Tom Armentano, lumber buyer; Keith McPherson, lumber sales; and Jim Sirianni, co-owner of Sirianni Hardwoods Inc., located in Painted Post, New York.
Continuous Growth Drives Expansion At Sirianni Hardwoods
By Terry Miller
Painted Post, N.Y.—Since its founding in 1979, Sirianni Hardwoods Inc., situated in the heart of the Northern Appalachian mountains, has continuously increased production and modernized its facilities.
The company continued the tradition this past year by adding two new lumber stackers and its 12th covered air-drying building.
“These additions are a continuation of our long-term plan,” explained Jim Sirianni, who, along with his brother John, is co-owner of the company. “By adding automatic stackers to the end of our two trim lines we doubled our production capacity and simultaneously improved our kiln-dried lumber packaging. We still use our traditional stacker for most green lumber, but our two new lines can be used for processing either green or kiln-dried lumber. This gives us a lot more flexibility.”
Sirianni Hardwoods is located on 25 acres in western New York State, near the Pennsylvania border.
The new air-drying building is a massive construction that measures 45-feet x 175-feet. Air-drying buildings have always been an important part of the operation. This new building will be used primarily for Maple and Cherry. It is oriented for maximum airflow so the prevailing wind removes the moisture from this stock as quickly as possible.
Sirianni Hardwoods historically has specialized in kiln-dried 5/4 through 8/4 Red and White Oak. While Oak is still the company’s top selling product, Hard and Soft Maple and Cherry have become an increasingly important part of their production over the past eight years.
Sirianni Hardwoods maintains a green inventory of about 6 million board feet with an additional one million board feet of kiln-dried lumber in dry storage.
“Our philosophy is to keep our yard 110 percent full of lumber,” said John Sirianni. “The sawmills rely on us to be steady green lumber buyers and the customers demand fast response to kiln-dried lumber orders. Someone has to hold a sizeable lumber-in-process inventory. That’s us—we are squarely in the middle. Our most valuable asset, both literally and figuratively, is a yard full of high-quality lumber.”
The facility is located on 25 acres in western New York State, near the Pennsylvania border. Situated on the property are 12 identical 40-foot x 160-foot air-drying buildings, two kiln-dried storage buildings equaling about 60,000 square feet, and 11 dry kilns with a 900,000 board foot per charge holding capacity. In addition to the stackers and the trimming and sorting lines mentioned earlier, the company has six Hyster lift trucks and operates a modern Newman EPR-24 planing mill.
“We have expanded our business every year since we started and we plan to continue growing at a controlled
Sirianni Hardwoods’ new stacking equipment speeds kiln-dried lumber processing.
pace,” said Jim. “Controlling quality at higher production levels is always our main concern. Simply pushing more lumber through the system does not work in today’s highly competitive marketplace. To effectively serve our suppliers and customers, we need to keep pace with changes in the industry by continuously upgrading our equipment and improving our systems and operating procedures.”
Sirianni Hardwoods’ reputation for producing quality lumber starts with the lumber it buys. Lumber is purchased from approximately 70 different sawmills throughout the Appalachian and Allegheny Mountain region.
“The sawmills are the key to our business. The whole process starts with top-quality green lumber,” said Jim.
All incoming green lumber is double end trimmed and graded according to National Hardwood Lumber Assoc. standard grading rules, then graded again after kiln drying prior to shipment to customers.
“We guarantee that our lumber exceeds industry standards in all respects,” Jim added. “We’ll do whatever is necessary to back up that guarantee.”
Sirianni Hardwoods’ customers include distribution yards, end users, exporters and wholesalers throughout No
With their latest expansion, Sirianni Hardwoods maintains 6 million board feet of green lumber in 12 air-drying buildings.
rth America and overseas.
“We really focus on customer retention,” Jim added. “A long-term stream of profit depends on a long-term stream of shipments. Naturally, as we grow, we gradually acquire new customers, but repeat business is our bread and butter. We work very closely with our customers to make sure the lumber they buy from us is a good fit for their manufacturing operation or resale market.”
The Sirianni family started in the hardwood business in the 1920s. Their grandfather, John Sirianni, operated a sawmill in Hop Bottom, Pennsylvania, producing mine material. Continuing the family legacy, Jim and John’s father, Carl Sirianni, took over the business after serving in World War II. He expanded the existing mill and started concentrating on producing grade lumber for the furniture industry. In 1954, he purchased a larger mill about 75 miles away in Greene, New York. After operating in Greene for about 10 years, he sold that mill and purchased a hardwood band mill in Ashepoo, South Carolina, and a southern Pine mill in Jacksonville, Florida, which he operated until the early 1970s.
The Siriannis eventually yearned to return to upstate New York, so after college, in the mid-1970s, John and Jim purchased a dry kiln operation in Hanover, Pa., which they ran from 1975 to 1978. They sold that facility in 1978 and moved to their current location in Painted Post, New York. Since then the company has grown by leaps and bounds to its current size, producing over 10 million board feet of kiln-dried lumber annually.
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The firm maintains a kiln-dried inventory of one million board feet.
Some of Sirianni’s key employees, along with Jim and John, include: Neil Titus, yard manager; Tom Armentano, green lumber buyer; Keith McPherson, lumber sales; and Anne Short, office manager. The company is an active member of the National Hardwood Lumber Assoc., the Appalachian Hardwood Lumber Assoc., the Empire State Forest Products Assoc., the Hardwood Manufacturers Assoc. and the Penn-York Lumbermen’s Club.
To learn more about Sirianni Hardwoods, visit the company web site at www.siriannihardwoods.com.