Reinventing America's Hardwood Industry



New Report Outlines Opportunities for Revitalization



Minneapolis, Minn. February 1, 2007. - At one time the term “colony” was loosely defined as: any geographic region that exported raw materials to the “home country” and then purchased those materials back as value added products. By that economic measure, the U.S. is quickly becoming a colony of Asia.



The domestic hardwood industry of the United States has been hit hard by dramatic changes in the global marketplace as reflected by current trade imbalances. However, there are still opportunities for U.S. companies to succeed.



According to a new report by Dovetail Partners, a nonprofit based in Minneapolis that works on issues related to responsible trade and consumption, there are two keys to competing in this ever-competitive world.



“The key strategies for companies trying to compete are to have organizational leadership that is multidimensional and an organization that is able to learn and rapidly adapt to change,” says Dr. Jeff Howe, President of Dovetail Partners and co-author of the report.



Dr. Jeff Howe and Dr. Jim Bowyer wrote the report “Reinventing the Hardwood Industry One Company at a Time” as part of a 2-year project funded by the USDA Forest Service. The aim of the project has been to provide information on global and domestic trends and potential strategies and tools for increasing competitiveness within the domestic hardwood industry.



“Knowledge is an essential element in successfully competing in a global environment and foreign competitors are no different than other competitors – they too have weaknesses as well as strengths,” says Dr. Bowyer, Responsible Materials Program Director at Dovetail Partners and professor emeritus from the University of Minnesota Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering



The report concludes that today's companies need to be ready to make more than just incremental changes.



“Working harder won't help,” say Dr. Howe. “Working smarter is the only solution.”





For additional information about trends affecting the industry and strategies and tools for responding effectively, please visit the Dovetail webpage: Helping the Wood Products Industry Profit from the Next 10 Years.

The report, “Reinventing the Hardwood Industry One Company at a Time” was released January 26th and is available at the Dovetail Partners' website.



The work upon which this program is based was funded through a grant awarded by the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, USDA Forest Service. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For more information, contact: Dovetail Partners at 612-333-0430 or .