Against whom we compete?

September 10, 2021. – In 1979 an American academic Michael E. Porter introduced his Five Forces Framework on business competition. According to the theory, companies face threats from substitute products, current competitors, and new entrants. In addition to the three threats, companies have to deal with bargaining power of customers, and suppliers.

On mature markets like the plywood business, Porter’s key points are still valid. It is good to consider how you are placed in relation to other stakeholders, and whether you have advantages that others don’t have. However, the theory sounds like a competition against everybody. It is true that even though we are in the same industry, it sometimes feels like a competition against each other. But it is very hard to win because the “game” is endless. After a financial year comes another financial year. In the long run, it is more profitable to help your customers than harm your competitors.

We need all stakeholders to operate and succeed. A positive curiosity towards different companies might open new opportunities. Plywood business is full of interesting stories and great people.