Case Study – Lashway Lumber

Technology Driven Market Assessment

The Challenge

In 2005 Lashway Lumber expanded its business through a sister company, Ponders Hollow, Westfield, MA which specializes in molding and flooring, continuing and extending the family’s dedication to wood-related products. Lashway Lumber was faced with the decision whether or not to invest in a vacuum kiln so they could expand their product into a growing market.

"on the fly"

The solution

The MassMEP worked with Lashway in the area of…

TDMI (Technology Driven Market Assessment) gathers real world market intelligence that considers specially the benefits and market impacts related specially to the benefits and market impacts related to specific technology-based asset’s value proposition.

MassMEP along with RTI International completed the TDMI to support Lashway Lumber’s consideration of investing in a vacuum kiln to make thermally modified wood.

The TDMI helped Lashway see that this kiln would support the use of underutilized Massachusetts wood species to create value added products that would replace imported exotic wood such as Ipe from South America.

  • 10% Increase over the current employment

  • Expanded their product line into growing markets

  • Total investment in excess of $1 million over a three year period

  • Increased capacity to 500,00 board feet of lumber

  • Increased and Retained jobs

  • Improve forest management opportunities

  • “Going through the TDMI process with MassMEP and RTI International allowed us to further innovate our product line to ensue our growth in the future.”
    Larry Lashway , Vice President

About Lashway Lumber

Founded in 1954, Lashway Lumber, in Williamsburg, MA is now managed by its fourth generation of family entrepreneurs. This depth of experience and commitment manifests in every aspect of our business. With its 36 employees, Lashway Lumber is able to do everything from start to finish on their own property. They are trying to help usher in a renaissance of American Manufacturing. What started out as a classic sawmill has flourished into a diverse wood products business still rooted in custom sawmill work but also includes a wide range of logging services and custom kiln drying.

With MassMEP

MassMEP, along with RTI International, completed a TDMI (technology Driven Market Assessment) to decide whether or not to invest in a vacuum kiln. The results showed great expansion opportunities for this product line. This Thermally Modified Wood product has great potential for using underutilized and threatened species throughout North America from private lands, National Forest System and other Federal and State public lands as well as Urban Forests turning those species into high value products.

Real World Market Intelligence, TDMI (Technology Driven Market Assessment, growth, new markets

$2.5 M

over a 3 year period

$1.5 M

Anticipated new sales

Thermally Modied Wood has great potential to serve markets such as decking and other outdoor wood applications, siding, flooring, window and door parts, etc. which are currently being served by tropical hardwoods, wood-plastic composites, and pressure treated lumber.