Current issue: 56(4)
The methods of secondary wood processing are assumed to evolve over time and to affect the requirements set for the wood material and its suppliers. The study aims at analysing the industrial operating modes applied by joinery and furniture manufacturers as sawn wood users. Industrial operating mode was defined as a pattern of important decisions and actions taken by a company which describes the company’s level of adjustment in the late-industrial transition.
A non-probabilistic sample of 127 companies was interviewed, including companies from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland. Fifty-two of the firms were furniture manufacturers and the other 75 were producing windows and doors. Variables related to business philosophy, production operations, and suppliers’ choice criteria were measured and used as a basis for a customer typology; variables related to wood usage and perceived sawmill performance were measured to be used to profile the customer types.
Factor analysis was used to determine the latent dimensions of industrial operating mode. Canonical correlation analysis was applied in developing the final base for classifying the observations. Non-hierarchical cluster analysis was employed to build a five-group typology of secondary wood processing firms; these ranged from traditional mass producers to late-industrial flexible manufacturers. There was a clear connection between the amounts of late-industrial elements in a company and the share of special and customised sawn wood uses. Those joinery or furniture manufacturers that were late-industrial also were likely to use more component-type wood material and to appreciate customer-oriented sawn wood materials and late-industrial supplier relationships.