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The CFI Podcast: Chris Duncan on the importance of succession planning


December 1, 2020
By Canadian Forest Industries staff

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Succession planning is critical to the future of Canada’s logging industry, but many loggers don’t have a succession plan. In fact, according to the results of CFI’s 2020 Contractor Survey, 36 per cent do not have a plan for their company after they retire. To get a better understanding of the challenges loggers face when it comes to succession planning, the importance of having such a plan, and the key elements that should be included, we spoke with Chris Duncan, national leader of forestry and forest products services for MNP, in the latest episode of The CFI Podcast.

Chris shared his experience helping logging contractors create a succession plan and the reasons why so many do not have a plan in place.

“When you look at the logging contracting world, there’s very slim margins. You’re focused on the day-to-day, trying to just really focus on what’s going to happen that week and what’s going to happen next week, maybe the month after that. A lot of folks aren’t looking five or 10 years out, and I think that’s a key part of it,” he said.

But, having a succession plan in place before retirement “allows you to maximize the benefits” of retirement, he said.

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“I always say to people it doesn’t matter if you’re 65 or if you’re 35 – you should always have an idea of how you’re going to get out of your business in the future. Things change. It doesn’t always necessarily mean retirement. Sometimes it’s health. If you look at the average logging contractor age across Canada being 50 years old, 50 years old is the age when you start seeing some of that health impacts from the wear and tear of the logging profession.”

Listen to the SoundCloud link below to hear more from Chris about succession planning.

You can also find the episode on iTunes under Annex Business Media and stream it at annexbusinessmedia.com/podcasts.

Special thanks to our sponsor, MNP, for making this episode of The CFI Podcast possible. MNP – wherever business takes you. Visit www.mnp.ca to learn more.

Have an idea for a podcast episode? Email CFI editor Ellen Cools at ecools@annexbusinessmedia.com.

Music: www.purple-planet.com