Home Back Issues Jan/Feb 2012 Wood product companies unite

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

Gone Fishing

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LORI TOBIAS

Business has been good to Laura Anderson, leading some to suggest she must be awfully lucky to find such success in a business notorious for failure. But luck’s had little to do with it.


Read more...

Fast Food Slows Down

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

The ubiquitous fast-food restaurant may be on the decline.


Read more...

College Hacker

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KLINT FINLEY

Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson builds a 21st-century trade school.


Read more...

Powerlist: Colleges and Universities

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation about higher education with the presidents of the University of Oregon and Clackamas Community College, followed by September's powerlist.


Read more...

Innovation: a critique

News
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
1008 innovation thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A Design Week panel discussion raises questions about how innovative we really are.


Read more...

Startup or Grow Up?

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JON BELL

Startup culture is all the rage. Is there a downside?


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 26, 2014
0926 iphone6-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

This post focuses on the recent release of the new Apple iPhone as well as Alibaba's IPO, the largest U.S. IPO in history.


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