Canfor is one of the world's largest producers of sustainable lumber, pulp, and paper. The company has committed to invest over $130 million into the sawmill and planer facility in Urbana, Arkansas which will increase production by 115 million board feet to keep up with growing customer demand. The Canfor team in Arkansas hired CCG to help with high overtime, employee burnout, high absenteeism and low retention
of the current workforce, and to provide scheduling solutions that will take into consideration the future production expansion.
INDUSTRY : Lumber, Paper and Pulp Mill
EMPLOYEES : 6,300 in Urbana, AR
REVENUES : $5.5 billion
SAVINGS OPPORTUNITY AT THIS SITE : $1,387,000
HEADQUARTERS: Vancouver, British Columbia
The CCG team developed multiple scheduling options for the maintenance, sawmill, and planer mill departments, with the goal of reducing hours worked by 2.5 hours per person. For the sawmill team which asked for the option to keep some overtime, this equated to a 12-hour option with a base of 48 hours and a 10-hour option with a base of 50 hours. Staffing requirements for the expansion were calculated and CCG recommended an increase in hiring positions for the plant to move to the new schedules.
"(The Coleman team) spent a tremendous amount of time interviewing employees and supervisors, ensuring that the schedule options would work with our employee population. They set the expectations and the timeline and stuck with it. They followed up and followed through."
Wade Summerville, Plant Manager at Canfor Urbana
Multiple schedules were in place under one roof, between the log yard, sawmill, planer mill,
kilns, and maintenance departments. The current schedules lead to high levels of overtime flexing
into the weekend. Overall, the mill averages 42% overtime, with production areas averaging 44% and
the log yard experiencing 58% overtime. With the impending expansion of facilities, the schedules need to consider a jump from 1 to 2 shifts, but also provide relief to the current single shift operation that is fatigued. All employees expressed a desire for predictable time off, and some of the workforce wanted to keep the option of working overtime.
Since filling the newly created open positions can take time, Coleman Consulting Group supported a
phased implementation of the new schedules. The employee survey results showed a strong
commitment to Canfor, and the employees who showed preference for the schedule change were implemented first. CCG provided a series of tools for both management and the employees to use for onboarding. Our team continues to measure productivity, overtime, absenteeism, and turnover to track the success of the scheduling project. Coleman was recently hired at two more sites to continue to provide support in change management at Canfor.