Welcome . This group is passionate and making things happen. It’s nice to see “Team Pakira”
To be honest Andrew, the difference in Europe starts with the trees. They do not manage forests like we do and I have had European producers visit north of the border who were completely stunned by the “natural forests” we have here. Imagine in parts of Scandinavia, when seedlings are planted the trees location, species, etc. are added to a data base and technology has gotten to the point where when it comes time to harvest, the machinery is sent via GPS location to harvest specific trees according to their profile, etc. Europe is a whole other world. Because of this, sawmills do not produce random products, they accumulate logs of specific characteristics so that when they do a production run, the sawmill system doesn’t need to waste time adjusting patterns, they run hard and fast producing according to the logs and this means that the product coming out is rough sawn square on all sides. In Europe wood products are no different than farming corn, and other agricultural crops, except for the grow time… We have a long way to go to bring N-A lumber to the levels of most European producers. Automation & optimization have a part to play but the mentality has to change as well.
Found the industry while looking for spending money in High School. Spent many Saturdays sweeping the warehouse or cleaning up in the yard - while it did not seem like it at the time, very valuable lessons learned about product, storage and bin locations.
Continued the part time work in college and met the friendliest, most honest and fun loving group of people in the world. By then I had sawdust in my blood and have never left the industry.
Worked as a framer and trim carpenter, moved on to manage a cabinet shop, spent a decade in wholesale before returning to the retail side and have been here since.
Already finding this site and it’s members to be extremely knowledgeable about the industry.
Glad to be a part of it.
We love having you all as part of #TeamPakira!!
@Michael_Haas @Neill_Gibson @David_Hoglund @Jeff_Lassle @Jim_Schumacher @Darren_Thomas @Heather_Karleen @Ashley_Boeckholt @justin_smith @Mike_Kotloski @cmusselman @Daniel_Wakefield @Bernard_Lee @Jeff_Girard @Jordan_Kirk @Bill_Kazakoff @Matt_Layman @Daniel_Drake @Nic_Wilson
Cheers ! Good Work !
Reading about the efficiency of European forests and harvesting is fascinating! The order and structure of these Scandinavian forests must be a sight to behold when it comes to harvesting and running. I
Separately, do you know if our “natural forests” are any healthier than what they have across Europe? I do not hear much about disease coming from them and their sticks are always so clear.
Welcome @David_Hoglund! We are glad to have you as part of our community. You have a WEALTH of experience across the supply chain. If it’s alright with you, I’d love for you to offer your retail perspective on the market. Retail plays a huge role in the market, and yet most market reporting is so often hyper-focused on the mill level and so we miss the full picture.
@Craig_Parker you guys should connect!
Andrew, the debate between natural and cultivated forests has been an issue for decades. I believe that the notion of monocultural plantations is starting to evolve towards multi species but not everyone has adopted the practice. There are so many variables to consider that the process of evolution will take time but it appears obvious this early in the process that there are definite advantages. In terms of the quality, because the industry doesn’t operate on a fixed product blend, the fiber goes to the market with the best and most consistent return. European mills rarely have inventory of finished products that is unsold. They produce according to the order file whereas in North America, for the most part mills simply try to produce as much volume as possible of the same basket of products and only consider changing their focus when inventories stop moving. I liken it too the following models: in Europe sales drive production whereas in North America, production drives sales.
Discussion continued here:
Howdy all. I’m Craig, I’m up in Maine, and about a year and a half ago I stepped up with two others to keep a lumber yard in the Moulton family.
I worked here years ago, but our ERP provider hired me out and I’ve been in tech ever since. I am not a fan of Corporate America, so I’m back at a small business.
I got here in the midst of the Covid ruckus (July 2020), didn’t get a whole lot of advice from the generation that retired, and am trying to find my way. I’m automating what I can, swearing at my ERP provider when I can’t, and trying to use technology to cut times down on manual processes. This is all in preparation for growth. We’ve historically been a passive lumber yard, and competitors are eating our lunch, so I’m gearing up to go rectify that.
I’m a Linux guy, have a pretty thorough knowledge of MySQL (the database) and can code some (shell scripts and PHP).
I also have a wicked Mainah accent…
Welcome “wicked Mainah accent” @Craig_Parker – welcome aboard! Tell me you ski? x-country or downhill, anything would do! In which case we’re packing up to go visit you up in Mainah… accent and all
Alas, I do not ski. I have been known to snowboard on occasion, but not lately. I was debating making a youtube video for the lumber yard where I “waterski on a sled” behind a truck driving around our icy parking lot, but haven’t gotten there yet.
video for the lumber yard where I “waterski on a sled” behind a truck driving around our icy parking lot
That would be so rad @Craig_Parker! I can’t wait for that video!! What are you waiting for? Trying to make a buck?
Have you seen the Red Bull commercial w/ the moto cross covering the entire LBM supply chain, courtesy of @Michael_Haas ?
here it is: Going hard enduro in one of Europe’s largest sawmills. - YouTube
Very insightful analysis @Neill_Gibson – thank you and welcome onboard!
99 bundles of insulation on the wall….
Hilarious @Craig_Parker! Thank you for sharing!
My name is Andrey, I’m from Russia. I am 41 and I have little experience in the wood industry (about 1.5 years). Many people have told me that this is not the best time to change jobs and especially to start working in the wood industry, but who knows when the “best” time will come? I think that only after going a certain way you can tell what time was the best to start.
Anyway, I am here.
I sell birch lumber, which we produce here in Russia. The main market is China, we also supply products to Vietnam and customers in Europe.
@Andrew_Gibson, thanks for the invitation to join Pakira!
and sorry for my Ruglish! If you find any errors in the text, it’s Google’s fault!