Current issue: 56(4)
Under compilation: 57(1)
The size of Finnish wood harvesting enterprises has grown, and entrepreneurs have become responsible for various additional tasks, resulting in networking with other harvesting enterprises of various sizes and suppliers of supporting services, but the profitability of the wood harvesting sector has remained low. In the present study, the financial performance of 83 wood harvesting companies in Eastern and Northern Finland was evaluated, based on public final account data from a five-year period between 2013 and 2017. The factors underlying economic success were identified based on 19 semi-structured entrepreneur interviews. The Business Model Canvas framework was applied in the analyses. In particular, the smallest companies (with an annual turnover of less than 600 000 €) struggled with profitability. They showed increasing indebtedness, suffered from poor power in negotiations, had typically short-term contracts, and faced difficulties in retaining skilled operators. Most of the small companies were subcontractors of larger wood-harvesting companies. The better economic success of larger companies was likely based on their capacity to provide wood harvesting services in large volumes and supply versatile services, power in negotiations, and more cost-effective operations. The future development of wood harvesting seems to be polarised: larger enterprises are likely to continue growing, while the size of smaller enterprises has stabilised. Enhancing business management skills and practices is required in enterprises of all size groups.
The use of network-based business models has been brought up as a means of creating com-petitive edge in the tightening global competition. In practice, adopting network-based models has not yet become common in the wood products industry. The objective of this study is to gain better understanding of types of network-based business models using a case study of two small and medium-sized wood industry companies in Finland (for a sake of anonymity named as A and B). The network of company A is found to consist of mostly of established actors with a new-in-the-market value creation system, whereas network for company B is more stable and has an established value system aiming at growth and incremental innovations. Both networks had experienced difficulties in finding partners and lacked some strategic resources. Via this example we wish to stimulate further research interest on the sources of network-based competitive advantage in the traditional wood product industry in a need of renewal of business models.