Finnish Forest Research Institute  Metla

Media release 8.7.2005

Metla and Pellervo Economic Research Institute PTT studied competitiveness of wood products in German markets

Logistics and services - a challenge for Finnish and Swedish enterprises

Suppliers from the Nordic countries have several difficulties to overcome to reach the level of their German competitors regarding many of the selection criteria essential to customers. Both Finnish and Swedish manufacturers could improve their competitive edge by improving their services. This could be achieved, for example, by providing tailored products, by offering flexible payment systems and electronic transactions. The shift to make products more processed and more consumer market oriented would also require development of the logistics of wood products. These topics are presented in research published in Silva Fennica.

The research carried out by Metla and Pellervo Economic Research Institute PTT clarified which issues are decisive, when companies marketing wood and timber select products for their portfolio. The study was focused on items such as the supplier’s reliability, services, product-related information, environmentally friendly features of the product and attendance to customer contacts. The study also analysed the average success of suppliers from Germany, Finland, Sweden, Austria and Canada.

The research material consisted of 76 German companies selling wood and timber. The combined net sales of the companies interviewed corresponded to 75 per cent of the value of the annual construction material business in Germany.

The results show that the supplier’s reliability, which includes features such as timely and fast transportation, was considered to be the most important intangible product dimension. Large construction material companies value reliability even more than small or company-oriented enterprises.

The project was financially supported by Wood Wisdom, a Nordic forestry research programme.

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