Here in the northern hemisphere, we consider summer over now. There is a general cultural attitude, at least in North America and Europe, that it is time to get back to work. I hope we all do that.
The last two Septembers, and now this one, leave us with a feeling of uncertainty, a questioning of where things are going business-wise and economically speaking. However, I think we in the pulp and paper industry have an advantage over most. It comes from experience.
We were awakened in the mid-1990s when seemingly forever growth stopped in the developed countries. It took us a few years, but we learned the lessons, reduced our inventories, and educated ourselves on being smarter about production and meeting our customers' needs. We learned this throughout the industry, for the entire industry was affected by these conditions.
Perhaps this is a business opportunity, especially for the packaging sector. Even perhaps for printing and writing. The opportunity is this: did you learn some important lessons in supply chain management and inventory control that you can share on some sort of a value-added basis with your customers? And I am talking expansively here, not just about the materials you sell to your customers, but about their own product production and inventory. There is no doubt we learned lessons they desperately need to know, the key is leveraging the opportunity for you.
There are always ways to create new business.