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After being established in 1979, Bakerview Forest Products Inc. has been closely associated with the British Columbia Coastal Forest Industry. The company has expertise in stocking and distributing Western Red Cedar - Dimension Lumber and Timber - primarily in Clear and STK grades. Since its inception, the company has determined its business model will be to cater to large manufacturers and re-distributors of lumber. The business involves large quantities of volumes which is why they do not sell to the general public.
Through this paper, there are many aspects of the business that will be discussed. Since the company is in the lumber industry, several challenges of the business have to be considered to be successful: selecting the right target market, choosing the routes of distribution, setting smart goals, and competently tackling its industry issues. The lumber industry in Canada has not been exactly easy to operate in considering the recent increase in taxes between the U.S and Canada. Several adjustments have been made by Bakerview Forest Products Inc, and the company is constantly evolving to deal with sudden changes in the industry.
To understand the core aspects of the lumber industry, a detailed discussion was carried out with Matt Hastie (Sales exporter, Bakerview Forest Products Inc.). He shares a lot of key insights on the industry and how his company plans to move ahead with a strong agenda for action.
Our Company is Bakerview Forest Products Inc. Bakerview is a family-owned business located in Maple Ridge, British Columbia and was established back in 1979 (Bakerview Forest Products Inc., n. d.). The nature of their business is Western Red Cedar Lumber distribution and remanufacturing. Bakerview purchases rough sawn Western Red Cedar lumber from the major sawmills of British Columbia and proceeds to wholesale or remanufacture that material and distribute it worldwide (Bakerview Forest Products Inc., n.d.).Some of the possible remanufacturing processes include Kiln Drying, Re-sawing and Planning/Moulding, they can even accommodate custom patterns that enable them to access various markets all over the world (Bakerview Forest Products Inc., n. d.).We chose this company to study the inner workings of a small company and find out how they compete on a global scale.
The best part of the job for Matt until now has been understanding the new concepts of marketing that will help them in developing their products in comparison to their competitors. In addition to this, building strong customer relationships is very essential because marketing and CRM relationships are long-lasting. Whole firm is directed towards serving its current and prospective customers at a margin after genuinely identification of wants and needs (Ebert, Griffin, Starke, & Dracopoulos, 2014, pp. 293-294). An example is an Interviewee (Matt Hastie) travelling to Australia for 16 days and learning how Australia was using Cedar and figuring out how Bakerview could benefit them. He says this trip was one of the highlights of his career so far and although it was a business trip he took advantage of it and explored and did as much as he could as Australia was always a bucket list location for him (H. Matt, personal communication, March 10, 2020).
Glen Kump took over as owner of Bakerview in 2008 after buying out the original owner and founder Vern Friesen when he decided it was time to retire (H. Matt, personal communication, March 10, 2020). The company was initiated with the existing business with trained as well as committed staff, have established a relationship with suppliers and customers, validated business concepts, and the physical location (H. Matt, personal communication, March 10, 2020).
There are several benefits to running a family business such as Bakerview. First, it provides access to funds and human resources which might have been hard to obtain otherwise (Ebert et al.,2014, p. 99). Secondly, employee loyalty is higher than in other businesses. Finally, there is a highly respected reputation linked to most family businesses (Ebert et al.,2014, p. 99).
Bakerview is an incorporated business. For a family business such as Bakerview, there are several advantages to being incorporated. Limited liability is the biggest one which means that the investor’s possessions stay intact in the case of the business going bankrupt (Ebert et al.,2014, p. 104). Another major advantage is that such businesses have ‘continuity’; shares of the business can be passed on to members of the family; which in most cases, are heirs of the business owners (Ebert et al.,2014, p. 104). Also, these advantages make it easier for businesses to obtain funds from lenders due to their continuity status (Ebert et al.,2014, p. 104).
Currently, Bakerview follows the functional structure of an organization (See Appendix 2) which is based on the job role of each employee (H. Matt, personal communication, March 10, 2020). As businesses grow, they may consider the usage of different types of international organizational structures. As Bakerview grows in employee size it may consider choosing either of the two types of organizational structures: divisional or matrix (Lorette, 2019). In the divisional structure, employees are divided by product and region. While in the matrix structure which is a mix of functional and divisional structures, decentralization is key. Each department would have a team leader (Lorette, 2019). The company uses functional organizational structure which includes assigned roles of employees concerning different functions required for the business such as marketing, operations, information technology etc (Edwards, 2014).
Bakerview Forest Products offers a softwood lumber species called Western Red Cedar (See Appendix 3). Western Red Cedar is known for its distinct appearance and strong aroma (H. Matt, personal communication, March 10, 2020). It's used mainly for outdoor applications like decking, shingles, siding, fencing, posts, and furniture. It can even be used in framing for kayaks and small sailboats, some even customers even use it for guitars (H. Matt, personal communication, March 10, 2020).
As mentioned above Bakerview offers several remanufacturing services giving their customers the option to have Bakerview perform certain patterns or services for them or they have the option of taking the raw material and running it themselves. (H. Matt, personal communication, March 10, 2020).