Lumber Industry Woes and the future of wood

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The state of the economy is not exactly my area of expertise, although I’m as affected by it as anyone, in my immediate circle at least.

MoneyBut one voice which is very well trusted is Forbes magazine, who have featured an article about the lumber industry and the negative impact the downward spiral of the economy is having on the lumber industry.  Foreclosures and the virtual moratorium on building new homes has presented itself as an economic sock on the jaw, with added boots to the gut.  Unemployment, credit problems, inflated inventory levels, and any number of other economic knock-on effects is worrying even the most seasoned veteran.

According to the article, the next few months are about survival, with the hope that the economy will start its ascent in 2009 sooner in the year rather than later.  For us here at BuildDirect who have the advantage of being able to circumvent a good deal of the traditional processes as far as holding inventory is concerned, it will be interesting to see how this dark period in economic history will change the industry in the long term.

For me, it seems that the nature of business itself is on the verge of transformation, when the methods and attitudes of the past must be seriously re-examined, overhauled, or entirely re-invented where necessary. In some ways, it’s kind of an exciting time to live in, at least where innovation in business is concerned.  The loss of savings and jobs part of things isn’t so grand, of course.

That being said, we’re all hoping that whatever model is shaped to carry us forward into the 21st century will be sustainable for the long term, with a prosperous future kept in mind along with more immediate gains.  A lot of the time, business practices are focused so much on the instant payoff that the fact that human faces and real lives are attached and are dependent upon the big decisions is forgotten .  Hopefully, this blind spot of our current model can be done away with too.

Cheers!
Rob.

Money image courtesy of Jenn Jenn

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Rob