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You Said It: John Ed Anthony is the chairman of Anthony Timberlands, Inc.
John Ed Anthony, chairman of Anthony Timberlands, answers questions from the Pallet Enterprise about working in the industry.
Date Posted: 3/3/2014
John Ed Anthony is the chairman of Anthony Timberlands, Inc., which operates across South Arkansas including three lumber mills plus an oak flooring plant, hardwood laminating plant and wood treating plant.
Pallet Enterprise: What is the best piece of business advice that you have ever received?
Anthony: The critical element for any endeavor is timing. One must constantly maintain awareness to be on top of events in the industry and the economy in general. This allows you to be prepared to move quickly to take advantage of any shifts in product demand or costs that are ongoing. Be alert, be flexible and be quick to move.
Pallet Enterprise: How do you help new employees understand your company’s culture/core values?
Anthony: Inexperienced personnel all go into a department we call “585.” This is nothing more than an introduction to our company. They are given low-level tasks to familiarize themselves with the various departments in the company. As they become familiar with the operation they can apply for specific jobs in specific departments that are interesting to them. One of the big issues with young new employees is, will they come to work? Are they steady, regular, on time and dependable? This 585 lets us learn this about employees before they are put on the line.
Pallet Enterprise: How has your raw material situation changed in recent years?
Anthony: The timber in south Arkansas is abundant. While the hardwood products have escalated in price, the pine products have decreased in price in this last recession era. But I haven’t recognized any dramatic change in raw material supply.
The forest management techniques of moving to pine plantations by so many of the major landowners has taken some of the low-grade mixed forest hardwoods out of the mix. But the higher quality hardwoods from hardwood sites are still as abundant as they ever were.
Pallet Enterprise: Do you think there are any new issues that the industry is going to have to deal with in the next year?
Anthony: I don’t see any new issues as much as I see just a continuation of those issues that have been most troublesome to everyone in our industry – environmental and bureaucratic regulations. The regulatory environment in America continues to get worse and that’s what we all have to be aware of and deal with. We need to try to elect people who are as aware of this burden as we are and will bring it under control. Most of our industry operates in arural environment, and the majority of Americans now live in an urban environment. They don’t have anyidea about the difference between logs and lumbers or mature timber and pulpwood.