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2014 Northern Maine Logger Training Program

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ST. AGATHA — Following up on a very successful logger business training program last spring at the University of Maine Fort Kent, Northern Maine Development Commission has developed a one-day seminar to help loggers and off-road truckers become more profitable.

“The daylong logger business profitability training workshop will be hands on session to help logging companies document and analyze operating costs to help make critical business decisions and run the company with greater business confidence,” said Alain Ouellette, Planning and Development Division Director NMDC, in a press release.

The program will be held 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, May 15, at  Lakeview Restaurant in St. Agatha.

Conducting the workshop will be Steven Bick, a forestry expert who has developed a spreadsheet to help calculate operating costs.

Bick is a forestry consultant from the Adirondack Mountains in New York State. He is a trained forest economist, with BS and MS degrees from SUNY-ESF and PhD from Virginia Tech. A large part of his work has been educational programs for loggers, has taught more than 150 full-day workshops from Ohio to Maine and has spoken to landowners and industry audiences all over the country. Bick is the author of seven books on forestry and conservation, including his most recent offering “Harvesting Woody Biomass: A Small Business Guide.”

At the training session last year, Bick presented an overview of his “Planning and Analysis of Timber Harvesting” (PATH) Excel spreadsheet. This workshop will dive into an updated version of PATH and go into detail.

PATH will help calculate a company’s current operating costs as a means to evaluate projected growth. It will also help a company better evaluate the true cost of a particular job and will help loggers make critical decisions about equipment changes or replacements and the expected financial returns those decisions will make for the company.

Workshop highlights include:

Introduction to PATH Software – What is it? Where did it come from? What do I need to run it? How can I use it? Where can my friends get a copy?

              General Production Analysis for Logging Business – create a quick thumbnail of production costs for your business from income tax return information; “what if” scenarios; viewing and interpreting business report; brief exercises.

Calculating Machine Rates and Truck Rates – understanding machine rates; example and exercise in entering data for individual machines; altering variables.

Are We Striving, Thriving or Just Surviving? – compare production rate prices and recognize the levels that erode equity, pay simple wage or offer an actual return on your investment.

Trucking Costs – brief overview of PATH’s approach to determining and evaluating trucking costs.

Calculating and Comparing Costs Structures of Various Logging Systems – Using your detailed information for entire equipment profile; examining production costs for your entire business; comparing and evaluating alternative mixes; adding or deleting equipment; example and exercise.

Break Even Analysis – This is a critical business management tool that will help you calculate prices and production levels necessary for renewed investment in equipment.

Estimating Production Costs for Individual Timber Harvesting Jobs – applying cost structure information to individual jobs.

Logging Site Management – identify the critical chain of events that allow you to end production on one site and start it up again on another; gain productive days to help your bottom line.

The registration fee is $100 per company, with up to two employees, owner/operator and bookkeeper, who is highly recommended to attend. Lunch will be provided.