The Paper And Pulp Sector

The Paper And Pulp Sector

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As mentioned in question three, I interned at International Paper this past spring. Consequently, I was offered a full time position under the title of Fiber Supply Associate. As their name states, they are within the paper and pulp sector under the role of manufacturing. The paper and pulp sector consists of several strong players, whom are direct competitors of International Paper. To effectively scan the periphery, I constructed a strategic group map above to analyze their position amongst their rivals.
Within the strategic group map, the companies are differentiated using data from the total number of employees and annual sales. The size of the company’s placement on the graph is determined using their market cap by taking into account their total dollar market value of all their outstanding shares. The axis data and competitor list was taken from the Wall Street Journal’s company listing for International Paper.
The insight provided from the map shows that there are four cluster groups within the map as a whole. The groups are determined based off proximity within the graph, which equates to similar levels of competition. International Paper’s group consist of only one company, Westrock. These two companies are the industry leaders in relation to the map’s company offering. International Paper and Westrock are extremely similar in terms of employment numbers, but International Paper has nearly double the annual sales. This finding is an indicator that International Paper owns more of the market share in relation to its competitors. By being placed in the higher echelon of the group map, International Paper finds itself as an industry leader in the paper and pulp business.
Analyzing International Paper using a strategic SWOT a...


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...argin commoditized product with varying amounts of product customization. Due to the low-margin, it can be hard for paper manufacturers to gain the massive amounts of profit needed for investments. Potential investments could include building new plants or facilities, acquiring new assets, or acquiring smaller organizations, all of which require large amounts of capital investment.
Another important barrier to movement simply involves the organizations’ access to trees. Environmental regulations place a strain on the amount of natural resources a paper company can acquire. In addition, paper companies need to strategically manage the locations of their facilities to be located close to accessible large forest. Without the proper management of trees, the companies listed could have a ceiling of growth placed over them, restricting their advancement amongst the groups.

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