Deborah DeLong, M.Sc. (2005)

Thesis Title: Benchmarking the Canadian Value-Added Wood Products Sector: Competitive Factors that Contribute to its Success

Abstract: In recent years, there has been considerable interest in the secondary wood manufacturing sector across Canada. Strengthening and facilitating the secondary wood manufacturing or value-added sector is seen as the next step to creating a more sustainable economy across Canada. This research considered all secondary wood manufacturers across Canada and has provided standardized information for the entire sector as a benchmark. In order to evaluate the competitive position of the Canadian secondary wood manufacturers, two steps were undertaken. First, factors that have determined success in other sectors were identified. Secondly, the sector’s current business environments and their emphasis on the factors that contribute to success were evaluated. The majority of businesses in this sector are small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and have common concerns that effect SMEs. Problems obtaining financing for expansion, market research, expanding to new markets, and upgrading employees’ skills are examples. There is also opportunity for increasing efficiencies through lean manufacturing and optimizing supply chains. These types of initiatives will require education and training. Logistic regression analysis found that being a member of an industry association greatly increased the probability of a business being profitable. Industry associations are likely an effective conduit for the required training and education.

Co-Supervosor: Dr. David Cohen

Current Position: Principal Consultant, Orman Forest Consulting & Instructor, UBC, Faculty of Forestry, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada