Monday, 13 December 2021 16:29

Potential Areas of Focus for Hardwood Sawmills

Change is a constant in the hardwood lumber industry. Whether it is in the cyclical ups and downs in log supply or changes ebbs and flows in labor. Each month is a little different, which can be a challenge.areasoffocusforsawmills

Successful leaders in the hardwood industry know that to improve their chances to grow and succeed they must keep looking forward. With this in mind, what are a few areas of focus that sawmill leaders can benefit from focusing on? Here are a few we found worth keeping in mind.

Safety. Safety. Safety. It's an age-old saying but it couldn’t be more true. You can never be too safe! Protecting employees from injury should always be a top priority for any business. Performing routine inspections, holding training classes, conducting proper equipment maintenance, and ensuring proper safety equipment is accessible and used is key to having a safe environment for all employees.

Improve Operational Efficiency. If you have spent any amount of time in the hardwood industry you most likely know that margins in the sawmill business are tight. Anywhere you can gain in operational efficiency can really make a difference.  Sawmill leaders should look to focus on finding ways to lower conversion costs and maximize the use of resources in terms of recovery and value. If you can find new ways to improve your yields on the logs you saw and produce more lumber from the same source it can make a tangible difference to your business's bottom line.

Invest in New Equipment and Technology. It's no secret, technology and equipment improvement are constantly evolving. This is no different in the hardwood lumber industry. Sawmill leaders should consider how they can use these enhancements to their advantage to improve yields and reduce labor costs. Whether it be the installation of a new optimized edger, a geometric scanner, an enhanced bin-sorter, or a new automated vision grader, new state-of-the-art tools should be something leaders should be analyzing the benefits of, 

Sawing Strategies and Product Mix. The hardwood industry is truly a supply and demand industry. Just because we always saw a specific species or a specific thickness doesn’t always mean it is the best thing for the business at this exact moment. That is why it is crucial for sawmill leaders to analyze the markets,  and determine if your supply chain can be improved or if there are unmet needs or under-produced products in the marketplace that your company can profitably fill.

It is always wise for hardwood sawmills to constantly analyze how they can grow both their business and their people.

As the year comes to an end, what areas that you think sawmills should focus on in the new year? We welcome your thoughts!

American Lumber
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Last modified on Monday, 13 December 2021 16:44

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