The Business At Hand
Article by Rich Donnell, Editor-in-Chief, Panel World January 2023
Some forecasts coming out of APA—The Engineered Wood Association annual meeting in October painted a rather bleak economics picture for 2023. It was no surprise, given the already downward trending in housing starts, the steady upticking in interest rates and the gradual decline in many panel prices toward pre-pandemic levels. Though a couple of attendees mentioned to me that they thought the outlooks came across a little too negatively. “We aren’t there yet,” a producer executive said to me. “We’re doing okay at the moment.”
But barring the unforeseen, 2023 stands to be a challenging year, with some producers weighing production reductions while mill expansions still wrestle with supply chain issues and for that matter decide they aren’t in a hurry anyway.
No doubt many operations are already catching their breath following the tremendous post-pandemic surge. Now it becomes a matter of tweaking and timing.
A soft market is a good time to assess how the operation and mill fared through the hard run during the up market. Certainly through good times or bad most operations have systems and programming, and human beings, in place to provide immediate data feedback, but there’s nothing like a deliberate analysis, the results of which can range from everything to the need for a piece of equipment, to updating systems, to adding QC personnel, to simply a new paint job.
As you take a deep breath is also a good time to analyze where your company or operation is culturally. Running flat out 24 hours a day can push cultural principles (except for safety we would hope) to the side, though ideally the perfect operation is one that can blend seamlessly full production and the cultural personality, or mission statement, you’ve defined for it.
Did your operation’s cultural goals or principles live up to themselves during the production boom? If not, what do you need to do to solidify or enhance them? While your mill is not pushing production is a perfect opportunity to refurbish your cultural identity, perhaps even reevaluate it and establish new parameters for it; or, if you haven’t already done so, start from scratch to being to implement a cultural spirit.
Before we know it, we assume anyway, the building products markets will rebound and the industry will be producing at Indy 500 speed once again; so now is the time to get everything in order in time to make the green flag and to be able to coast through the yellow flags and to be satisfied with how you’ve performed come the next checkered flag.
LP Adds New VPs
LP Building Solutions (LP) has announced that Libby Berman has been named Vice President, Chief Tax Officer and Bob Hopkins has been named Vice President, Treasurer. “Bob and Libby have been invaluable contributors to the LP team for many years now,” says LP Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Alan Haughie…
Con-Vey Promotes Joe Buck To Product Manager
Con-Vey has announced the promotion of Joe Buck from Sales Engineer to Product Manager, having been with the company for nearly four years. In his new role, Buck will lead the strategy development and execution of several products at Con-Vey, including particle board, MDF, and…
Search North America Adds Senior Recruiter
Search North America (SNA), a leading wood products-based search, recruiting, and placement firm, is proud to announce and welcome Dave Rupp as a new Senior Recruiter, mainly focusing on the Western U.S. and Canada. He joins the SNA team with over 40 years of experience in…
Roseburg Adds New VP-General Counsel; Corporate Secretary
Roseburg announced that Matt Lawless has been named Vice President-General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, effective March 1, 2023. Lawless will join the company’s executive team and help set strategy and overall direction for the business…
Egger Invests More Than $42 Million In North Carolina
Egger Wood Products has announced the start of production on a third lamination line at its Lexington, N.C. facility. The $21 million investment will expand the company’s thermally fused laminate (TFL) production capacity by 50%, increasing production to more than 155 million sq. ft. per…
Find Us On Social
The monthly Panel World Industry Newsletter reaches over 3,000 who represent primary panel production operations.
Panel World is delivered six times per year to North American and international professionals, who represent primary panel production operations. Subscriptions are FREE to qualified individuals.
Complete the online form so we can direct you to the appropriate Sales Representative. Contact us today!