September 3rd, 2013

Forest & Wood Award Finalists - Business Performance

Taranakipine – Damon Jacobsen

With over 190 staff, it’s a fine thing that 80% of Taranakipine’s staff are engaged in training.  Training and leadership is an important focus for the company with all members of the management team from the CEO down to the frontline leaders committed to encouraging staff to develop themselves.  Of note has been the number of long term staff that have put their hands up for additional training.  Despite the tough market conditions for the logging industry, the company made a conscious decision to support continued employee development and has not regretted it.  Competitive manufacturing has been a particular focus, with efficiency and productivity gains across the business delivering an immediate benefit.


Juken New Zealand – Wayne Carmichael

For Wayne Carmichael it’s about knowing where you’re heading.  ‘You’ve got to have a plan about where you’d like to be.’  The ESOL training that Juken offers its staff is an example of how setting an ambitious course can lead to success.  ‘We’ve had increased numeracy and literacy which has resulted in a different communication style and employees’ ability to write more comprehensive, well-rounded, well-reasoned reports to get their message across.  That’s translated into more capable leaders.’  The business as a whole has benefited from training.  ‘Our product volume has increased, our labour costs have gone done, our safety has increased and we’re far more profitable.’


Northpine – Bruce Larsen

Around 90-95% of Northpine’s employees are involved in some form of training.  In fact it’s a requirement for all new employees to sign up on Day One to a training schedule.  ‘Whether they like it or not,’ says General Manager Bruce Larsen, ‘and most of them do like it!’   Bruce believes promoting high standards in training and adhering to competitive manufacturing processes has kept Northpine in business.  Harder economic conditions mean it is vital employees understand how to improve their processes and cut waste.  Last year productivity improvements at the sawmill reached 24%.  This year a further 19% improvement was achieved.  Of Northpine’s commitment to training Bruce Larsen says, ‘It’s been a real success story for us.’