PF Olsen and FITEC Develop Logging Business Master Class to Improve Logging Performance

Over the past six months, eight PF Olsen-managed logging contractor business owners have been putting in the hours as part of a new program aimed at encouraging owners to work "on their business" and not "in it".

Sponsored by PF Olsen and FITEC and put together and presented by Trevor Best from Icon Business Solutions, the Logging Business Master Class empowers owners to identify all their objectives for owning a logging business and then develop their business into one that meets these objectives.

In six half-day workshops the course attendees are asked to consider:

  • what their key stakeholders (themselves, their forest manager, the log customers and their employees) want and how well they are meeting those expectations?
  • what are the key wealth drivers of a contracting business and how do they configure their business and its systems to ensure the owners of the business can take advantage of those key wealth drivers?
  • what is the role of the business owner and are they doing the things they need to do to fulfill that role?
  • do their operational, employee and financial management systems serve them in their efforts to achieve their targeted outcomes and what could they be doing in each of these areas of their business to improve outcomes?

Most importantly, the owners are encouraged to take action to improve their outcomes. Systems and tools are provided to make "giving it a go" relatively easy.

Being willing to try things is a fundamental quality of a person capable of thriving in a changing environment. An objective of the course is to get owners to try something, within the timeframe of the program, aimed at improving some part of the business and then report back to the group. Improvements in different areas of the business were reported. One owner showed how improvement in productivity measurement had led to changes in crew configuration that resulted in a large improvement to daily productivity. Another owner put effort into changing the public face of their business through their logos, uniforms and advertising which resulted in a significant increase in the number of replies they got to their recruitment advertisements.

Being willing to step out of your comfort zone is an act of courage and each of the participants can be congratulated for being willing to take that step.

This is what some of the participants said about the programme.....

"This course has been highly productive and informative. Over the past 6 months our business has taken a new direction moving forward. We have implemented all of what we learnt from this course which helped us tremendously", Ngahuia and Rod Hubbard, H and R Contracting Ltd.

"We found this course to be very rewarding in a lot of ways. It has forced us to take the time to look deep into the management side of our logging business and we are very excited to start implementing positive changes and just as excited to see the rewards these changes will bring. Thanks a lot for your knowledge and support", Kim and TJ Marsters, TJ Marsters Logging Ltd.

PF Olsen's interest in developing this programme was simple. It was based on our understanding that better harvesting outcomes for the forest owner will result from better run harvesting contracting businesses. "You don't get better value by just trying to leverage down harvesting rates", points out Peter Keach, PF Olsen's Operations Manager. "Lower harvesting rates and better overall harvesting outcomes will come from more productive and safer harvesting businesses. We are making these sorts of upskilling and training investments based on recognising that harvesting comprises 60-80% of the cost of sales of logs delivered to mill door. Improvements in harvesting efficiency translate to higher net stumpages for the forest owner."