Monday, 11 June 2018 19:59

People, People, People!

One of the most common problems faced by manufacturers is the ability to successfully manage the labor equation on a consistent basis. So, when a manufacturer of hardwood products is able to reduce labor challenges- which are one of the top concerns of forest product industry leaders-  they are able to give themselves a competitive advantage in the market.  

We have found this to be a key issue that drives decision making for our customers when they take a look at sourcing strategies and give ripped to width hardwood lumber some thought.OU7A0878

When dealing with our customers we have found that three of the top labor issues manufacturers deal with include:

  1. Finding dependable workers – Manufacturing companies struggle constantly with finding and hiring dependable workers.  Timeliness, reliability and a general willingness to learn and work hard are qualities that can be tough to find in employees.  With the amount of time and expense employers spend interviewing, training and assimilating employees to their culture, it is critical you maximize their contribution to your manufacturing process when you find the right employee.
  2. Managing the “carousel” of new hires –  You finally get someone hired, trained, and showing up to work regularly, and they disappear after a few weeks on the job.  One way to avoid this wasted energy is to rethink your manufacturing process.  Can you replace some of your labor needs through an outsourced supply strategy?
  3. Rising employee costs -  The costs of wages, workers compensation insurance, benefits, and taxes continue to rise.  Managing the overall impact of your labor costs as a percent of revenue continues to be a struggle and an area in which business leaders look for new ideas to consider.

So, how can hardwood moulder blanks help your business? 

The rip saw is typically one of the first work cells in a plant. This is the area that is responsible for the transformation of random width lumber into production-ready blanks. Often times this work area can be a bottleneck that requires the experience of a seasoned machine operator to make decisions that are critical to the value that is produced. As such, the ripping work cell is critical to the profitability of the entire operation and one that can be tough to balance with labor costs.

One method to reduce these challenges is to purchase products that are already ripped to width.  Blanks arrive at the plant ready to be fed into a moulder.  Decisions that had previously been left to a rip saw operator, are now defined between vendor and purchaser. This is a benefit to manufacturers because they can then redeploy their trusted and experienced employees elsewhere, allowing them to use their skill set on more valuable tasks.

If you have given any thought to how you can better manage your labor challenges, let us know. Hardwood rips might they key to your success.

Bob Uglow
Baillie Lumber Co.
Hardwood Ripping Division
Hamburg, New York 14075
Cell: 407-496-4146
Office: 800-950-2850
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