Manufacturing Success Story: Rex Lumber

Investing in Employees Pays Back with BIG Dividends

Company Profile: W. D. McRae established Rex Lumber Company, a family-owned business, in 1926 in Graceville, Florida. The mill started as a cypress sawmill, and later became an oak flooring manufacturer.

The Graceville site has been completely redesigned and modernized into a high volume southern yellow pine sawmill.

Currently, Rex Lumber operates three sawmills, located in Graceville and Bristol, Florida, and another in Brookhaven, Mississippi, producing a total of 575 million board feet annually. The company currently employs approximately 500 people and they are expanding by adding an additional sawmill in Alabama. Rex Lumber operates some of the most technologicallyadvanced sawmills in the Southeast.

Situation: As a progressive technologically advanced company, Rex Lumber understands that professional development is key to their continued success, growth strategy, employee satisfaction and retention. Finding the right opportunities for employee engagement is difficult and expensive.

Solution: Key Rex Lumber employees participated in a three-day project management professional technical engagement promoting professional development sponsored by the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council (NWFMC), the local regional manufacturers’ association, in partnership with the University of West Florida and FloridaMakes. During the engagement, employees learned valuable tools and techniques to help them improve the success rate of their ongoing projects by applying standardized and proven project management principles. By better utilizing personnel, equipment and resources, they are now able to complete their projects on time and within budget while maintaining excellent customer quality and satisfaction. The direct impact of the engagement to Rex Lumber included the ability to increase annual sales, project future growth of the business, and invest in plant and equipment to meet future demands.

Testimonial: “Through our membership of the NWFMC, our associates have been able to participate in multiple professional development events at no additional cost to our company. The feedback from attendees has been very positive, and have provided additional skills that they were able to quickly put into use. The additional skills achieved by our associates allows them to contribute at a higher level to the overall success of Rex Lumber.” – Jared Banta, Project Manager, Rex Lumber