It has been 29 years since the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) started its operations, but it remains ever true and passionate to its vision of being the lead organisation that develops the Malaysian timber industry into a world leader in the manufacture and trade of timber products.
This determination is reflected in its Five-Year Plan (2019-2023), which lays out MTC’s strategic direction in the planning of its programmes and activities, aligned with its vision and mission.
The plan is made up of four key thrusts and 14 focus areas to address pressing challenges, with seven must-wins to achieve for 2021.
Chief among these issues is business continuity. The industry needs to plan for business continuity and transform their businesses to adapt to business unusual, by strengthening their middle management level.
The core challenge that the industry is facing is transformation, something that MTC’s Five-Year Plan specifically focuses on.
As most timber businesses are family-owned, with successors often being family members in middle management, MTC is introducing a Young Entrepreneur Society to groom the younger generation to take over and plan for business continuity and transformation.
Aside from this, MTC is focusing on growing the industry’s knowledge talent pool. This year, MTC will be introducing its Engineer Placement and Internship in Industry Programme (EPIP) to encourage engineers as well as undergraduates to be part of the timber industry, where they will be trained and guided to carve out careers in the timber industry.
Some of the universities it has approached include Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Universiti Putra Malaysia, International Islamic University Malaysia, Universiti Kuala Lumpur and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia - with more to come, including polytechnics.
Another signature programme MTC has lined up for 2021 is the Design Incubator Programme (DIP), which was incepted with the understanding that good design is a game changer for wood-based products - especially furniture, mouldings, floorings and panel products as manufacturers that offer original designs under original brands have an edge over their competitors.
Developed as a collaboration between local designers and architects together with timber and furniture manufacturers, the programme aims to develop attractive, locally designed high value timber and furniture to enhance their value in the international market.
The final key initiative that MTC will execute this year is the Factory Automation and Smart Manufacturing programme, which focuses on intensifying efforts towards the adoption of automation and digitalisation, as a prelude to the fourth industrial revolution.
The programme includes the purchasing of software, digitalising business processes, smart manufacturing consultation and process line automation, among others.