For timber products company’s to compete with the best in the industry they may need to shed 6,000 jobs according to industry analysts Plimsoll Publishing.

In its latest report, Plimsoll has identified 167 companies as setting new standards in efficiency.

This, it said, has enabled them to deliver nearly 40% more sales and more than double the profit per person of an average UK timber products company. They are now generating £168,000 sales and £7,000 profit per person compared to £120,00 sales and £3,000 profit last year.

However, 105 companies have been identified as only generating an average of £68,000 per employee. Their spend on salaries accounts for 29% of sales – 10% more than it should be if they are to catch up with new standards of productivity.

David Pattison, senior analyst at Plimsoll Publishing, said there are three key facts companies should remember – get sales per employee up to or above £120,000, keep spend on salaries to 19% of sales or less, and control debts.