Don’t get me wrong, hardwood lumber tallies are important. They provide detailed information on the boards that make up a bundle of lumber. They provide important insights into the total number of pieces in a pack and they provide a breakdown of the widths of each board by length category. But as I said, are they always necessary? For our customers that are so sensitive to the specific width and length breakdowns, could we be serving them better by educating them on the benefits of something a little different? I think the answer is yes!
So what is the better way? I think that when a situation arises where a customer needs specific widths and lengths to make his project or production line work most effectively, the better solution is to provide them custom sorts. If a customer can only use 5” width boards, introduce them to 5” width sorted lumber. If the customer can only use 10’ lengths, introduce them to custom length sorted bundles. Better yet, why not introduce them to customer two edge ripped lumber of a specific length and get the best of both worlds!
Of course, these hardwood lumber solutions might be a little more expensive, but in the long run we have to help our customer understand the value of these specific solutions. The better we are at explaining to our customers how they will save time, eliminate waste or reduce the creation of unusable parts the better we all will be.
So maybe the next time I am asked to provide a tally on that 500bf pack of 10’ only, 6” width sorted white oak I will stop and ask them, … “Is the tally really necessary? What exactly are you looking for? How can I better serve you?”
What do you think?