Tembec
We're hiring!
Working at Tembec

We may be investing millions, but we must get full value from every dollar

Dany Gagnon
April 04, 2017

The recent announcement of Tembec’s four-year $136 million investment to improve competitiveness, centered on our Temiscaming specialty cellulose manufacturing operation, is a big vote of confidence in the site on the part of Tembec’s leadership team.

Some necessary projects are planned and underway, such as the replacement of 10 pulp digesters over the 2016-2027 period. And that is just one project. We have not finalized the overall new investment program, so there are many other improvements to come.

This new investment program does not mean we can let up on our efforts to control costs. And it is an absolute must that we get the maximum value from every dollar we invest in the site.

This will call for rethinking the way we approach major capital expenditures, just as our transformation of the site calls for rethinking the way we work.

Business basics – sound planning, project management and budget control – will be obvious priorities for this new investment program.

A little less obvious –  but equally important – is the importance of attitude with everything from setting priorities through to execution. For example, we have to think about future trends, so we focus our investments on products where we expect the most demand. And we must target processes and technology that’ll have the greatest impact on efficiency and productivity.

Capex can be a catalyst for improving competitiveness and for transforming the way we work

Among other things, the investment program gives us an opportunity to replace our electronic process control equipment, much of which is obsolete. This will help us measure up against our competitors around the world.

Making productive capital expenditures with process controls will call for leveraging the expertise of three key groups:

  • Our maintenance people and process engineers must work together with an eye to finding the best way to ensure long-term competitiveness.  
  • Our suppliers of equipment and parts must be consulted, so we take advantage of their expertise, and do not spend any effort reinventing the wheel.
  • Our frontline supervisors and floor employees must be involved, so we learn from their hands-on experience and input.

This kind of collaborative and very practical approach will make a big difference as we move ahead with our transformation of the site.

About Dany Gagnon

Dany GagnonDany, who joined Tembec in September 2015 with a mandate to lead the transformation, is building on his success leading change management programs in the automotive, brewing and agri-food industries. He is a mechanical engineer with a specialization in aeronautics and has a certification in process management. His global perspective reflects his experience working in the US, Asia and Europe, as well as Canada.

Temiscaming site, in brief

  • One of the largest forest products manufacturing sites in North America.
  • 800 site employees – 80% unionized under one collective agreement / 20% staff.
  • Three main mills that manufacture different forest products: specialty cellulose, high-yield pulp and coated bleached board (containerboard); and a chemical products facility.

Temiscaming transformation

The objective is to make Temiscaming a highly-competitive world-class operation for the long term. This will enable us to meet customer expectations for quality and reliability, as well as community expectations for sustainability, while ensuring profitability for Tembec.