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Stacks of cut wood at Russwood, Newtonmore

Russwood

For over 25 years Russwood have been supplying high-quality sustainable timber products from their base in the Cairngorm National Park to both domestic and trade customers.

Two workers lifting wood inside Russwood factory, Newtonmore

Offering new products to the market

Their railway-side production site in Newtonmore is home to their own sawmill, planing mill and in-house factory coating facility. It is also home to Russwood’s dedicated sales, admin and marketing teams.

Employing 50 staff, the majority of whom live within the local villages of Badenoch & Strathspey, Russwood is dedicated to an ongoing programme of timber research and development in collaboration with the Centre for Wood Science and Technology at Edinburgh Napier University.

At the core of Russwood’s business values is a desire to continue to expand and offer new products to the market.

Keeping that momentum and achieving a balance between exploring new entrepreneurial opportunities and a proper process driven operation, has been a challenge.

Managing Director John Russell said: “It’s so exciting to see the business grow year on year. Innovation and developing new products are fundamental to what Russwood is all about, especially in the markets we trade in. People want new products and want to use them in different ways.

“But, the main thing to concentrate on when growing the business is to keep your eye on the detail. It is easy to get carried away when things are on a roll, but you must always stay focussed on the customer experience.”

It is not just about financial support, it also about knowing that HIE has confidence in what you are trying to achieve.
John Russell, Managing Director, Russwood

Our Support

Russwood have been able to tap into HIE’s experience and knowledge of developing new products and bringing them to market effectively.

John, who attended the ‘Accelerated New Product or Process Development’ programme added: “I’m not the most process driven person, I’m more about looking at ideas and how to develop them. But I recognise that can cause issues.

“The course helped me understand the importance of process and steered me in the right direction. First with identifying a new product that will interest the market, and then with planning the best way to introduce it to the market.

“HIE have been very supportive in this area, encouraging us to be entrepreneurial and innovate. They have the ability to see the bigger picture and the vision to drive companies forward.”

The programme also provided a platform for John to meet other members of the local business community and share experiences.

He added: “A good cross section of businesses from across the Highlands participated. It’s always beneficial to interact with other businesses, discovering what their issues are and how they solve problems.

“HIE have always been very supportive when I have approached them with ideas. It is not just about financial support, it also about knowing that HIE has confidence in what you are trying to achieve.”

John believes the ‘Accelerated New Product or Process Development’ programme has hugely benefited Russwood. He said: “It can be difficult justifying time away to participate in something you might not think is core to the business. But gaining knowledge on how to take new products to the market clearly is core to what we do.

“To anyone considering joining the programme I would say there is always room to grow. We are now less liable to make a mistake going forward when assessing and introducing new products.”

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Exteranl shot of modern offices of Russwood, Newtonmore