Regulation: Understanding the cost impact to your business

Regulation by the federal government of our manufacturing businesses is an insidious problem. No one argues the need for reasonable environmental and worker protections, but unquestionably, regulatory costs are significant and they are inhibiting the relative health and growth of industry companies. Federal regulatory costs include not only environmental and worker protection, they also include

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Productivity – Six practical ways to ramp it up

Productivity is a word widely used in the vernacular of the wood products manufacturing industry. The word is used in many contexts and carries with it many meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Fort this reason, any discussion about productivity should begin with a definition of the word. For purposes of

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The Common Sense of Charitable Work

Among the many hats worn by business owners, the ‘keeper of the culture’ is one worn daily. Yet culture is usually not an aspect of the business that has developed from deliberate actions or behaviors. Your business culture takes its shape gradually, growing and refining over time as your personal values become woven into the

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What To Do When…You Don’t Know What To Do

Show me the leader that has never encountered at least one problem they didn’t know to solve and I’ll show you a guy from another planet. It’s a universal fact that just about the time you thought you’d seen every possible problem in running your business, you get blindsided. Something totally new and unexpected drops

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Growth: Setting and achieving realistic goals

As with any living organism, growing your company is not only desirable, it is a natural, healthy and continuous process. Owners and leaders naturally intend to grow the business each year, setting new sales goals. Yet, all too frequently companies fall short of achieving their goals. The result is usually little or no growth. Unfortunately

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Lessons Learned: Got a plan for 2017?

It’s hard to believe, but 2016 is all but behind us. As we look back on the year for our business, we happily recall our successes. Undoubtedly, however, we also cringe at a few of the performances we’d prefer to forget. Despite the discomfort of our missteps, there are valuable lessons to be learned, lessons

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Facing Reality: The Impact of U.S. Foreign Trade Agreements

For me, 2016 has been a year of fascinating discovery. More than in any year, I have spent time trying to get at the facts about the state of the wood products industry and the manufacturing sector as a whole. I have tried to understand the causes for the devastating decline. The factors contributing to

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