Emanuel Erlandsson

Last changed: 28 November 2017

The triad perspective on business models for wood harvesting (2016)


Swedish forest companies have outsourced their harvesting operations extensively to contractors. The role of these professionals is increasingly important for wood supply, especially for companies purchasing most of their wood from non-industrial private forest owners, for which harvesting is normally arranged by the company. Contractors are key actors in maintaining owners’ willingness to sell wood, which has become more challenging and requires attractive service offers. As forest owners associations (FOAs) are owned by their members, they have a large responsibility to offer services satisfying owners’ goals, but at the same time they need to satisfy industrial demands.

This thesis applies a triad perspective on harvesting services to assess varying needs and value perceptions for FOAs, contractors, and forest owners. The objective is to investigate the possibilities and needs for FOAs to tailor their business models to increase the total success of service triads.

Two FOAs with fully outsourced harvesting services were investigated, and research was conducted as two parts. The first part (Paper I) used process mapping to analyze the impact of industrial context on business activities for harvesting. The results revealed both differences in demand uncertainties and different needs for production adjustments due to varying supply responsibilities (own mills vs. no own mills). This caused different needs for capacity flexibility, preferably met by corresponding proportions of short–term contracts. Many managers, however, perceived a shortage of contractors and instead used large proportions (>90%) of long-term contracts and satisfied flexibility needs by requesting the use of less specialized machinery. The second part (Paper II, III) used interviews, surveys and follow-up data to identify and analyze success factors satisfying each group of the triad. Especially large variations were found among forest owners in assigned service values and performance perceptions. Furthermore, results revealed strong discrepancies between currently applied follow-up parameters vs. parameters that respondents actually valued most. Specifically, parameters most important for contractors’ satisfaction were different from parameters important for their profitability.

The thesis concludes with a characterization of the tailoring needs for different industrial and local contexts, and also describes general needs and responsibilities for each of the three perspectives concerning service development.

Read the doctoral thesis here.


Name: Emanuel Erlandsson
Born: 1983
Host-company: Mellanskog /Norrskog
Supervisor: Urban Bergsten (SLU), Dag Fjeld (SLU -tidigare)
Co-supervisor: Gun Lidestav (SLU)
Doctoral thesis: 2016:124