The Urgency for Change
All wood products mills in North America have the potential to be highly efficient and profitable regardless of the types of products they make and the markets they serve. We have experience with high volume/low margin facilities including the #1 ranked mill in North America the last five years. At the other end of the spectrum we've worked with mills that have low volume/high margin as a focus. Each one of these facilities has a unique set of key performance indicators (KPI's) which drive the business. The profit improvement programs we've instituted have achieved higher efficiency, better safety, streamlined supply chain, and process and productivity gains.
The pace of improvements can be dramatically accelerated by appropriate analysis of current practices and the full engagement of the senior management and expanded leadership teams. Many improvements require little additional capital investment.
It is essential that manufacturers accelerate improvements in all their processes to remain viable, return a profit to their shareholders, and provide employment in their communities. Most wood products facilities in North America are in a profit squeeze caused by high raw material costs and foreign competition. Mills must create a highly motivated, flexible, engaged team from the top down and from the floor up.
Additional improvements will be hard won. Most mills that have survived the last 15 years have already made significant improvements. Creating a culture of urgency is required to win.