Sawmilling 101: Introduction to Softwood Sawmill Operations and Financial Performance

Sawmilling 101: Introduction to Softwood Sawmill Operations and Financial Performance

January 24, 2018

9:00 Sawmilling Overview

A.  What are the Basic Manufacturing Processes?
Follow a log along the manufacturing processes from delivery to the mill, through sawmilling and kiln drying, and on to the planer and shipping.

B.  What does a Sawmill Manager Need to Pay Attention to Have a Successful Business?
An overview of sawmill performance metrics and a sample income statement to illustrate how costs are allocated.
10:15 Break

10:30 Markets & Manufacturing in North America

C.  Where Does the Lumber End Up?
A review of the primary end users of lumber to include residential building, remodeling and repair and industrial distribution channels. Consumer preferences and green labeling round out the picture of market forces.
D.  What are the Characteristics of Markets and Manufacturing in the Regions of Western US, Western Canada, Eastern Canada, and South Eastern US?
An overview of each region is provided to cover population trends, characteristics of mills, regional market drivers and species mix.
Noon: Lunch

1:00 Key Sawmilling Metrics in Detail

E.  A Close-up of Key Metrics.
The instructors will draw upon actual sawmill operating statistics from 20 years of data.

  1. Log Supply and Pricing:
    Measuring log size and quality, the impact on value and pricing and operating in competing log markets.
  2. Lumber Recovery:
    How much volume is produced for every unit of logs going in. Balancing the size of logs, products produced and machinery
  3. Productivity and Manufacturing Costs:
    Measuring the non- log costs of labor, energy, maintenance and supplies.
  4. Lumber Products and Sales Values:
    What are the mill’s main product categories and relative values associated with log sizes and grades. Review of lumber grades, grading agencies, certification standards and specific grades for unique markets.
  5. Sawmill Byproducts:
    Measuring value from chips, shavings, sawdust, bark, and hog fuel and a review of their end uses.
3:00 Break

3:30 Characteristics of Top Performers

F.  What are the Characteristics of Top Performing Sawmill Operations?
Drawing on 20 years of benchmarking, the instructors will cover different mill business strategies and the various combinations of profitable or competing key metrics.
4:30 Adjourn