I read an interesting post recently at the Harvard Business Review related to the sales process. It points to the value of using more channels of distribution as a way of enhancing return on investment. We’re told here that “managing multiple channels calls for effectively addressing selling opportunities based on value versus volume.” It got me wondering if this analysis applies equally among consumer related products and industrial commodities like lumber.
Forest industry trends in recent years have witnessed patterns of increased consolidation among primary producers. This consolidation has been accompanied by increased integration in the marketing strategies. Vertical integration in producers’ marketing strategies is frequently aimed at controlling the product through to the ultimate user. Export policies for shipment to China is one example where the channels of distribution have been restricted, with accompanying reduction of wholesale distributors participating in the offshore marketing process. As the supply of beetle-killed timber wanes here in B.C., might this strategy be revisited if return on investment can be shown to be enhanced?