The role of digitalization and value chain management for competitive advantage in forest industry transformation to the bioeconomy

The forest industry is going through a transformation worldwide. Competitive limitations faced by companies starting with the newsprint demand decline have required process modernization and portfolio diversification. As a result, the forest biorefinery emerged - facilities for the production of biofuels, biochemicals, and biomaterials. The forest sector has adopted the biorefinery concept globally because it represents an opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, diversify revenue and respond to the demand for sustainable bioproducts. As this concept grows, competitiveness in this highly uncertain market will grow. Bioproducts will replace or substitute petroleum-based commodities and specialty products. Digitalization and integration of supply chain (SC) technologies will be essential to achieve flexible and robust operations, and long-term competitiveness. This will be a challenging task requiring companies to be proactive, create opportunity through an early start, and invest heavily in innovation capacity to succeed. It is unclear however, how well the industry recognises the importance of data integration and SC management (SCM) for long-term competitiveness, and the approaches they plan to use. This project will identify how the forest industry plans to manage this issue, and develop a methodology to systematically mitigate SC risk, while helping biorefineries to emerge strengthened through SCM fundamentals.

Luana Dessbesell
Superviseur universitaire: 
Paul Stuart
Partner University: