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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Relationship between markets and technology in large Western Canadian sawmills Lee, Lily


The relationship between marketing and technology has been discussed in many articles, but little empirical research has been conducted to examine this subject, especially in wood product industry. Results of this study indicate that markets served by Western Canadian sawmills are closely linked with the technologies used in their production. Forty-eight sawmills with annual production over 50 million board feet on BC coast, in BC interior and Alberta were surveyed by personal interview. Forty-three questions related to marketing, products, quality control activities, and processing technology were presented to each participating mill. Data analysis shows that in 1995 there were two distinct markets served by Western Canadian sawmills: North America (predominantly the US) and overseas (predominantly Japan). Interior BC and Alberta sawmills focused more on the North American market, while coastal BC mills focused more on overseas markets. The two groups of mills with different market orientations also show differences in raw material supply, product, quality control factors, size control software, the age of machines, and optimized work centers. This study shows the current situation for the Western Canadian sawmilling industry, and highlights opportunities for using appropriate technology, marketing strategies, and quality control techniques to improve product quality and maximize value and volume of production from limited timber resources. Key Words: market orientation, optimization, quality control activity, sawmilling industry, Sawmill technology, size control, Western Canadian sawmills,

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