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Impacts of service buyer management on contractor profitability and satisfaction – a Swedish case study
- Erlandsson, Emanuel, Fjeld, Dag
- International journal of forest engineering 2017 v.28 no.3 pp. 148-156
- business enterprises, case studies, contractors, forest industries, forest ownership, harvesting, managers, motivation, profitability, purchasing, questionnaires, wood
- Successful harvesting contractors are crucial for competitive wood supply. This study builds on the assumption that contractor motivation to stay in the forest sector depends not only on success in terms of profitability, but also on satisfaction with the conditions provided by their service buyers. The key characteristics of service buying companies associated with success from both perspectives were identified for a questionnaire sample of 30 contractors working for two Swedish forest owners associations (FOAs). PLS regression was used to analyze responses and to set VIP rankings of relative factor importance for explaining variation in achieved success. The characteristics most important for contractor satisfaction differed from those most important for achieving high operating margins, but a group of common key factors was identified. A framework was developed for sorting factors into three levels of importance when integrating the two perspectives. In general, respondents’ perceptions of FOA performance best explained variation in success for both perspectives, however the contractors’ expectations were also linked to this variation. The two most important factors for contractor success were (a) the FOA provision of a consistent level of year-round capacity utilization, and (b) FOA managers’ helpfulness in solving the problems which typically arise in wood supply operations. The study concludes with identifying important managerial implications based on the results.