Door and Moulding Execs Talk Supply and “Unprecedented Challenges” Amid High DemandMarch 4th, 2021 by Tara Taffera
When members of the door, moulding and millwork industry gathered last week to talk about the current state of the market, a few themes reigned supreme. Door sales are robust, companies are busy serving current customers, rather than looking for or taking on new ones, and huge challenges in material availability, particularly lumber, prevail. This is all happening while companies reported record setting 2020 sales, and positive predictions for 2021, with a dose of uncertainty thrown in. The conversations took place during a virtual state of the industry meeting hosted by the Moulding and Millwork Producers Association (MMPA).
“2020 was a great year but there are concerns that the second half of 2021 may not be as strong as the vaccine continues to roll out, and people start using their money for vacations instead of home repairs,” said Al Delbridge, president at ECMD in Wilkesboro, N.C.
Tim Dykstra, business manager at Royal Mouldings, agreed that everyone is cautious about what is going to happen post vaccine. Others, including Philip Menzner, owner at Menzner Hardwoods in Marathon, Wis., predict a healthy industry well into 2022. And with strong demand across the board, several executives say their focus is on serving existing customers, leaving no time for targeting new ones.
“We’re certainly not looking for new customers at this point,” said Mike Chausse, vice president at Vi-Lux Building Products in Ontario, who voiced a U.S. and Canadian perspective. “Demand is strong across the board including the door manufacturing business and this will continue into 2022.”
“We are not going after new customers,” added Fabio Eidt, vice president of international sales for BrasPine in Brazil. “We just can’t do it as there is not enough capacity.”
Regarding that high demand for doors, Brooks Dame, vice president of the door division with Woodgrain Millwork in Fruitland, Idaho, said there is “some shortage on the door skin side, and delays on the off shore side for doors.”
All of this is because demand is so high. The door business is growing significantly,” said Stuart Rhodes, vice president sales and marketing at EverMark, LLC in Suwanee, Ga.
As challenging as it may be to find materials, MDF included, almost every participant talked about struggling to find lumber as the main challenge that will continue well into the year, and even into 2022. A few executives predict that supply won’t start to balance out until the middle of 2022.
“It’s all about getting wood,” said Jeff Cobb, vice president of operations for Haley Brothers in San Bernadino, Calif. “We have been continually reaching out to customers to let them know what lead times look like.”
“This is unprecedented over my 40 years,” said John Morrison, president of Sunset Mouldings in Yuba City, Calif., referencing the high demand. “I have never experienced anything like this mountain we are climbing.”
“It’s unprecedented where the availability of material is right now,” added Craig Young, sales manager at TLC Mouldings in Willacoochee, Ga.
The MMPA’s next meeting will be held in person in Kansas City, Mo., on April 19-20. Discussions will include the global market, innovation and automation and labor.