Hardwood Blog

Perspectives and insights on the hardwood lumber industry.                     

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How to Build Trust in the Workplace

  • Monday, 08 October 2018 19:28
When you think of a workplace that contains a high degree of trust, what does that look like? It is true that employees who feel they are trusted in their skills, jobs, and judgment are often the ones that perform better and are willing to go above and beyond their job responsibilities. In addition to this, they are also much more invested in the success of the employer in the marketplace. So, what can stand…
The difference between tropical lumber dried overseas versus tropical lumber dried in the US is very noticeable. When you have lumber that has too dry or too wet, or perhaps even dried too fast, or too slow, it can cause a lot of problems during the manufacturing process. At American Lumber we work together with a group of trusted sawmill partners from Africa to Central and South America. These suppliers supply us with sustainably harvested…
The days of companies having a choice of whether or not to do business digitally are long gone. With the amount of data that is available, access to this data allows you to continue to grow. It also increases efficiency on day to day business operations, this makes participating in the digital transformation a necessity to keeping up with competitors. Collecting and analyzing data regularly is often a practice of successful companies. And with today’s…

How Width Sort Tallying Makes a Difference

  • Tuesday, 04 September 2018 18:53
Not all width sorts are the same. Those that are newer to the hardwood lumber industry might be surprised by the subtle differences that different hardwood suppliers have when sorting and packaging width sorted product. And these differences can really make an impact on the value of a load of hardwood lumber. Width sorting is a common hardwood industry practice across all species and grades. The purpose of this is to provide manufacturers with lumber…

5 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement

  • Tuesday, 07 August 2018 15:21
There is no doubt that employee engagement in the workplace is important. But recently, there has been evidence that engagement is not where businesses would like it to be. The lack of engagement can have a rippling effect that can be felt throughout the entire company. And it can often lead to additional time spent on recruitment, interviewing and hiring of new employees. Many companies face this challenge and the hardwood lumber industry is no…

What About Basswood?

  • Thursday, 02 August 2018 17:42
When people think of hardwoods the first species that come to mind seem to be Red Oak, White Oak, Walnut, Cherry, etc. But what about Basswood? Often times Basswood is lumped in the “other” category on industry reports since it typically only represents about 5-8% of the total timber production volume today. But maybe its time for a change. Generally speaking, Basswood (Tilla americana) is a soft, light wood that is stable and can be…
When hiring new members to their teams, many companies choose to hire externally, while others choose to promote from within. In these cases, there is a confidence and trust in the individuals who have worked within the organization and are ready to take the next step. This is something that we have come to experience firsthand when we have needed to fill important positions within our lumber yards, sawmills, and even at our corporate headquarters.…

Finding White Ash

  • Thursday, 12 July 2018 12:53
Ash has been one of the most commonly requested hardwood lumber species recently. Even though we have seen increased demand, Ash logs have been getting harder and harder to come by due to the emerald ash borer. Because of this, loggers have been aggressive in harvesting Ash trees to minimize the potential losses of landowners. While both loggers and landowners have tried to stay in front of this, sawmills have been forced to adjust accordingly…
Successful business leaders ask questions to grow and improve their leadership skills, but what types of questions do they ask? Naturally, we reflected on this thought and began to consider what questions leaders in the hardwood lumber industry ask to improve operational processes, create clearer strategies, and enhance working conditions for their organizations. Here are a few key questions we have found valuable. Can we simplify? It is easy to over-complicate a project. Businesses, like…
1 Common, 2 Common, FAS, Prime, Select & Better, are just a few hardwood grade requests that we hear from customers. It seems as if we are always talking about grade lumber in the hardwood industry. However, it is important to keep in mind that 30 to 40% of a typical hardwood log results in low-grade lumber. Low-grade lumber, commonly referred to as industrial hardwoods, can be found in a variety of forms. Cants, pallet…