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AWI survey sees better business conditions emerging

The Architectural Woodwork Institute released its 2014 Cost of Doing Business Survey and Compensation Study in July, which suggests an improving environment among architectural woodwork business owners.

The survey is an industry-specific financial benchmarking tool for AWI members, which allows them to compare industry averages of financial earnings and also compensation. The survey was enhanced into a Web-based delivery several years ago that AWI officials say increased its value by showing several years of data results.

AWI is a non-profit trade association that represents nearly 4,000 members consisting of architectural woodworkers, suppliers, design professionals and students from around the world. Companies surveyed include AWI manufacturing members who do any and all kinds of interior custom wood projects in residential homes and commercial institutions. There are currently 1,009 manufacturing companies registered as members with the AWI; 101 participated in this year’s survey.

AWI senior director of operations Teresa McCain says the survey was first launched in 1999 and that this year AWI officials saw the highest level of participation in 10 years.

“During the recession, it was hard to get people to look at their numbers again. I kept hearing people say they didn’t even want to bother. This year we’ve seen a significant increase in participation,” McCain says.

“There’s a lot of benchmarking comparisons in gross sales, by region of the country, by number of employees and also by the 25 percent most profitable companies. This shows other companies how certain improvements can impact their bottom line. Some people use it as part of their management routine and look at it monthly or quarterly. There is also a part on compensation by job description which tells readers what people are being paid in different parts of the country, what types of bonuses they’re given, etc.”

Three quarters of the respondents say business conditions are favorable. Capital investments are up, while about a third of the high profit firms responding plan to invest more than $100,000 in the next year Also, 29 percent of respondents plan on increasing their workforce by 10 percent or more in the next 12 months.

Complete survey results area available from AWI.

Contact: Architectural Woodwork Institute. Tel: 571-323-3636.

This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue.

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