Erfan Tabarsi, M.Sc. (2001)

Thesis Title: A Market Assessment of the Potential for OSB Products in the North American Office Furniture and Door Manufacturing Industries

Abstract: A market study was conducted on the potential for Oriented Strand Board (OSB) products in the North American office furniture and door manufacturing sectors. It is hoped that the information gathered in this study will aid OSB manufacturers in improving their market situation within the industrial sector. This study also provides OSB manufacturers with some recommendations for marketing strategies to help them improve their product’s market position within this highly competitive market.

A list of 973 door and 894 office furniture manufacturers across North America were selected using simple random sampling. The adjusted response rate for office furniture and door manufacturers combined gave an outcome of 11.86%. Although this response rate is slightly on the low side, it is sufficient to make inferences onto the population. The two surveys were divided into four main sections: 1) Company Information; 2) Material Used in Doors/Office Furniture; 3) Wood Panels Use in Door/Office Furniture; 4) OSB Use in Door/Office Furniture Manufacturing. Although the focus of this study was to find industrial manufacturers’ level of awareness, perception, and use of OSB products, for the sake of comparison, some steps were taken to gather information on competing products, as well.

Results of this study clearly show that office furniture manufacturers have higher consumption rates and knowledge of wood-based panel products compared to door manufacturers. On the other hand, door manufacturers seem to have more acceptance of solid wood products over wood-based panel products. The study showed that OSB’s market share within the office furniture and door sector was fairly low. There are two possible explanations for this outcome. The first includes industrial manufacturers’ low familiarity with OSB products. More than half of the respondents indicated that they had no familiarity with OSB products and its attributes. For those familiar with OSB products, technical problems (please refer to result section) was the main reason for not using the product. Some recommendations have been made to OSB manufacturers in terms of strategies to use to enhance OSB’s market position within the industrial marketplace. These include emphasizing OSB’s strengths and improving its technical problems, stabilizing OSB prices, forming partnerships with industrial manufacturers, and displaying the final products in trade shows and show rooms.

Current Position: Project Manager, Leger Marketing, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada