Commentary on page 6 serves as a nice introduction to NAWLA’s role in our industry.

In our latest readership survey, 88.3% of readers report selling to remodelers (compared to custom builders, who came in at 84.1%). Considering the importance of remodelers to your business, LBM Journal serves as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s (NARI) official magazine for the distribution channel. As part of that relationship, each issue includes exclusive insights from remodelers on what they want from you. This month, read “What Remodelers Want,” by Steven J. Carasso on page 16.

For the more than 90% of readers who sell decking products, one more association that deserves your attention is the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA). (Full disclosure: I serve on NADRA’s board of directors.) Now in its 10th year, NADRA is focused on strengthening the deck industry through education, training and industry outreach. In recognition of May being Deck Safety Month, there’s a pull-out poster (sponsored by Wolmanized Wood, GRK Fasteners and LBM Journal) focused on deck safety intended for display in your showroom.

If you’re not actively involved with an industry association, I strongly encourage you to get involved. Stronger associations mean a stronger industry. And that benefits each one of us.


Rick Schumacher

Rick Schumacher is the editor and publisher of LBM Journal, and has more than 24 years experience covering the industry. Rick@LBMJournal.com