Managing your Lumber Business though Uncertainty

By: Levi

The Lumber Industry is changing faster than ever, impacted by escalating trade conflict, political uncertainty, ongoing regularity and policy changes, rapidly shifting economic forecasts, and now global health concerns.

With so many variables on the horizon, it is more difficult that ever for organizations to plan ahead. One of the biggest questions for many business owners and executives is: How can we prepare our companies for the unexpected?

There are two things I think are crucial: transparency and agility.

Transparency

It is easy to be transparent during good times, but its during the uncertain one’s like this we’re tested. Unexpected changes are unsettling for your workers, and all of your fellow stakeholders. But its during these testing times that transparency is the most important and goes a long way to build trust within an organization.

For example, consider the possible impact a slower economic year might have on employee morale, and overall compensation. By acting as transparently as possible about what’s going on will demonstrate your honesty, and help your employees trust that their leadership is focused on what’s best for your lumber business in the long run.

Approaching challenges with transparency can also go a long way with staff retention. Workers are more likely to stay put when there is uncertainty in the job market, but once things improve their loyalty will be based on how they were treated during tough times.

Agility

In the past, upcoming changes were always known. If interest rates were going up, we were warned, if new environmental policies were being discussed we could watch the debates live on NBC. But in 2020, we haven’t been given the luxury of knowing what’s going to happen on most fronts – making Agility a must.

For Operations and Finance teams, being agile means having the ability to plan, and then re-plan again as things change. For example, if COVID-19 cases pick up again in your state/area, and a shelter in place order comes in, your leadership needs to quickly assess the impact that will have on your mill or company. Then execute on those findings, analyze, evaluate and repeat.

In our current landscape, planning has become far more important. Being able to forecast and model different scenarios and outcomes gives mill and lumber yard owners the ability to make logical decisions.

Owners and Executives need the systems and resources to execute quickly. How long would it take your mill or yard to make a change once a decision is made. Honestly evaluate your business’ agility, ensure you’re making the most out of your Lumber Business System to run an efficient and agile organization.

Ready to Purchase a Lumber Business System?

We’d be happy to walk through your current systems and discuss how MillTech could help your team. Contact us at https://www.milltechims.com/contact

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