A global manufacturer of consumer goods, including printing and writing papers, fluff pulp for diapers and hygiene products for domestic and international markets, as well as commodity-grade wood pulp for overseas export, needed to rapidly increase availability of certified wood fiber at its mill sites. The manufacturer has a complex network of suppliers across ownership types, locations, and ecosystems. To satisfy orders from its clients in the US and abroad, the company sought an advisor able to quickly evaluate, propose, and help execute a strategy to increase the delivery of certified wood fiber to its sites. The company has factors that add to the situation’s complexity: mandatory fiber sourcing policies, corporate ESG goals, operational budget guardrails, creating shareholder value, and protecting and enhancing its brands.
Milliken Advisors met the client where they were in the process. The client had customer demand for certified products, but not much in the way of supply to meet these important orders. Milliken crafted a multi-year strategy and complementary tactics to achieve yearly increases in certified wood fiber supply. The client worked with Milliken to determine internal staffing and external contractor needs, set an annual program budget, and started their new program. With quarterly team reviews and continuous monitoring of the chain of custody by the client (enhanced by Milliken’s GIS and database technology tools), the client was successful in meeting and exceeding their certified wood fiber supply projections. A complex network of suppliers, often skeptical of new corporate partner rollouts, found enthusiastic program buy-in. With the right balance of market incentives, supplier participation rates changed from marginal to robust within five quarters.