Warning: Illegal string offset 'sidebar-1' in /home/clients/19e16f1745e6e73feef80859b6f39d91/web/wp-content/themes/TheSource/single.php on line 13

Tissue executives need a good night’s sleep… we’re doing our best to help

Helen Morris
Senior Editor, Tissue World Magazine

Having long claimed the top spot in the global market, the USA tissue industry’s search for new revenue streams of growth remains intense.

This edition of TWM lays out that search at the micro- and macro-levels.

We report from the Green Bay tissue hub where a dynamic, relatively new to the business boss is relishing growth of 20%, even as America’s growth is by comparison a sluggish 1-2%.

The reason for his optimism … a full embrace of technology, offering financial support for schooling for several of his personnel to attend night school to become electrical or mechanical engineers.

The future, he says, is electronic intelligence, robotics and Human–Machine Interface.

The fundamentals of US tissue have changed significantly in the last few decades.

They are changing rapidly still. So what stands out today from our macro assessment of the US?

The country with the most advanced tissue machines and intensive tissue consumption – at 25kg per person each year – is seeing the rise of private label, which is forecast to reach 30% of all retail tissue sales by 2023.
E-commerce is transforming retail trends.

Consumers spent about $517bn online, up 15% from 2017. Millennials make up more than one-quarter of the population and are the largest consumer group.

They are largely indifferent to brand names, favour private label products, and insist of sustainability.

The economy has enjoyed a remarkable long-term recovery since the 2008 crash.

Inflation is very low and unemployment at all-time lows. But a significant proportion of that employment is low paid.

A new grouping has emerged … the working poor.

GDP growth has been slow, but still appeared to be at a much trumpeted and symbolic 3%, until the government adjusted 2018 growth estimates from 3 to 2.5%.

It’s patchily impressive in the midst of the current global trade restrictions and tariff impositions.

On that subject, top US investment banks have predicted the intensifying trade war between the US and China raging deep into 2020, with little prospect of a trade deal being struck before the US presidential election in November 2020.

One essential phrase when dealing in economic forecasting, and with this administration in particular, is ‘at the time of writing.’

So we’ll wait and see.

Fisher International carried out an analysis called “Issues Keeping Tissue Executives Up at Night’.

It’s the usual suspects … pulp prices – now eased, tissue mill integration, e-commerce, new technology and capacity, sustainability, energy costs, Millennials’ buying preferences, the industry’s urgent need for new, young innovators like those students going to night school.

The US tops the list today, but future consumption rates could go down as well as up. TWM’s Country Report on the home of tissue and its way ahead talks through those issues.

Path to the digitally integrated mill of the future

Alexander Wirth in MarketIssues asks searching questions of the industry. Research by StepChange Consulting, where he is senior manager, finds:
• 40% of responding tissue producers are engaged in Industry 4.0 projects;
• but more than 50% of the study participants are not;
• while digitalisation is a priority topic, the highest benefits will come from supply chain cost reductions;
• top barriers to digitalisation are operational – internal awareness, unwillingness or inability to change existing processes, IT systems and infrastructure, identifying opportunities and calculating ROI, and ensuring data security and protection.

He concludes that the huge estimated potential of optimising benefits should be convincing enough to engage in this huge project, and to take the next step towards the digitalised mill of the future.

One essential phrase when dealing in economic forecasting, and with this administration in particular, is ‘at the time of writing.’ So we’ll wait and see.

Fisher International carried out an analysis called “Issues Keeping Tissue Executives Up at Night’.

It’s the usual suspects … pulp prices – now eased, tissue mill integration, e-commerce, new technology and capacity, sustainability, energy costs, Millennials’ buying preferences, the industry’s urgent need for new, young innovators like those students going to night school.

The US tops the list today, but future consumption rates could go down as well as up.

TWM’s Country Report on the home of tissue and its way ahead talks through those issues.

Path to the digitally integrated mill of the future
Alexander Wirth in MarketIssues asks searching questions of the industry. Research by StepChange Consulting, where he is senior manager, finds:
• 40% of responding tissue producers are engaged in Industry 4.0 projects;
• but more than 50% of the study participants are not;
• while digitalisation is a priority topic, the highest benefits will come from supply chain cost reductions;
• top barriers to digitalisation are operational – internal awareness, unwillingness or inability to change existing processes, IT systems and infrastructure, identifying opportunities and calculating ROI, and ensuring data security and protection.

He concludes that the huge estimated potential of optimising benefits should be convincing enough to engage in this huge project, and to take the next step towards the digitalised mill of the future.