What Do You Wish Your Peers Could Teach You?

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One of the great benefits of the Forest Resources Association is the opportunity to learn from others in the industry and take this information back to your organization. We all face many of the same challenges and seeing how peers have addressed an issue can provide new insight on what works (and sometimes what does not). Why reinvent the wheel when so many other have faced the problem that you are confronting and have solved it (or at least moved closer to solutions)?

As part of my work to support FRA’s Supplier / Consumer Relations Committee, I will be using the Woods to Mill blog to help identify issues that provide challenges to the forest industry supply chain, and then (eventually) seek your feedback – and the feedback of your peers across the country – on ways that this challenge has been addressed. If this effort works, we will all have the opportunity to hear from leaders and innovators up and down the supply chain on what they have done to solve a problem and have the ability to take this information and apply it to our own organizations.

At this point, I need your help. I want to know what challenges confront you and your company. Do not worry if you do not know how to solve this problem – that is what we will be working on next. At this point, I just need your ideas and feedback on what is an issue you are facing that you believe others in the forest products industry have also grappled with. Some examples might include:
Identifying and recruiting a quality workforce that has the ability to do the work while bringing new skills and ideas to the organization;

  • Addressing truck turn-around time at your manufacturing facility, in an effort to make the transportation component of the supply chain more efficient and less costly;
  • Developing and maintain surge capacity in the industry, so that when there are times of peak demand, the wood can get from the forest to the mill, meeting customer needs; and
  • Ways to manage inventory levels at the mill (and on the landing) that assures the mill has adequate supply to continue operations while avoiding large swings in the ability of suppliers to move wood (and thus make money).

These are meant only as examples – I do not want to presume to know the challenges you are facing. If one or more of these resonates, please let me know. If you have other issues – and I am sure you do – please also let me know. A quick email to [email protected] will help me understand and categorize the challenges we as an industry face – from the seedling to the mill yard in every region of the country.

I will take the feedback I receive, separate it from who said it, and begin to compile a list of challenges that are as close to universal as possible. Once I have that, we can begin addressing these challenges together – and learn from each other.

I look forward to hearing from you.