|shareholders letter||| Our growth story||| 100 years and growing||| Download report|
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Reducing jobs is never easy, especially when earnings are improving. But we must have the discipline to stay the course. We operate in a cyclical industry. We sell in a global marketplace where the performance of domestic and international markets is intertwined. We cannot count on market conditions to generate earnings. Today's changes, painful as they may be, will create a stronger and healthier Weyerhaeuserone where shareholders and employees know that every job adds value and that no effort is duplicated or wasted. We expect the result will be higher returns for shareholders and, in the long run, greater job security for Weyerhaeuser people.
BUT WE DON'T HAVE TO WAIT TO SEE THE RESULTS OF OUR CHANGES. Some are already evident. Our capital spending, for example, was $566 million in 1999. That's the lowest in absolute terms in more than 12 years and the lowest as a percentage of depreciation in 15 years. Moreover, we reduced spending without hurting the long-term productivity of our manufacturing operations. This dramatic improvement comes from making PACE (Process to Achieve Capital Excellence) part of our culture and decision-making process. PACE enables us to choose the right projects and implement them the right way. The discipline of PACE also results in a safer work environment. The first stage of our Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, pulp and paper project, for example, came in $5 million under budget and has surpassed more than 1.8 million hours without a lost-time accident.
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