Paper360 - July/August 2013 - (Page 30)

THE BOTTOM LINE HUMAN RESOURCES The Best Resources for Your Best Resources More than 20% of current industry employees are or will soon be retiring, affecting roughly 3,000 people in leadership positions JAN BOTTIGLIERI T he pulp and paper industry has always faced challenges to its material sourcing, sustainability, and commercial success. Burgeoning environmental concerns, an increasingly global economy, government regulation —even natural occurrences like forest fires and insect infestation—can all make it difficult to remain competitive. The companies that have thrived are the ones that can respond to changing conditions. A new reality is bringing the same type of challenge to another critical industry resource: its workforce. “Our company’s greatest asset is our people” is a phrase that appears in countless corporate newsletters and annual reports—but never has this critical asset been more at risk for the paper and allied industries. According to a 2013 report from international consulting firm Pöyry, more than 20 percent of current industry employees are or will soon be retiring, affecting roughly 3000 people in leadership positions. With what could be called a “retirement tsunami,” the report adds that this is compounded by the effects of a series of market changes: • While economic conditions and falling demand for printing and writing grades have had a major impact on the decline in production, growing demand for packaging and tissue has mitigated much of this effect. • A trend toward mergers and acquisitions has been a strategic response that has helped to manage evolving market dynamics, strengthening the industry. • M&A activity has resulted in less efficient machines being retired so capital can be focused on more modern production platforms. • Overall, a significantly leaner, more efficient work force has developed with only a small decline in domestic production. “While rationalization, globalization, consolidation, and changing product demands have resulted in a smaller U.S. industry staffi ng wise, the industry today is much more efficient; however, a large proportion of professionals are nearing retirement,” the report states. In other words, not only is more being asked of each worker, but soon, we’ll have even fewer workers to carry the load, creating a vacuum of talent and industry knowledge. INFORMED, ENGAGED, ENERGIZED Workforce management in our industry is complex, but for companies eager to take action to protect this “most valuable asset,” resources are available. The Pulp and Paper Manufacturers Association (PPMA) has been We’re seeking nominations for our “Best Place to Work” Contest. If you feel your company or mill qualifies, you could win an all-expenses-paid trip to PPMA’s Annual Conference in Milwaukee in October. In addition, the winning company will be profiled in the November/ December issue of Paper360° magazine. For information on how to enter go to: bestplacetowork or scan this page with your smart phone and the Layar app. Contact ehitchcock@ with comments or questions. 30 Paper360º JULY/AUGUST 2013 providing human resource services to union and non-union facilities in the pulp, paper, converting and allied industries since 1936. “We provide an open forum for communication and an environment to cultivate relationships with some of the brightest minds in the industry,” says Dick Kendall, PPMA’s executive director. “We focus solely on the issues facing the pulp, paper, converting and allied industries.” Headquartered in Northeast Wisconsin, PPMA serves as a primary source of information on labor settlements, human resources, governmental concerns, and operational issues. Member companies include union and non-union manufacturing companies involved in producing and converting products allied with the paper industry or supplying parts or equipment to the pulp, paper and converting industries. “We have never lost sight of what keeps us thriving—our members,” Kendall says. “Keeping them informed, engaged, and energized has always been our goal.” Though PPMA has been active for more than 75 years, today’s growing workforce challenges have prompted the organization to increase its scope and outreach. Since August 2011, the organization’s Board of Directors has contracted with TAPPI to provide administrative services to PPMA. This has allowed PPMA to expand its member reach and focus more intently on tailoring benefits to address the workforce issues most relevant to the industry, including: Annual salary survey. Free for participating members, the salary survey looks at 28 different positions that are common to the industry. Unlike other salary surveys, PPMA’s salary survey only uses data from the pulp and paper industry. In 2013, nonmember companies will also have the opportunity to complete the salary survey, says

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - July/August 2013

Over the Wire . . . News Summary
Ready for Print 2.0?
Eldorado Brasil Begins Operations in the Pulp Industry
Newark’s Frank Papa on Leadership and Innovation
Tissue Mill Dewaters Pulp with Innovative Disc Filter
TAPPI Journal Summaries
Next Generation Enzymes for the Paper and Pulp Industry
The Best Resources for Your Best Resources
Consolidation Watch
Association News
What’s New on

Paper360 - July/August 2013