2021 is definitely looking up! Due to what some would call a boomerang effect of COVID, a lot of delayed or postponed construction projects were moved into the early part of 2021. Many of the largest wood product producers say that they are seeing a rise in business with 2021 sales projected to outpace 2020. We can confirm that with what we are seeing, 2021 is most certainly on track to quickly outpace 2020!
Even with all these positives there are still some negatives, and yes you probably guessed it, pricing and availability! Shipping and freight continue to be a big problem with many of our suppliers struggling to get reliable ship dates, or to even get ship dates at all. And from what we’ve experienced ourselves just within the last few weeks, costs on MDF and particle board have gone up significantly. From a recent article on Woodworkingnetwork.com the president of the AWI had this to say: “To be successful, closely monitor your costs, both material and labor, and try to find ways to stabilize the fluctuations and create certainty in an uncertain world. Talk with your clients early about the challenges facing our industry, negotiate contractual protections to level demand and cost volatility, and negotiate deposits to try and lock in pricing. Track your markets to see how they are trending. Watch the leading indicators that provide insight into future sales for your company and pursue and develop opportunities there. Finally, closely monitor both profitability and most importantly cash flows to ensure that you can continue to remain liquid and viable to delivering on your projects.” This is sound advice from an industry expert.