Compass – The Value Chain
The quest to break into the American housing market led to a large body of work involving extensive user and market research and solid outcomes previously unseen in the forestry industry.
The Compass project was initiated to explore opportunities for adding value to radiata pine products for the US residential housing market. Specifically, we looked at exterior cladding, trim, and fascia.
We teamed up with Scion, NZ’s leading timber scientists, to incorporate environmental science, design research, engineering and product development know-how. The partnership also involved Pacific Wood Products and Tenon, with seed funding from the Forestry Industry Development Agency (FIDA).
Over the course of a year, we carefully studied the market and its drivers from a product perspective. We traveled to the US to visit residential construction sites and conducted workshops with users and consumers to develop a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities.
The result was a Product Framework that includes key roles of the customer, technical requirements, user groups, stakeholders, and the product life cycle. This framework aims to clearly illustrate the environment in which the new products would operate.
Research & Testing
By investigating and interpreting the features, benefits, strengths, and weaknesses of competing products, we were able to build a practical view of which products were succeeding and why. It also allowed us to deduct potential pricing and evaluate the product life cycle, installation methods, and purchasing structures.
Finally, we complemented the framework with environmental guidelines, ensuring the future products were sustainable and had minimal impact on the environment — a topic close to our hearts. As part of this, the team did a Life Cycle Assessment that looked closely at transport, paint systems, and other environmental factors within the current value chain.
We concluded our report with a range of recommendations and actions that would help to enter the US market with products developed against the new framework.
The project enabled PWP and Tenon to experience and embrace design and innovative thinking, to drive product development in their business; this had never been done before in the forestry industry. It created a deep understanding of the market and built capability for their teams to engage in empathy and user research. The body of work also provided the opportunity to show leadership within the industry by providing a body of research to present at multiple industry events.
MEDIA & HIGHLIGHTS
Seed Funding from FIDA