With the continued success of the Pine River Bedding name, we have decided to split the company in half. Yep, right down the middle. 50/50.
No, we are just kidding!
What we have actually decided to do is split our websites into 2 separate focuses. Tallpines Forest Products will now become the corporate site that will deal with all the executive things that we have to do as a company, including vendor relationships and credit information for new suppliers. Pine River Bedding will stay the "brand name" site that it has always been. We will continue to help build the brand name, Pine River Bedding, as well as offer branding insight and opportunities for our dealers here.
The need for these changes is because the company continues to grow in exciting ways, and for future projects or opportunities that we might have going forward we do not want to confuse our customers. Previously, both websites sent you here to Pine River Bedding, and while that was immensely helpful, it did not allow us to separate the "business" from the "brand".
We are proud of our continued success and can not wait to show off some of our new ideas.
Thanks for a wonderful 2017 and continued success in 2018!
The end of the year is quickly closing upon us. With this, another year is in the books, and we now must look back upon 2017 as a measuring stick of sorts. For this reason, 2018 looks interesting.
A couple thoughts we have on the state of lumber and shavings at the moment:
So what does this mean for our customers going forward?
Prices will have to increase on wood shavings going forward. Longer term, we believe that the cost of shavings will see a slow, steady rise over the next 3-5 years. There are several factors for this price increase, and we will discuss them in length now.
To start with, the US economy is doing really well over all. The Federal Reserve continues to slowly increase interest rates, but they are not raising rates fast enough to stave off inflation. Prices in all commodities have stabilized since the "Great Recession". Oil, gas, and lumber have all seen a steady increase in demand with no major suppliers being added to the market. This pricing pressure is beginning to show it's face in the form of higher prices on some commodities.
Additionally, the housing recovery is putting lumber mills back to work full time. While this would normally be a good thing for shaving supplies, the current market has inflated housing prices so that a lot of sellers have made substantial gains on their real estate holdings. The current state of our "service economy", which encourages people to telecommute and work from home, has added more brokers and shavings dealers to the selling mix. Lumber mills are now limiting how many loads of shavings are sold (and to who) each week of production. They are rasing prices to the current brokers as they are consistently selling through all their production. This cramp on supply means that all brokers and lumber dealers are having to raise prices to their current customers as well.
Finally, there is not any new suppliers coming on the market at this time. Lumber is a commodity. There is only so much of it to go around. There is also only so many mills to refine logs into lumber, shavings, and sawdust. The cost of bringing a new sawmill to market is tens of millions of dollars. Until companies can be assured that the economy is going to perform well for a long time, they are just not going to spend that kind of money on building new mills. When they do decide to build, there is often a 24-36 month lag between announcing building plans and the mill coming into operation. The next 24-36 months represents this lag time currently.
2018 will force some smaller operations out of business. If things are still not recovering in your area, or you are not seeing growth again, then chances are your operation will not survive the long term. We are already starting to see the consolidation of farm and feed stores as more and more are being bought out or sold. Retail is a really rough business right now.
Is There Any Good News?
If there is any silver lining right now, it's that most consumers are already seeing prices increase (or sizes decrease) in their other purchases at home already. Also, it is still not cost effective to ship 40 pound bags of feed or shavings direct to their door via UPS or FedEx. For this reason, bulk suppliers of seed, feed, and shavings are going to continue to do well selling these products, even with deflated margins. Volume will increase as the economy continues to pick up steam and move forward.
Traditional retail is a real struggle right now. If you are a retail farm and feed store, our suggestion is to keep your inventories lean, keep your supply lines open, look for different and new products to sell, and push volume out the door. Margins will continue to be tight in the short term, but the consumer has more money in their pocket to spend. The upcoming tax refunds (March & April) and the new tax bill should also bring more money into the stores long term.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
From all of us here at Pine River Bedding, have a happy holiday season. Thanks for your continued business.
It's a talent that everyone has in their toolbelt to use, but many don't think they do. Maybe they simply don't know how to use it correctly. It's called the power of innovation. If you've ever stared at someone else's creative prowess, and thought, "there is no way I can do that", then you are dead wrong . You can create and innovate too. It just takes time to learn how to apply your creative juices and mental energy. Everyone is born with the ability to be creative.
Look back upon your childhood. Do you remember how long it took to learn to ride a bike? What about driving a car? How many times did you screw something up before you learned to never commit that same mistake again? It's the exact same thing when it comes to innovation. It takes a bit of practice and a lot of time before your brain learns how to turn this on without thinking about it.
First, don't listen to what other people say. You do you! Follow the beat of your own drum. TallPines Forest Products was told by three separate banks that we would fail in 1997. Three different banks! The best part of the story? We weren't borrowing money. We were opening a business checking account and inquiring about a corporate line of credit. We never even needed to money. That didn't stop the bank managers from telling us how risky opening your own business was though.
Allowing for the input of other people THAT DON"T HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE will only bring noise and doubt to your thought process. If you have an original idea, don't waste your time and effort trying to make people understand it. They simply won't. Any "help" you will get from these people will probably come in the form of negative feedback. Don't ask. Don't try to explain it.
Spend time on your projects. I cannot stress this enough. If you want something to succeed then you must put time and effort into it. The more time that you spend thinking, planning, and working out the details of your dreams and projects, the more likely it will succeed.
Exercise when you are frustrated. Take a walk, go play golf, get some energy out! Exercising can certainly clear and relax your mind and allows for you to come back to your project with renewed focus.
Find your own style. You can always try to paint a Van Gogh or a Matisse, you will fail. Hemingway wrote something great by being himself. It is the same with you. People will appreciate your contributions more because it is uniquely yours and no one else is doing what you are doing. Being "ahead of the curve" is an unpleasant position to be in.
Don't ever hide behind gadgets or tools. You won't need the most expensive set of paints to produce a masterpiece. The same is true with writing. You don't need an expensive fountain pen and fancy paper for a bestseller. J.K. Rowling wrote the first book of the Harry Potter Series in basic notepads. So what if you've got an expensive camera if you're a crappy photographer? Who cares if you've got a fancy laptop if you can't write at all? The best artists actually reduce the number of tools he has as he gets better at his craft. He/She knows what works and what doesn't.
Nothing will work without your passion. What wakes you up in the mornings? What keeps the flame burning inside? What is the one thing that you'll die if you don't do? Sometimes people with more talent are overtaken by the people who want it more in life. Ellen Degeneres once said that if you're not doing something that you want to do, then you don't really want to do it. Sometimes you just want something so bad that you become virtually unstoppable. That is passion. Passion will keep you going when things look gloomy.
Don't worry about finding inspiration. You can't force it. Inspiration hits you when you least expect it to. A great idea could strike you on the subway, yet you have no sheet of paper to scribble down a thought that could change the world later. Type it in your phone, scribble it down, or even use lipstick if you have to.
Great pure virgin wood shavings, pellets, and sawdust. Pine River Bedding.
So here's reality. Every one on earth is dealing with a problem today! You are. Your customers are. Your vendors and suppliers all have problems too. In an effort to minimize the time and energy spent on fixing problems, here are "10 Questions You Should Always Ask Yourself First" before diving into any new project/expansion/idea/business venture.
1. What do I really want from this?
Let's start with a question for the ages. There are so many things you want to do in your life and so little time to go about it. Think about what you want the end result to be and then draw your road map on how to get there. Highlight any parts that you are not good at/comfortable doing and outsource that to someone that can do it for you. Think about your plan and then lay out a detailed plan on how to get there.
2. Should I really change anything?
Today's younger generation has taken redefining 'self' to another level. Anyone that has an army of teenage people around will tell you that consumer trends can change on a dime. Before you spend a penny of your money on something, ask yourself if this is a passing fad or a long term business strategy.
3. What's the best and worst that can happen?
With so much happening around us all day, there seems to be little room for even considering what could happen. Always look at both the positive and negative side. Openly discuss what can happen with business partners and other business owners. Listen to experience and wisdom, but always plan for both the worst and best outcomes.
4. Am I comfortable with what I'm doing all day?
There's always different ways to get tasks accomplished. If you are wasting too much time working on a task that you are not good at/comfortable with, delegate to someone more qualified. Giving up tasks has nothing to do with losing control. Remember where your time is best spent.
5. Have I done enough for myself lately?
Have you done something lately, or is there something else you want to do for yourself? Discontentment can be dangerous in large doses, but in small amounts you will not see how your attitude is affecting your employees or customers. Make sure to take enough time to get yourself in the right frame of mind before dealing with every day business decisions.
6. Am I happy where I am today?
Look at what your business does well currently. Are you happy with this successful part of the business? What do you need to change in order to make it better? Think about what would make you happy both right now and in the future.
7. Am I appealing to my customers needs?
What does your customer expect from your store? What are they not getting from your competition?
8. How much could I have?
How much of the market can you expect to control? How big is the overall playing field?
9. What motivates me? What motivates my team?
What motivates you? It's an answer you have to find out for yourself. The good news is that there are many things that can make people happy. Just as you most likely use money as a scorecard for motivation, consider that other people may want more paid time off, paid lunch breaks, etc. Sometimes the smallest things can make people go above and beyond for you and your business.
10. What Really Makes You Tick?
So? What really makes you tick? You can be anything you always wanted to be in life, but attaining something that is very difficult can be an amazing experience for you to look back on. Always remember, that self-improvement is not just about change. Make sure it's something that you really want to do or will help you take your relationship at home to the next level.
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