By Stephanie Gomon
Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 35 - July 16, 1998
The Center for Forest Products Marketing and Management in the College of Forestry and Wildlife Resources aided local forest-products companies last semester by developing business and marketing plans.
Graduate students in Wood 5614, Forest Products Marketing and Management Strategies, developed plans for expansion of two firms: Environmentally Sensitive Logging and Lumber Co., Inc of Cooper Hill, and Woodward Woodworks of Floyd.
These expansions can help create additional jobs in the region and add value to products shipped out of state. Jason Rutledge of the lumber company and Rich Woodward of the woodworks business met with students and discussed their needs.
Rutledge's company is a small business that offers timber harvesting using horses as an alternative to mechanized logging. Students worked with him on a marketing plan to help grow his business. His products will carry the brand name Draftwood.
Woodward Woodworks specializes in custom woodworking and produces wooden display stands for a major marketer of sunglasses. The company's strength lies in its medium size, which allows it to produce specialty products in quantities too large for small cabinet shops, but too small for large manufacturers. Graduate students demonstrated how to use flexibility in design and production to diversify the product line into other items.
Course instructor Robert Bush explained, "This is a great educational opportunity for all parties. Students have a chance to work on real problems and local companies benefit from their work."