Recent publications include the following:
Survival Instead of Digital?
Summary of 2019 North American Pulp and Paper Outlook Survey
Most pessimistic outlook since 2012 • Pricing and margin management top priority • Digitalization second least priority even though productivity and efficiency benefits already achieved • Cost reduction biggest priority gainer • M&A with biggest priority drop • US reconfirmed as most attractive region
Digitalization in Tissue: Significant potentials yet to be captured
Published in Tissue World Magazine, September/October 2019
By Alexander Wirth, 2019
Industry 4.0 — The Experience of Leading Forest Products Players
Digitalization has become top of mind in the industry • The highest benefits are expected in cost reduction and in creating new business models • Top barriers are internal obstacles that can be solved by the top-management • Digitalization offers high benefits – early movers advantage
Presentation held at Saint-Petersburg International Forestry Forum, by Veronica Schey and Nelli Yanytska, 2019
The mill of the future — Digitalization & Industry 4.0
Digitalization has become top of mind in the industry • The technical platforms and capabilities for digitalization already exist – opportunity for early movers • The highest benefits are expected in cost reduction and in supply chain • Most digitalization/Industry 4.0 projects are in the operational environment • Top barriers are lack of awareness, change management requirements, technical infrastructure and a missing ROI
Presentation held at Tissue World Milan, by Joachim Klein, 2019
Good year 2018 for Russia, and changes ahead
2018 a very positive year for Russian forest industry sector • 2019 sector likely to be confronted with new restrictive policies • Discussed restrictions: 100% export ban and 100% RFID control for round wood, 100% merchandise exchange trade for exports of round and sawn wood • Federal Forestry Agency started review of all forest lease agreements • Nevertheless: Overall projections for 2019 mostly positive
Published in Russian Forestry Review #8/2019
By Alexey Beschastnov and Dr. Veronica Schey, 2019
Digital remedy to an analogue decline?
Summary of 2019 European Outlook & Digitalization Survey
Most negative outlook since financial crisis • Stagnant demand and price drops expected • Priorities on cost reduction, pricing and margin management • Digitalization & Industry 4.0 a top priority • Plastic substitution opportunities
Digitalisierung und Industrie 4.0
Optimierungspotenziale in der Wertschöpfungskette & Prioritäten der Industrie
Abstract of presentation held at Symposium der Papieringenieure 2018 in Cologne
Published in Wochenblatt für Papierfabrikation 12/2018, Fachzeitschrift für die Papier- und Zellstoff-Industrie
By Alexander Wirth and Joachim Klein, 2018
Full steam ahead or time to take a breath?
Summary of 2018 North American Pulp and Paper Outlook Survey
Signs of slowing growth • Pricing, product development, and M&A key priorities • US confirmed as most attractive region • North America ranked most competitive location globally • Skepticism about benefit of Smart Manufacturing
Think Beyond. Today! — Digitalization and Industry 4.0
Digitalization and Industry 4.0 can help capture untapped potentials in forestry, paper and packaging. Opportunities of €10bn in Working Capital alone.
A view on the industry’s readiness for Industry 4.0, and Digitalization in the value chain
Updated Digitalization/Industry 4.0 study conducted in 2015 to understand developments since then • The study analyzed the priority of Industry 4.0 and Digitalization on the agenda of companies, the readiness to engage, maturity level of projects and the perceived benefits and challenges relating to Digitalization • Although awareness about Industry 4.0 has grown since 2015, it is not considered a game changer by two thirds of the Austrian participants • The untapped potential from implementation of Industry 4.0 and Digitalization is estimated to be €5 billion in inventories and €10 billion in cost savings in Europe alone • Only one quarter has a clear strategy in place • 60% of Austrian participants reported a decreased or unchanged IT budget, which may be a risk for Austrian companies to fall behind • To identify potential benefits from Industry 4.0 / Digitalization, StepChange has developed a model to assess net benefits and the required level of digitalization across the value chain functions
Presentation held at Paper and Biorefinery Conference in Graz, by Alexander Wirth and Valentin Schenkenfelder, 2018
Up, up, up – the only way is up?
Summary of 2018 European Pulp and Paper Outlook Survey
Outlook study reveals expectations of a further strengthening of the economy in 2018 • Growing demand and price increases expected for the coming year • Company priorities on pricing, margin management and cost reduction • talent acquisition and retention with stronger importance • Europe attractive industry location due to infrastructure, qualified labor and domestic demand
Euphoria: Sustainable or Transitory?
Pulp performs and Tissue trumps again!
A review of the financial state of the industry
By Joachim Klein and Sarah Rabl, 2018
A view on the Industry’s readiness for Industry 4.0 and developments since 2015
Awareness about Industry 4.0 increasing • 35% of companies with concrete projects • Industry 4.0 not a priority • Expected benefits: costs reduction and new business models • IT budgets up • Pulp & Paper trailing other industries
By Dr. Veronica Schey and Péter Khaut, 2017
The Role of Industry 4.0 in the Market Context of Coated Paper and Board
Abstract of presentation held at PTS Coating Symposium 2017 in Munich
Published in IPW (11-12/2017), the magazine for the international pulp and paper industry
By Alexander Wirth, 2017
StepChange Essentials III Book
13 Articles, covering Economic and Financial Essentials, Management Essentials, Industry Essentials
Press Release: StepChange B3NCH Index (SBI) outperforms
Companies in pulp, paper and packaging outperform the market. Five year CAGR of StepChange B3NCH Index (SBI) higher than any other major global index.
Vienna, October 10th, 2017
Survey Results of Economic outlook survey for North American RISI conference 2017
Industry survey confirms positive business environment with continued demand growth • Key priorities pricing and talent management • US considered most attractive business location for forest based products in North America • North America ranked as most competitive business location globally
Paper, Packaging and Populism
A review of the global economic and political climate and the financial state of the industry
By Joachim Klein and Sarah Rabl, 2017
Diligent Due Diligence
Tailor-fit industry due diligence: Uncovering M&A risks and rewards
By Joachim Klein and Valentin Schenkenfelder, 2017
Good Buy II – Get me results!
Achieving sourcing results in strategic categories
By Dr. Veronica Schey and Georgi Krastev, 2017
M&A und Umstrukturierungen zeigen Wirkung
Alle sechs Monate veröffentlicht das Beratungsunternehmen StepChange Consulting eine zusammenfassende Analyse der wichtigsten Finanzkennzahlen ausgewählter Marktteilnehmer der Industrie. In diesem Beitrag für die apr beschäftigt sich das Unternehmen mit der Vergleichsgruppe „Verpackung“.
Buyer-Seller Viewpoint Analysis
Results of 2017 survey assessing current and future collaboration in the supply chain of the forest based industries: Demand and prices for all raw materials expected to grow • No demand, supply and price increase for graphic paper expected • Sales channels seen as efficient by sellers and buyers • Industry sees itself lagging behind other industries in terms of collaboration • Buyers perceive overall higher benefits from collaboration compared to sellers • Key barriers: Dependency on specific partner, lack of trust, unequal distribution of benefits, data security • Sellers significantly overrate customers’ service level satisfaction
Presentation held at Paper and Biorefinery Conference in Graz, by Alexander Wirth and Valentin Schenkenfelder, 2017
Boom or Fake?
Summary of 2017 European Pulp and Paper Outlook study reveals continued bullish expectations • demand up • prices and costs up • top priority on innovation for the first time • Industry 4.0 gaining importance
Climbing the mountain with enough fuel
Survey Results of Economic outlook survey for North American RISI conference 2016
Industry survey confirms positive but slowing business environment / Industry not convinced by the benefits of TPP/TTIP / USA voted most attractive industry location in North America
Pulp paradox – a new horizon?
Industry survey confirms demand growth expectation • Consolidation of global BEK expected • Pulp buyers skeptical about price indexes • Mixed view on trading platforms • China considered a priority market • Awareness about Industry 4.0 varies significantly
By Dr. Veronica Schey and Sarah Rabl, 2016
Russian sawmilling industry heading high?
Long term risk of restrictions in softwood log supply – higher softwood log cost • Cost of wood delivered to mills in Russia on the low side compared to other regions • Future wood cost largely depends on efficiency of operator‘s own operations • Russian suppliers better off due to Rouble devaluation • Sawnwood demand growth shifted to Asia • Siberia and Russian Far East well located to serve China
Presentation held at Wood Markets 2016 Global Softwood Log & Lumber Conference in Vancouver, by Jukka Halonen, 2016
A review of the global economic climate and the financial performance of the Pulp and Paper industry
By Kristi Magllara and Sarah Rabl, 2016
Financial Benchmarking Sample 2016
Pulp and Paper in Austria 2016
Austria’s competitiveness and readiness for Industry 4.0 Study
Presentation held at Paper and Biorefinery Conference in Graz, by Alexander Wirth and Valentin Schenkenfelder, 2016
Sentiment Down – Bad weather ahead?
2016 Outlook study reveals: negative outlook in almost all paper segments / general economic outlook still good / Industry priorities on costs and price & margin / strategic topics with lower priorities / Input costs expected to rise / Industry 4.0 – little practice, high expectations
By Ralf Möbus and Jukka Halonen, 2016
What's in it for Pulp, Paper & Packaging?
Presentation held at RISI European Conference 2016 in Berlin
What digital can do for the Paper Industry
The European pulp and paper industry has experienced and consistently supported the three major phases of industrial transformation since the 18th century. From steam power to electric power, then to the progressive integration of automation and information technologies, today’s paper industry stands ready to engage in its fourth industrial phase: industry 4.0.
Don’t wait! Innovate!
Innovation management in fiber based packaging
By Dr. Veronica Schey and Kristi Magllara, 2015
Making a difference: From consistently in-constant towards consistent constancy
Improving business success by managing process volatility through lean process capabilities
By Alexander Wirth and Thomas Teltscher, 2015
Selected Financial Benchmarking - September 2015
Österreich - Handelst du schon oder wartest du noch?
Evaluierung der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit Österreichs als Standort für die Holz- und Papierindustrie
By Michael Kiennast and Alexander Wirth, 2015
Temporary relief or tipping point?
Results of 2015 Pulp and Paper Outlook and European Competitiveness Survey: Demand stable / prices and costs down / financing up / packaging up / graphic papers down / focus on price and margin management / strategy is back / Germany and Poland most attractive in Europe / Mondi, DS Smith, UPM, Smurfit Kappa and SCA considered most competitive / Hopeful for positive influence from capacity consolidation and customer requirements
Slice and Dice!
A view on customer segmentation in paper and packaging
By Ralf Möbus and Joachim Klein, 2015
Lean machine —
Case study – Lean Workstream: Improving lost time from breaks
By Alexander Wirth and Peter Khaut, 2015
Right location but close to the tipping point?
Results from 2014 North American forest based industry survey: Upward trend continues but skepticism has increased / North and South America considered most competitive locations for forest based industries / Innovation and talent focus is back
Study: Forest based industries in Austria - Quo vaditis Holz und Papier?
In einer Umfrage attestieren Führungskräfte der Branche in Österreich schlechte Zukunftsaussichten
By Michael Kiennast and Thomas Teltscher, 2014
Study: Forest based industries in Austria
StepChange conducted an industry specific survey to assess Austria’s competitiveness as an industry location for the forest based industries: 170 participants completed the survey / Focus purely on stakeholders in the Austrian forest based industries / Overall, Austria is viewed as somewhat attractive, but 4 out of the 5 key competitive factors are viewed as very unattractive / Only export opportunities are viewed as attractive / EU and EURO-zone membership receive strong commitment / Action has to be taken to secure Austria’s position as an industry location / Raw materials, energy and labor costs are the main concerns of the industry / Labor is the key area where the government is expected to take action / Education and innovation are important to sustain Austria’s attractiveness
Press Release regarding Industry Study: Forest based industries in Austria
Österreichs Holz - und Papierwirtschaft sieht Standort gefährdet! Eine von StepChange Consulting durchgeführte Studie unter Unternehmern und Führungskräften der österreichischen Holz- und Papierwirtschaft weist alarmierende Standortrisiken auf.
Results of 2014 Pulp and Paper Outlook and European Competitiveness Survey reveal: Europe generally not attractive - Germany and Poland most attractive / energy costs and regulations considered hurdles for the future / consolidation and sustainability focus enablers for future competitiveness / positive expectations for the economy / expectations for pulp and paper mixed / pressure on margins to remain high / company priorities on cost reduction, pricing, customers and innovation / Mondi, UPM, SCA and IP considered most competitive
Hard Knock life pays off: Packaging outperforms —
A review of the global economic climate and the financial performance of the Pulp and Paper industry
By Joachim Klein and Kristi Magllara, 2014
Accelerating organizations to deliver results! —
Enhancing Operational Performance by Best Practice Continuous Improvement
By Steven E. Smith and Michael Kiennast, 2013
Merchants – In need or retreat?
Excerpt of global merchanting study, 2013
Merchanting: In need or retreat?
By Dr. Veronica Schey and Ralf Möbus, 2013
Growth is back
Results from 2013 economic outlook survey North America confirm upward trend, sustainability increasingly a necessity for future competitiveness, 2013
Merchants — In need or retreat?"
European Results from Global Industry Study, 2013
A new Dawn? —
Economic survey reveals upward trend, sustainability a necessity for future competitiveness
Survey Results RISI North American Forest Products Conference 2012
Maintain, Improve or Invest? Capture! —
A Review on Return on Maintenance
By Thomas Teltscher and Alexander Wirth, 2012
Strategische Implikationen der CEPI 2050 Roadmap auf die Papier-, Verpackungs- & Zellstoffindustrie
Presentation Papierfachtagung Graz 2012 by Alexander Wirth
No light at the end of the tunnel?
Economic Outlook 2012 / CEPI 2050 Roadmap Awareness - Survey Results
A roadmap without a map for the road
Strategic implications of the CEPI 2050 Roadmap on the Pulp, Paper and Packaging Industry
By Alexander Wirth and Joachim Klein, 2012
Part I: Strategic sourcing opportunities considering TCO
By Alexander Wirth and Joachim Klein, 2012
Is your company ready for the current economy?
Survey Results RISI North American Forest Products Conference 2011
The Crystal Ball
How Demand and Supply Planning can improve business performance
By Thomas Teltscher and Stefan Schönberger, 2011
2010 - What's next?
Remaining cautious in post crisis euphoria
By Joachim Klein and Harald Schmid, 2010
The Price is right!
The quick guide to profitability
By Ralf Möbus and Joachim Klein, 2011
Sales Force Effectiveness, July 2011
By Ralf Möbus & Gustavo Smith, 2011
Return to Business as Usual?
Visibility and Control in Turbulent Times
Results of study 2010
Post Recession Recovery?
Investing and attracting Capital in the Russian Pulp and Paper Industry
By Thomas Teltscher, Ralf Möbus and Joachim Klein, 2010
Integrated Supply Chain Management —
Business Benefits through Collaborative Logistics
Excerpt of results of survey conducted for 2009 PPI Transport Symposium 2009
By Joachim Klein, Ralf Möbus, Alexander Wirth, 2010
AVOID PANIC — TAKE CONTROL
Our point of view on how anticyclical behavior may help to capture opportunity from the downturn.
By Joachim Klein and Ralf Möbus published in PPI July 09
What is the impact of the crisis on you? —
Results of study 2009
Don't forget the customer —
Darwinism in effect - Customer retention and margin management during the downturn
By Joachim Klein and Ralf Möbus, 2009
Nurture and Develop —
Why human capital management is critical during the crisis
By Joachim Klein and Ralf Möbus, 2009
Personnel Development —
Results of industry study 2009
Merchants Quo Vadis —
Challenges and developments in the merchant industry
Presentation PRIMA 2008 by Paul Sheridan
Merchant: Quo Vadis? —
Results of merchant study 2008
Wood Sourcing in Europe — Which Way Forward?
By Paul Sheridan and Florian Dussler, PPI Magazine, May 2008
Controlling the wood value chain is the critical success factor for being part of the re-dimensioned European industry.
Paper Merchant — "Is there margin in merchanting?", May 2006
Only informed and efficient demand- & supply-side processes combined with lean organizations & performance management will allow management of the controllable and provide the best possible assurance against surprises.
The following is a selection of quotes received from board members and MDs of leading merchants:
"Outlines the challenge faced by paper merchants perfectly — and I must compliment you on getting so close to the issues we face."
"I have read your document and can nothing else than fully agree to the
Logistics — "Trucking Around?", August 2006
Published in Pulp and Paper International September 2006.
Beyond transport rates — a guide to improvement opportunities in logistics. It is necessary to consider all parameters that drive total transportation requirements and constraints. Releasing some of these constraints will provide a broader basis for optimization and endorse long-term market success.