North American lumber market volatility has been at an all-time high over the last 18 months, and there are signs that the instability is far from over. In such a market, southern lumber manufacturers need to know how they have performed vs. the competition through the dramatic peaks and valleys in what has been a crazy year.
Important questions for sawmillers:
- Did you miss any lucrative opportunities in 2020?
- Could you have improved margins on finished product, and paid less for logs?
- Are you prepared to take advantage of volatility going forward?
- Do you know how to best plan for significant uncertainty and price swings in either direction?
The Beck Group’s Sawmill TQ interactive product gathers and delivers southern yellow pine (SYP) sawmill benchmark data that is designed specifically for southern sawmill managers and owners. The product is a partnership that combines The Beck Group’s sawmill benchmarking experience and knowledge with Forest2Market’s SilvaStat360 cloud-based interactive business intelligence platform. The result is a user friendly and timely, data-rich digital environment that is available 24/7 via SilvaStat360.
As Sawmill TQ gains new subscribers and the breadth of data continues to expand, we are pleased to introduce some exciting enhancements to the product:
- A number of new participating mills have been added in recent months, and Sawmill TQ now has data representing 7 billion board feet (BBF), or roughly 40% of US South annual SYP lumber production capacity.
- We have also added new features and visualizations to the interface, including filters that allow users to exclude certain mills from charts and tables, narrowing benchmarking comparison results. New filters include:
- Log diameter (based on average bucked log SED) – 3 categories
- Annual production volume – 4 categories
- Product mix – Dimension vs. Specialty (10% or more of production in decking, timbers, 1” boards, etc.)
- Location – East (Alabama and states to the East) vs. West (Mississippi and states to the West)
- Multiple filters can be applied at the same time, i.e., analyze medium-capacity mills excluding specialty producers, for instance.
In order for a sawmill to capitalize on opportunities for improvement, benchmarking data must provide enough concrete detail to allow management to drill down to the underlying causes affecting performance so that they can subsequently make decisions — and take action — that result in measurable improvement.
With a large pool of operating mills to analyze and the ability to narrow benchmarking comparisons to mills that share characteristics such as scale, log size, product mix, and location, Sawmill TQ subscribers have an increased ability to customize benchmarking results and make meaningful comparisons with industry peers.