Like many industries, lumber and building material dealers are faced with many competing responsibilities. Unfortunately, sometimes important items are given less emphasis, time, and funding in favor of other items that appear to affect a company's “bottom line” more directly. Frequently, one of these cast-off items is risk management—namely safety, contract negotiation, and insurance coverage. But risk management is important not only for the obvious reason of reducing everyday threats, but in the long-term it also can be an added source of productivity and revenue.

NLBMDA is hearing from many dealers that risk management is important to them, but that there are few resources available and there is little employee time and company money to spend creating programs to train and educate employees on the different aspects of risk management.

In response, NLBMDA has formed the Risk Management Committee (RMC) to help dealers share best practices, create new products and services, and receive timely information on major risk management issues facing the industry. The RMC is seeking members involved in risk management to help plan projects and contribute ideas. The committee will host meetings with experts to discuss the latest risk management techniques, and members will receive information on best safety practices, trends in builder contracts, and resources for avoiding losses and reducing insurance premiums. Most importantly, the RMC will provide a way for dealers to exchange information and learn from each other.

The first meeting of the RMC will be Sept. 23 during the NLBMDA/PROSALES Industry Summit in Palm Beach, Fla. Anyone interested in these issues is invited to attend. For more information on the meeting and other RMC activities, please contact me at 800.634.8645 or —T. J. Cantwell is director, regulatory and industry affairs, for NLBMDA.