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Business profile: TMA keeps timber industry strong

April 7th, 2015

Timber Merchants Association (TMA) Executive Director, Eric Siegers says the TMA is keeping the timber industry strong by “confronting the realities of the current market”.

“Customers and consumers are changing, and the TMA is becoming a driving force to meet the new market dynamic,” Siegers told EmployersFIRST.
Industry matters currently under review by the TMA include the tools industry needs to keep businesses competitive, responsive, and profitable. This means learning more and engaging with the customer in a way the industry has never done before, Siegers says.

While the future is important, so too are the traditions and values that underpin the Australian timber industry.

Siegers told EmployersFIRST a key priority in the TMA’s forward planning for the industry is ensuring change is not at the expense of the many family-run timber businesses.

“They are the backbone of the sector and the economy. Helping businesses understand the market and build customer connections is what makes for a strong industry. By having access to information that allows small to medium sized businesses know their market goes a long way to helping these business build strong propositions in a sector dominated by big box stores,” he said.

Information technology is proving a blessing in this regard, combined with the advancement of mobile technology, accessible information and an improved range of inexpensive tools that help the TMA  support businesses and their customers.
First Super is also doing its bit to secure the future of TMA members, offering a wide range of services that enable employers and employees to accumulate wealth through the business for retirement.

Education all important

The TMA, meantime, is committed to ensuring that the merchants, and their customers have access to information that enables businesses to help and respond to the more sophisticated consumer. This focus on continuing education is represented in a number of courses and programs. Timber Training Creswick (TTC), for example, was established in 1987 for the purpose of providing a training sawmill for the forest products industry. It offers nationally accredited courses ranging from Certificate II to Diploma level, with modular training blocks of appropriate competencies for work functions. The TMA Timber Product Knowledge Course offers an overview of the timber industry to participants and expand their product knowledge to offer better customer advice and service.

Along with the work being done with the available training for merchants and allied businesses, the TMA is also working with customer groups such as builders and architects to inform and upskill on products and services so they can respond to the more sophisticated consumer.  In August 2015, the TMA will hold training sessions for small construction businesses across the state of Victoria in conjunction with the state run small business festival.

“This work is important, it is aimed to build competence, build communication and importantly keep small industry businesses competitive and by keeping an holistic view of the supply chain at all times, keeps the business relevant,” Siegers said.

If you want to find out more about these services or the TMA, contact either Ingrida Matulis or TMA executive director Eric Siegers to register your interest on 03 9875 5000 or email erics@timber.asn.au.

This publication was issued by First Super Pty Ltd (ABN 42 053 498 472, AFSL 223988), as Trustee of the First Super superannuation fund (ABN 56 286 625 181). It does not consider your personal circumstances and may not be relied on as investment advice. Content was accurate at the date of issue, but may subsequently change. You should contact us on 1300 360 988 for updated information and to obtain a copy of the product Disclosure Statement.