Domtar’s mission is to deliver the highest value to its customers, empower its employees to excel, and positively impact its communities.
Domtar is a provider of fiber-based products. The firm operates two reportable business segments:
Pulp and Paper - Provides communication, specialty, and packaging papers, as well as softwood, fluff and hardwood market pulp.
Personal Care - Provides absorbent hygiene products.
In 1848 Henry Potter Burt founded Burt, Boulton Holdings in England. The company’s focus was treating timber with coal tar byproducts to protect it from moisture rot. Over a decade the firm grew significantly and bought a sawmill in Quebec, Canada. In 1903 it launched a new venture, Dominion Tar and Chemical Company. Dominion Tar opened a coal tar distillation plant in Nova Scotia.
The coal tar distillation process involved obtaining valuable chemicals from tar, primarily hydrocarbons, acids, and bases. All of these had useful commercial applications, in fields such as the textile, chemical, and steel industries. The rise in demand for roadways and pharmaceuticals helped strengthen Dominion Tar’s sales. By 1929 it was able to offer its shares for public sale.
In the 1950s Dominion Tar expanded into the paper and construction sectors. It did so largely by acquiring existing businesses, such as Howard Smith Paper Mills. In 1965 it changed its name officiallly to Domtar. In the 1990s it narrowed its focus, making pulp and paper its core business. In the 2010s, it diversified further through multiple acquisitions, entering the personal care segment.
Domtar has a segmented market business model, with customer groups that have slightly different needs. The company targets its offerings at various types of businesses: paper merchants, paper stationers, office equipment manufacturers, converters, commercial printers, and retail outlets.
Domtar offers two primary value propositions: risk reduction and brand/status.
The company reduces risk by maintaining high quality and safety standards, as follows:
75% of the energy used in its pulp and paper mills is renewable, compared to the industry average of 67%
73% of the electricity used in its pulp and paper mills is self-generated, compared to the industry average of 56%
29% of the fiber used in its pulp and paper mills in 2015 was certified
It has achieved a 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from purchased energy since 2010
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It is the largest integrated producer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America and is the second largest globally based on production capacity. It has more than 10,000 employees operating in over 50 countries worldwide, and generated sales of $5.3 billion in 2015. It is a leading manufacturer of communication papers, with prominent brands such as Xerox Paper and Specialty Media, Lynx, Cougar, Opaque Ultra, Opaque Offset, Husky, EarthChoice, and First Choice. Its personal care segment produces recognizable brands such as Attends, Indasec, and IncoPack, and it is one of the top producres of private-label diapers. Lastly, it has won a number of honors, including the following:
The Innovation in Sustainability Award and the Leadership in Sustainability Award for Sustainable Forest Management from the American Forest & Paper Association (2015)
The Environmental Strategy of the Year Award and the Innovative Printing and Writing Campaign of the Year Award from Pulp and Paper International (2014)
Domtar’s main channel is its direct sales team. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, and participation in trade shows and conferences.
Domtar’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products while having limited interaction with employees. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support.
Domtar’s business model entails designing, developing, manufacturing, and distributing its fiber-based products for customers.
Domtar’s key partners are the suppliers that provide it with the raw materials it needs to manufacture its products; the main materials it uses are wood fiber, chemicals, and energy. The company also works with some clients to help them develop their own house brands.
Domtar’s main resources are its physical resources, which include 13 pulp and paper mills and 10 converting sites in North America, and six personal care facilities in North America and Europe. The company places a high priority on its intellectual property, with its brand names and trademarks being important to its business.
Domtar has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation. Its biggest cost driver is cost of sales, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and administration, both fixed costs.
Domtar has one revenue stream: revenues it generates from the sales of its products to its customers. Sales often occur through the formation of long-term contracts.
John D. Williams,
President and CEO
info: John D. Williams previously served as President and CEO of Domtar Canada Paper. Prior to that he held several leadership roles, including President of SCA Packaging Europe, President and CEO of Polarcup, and Chairman of American Forest & Paper Association.
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
info: Daniel Buron earned a B.A. in Finance and Accounting at Université Laval. He previously served as Controller and Vice President of Finance in the Pulp and Paper Sales Division at Domtar. He also served as VP of Finance at Locus Dialogue.
Senior Vice President and Chief Legal and Administrative Officer
info: Zygmunt Jablonski earned an M.A. in Linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University and a JD at the University of Miami School of Law. He previously served as Senior VP, Law and Corporate Affairs at Domtar.
Senior VP, Corporate Development
info: Patrick Loulou earned a B. Eng. In Mechanical Engineering at Université de Montréal and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. He previously served as SVP Strategy/Consumer Simplification at Bell Canada.