Incentives for continuous service improvements in customer-supplier relationships for wood harvesting
Malin Johansson’s PhD project started in spring 2017, with Stora Enso as host company and employer. The PhD project is part of the FIRST2 Research School and BECFOR.
Today, small to medium-sized contractors perform most of the harvesting work in Swedish forestry by request of larger forest companies. The contractors’ work is utterly important for the forest industry supply chain, since it affect both the cost and availability of raw material. Moreover, the contractors’ execution of the harvesting work affect also the environmental, cultural and social values in the area they are working in. Consequently, forest companies have high and specific demands for the harvesting work, to enable international competiveness of Swedish forest products and also to enable wood to compete with other materials in the transition to a fossil free bio-economy. There is, however, a wide variation in how different contractors meet all the desires and needs of their customer. Generally, contractors have limited resources for development efforts and also face difficulties in recruiting and maintaining competent machine operators.
Recent Sweden studies have highlighted the complexity of the harvesting service, and also suggested how customer and supplier, respectively, can work to improve their own operations. Malin’s PhD project aims to go one step further, by developing work procedures that will benefit both parties. The idea is that the service suppling contractor and the service buying forest company should be able to support each other to achieve a continuously improved competiveness of the supply chain they both are part of. The first study in the project will evaluate how different obstacles and drivers can influence the execution and customer benefit of the harvesting service