July-August 2015

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12 PalletCentral • July-August 2015 nsight from our industry thought leaders for this "Buyer's Guide" edition came from business executives whose core products are crucial to the wood packaging industry. From lumber, tools and fasteners to marking and other equipment, the following NWPCA members responded to requests for input, and willingly shared with PalletCentral commentary on market conditions and trends impacting the industry as we enter the second half of the year and look beyond 2015. John Lieber, President Profile Technology Inc. "Custom-engineered tooling provide an opportunity for pallet manufacturers and recyclers to expand their bottom line by increasing machine utilization with alternative tooling," said John Lieber, president of Profile Technology Inc. Historically, standardized pallet sizes have been the foundation of the stringer pallet industry, but block pallets and custom pallet opportunities have taken the lead. Pallet usage for custom-sized pallets is already half of the market. As this business segment matures those working in this market are seeing opportunities to not only increase custom pallet sales but also consider products in ancillary markets to increase sales and profits. "Pallet customers that buy tools to be used on their machinery for either manufacturing or repairing pallets have found new markets in industries that may need 'non-pallet' wood parts. As a result they use their standard machinery and add custom tooling utilizing their machinery more," commented Lieber. Some of these ancillary markets include fruit and vegetable wood box parts, specialty stringers requiring non-standard notches, custom matting for railroad crossing applications, bedding, mailbox posts and assorted stakes. Lieber said, "Profile Technology's business model for supplying custom engineered tooling for our customers to increase sales and profits is evolving. We help our customers make their operations more efficient. Our standard inventory products continue to sell well as we are able to show our customers cost per cut evaluations. Our focus continues to be centered on providing our customers with efficient and practical custom engineered tooling, and that keeps changing with our customer needs to meet new markets or optimize their plant efficiency." Todd Askew, Mill Sales Biewer L umber Over the past 7-8 years, Biewer Lumber has seen significant changes in the softwood market that have greatly impacted the landscape from a buying perspective. Operating four sawmills right in the heart of red pine country—two Michigan mills and two in Wisconsin—Todd Askew, mill sales at Biewer Lumber, identifies two key factors that are impacting the market: 1) Offshore business is important, but not as much as domestic demand. Industry Thought Leaders Supplier Markets Commentary Complied by Annette Ferri MANUFACTURING I Photo provided by PRS Group.

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