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Sawmill TQ: A More User-Friendly and Timely Sawmill Benchmarking Service

June 25, 2018
Author: Bryan Beck

Sawmill benchmarking allows mill management to objectively identify competitive strengths and weaknesses and opportunities for improvement in key areas such as productivity, sales realization, log to lumber recovery and manufacturing costs. When a mill facility’s internal data is compared to actual data from similar mills, mill management, sales, and procurement staff can then begin to fine tune operational and procurement strategies to improve performance and increase profit.Sawmill2

Sawmill TQ (Top Quartile) is a new service for gathering and delivering Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) sawmill benchmark data. 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 more user friendly and timely, data-rich digital environment that is designed specifically to meet the needs of sawmill managers and owners.

Sawmill TQ is a valuable benchmarking resource for the competitive southern sawmilling industry, and it is incredibly easy to manage and use.

  • Rather than relying on obsolete data, Sawmill TQ subscribers have access to up-to-date sawmill benchmark data (as well as historical data) that represents a large portion of the industry, is updated quarterly with monthly resolution, and is available on a 24/7/365 basis. With unprecedented sawmilling capital expenditures underway in the South, Sawmill TQ provides current information about the state of the industry during these changing times.

  • Sawmill TQ is specifically designed to streamline the data collection process from start to finish, and participation is easier than ever. Benchmark participants used to spend valuable work hours manually inputting data and organizing their information to match benchmarking protocols, which was a strain on resources. However, Sawmill TQ is changing the entire benchmark landscape by simplifying the process; a straight data dump from your current system into a transferable file is all that is required. The Beck Group’s staff now take on the role of “mapping” the information to assure accuracy and consistency across all metrics and all participating mills.

  • Many southern sawmills learned to do more with less in the wake of the Great Recession, and Sawmill TQ is designed to help all sawmill operations—including very lean operations—improve performance. Virtually all operations can improve performance on key metrics by a very modest 1%, which translates into hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars in improved profitability annually. Experience has shown that using benchmark data to target opportunity areas and drive improved performance offsets the subscription cost many times over.

Despite the continued evolution of the North American lumber trade, the southern sawmill industry is expanding aggressively. Whether your facility has been in operation for generations, or you’re currently expanding and adding capacity amid the tremendous demand for SYP lumber, Sawmill TQ can help you make better operational decisions during periods of high uncertainty in the market. 

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