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

Green workplace 2.0

Linda Baker
Thursday, May 28, 2015
IMG 2808BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Reinventing capitalism. Office dumpster divers. Handprints versus carbon footprints.


Read more...

The Green Paradox

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY EMILY LIEDEL

Inside the topsy-turvy world of corporate sustainability rankings.


Read more...

The ancient fish that stops bullets

The Latest
Friday, May 08, 2015
hagfishthumbBY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.


Read more...

Change at the pump?

The Latest
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
001thumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states in the U.S. that ban self serve gas stations. But these two holdouts may be ready to give up the game. New Jersey is considering legislation that would lift the state's ban on pumping your own gas. Oregon is considering smaller scale changes.


Read more...

Oregon businesses face destruction from future earthquake

The Latest
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
htctthumb1BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.


Read more...

Apartment Mania

Guest Blog
Thursday, June 18, 2015
4805983977 11466ce1d6 zBY BRAD HOULE | CFA

While most categories of commercial real estate have performed well, one of the most robust has been apartment buildings.


Read more...

Destination Resorts 2.0

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

As the recession recedes and tourism grows, Central Oregon resorts redefine themselves for a new generation.


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