Sponsored by Oregon Business

Wood product companies unite

| Print |  Email
Articles - Jan/Feb 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012

By Jon Bell

0112_WoodProduct
A panel of Collins pine particleboard laminated by Thermo Pressed Laminates.

Within a five-mile radius in Klamath Falls sit four wood product companies that have never really been competitors, but that have never really collaborated with each other either.

But in 2009, with the entire industry feeling the housing hit, those four companies — Thermo Pressed Laminates, Columbia Forest Products, Collins Products and Down River — saw a potential for strength in numbers. “We were all essentially non-competitors selling to the same markets,” says Pat McNeal, president of TPL, “but things just weren’t getting any better.”

At the suggestion of Columbia executives Ed Woods and Tim Schallich, the four firms met for the first time in 2009 to talk about joining forces. The result: the Klamath Panel Alliance, a unique collaboration that finds the companies working as a team to court customers, improve efficiencies and even gain some new business.

“The idea was really to try and take advantage of each manufacturer’s unique capabilities,” says Schallich, vice president of resources at Columbia. “I know we’ve picked up some new customers.”

Through the KPA, the various firms have approached customers together and highlighted the benefits of working with the alliance. The collaboration allows the companies to share customer lists and combine truckloads of materials, which not only cuts down on shipping costs but also helps customers keep inventories lean. Through the KPA, Thermo Pressed Laminates actually produces some products for Columbia under the Columbia label; the company also showcased its laminates on Collins’ particleboard at a recent tradeshow.

McNeal says it’s going to take some time for the wood products industry to get back on its feet. As that happens, the KPA will continue to evolve and help the four companies — and their customers — stay strong.

“Is it a godsend?” McNeal says of the alliance. “Not really. But it is one of those instances where there are absolutely no losers.”

 

More Articles

Emperor of the Sea

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan

Pacific Seafood, one of the world’s largest processors, is rebranding as a more transparent and consumer-friendly operation. A controversial CEO and monopoly accusations from coastal fishermen complicate the tale.


Read more...

2015 100 Best companies announced

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
IMG 0022cneditBY OB STAFF

The 100 Best list recognizes large, medium and small companies for excellence in work environment, management and communications, decision-making and trust, career development and learning, and benefits and compensation.


Read more...

Letting Go

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

As baby boomers sell their businesses, too many forget the all-important succession plan.


Read more...

Get on the bus!

April 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER

How the private sector can ride the next transit revolution.


Read more...

Where do Portland demographics rank among the largest 50 cities in the US?

The Latest
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
thumbpdxinperspectiveBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The Portland in Perspective study, done by the City Budget Office, was released Tuesday.


Read more...

Green Rush: Cashing in on legal marijuana

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Marijuana is big business in Oregon, and it’s about to get bigger.


Read more...

Are wolves good for business?

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 06, 2015
030615-wolf-thumbBY JEFF DELKIN | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

As a local business owner, I believe it’s important to build our economy on a platform of conservation values.  


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS