Hardwood Blog

Perspectives and insights on the hardwood lumber industry.                     

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Being a good manager doesn’t necessarily translate into being a good leader. Often, employees who get promoted to management positions have steadily increased their responsibility levels within the organization or possess excellent technical skills. However, while these employees often possess these “hard skills” they are sometimes lacking the “soft skills” that allow them to be effective leaders for their teams. Promoting employees from within is a very common practice in the hardwood lumber industry. At…

Soft Maple: Could it work for you?

  • Tuesday, 20 March 2018 14:37
Soft Maple is regarded by many experts in the hardwood lumber industry as one of the most versatile species in the industry. With its ability to sand nicely, machine easily, stain well, hold firm edges in joinery, and its reputation for having a straight grain, Soft Maple is a very popular choice for furniture and cabinetry. However, Soft Maple is not only used in these type of applications. It is also used in a variety…

Does your company promote work-life balance

  • Wednesday, 07 March 2018 21:48
Many business leaders understand the importance of encouraging employees to find the right “work-life” balance. However, that is not always as easy as it sounds. Many times it starts with helping employees develop personal habits at work that allow them to be successful so they can create more time to do things they want to do away from work. At American Lumber, we have been focusing on a few best practices that we have found…

Have you considered using Sycamore?

  • Wednesday, 28 February 2018 21:04
It is not often in the hardwood lumber industry that you hear about a manufacturer using Sycamore in their production. However, that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. Sycamore is an excellent species choice when used in the right situation. American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), can go by a variety of names, such as Buttonwood, American Plane, Water  Beech, Ghost Tree, and sometimes Virginia Maple. Sycamore is usually found throughout the eastern portion of the United…
Could changing your perspective on hardwood lumber grades allow you to buy materials that meet your needs more effectively? A custom grade of hardwood lumber might be exactly what you need! The grading system that is used for the hardwood lumber industry was established over 100 years ago by the National Hardwood Lumber Association, (NHLA). Unlike softwoods, which are graded on the entirety of the board, hardwoods are graded based on the amount of clear…
Generally speaking, in the hardwood lumber industry, relationships mean everything!  The act of buying and selling lumber usually happens with suppliers and companies you know, trust and depend on.  That is why we find it is important for us to constantly be focused on developing strong, long lasting relationships. One way to do that is by trying to become a more valuable business resource for our customers.  From our experience, we have found that these…

Are you considering yellow birch?

  • Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:18
For most of us in the hardwood lumber industry we typically think of yellow birch when we think of plywood. But there are many other applications birch can be an excellent choice for! Yellow birch is one of those species commonly harvested throughout the New England States, New York and Pennsylvania. You will also find it in parts of Appalachian region as well. In general birch represents about 5% of the overall hardwood lumber production…

Four Tips for Touring a Sawmill

  • Friday, 08 December 2017 14:06
In the hardwood lumber industry, sawmill tours are the norm. When customers can visit a sawmill, they can get a better idea of the suppliers capabilities, products and ability to service them.  Many times, especially for someone new to the industry, customers find it interesting to see firsthand how a log is processed from a round log to a bundle of random width and length boards. However, not all sawmill visits are the same. We…

Using Customer Feedback for Improvement

  • Tuesday, 21 November 2017 16:43
We know how competitive the hardwood lumber business is. From firsthand experience, we have learned there is no room for complacency when it comes to meeting the needs of your customers. It is important to think of each interaction with your customers as an opportunity for your team to provide significant value and further enhance your customer’s overall experience. These interactions can also be of great value to your any your organization and lead to…
Many business leaders understand the importance of delegation. But delegation isn’t always easy. Some contend it’s in the psychological makeup of business leaders to insist on doing (or trying to do) everything themselves - or at least insist on overseeing how others get things done. Here at American Lumber, we are constantly reminding ourselves f the importance and value of proper delegation. We work hard to leverage best practices in this area and constantly monitor…