Companies recommit to strategic agendas while managing near-term priorities
Results from StepChange Economic Outlook Industry Study.

Spring 2024
Pollyannaism or Realism? Hope vs. Trepidation - Cautious Optimism Ahead
With further uncertainty ahead companies focus on tactical measures
Results from Q4-2023 StepChange Economic Outlook Industry Study.

November 2023 update
Recovery or Recession? Tactics Dominate Strategy
Prospective insight for the global paper industry

Spring 2023 update
Paper First Magazine Issue #8
Less severe than anticipated?

Pessimistic outlook remains but slightly improved expectations vs. Nov 2022. Deteriorating demand and selling
prices. Energy, transport and raw material costs expected to decline. Companies prioritize cost cutting but strategic
topics back on agenda. Geopolitics –single biggest worry. Digitalization back in focus again. Sustainability source of
competitive advantage, talent and customers.
Results from StepChange Global Outlook Industry Study for 2023 (March 2023 update)
The Perfect Storm2
Bleak predictions for 2023

The most pessimistic macroeconomic outlook in 10 years. Expectations for deteriorating demand and selling prices. Energy costs might have peaked. Back to basics: Cost cutting and margin management among top priorities. Availability of financing expected to fall. Geopolitics – biggest worry. Digitalization priorities shift. Sustainability in accordance with energy strategy and expected to maintain its importance.
Results from StepChange Global Outlook Industry Study for 2023
The Perfect Storm?
Positive outlook instantly dampened

Economic and industry outlook dampened by Ukraine war. Continued pressure expected from further increasing costs. Sustainability and digitalization among top priorities. Companies are driving digitalization forward. EU “Fit for 55” goals considered overly ambitious. Managing Covid not a priority anymore.

Results from the 2022 StepChange Global Outlook Industry Study
Tumultuous Times!
Achieving Operations Excellence

Digital Operations Excellence enables the industry to capture next level productivity gains. It requires an interdisciplinary approach and openness to step beyond traditional boundaries: “Data science meets industry expertise to achieve Digital Operations Excellence” is the credo.

By Thomas Teltscher and Joachim Klein, 2022
Data Science meets industry expertise
Transformation through Digitalization

Human Resource Management has traditionally been the forgotten child in pulp, paper and packaging. As many StepChange surveys have shown, the industry often ntions talent acquisition and retention as a barrier to future growth and sustainability. Yet Human Resource Management (& diversity management) is never ranked among the top strategic priorities in this industry.

By Joachim Klein and Valentin Schenkenfelder 2021
HR - The Forgotten Child?
Published in Tissue World Magazine, June 2021

By Ralf Möbus, 2021
COVID-19: A Catalyst for Digitalization: The impact of Covid-19 on market outlooks, company performance and digitalization
Achieving sourcing results in strategic categories

Still today a holistic TCO approach combined with QRP can deliver up to 10% savings in strategic raw materials, 3-17% savings on chemicals, up to 15% in freight, 3-12% in other categories.

By Dr. Veronica Schey and Nelli Yanytska, 2020
Good Buy II – Get me results!
Tailor-fit industry due diligence: Uncovering M&A risks and rewards

Pulp, Paper and Packaging has (re-)captured the attention of investors. Transaction volumes of M&A in the industry are steadily increasing. This is not only because of increased M&A activity but also because returns in most sectors have been very healthy for multiple years. Despite some large scale M&A activity, the sector can still be considered as rather fragmented, which drives the interest and opportunity to consolidate.

By Joachim Klein and Valentin Schenkenfelder, 2020
Diligent Due Diligence
How to know the value of a remote forest?

By Georgi Krastev, 2021
Remote forest monitoring
Survey summary on how companies reacted to challenges due to COVID-19

Industry feels better prepared for future outbreaks now • High approval to industry's countermeasures • Productivity unaffected for two thirds of industry players • Digitalization accelerated by the crisis • Long road to recovery expected.
COVID-19: Were you prepared? Would you be now?
The pellet market is among the least affected by the COVID pandemic • Future volumes and prices depend on the development of the demand and subsidies in Europe and Asia • Main driver of the growth is substitution of coal in industrial energy production • Pellet production grew from 5 mln tons in 2005 to 40 mln tons in 2019 • Largest pellet producers show EBIT in line with other large wood products manufacturers but with higher revenue CAGR

Presentation held at Bioenergy Congress in St.Petersburg, by Alexey Beschastnov, 2020
Current situation and long-term trends, affecting the development of bioenergy.
B3NCH update: A Review of the financial state of the industry

By Joachim Klein and Sarah Rabl, 2020
Downturn and Corona Calamities!
Tissue trumps again, Risk for Derailment.
Mixed economic and industry outlook • More pressure expected from rising costs • Prices down, demand up? • Product development and innovation as top priority • Sustainability is a key driver • Digitalization top trend but not top priority
Corona Calamities, Digital Dreams and Innovation!
Summary of 2019 North American Pulp and Paper Outlook Survey

Most pessimistic outlook since 2012 • Pricing and margin management top priority • Digitalization second least priority even though productivity and efficiency benefits already achieved • Cost reduction biggest priority gainer • M&A with biggest priority drop • US reconfirmed as most attractive region
Survival Instead of Digital?
Published in Tissue World Magazine, September/October 2019

By Alexander Wirth, 2019
Digitalization in Tissue: Significant potentials yet to be captured
Digitalization has become top of mind in the industry • The highest benefits are expected in cost reduction and in creating new business models • Top barriers are internal obstacles that can be solved by the top-management • Digitalization offers high benefits – early movers advantage

Presentation held at Saint-Petersburg International Forestry Forum, by Veronica Schey and Nelli Yanytska, 2019
Industry 4.0 — The Experience of Leading Forest Products Players
Digitalization has become top of mind in the industry • The technical platforms and capabilities for digitalization already exist – opportunity for early movers • The highest benefits are expected in cost reduction and in supply chain • Most digitalization/Industry 4.0 projects are in the operational environment • Top barriers are lack of awareness, change management requirements, technical infrastructure and a missing ROI

Presentation held at Tissue World Milan, by Joachim Klein, 2019
The mill of the future — Digitalization & Industry 4.0
2018 a very positive year for Russian forest industry sector • 2019 sector likely to be confronted with new restrictive policies • Discussed restrictions: 100% export ban and 100% RFID control for round wood, 100% merchandise exchange trade for exports of round and sawn wood • Federal Forestry Agency started review of all forest lease agreements • Nevertheless: Overall projections for 2019 mostly positive

Published in Russian Forestry Review #8/2019
By Alexey Beschastnov and Dr. Veronica Schey, 2019
Good year 2018 for Russia, and changes ahead
Summary of 2019 European Outlook & Digitalization Survey

Most negative outlook since financial crisis • Stagnant demand and price drops expected • Priorities on cost reduction, pricing and margin management • Digitalization & Industry 4.0 a top priority • Plastic substitution opportunities
Digital remedy to an analogue decline?
Optimierungspotenziale in der Wertschöpfungskette & Prioritäten der Industrie

Abstract of presentation held at Symposium der Papieringenieure 2018 in Cologne

Published in Wochenblatt für Papierfabrikation 12/2018, Fachzeitschrift für die Papier- und Zellstoff-Industrie By Alexander Wirth and Joachim Klein, 2018
Digitalisierung und Industrie 4.0
Summary of 2018 North American Pulp and Paper Outlook Survey

Signs of slowing growth • Pricing, product development, and M&A key priorities • US confirmed as most attractive region • North America ranked most competitive location globally • Skepticism about benefit of Smart Manufacturing
Full steam ahead or time to take a breath?
Digitalization and Industry 4.0 can help capture untapped potentials in forestry, paper and packaging • Opportunities of €10bn in Working Capital alone
Think Beyond. Today! — Digitalization and Industry 4.0
A view on the industry's readiness for Industry 4.0, and Digitalization in the value chain

Updated Digitalization/Industry 4.0 study conducted in 2015 to understand developments since then • The study analyzed the priority of Industry 4.0 and Digitalization on the agenda of companies, the readiness to engage, maturity level of projects and the perceived benefits and challenges relating to Digitalization • Although awareness about Industry 4.0 has grown since 2015, it is not considered a game changer by two thirds of the Austrian participants • The untapped potential from implementation of Industry 4.0 and Digitalization is estimated to be €5 billion in inventories and €10 billion in cost savings in Europe alone • Only one quarter has a clear strategy in place • 60% of Austrian participants reported a decreased or unchanged IT budget, which may be a risk for Austrian companies to fall behind • To identify potential benefits from Industry 4.0 / Digitalization, StepChange has developed a model to assess net benefits and the required level of digitalization across the value chain functions

Presentation held at Paper and Biorefinery Conference in Graz, by Alexander Wirth and Valentin Schenkenfelder, 2018
Digitally Prepared?
Summary of 2018 European Pulp and Paper Outlook Survey

Outlook study reveals expectations of a further strengthening of the economy in 2018 • Growing demand and price increases expected for the coming year • Company priorities on pricing, margin management and cost reduction • talent acquisition and retention with stronger importance • Europe attractive industry location due to infrastructure, qualified labor and domestic demand
Up, up, up – the only way is up?
A review of the financial state of the industry

By Joachim Klein and Sarah Rabl, 2018
Euphoria: Sustainable or Transitory? Pulp performs and Tissue trumps again!
A view on the Industry's readiness for Industry 4.0 and developments since 2015

Awareness about Industry 4.0 increasing • 35% of companies with concrete projects • Industry 4.0 not a priority • Expected benefits: costs reduction and new business models • IT budgets up • Pulp & Paper trailing other industries

By Dr. Veronica Schey and Péter Khaut, 2017
Digitally Prepared?
Abstract of presentation held at PTS Coating Symposium 2017 in Munich

Published in IPW (11-12/2017), the magazine for the international pulp and paper industry By Alexander Wirth, 2017
The Role of Industry 4.0 in the Market Context of Coated Paper and Board
Companies in pulp, paper and packaging outperform the market. Five year CAGR of StepChange B3NCH Index (SBI) higher than any other major global index.

Vienna, October 10th, 2017
Press Release: StepChange B3NCH Index (SBI) outperforms
Survey Results of Economic outlook survey for North American RISI conference 2017

Industry survey confirms positive business environment with continued demand growth • Key priorities pricing and talent management • US considered most attractive business location for forest based products in North America • North America ranked as most competitive business location globally
Americas First?!
A review of the global economic and political climate and the financial state of the industry

By Joachim Klein and Sarah Rabl, 2017
Paper, Packaging and Populism
Alle sechs Monate veröffentlicht das Beratungsunternehmen StepChange Consulting eine zusammenfassende Analyse der wichtigsten Finanzkennzahlen ausgewählter Marktteilnehmer der Industrie. In diesem Beitrag für die apr beschäftigt sich das Unternehmen mit der Vergleichsgruppe „Verpackung".
M&A und Umstrukturierungen zeigen Wirkung
Results of 2017 survey assessing current and future collaboration in the supply chain of the forest based industries: Demand and prices for all raw materials expected to grow • No demand, supply and price increase for graphic paper expected • Sales channels seen as efficient by sellers and buyers • Industry sees itself lagging behind other industries in terms of collaboration • Buyers perceive overall higher benefits from collaboration compared to sellers • Key barriers: Dependency on specific partner, lack of trust, unequal distribution of benefits, data security • Sellers significantly overrate customers' service level satisfaction

Presentation held at Paper and Biorefinery Conference in Graz, by Alexander Wirth and Valentin Schenkenfelder, 2017
Buyer-Seller Viewpoint Analysis
Summary of 2017 European Pulp and Paper Outlook study reveals continued bullish expectations • demand up • prices and costs up • top priority on innovation for the first time • Industry 4.0 gaining importance
Boom or Fake?
Survey Results of Economic outlook survey for North American RISI conference 2016

Industry survey confirms positive but slowing business environment / Industry not convinced by the benefits of TPP/TTIP / USA voted most attractive industry location in North America
Climbing the mountain with enough fuel
Industry survey confirms demand growth expectation • Consolidation of global BEK expected • Pulp buyers skeptical about price indexes • Mixed view on trading platforms • China considered a priority market • Awareness about Industry 4.0 varies significantly

By Dr. Veronica Schey and Sarah Rabl, 2016
Pulp paradox – a new horizon?
Long term risk of restrictions in softwood log supply – higher softwood log cost • Cost of wood delivered to mills in Russia on the low side compared to other regions • Future wood cost largely depends on efficiency of operator's own operations • Russian suppliers better off due to Rouble devaluation • Sawnwood demand growth shifted to Asia • Siberia and Russian Far East well located to serve China

Presentation held at Wood Markets 2016 Global Softwood Log & Lumber Conference in Vancouver, by Jukka Halonen, 2016
Russian sawmilling industry heading high?
A review of the global economic climate and the financial performance of the Pulp and Paper industry

By Kristi Magllara and Sarah Rabl, 2016
Tissue Trumps!
Austria's competitiveness and readiness for Industry 4.0 Study

Presentation held at Paper and Biorefinery Conference in Graz, by Alexander Wirth and Valentin Schenkenfelder, 2016
Pulp and Paper in Austria 2016
2016 Outlook study reveals: Negative outlook in almost all paper segments • General economic outlook still good • Industry priorities on costs and price & margin • Strategic topics with lower priorities • Input costs expected to rise • Industry 4.0 – little practice, high expectations

By Ralf Möbus and Jukka Halonen, 2016
Sentiment Down – Bad weather ahead?
What's in it for Pulp, Paper & Packaging?

Presentation held at RISI European Conference 2016 in Berlin
Industry 4.0
What digital can do for the Paper Industry

The European pulp and paper industry has experienced and consistently supported the three major phases of industrial transformation since the 18th century. From steam power to electric power, then to the progressive integration of automation and information technologies, today's paper industry stands ready to engage in its fourth industrial phase: industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0
Innovation management in fiber based packaging

By Dr. Veronica Schey and Kristi Magllara, 2015
Don't wait! Innovate!
Improving business success by managing process volatility through lean process capabilities

By Alexander Wirth and Thomas Teltscher, 2015
Making a difference: From consistently in-constant towards consistent constancy
Evaluierung der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit Österreichs als Standort für die Holz- und Papierindustrie

By Michael Kiennast and Alexander Wirth, 2015
Österreich - Handelst du schon oder wartest du noch?
Results of 2015 Pulp and Paper Outlook and European Competitiveness Survey: Demand stable / prices and costs down / financing up / packaging up / graphic papers down / focus on price and margin management / strategy is back / Germany and Poland most attractive in Europe / Mondi, DS Smith, UPM, Smurfit Kappa and SCA considered most competitive / Hopeful for positive influence from capacity consolidation and customer requirements
Temporary relief or tipping point?
Slice and Dice!
A view on customer segmentation in paper and packaging

By Ralf Möbus and Joachim Klein, 2015
Lean machine — Case study – Lean Workstream: Improving lost time from breaks
By Alexander Wirth and Peter Khaut, 2015
Right location but close to the tipping point?
Results from 2014 North American forest based industry survey: Upward trend continues but skepticism has increased • North and South America considered most competitive locations for forest based industries • Innovation and talent focus is back
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