Fall 2012 Research Update: Education Needs in the Forest Products Industry

Omar Espinoza, Assistant Professor at University of Minnesota Robert Smith, Associate Dean and Professor at Virginia Tech   As part of the University of Minnesota’s Forest Products Management Development Institute service to its members and the industry in general, and in collaboration with Virginia Tech’s Center for Forest Products Business, a study of educational needs … Continue reading “Fall 2012 Research Update: Education Needs in the Forest Products Industry”

Omar Espinoza, Assistant Professor at University of Minnesota
Robert Smith, Associate Dean and Professor at Virginia Tech
 

As part of the University of Minnesota’s Forest Products Management Development Institute service to its members and the industry in general, and in collaboration with Virginia Tech’s Center for Forest Products Business, a study of educational needs in the Forest Products Industry was conducted in the summer of 2012. This document summarizes the results from the study and compares the educational needs of forest products companies in Minnesota and Virginia.

Table 1. Participant’s type of business and size.

During May-July of 2012, a web survey was conducted concurrently in Minnesota and Virginia to assess the educational needs of the Forest Products Industry. In total, 73 companies participated in Minnesota and 101 in Virginia. Participants belonged to many subsectors, ranging from lumber manufacturers and distributors, to secondary manufacturers, such as producers of kitchen cabinets and millwork.  Company demographics of respondents are presented in Table 1. A 15-item questionnaire was developed and tested. The final version contained the following sections: demographic information (primary business, number of employees, number of facilities, and type of product distribution), business management factors (major factors for business, strategic plan, the major performance measures used, product development), training needs (business factors, greatest training need, training delivery method, current training providers), and one open question for comments. Following the survey, executives in 19 companies were interviewed to verify and expand on the results from the survey.

To read the complete research update, please follow this link.

Research Update: Fostering Relationships Among Central American and Appalachian Forest Products Companies

 By Scott Lyon, Henry Quesada, and Robert Smith Introduction Exporting wood products offers many advantages for firms entering the global market, such as increased profits and credit, market growth, and economic strength (Parhizkar 2008; McMahon and Gottko 1989). In the past few years, parts of the U.S., such as the Appalachian region, have suffered from … Continue reading “Research Update: Fostering Relationships Among Central American and Appalachian Forest Products Companies”

 By Scott Lyon, Henry Quesada, and Robert Smith

Introduction

Exporting wood products offers many advantages for firms entering the global market, such as increased profits and credit, market growth, and economic strength (Parhizkar 2008; McMahon and Gottko 1989). In the past few years, parts of the U.S., such as the Appalachian region, have suffered from the economic crisis resulting in forest products mill closures and loss of employment due to an increase in competition. An increase in global competition has caused the decrease of domestic markets for U.S. furniture. This increase in competition has taken a toll on the Appalachian hardwood lumber industry (Bowe et al. 2001). Forest products companies in the Appalachian region must be innovative in their marketing strategies to find potential markets for their products (Naka et al. 2009). Therefore, Appalachian wood products companies may need to increase product competiveness by expanding export markets and improving product promotion (Wang et al. 2010). International marketing of wood products is essential for the Appalachian region to strengthen its economy (Hammett 1996).

To read the complete research update here Center Research Update 2011 – Central America

Center for Forest Products Business held its Annual Meeting in March 31

Blacksburg, VA. April 27, 2011. The Center for Forest Products Business (CFPB) at Virginia Tech held its 2011 Annual Meeting in March 31 at the Brooks Center in Blacksburg, Virginia. The meeting was attended by representatives of the industry, government, state, and industry associations. During the morning session graduate students from the Department of Wood … Continue reading “Center for Forest Products Business held its Annual Meeting in March 31”

Blacksburg, VA. April 27, 2011. The Center for Forest Products Business (CFPB) at Virginia Tech held its 2011 Annual Meeting in March 31 at the Brooks Center in Blacksburg, Virginia. The meeting was attended by representatives of the industry, government, state, and industry associations. During the morning session graduate students from the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products had the opportunity to present results of their research projects to the attendees (See Figure 1). Also professors Dr. Earl Kline, Dr. Bob Smith, and Dr. Henry Quesada summarized the future direction of the CFPB.

Figure 1. MS candidate Scarlett Sanchez presents results of her research on factors affecting the Supply Chain of the Wood Pallets Industry

After lunch participants were asked to provide feedback to help the CFPB to create a strategic plan for next five years. Results of the strategic session will be posted later. At the end of the day the meeting participants were invited to join the Annual Banquet of the College of Natural Resources and Environment (CNRE) where graduate and undergraduate students of the CNRE were recognized for their scholarly efforts.

RESEARCH UPDATE: Opportunities for Appalachian Forest Products in Guatemala and El Salvador: A Case Study

Scott Lyon, swlyon@vt.edu MS Candidate Virginia Tech   From November 17-24, 2010 Dr. Henry Quesada and Scott Lyon, graduate research assistant visited 8 forest product importers, 2 non-government organizations, and 2 governmental forestry agencies in Guatemala and El Salvador. The researchers were examining the forest products markets in these countries to identify opportunities for Appalachian … Continue reading “RESEARCH UPDATE: Opportunities for Appalachian Forest Products in Guatemala and El Salvador: A Case Study”

Scott Lyon, swlyon@vt.edu
MS Candidate
Virginia Tech
 

From November 17-24, 2010 Dr. Henry Quesada and Scott Lyon, graduate research assistant visited 8 forest product importers, 2 non-government organizations, and 2 governmental forestry agencies in Guatemala and El Salvador. The researchers were examining the forest products markets in these countries to identify opportunities for Appalachian forest products companies. The researchers used a structured interview to gain valuable information about the companies and organizations. The objectives were to: (1) identify main competitors of forest product companies in Central American countries; (2) investigate distribution channels of forest products; and (3) investigate local production, demand, and policy of forest products in Central American countries.

Figure 1. Teak Plantation (Author's photo)

Continue reading “RESEARCH UPDATE: Opportunities for Appalachian Forest Products in Guatemala and El Salvador: A Case Study”