Mattias Eriksson

Last changed: 20 August 2020

Developing client-supplier alignment in Swedish wood supply (2016)


Historically, several different approaches have been used to foster alignment in Swedish forest operations. These approaches span from complete reliance on competitive forces in service markets, to Tayloristic management of employed workers. Which was the preferred approach has varied over time. Today, outsourcing of forest operations prevail, which combined with, relative to historical levels, few supervisors and low level of research and development efforts means that competition in the market is the primary driver of change. However, poor competition in local service markets, and increasingly complex supply chains indicate that this driver may not be sufficiently strong to on its own promote the development of more effective operations.

This thesis investigates the concept of ‘harvesting operations performance’, and aims to identify ways to improve the forest industry’s supply chain by developing alignment between forest companies and harvesting contractors.

Study I investigated how routinely collected follow-up data from forest machines can be used to model harvester and forwarder productivity in various conditions, and concluded that analyses of such data can help managers identify the most efficient machines for various conditions. In study II, a set of attributes of the harvesting service were identified, indicating that harvesting is a more complex service than commonly is acknowledged. Customer perceptions of contractor performance in the identified attributes were quantified, indicating substantial variation in contractor performance. Study III developed and tested a process intended to help customers of harvesting services to actively foster alignment of their employed contractors’ performance with their needs. The results from study IV, which empirically investigated benefits of alignment, suggests that if the employment of such a performance management process is successful and manages to improve alignment, increased contractor profitability and stable contractor relationships are likely to follow.

A transition from market mechanisms as the primary drivers of development in Swedish harvesting operations towards more active performance management, as suggested in this thesis, will likely lead to a more positive development of operations in the future than has been the case in the recent past.

Read the doctoral thesis here.



Name: Mattias Eriksson
Born: 1981
Host Company: SCA Forest (Magnus Bergman)
Main supervisor: Ola Lindroos (SLU)
Co-supervisor: Luc LeBel (Université Laval, Quebec), Pelle Gemmel (SLU), Dag Fjeld (SLU)
Doctoral thesis: 2016:32


Ola Lindroos, Professor
Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology, SLU, 090-786 86 36