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    Date submitted
  • 10-Jan-2015

Natural Resources


Yellowstone Firewood provides wholesale firewood for the Western Region of the United States. The company fulfills the need for wood, from home heating to outdoor barbeques. Amilcar Gonzalez, the owner of Yellowstone Firewood, has built his reputation by earning his customers’ loyalty and this has given him a competitive advantage over his competition. This reputation has been the key in acquiring contracts with national food, fuel retail chains, and national recreation parks.

Currently, contracts for firewood supplied by Yellowstone Firewood to national food chains has exceeded the company’s ability fulfill demands. To meet these demands Yellowstone Firewood needs to obtain capital to purchase the necessary equipment to increase production. To achieve this goal, Amilcar Gonzalez, Manager and owner, is working with the Latino Economic and Development Center and Bingham Economic and Development Corporation nonprofit small business centers, to address key strategies that will allow for the company to grow, meet market demand, and establish itself as a reliable supplier of wood products. These strategies include, increase in operating capital, solid management procedures, and a strategic marketing plan. By doing this, the company is expected to grow regardless of its competition. In Idaho, forestry it is one of the fastest growing industries, and is forecasted to grow a steady rate of about 10 to 15 percent.This will result in the creation of approximately 2,700 jobs in this decade.

Currently, in the Eastern Region of Idaho, Yellowstone Firewood’s only competitor is Windy Point Lumber. The competition provides service Monday through Thursday, and serves 5 states (limited distribution). On the other hand, Yellowstone Firewood currently provides service Monday through Saturday and has a distribution of 11 states.

The company has experienced an increase in demand but has been unable to accept new contracts because of limited resources. To meet market demand, the company will need to expand its operations and diversification of products, such as landscaping products and wood pallets. This will assist in the creation of more jobs.


Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

General market in need of firewood for home heating; Campers needing fire logs for camp site; National retail chains, national parks, and saw mills. These customers distribute to general market in need of firewood for home heating and camping.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

PROBLEM - This company assists in the clearing of forests in accordance with USDA Forest Service process. This method helps prevent forest fires. Clearing also helps in the degradation of forests. Thus, enhancing forest sustainability. MARKET- General public - year round indoor and outdoor heating, cooking needs, and social gatherings.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Yellowstone Firewood has a distinguished advantage over other small companies. It is family owned and operated. The manager, Amilcar Gonzalez is an engineer by trade. He is vested in the company and uses his engineering skills to meet USDA code for road construction, The product is harvested locally from the majestic woods of Wyoming and Idaho. The wood is real pine that is known for it's burning quality. Further, Yellowstone Firewood has a contract with Yellowstone National Park which hosts over 3 million visits each year. The product name along with the quality, makes this product popular among consumers.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

The advantage is a strong relationship with the product supplier and client. Yellowstone firewood has a successful relationship with the USDA Forest Service. Amilcar Gonzalez has developed a successful method in the bidding process for obtaining contracts with the U.S. Government to harvest wood. Yellowstone Firewood also has a successful relationship with national distribution chains throughout the Western United States. Further, the company is working with Hispanic and local economical development councils to obtain professional assistance in its business growth and development. In this phase, the company is looking at being a socially responsible contributor of quality jobs to the community it serves by investing in product expansion that will also create jobs.