Specific and relevant metrics are a condition of Softwood Lumber Board funding. Properly calculated return on investment (ROI) is the primary measure, tactical accounting of activities, such as website visits, audience reach, or event attendees will not suffice.
Ultimately all the measures should answer one simple question: Did the effort generate more demand for softwood lumber in the near or mid-term?
However, the SLB recognizes that the metrics for individual projects may need to be different depending on the activities being pursued. In consideration of this challenge, the SLB has outlined primary and secondary metrics for three project types: new market development; market retention; codes and standards. Funding recipients will be required to report on their project or program’s performance using these metrics and performance criteria on a regular basis.
Further, the SLB engages Prime Consulting, an independent third party with considerable experience and expertise measuring industry checkoff programs, to conduct annual audits and ROI calculations to evaluate the value of and effectiveness of SLB investments. This independent report is further review, analyzed, and approved by the USDA. Prime’s most recent report confirmed that the SLB has generated more than 9.8 billion board feet of incremental demand of softwood lumber from 2012 through 2020. During the same time period, the SLB’s return on investment (ROI) was $39.82 for every $1 invested, making the SLB one of the most successful checkoff programs operating today.