Exploring Offshore Moulding Market Opportunities
by Kellie Schroeder
As 2011 begins to wind down, the Moulding and Millwork Producers
Association (MMPA) is contemplating the past nine months. What have we
learned from this year and its market? What should be on the manufacturer’s
radar for 2012?
There still is a moulding and millwork market in the United States, it
is just not as robust as we would like and we expect more of the same
next year. What opportunities may we create for ourselves in light of
the current economical climate? One option is to explore offshore markets
Investigating the Opportunities
There are pockets of growth bringing to life vibrant communities elsewhere
in the world. We hear snippets of news regarding fiber and other raw materials
consumption. Whispers of stable economies are in the news—infrequently,
but the reports are there. Houses are still being built, lumber is being
sold and do-it-yourself stores are expanding on foreign shores. One of
MMPA’s goals for 2012 is to find those markets through exploration of
trade shows and meetings with offshore buyers.
The subsidiary goal of the foreign trade exploration is to assist our
moulding manufacturers not currently exporting their product to do so.
This coming March, the MMPA will hold its Winter Business Meeting at Loews
Coronado Bay Resort near San Diego. This meeting will feature a workshop
on the steps a manufacturer must take to become a successful exporter.
Additionally, manufacturers requiring further one-on-one export assistance
may sign up for an expert session during the MMPA’s Productivity Information
Exchange (PIE) event the day after the export how-to session. The PIE
event is headed up by key top suppliers to moulding manufacturers who
offer sales-free education on personalized topics.
are still being built, lumber is being sold and do-it-yourself stores
are expanding on foreign shores."
Attend a Trade Show—Abroad
The MMPA’s foreign and domestic committee continually identifies various
foreign trade shows for potential sales leads. Members of the MMPA travel
overseas to explore emerging or stable markets, then report back to the
membership their findings during the association’s business meetings.
There are export sales success stories resulting from these offshore efforts,
which the association hopes to spread among all of its members by getting
them on planes to interact with foreign buyers.
The offshore focus will not supplant the manufacturers’ domestic customers,
but will round out the order file, which has been slim in 2011. Logistics
for overseas travel is handled through the association’s foreign and domestic
program; member manufacturers only need to sign up to commit to working
a trade show, and the rest of the itinerary is handled by the association.
There are travel dollars available to those members working the foreign
trade shows to promote mouldings and millwork, which help offset the cost
of going overseas. Members find they can travel with the MMPA to various
countries or, at a discounted rate, compared to going on their own.
If you are a manufacturer of moulding (wood, MDF or poly blend), and have
an interest in learning how to export with the goal of expanding your
sales reach to offshore markets by traveling with the MMPA, contact the
association office. We expect the PIE appointments (there are only eight
available) will go quickly on a first-come basis with paid registration
to the winter business meeting.
The MMPA staff is exhibiting at the AMD trade show in October. If you
have questions regarding the association or its programs, please stop
by booth 118. We would be happy to speak to you regarding our PIE business
and educational meetings, price index reporting and foreign market exploration.
Additionally, if you are a poly blend moulding manufacturer, ask us about
our energetic Poly Blends Group chaired by Bob Simon of Gossen Corp. with
vice chair Tina Mealer of Fypon. If you manufacture mouldings, we want
to talk to you.
Kellie Schroeder, CMP, CAE, is executive vice president of the
Moulding and Millwork Producers Association.
© Copyright 2011 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.