Posts

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TCI Network Global Conference on Clusters in Toronto Oct 16-18!

Mike Baker, Executive Director of the Bluewater Wood Alliance (BWA), is very excited to be a panelist with other global cluster leaders at the TCI Network Global Conference on Clusters in Toronto Oct 16-18!

Mike will be speaking on day 3 (Oct 18) along with representatives from Denmark, Sweden, and France on the topic of Raising competitiveness through models of cluster organizations.

Details of the day can be seen here: https://www.tci2018.org/day-3/

The Bluewater Wood Alliance continues to be an industry driven cluster model that continues to get international attention! That is because we are the only true managed cluster for the wood industry in Canada!

We’ve Added to the Team!

Mike Baker to speak at the Wood Best Practices Forum in Vancouver BC.

Mike Baker is looking forward to speaking at the Wood Best Practices Forum June 4-6, 2018 in Vancouver British Columbia.

Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Canada Wood, and other funding partners have coordinated the Wood Best Practices: Industry Forum, which runs from June 6 – 10, 2016, in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Bluewater Wood Alliance Executive Director Mike Baker will be speaking at the event. Sharing how Bluewater Wood Alliance through our woodworking cluster increases our members’ competitiveness by improving know-how, raising powers of innovation and increasing internationalization.

Look for an update about the Wood Best Practices Forum on his return.

New Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards

We know that many small business owners work hard to keep the people who work for them healthy and safe. We are shining a light on small business leaders who make their workplaces healthier and safer – and who can inspire their peers by example. Our Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards recognize outstanding health and safety programs in small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Nominate your own business or one in your community or association. Tell us about your health and safety practices, how you do inspections, deal with hazards and support employees to return to work.

The top three businesses will receive a cash prize – $5,000 (gold), $3,000 (silver), $2,000 (bronze) – and be recognized at the WSIB Annual General Meeting. The first place winner will also be featured in a promotional video.

Deadline has been extended to June 22nd! To download the Nomination Form click here.
To learn more visit the webpage Small Biz Health & Safety Leadership Award which includes all the details.

For more information:
Email: smallbizsafety@wsib.on.ca
Phone: 416-344-4046

 

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BWA Kick @ss Lean Roadmap Fills The Room with 35 Members!

On May 4, 2018, 35 BWA company reps participated in a dynamic day of Lean training in Kitchener!

The BWA has launched the BWA Lean Program, and this was the first Phase 1 day of training offered. (Watch for further dates!) BWA member companies traveled from all over the BWA cluster region, from Niagara, Chatham, GTA, and from Grey Bruce! Why? Because BWA is the place for the wood industry to come together and learn how to get better at what they do!

Process improvement in manufacturing has been going on for over a hundred years, in particular in its latest form: The Toyota Production System. So what does it have to do with the wood industry, EVERYTHING! And BWA members are catching up fast!

BWA members learned that the old argument: “It doesn’t apply to me I’m a “Job Shop” is not only wrong but also dangerously closed minded. Furniture, cabinetry, lumber, millwork, both production, and custom were all represented.

Sepp Gmeiner of Lignum Consulting, and Brad Cairns and Lynn Thompson of the Centre for Lean Learning provided an interactive and eye-opening day that will help participants move forward with changes in their manufacturing processes.

The event began with introductions and overview of Lean Principles, concepts, and how to identify waste. The second half of the day started with an exercise demonstrating one-piece-flow to minimize waiting, WIP, motion, and transportation, all with Lego!

As it was eye-opening and educational, members now have the opportunity to move to Phase 2 with the BWA on an individual company basis.

BWA Lean Program – Phase 2 – Continue Developing your Lean Program 

Phase 2 Level 1: Lean Assessment with Spot Kaizen: stop the bleeding and get that low hanging fruit! Quick results!

Phase 2 Level 2: Lean Assessment with Spot Kaizen Plus Train the Trainer: Train your people to sustain the gains you are working on, and train others in your shop

Phase 2 Level 3: Lean Immersion: Lean Assessment with Spot Kaizen plus Consultant lead Lean Transformation Project with Train the Trainer.

Phase 2 training is eligible for funding under the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG), and we can assist in connecting you with the funding.

To learn more about the BWA Lean Program and more details of this event, please contact Tara Davey at:
519-270-7141
e: taradavey@bluewaterwoodalliance.com

Best regards,
Mike Baker, Executive Director

 

p: 1-226-668-5455
e: manager@bluewaterwoodalliance.com
www.bluewaterwoodalliance.com
www.facebook.com/bluewaterwoodalliance
https://twitter.com/BluewaterWoodAl

 

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BWA Sandler Sales Training: Retraining Behaviours for Sales Successes!

Do you ever think to yourself there just isn’t enough hours in the day, or wonder how you can work more effectively? The BWA Sandler Sales Training was designed to help by teaching strong business tools to our members. Tools that focus on the development of new behaviors and sales skills that help lead to lasting success.

Ten member companies participated in the BWA/Sandler Sales Training Event, April 6th in Milton, the second of two planned events. It was designed to help with sales challenges unique to business owners, partners and sales managers. It addressed challenges like hiring great sales people, developing a sales growth strategy, building consistent sales processes and improving upper management sales skills.

The day long interactive workshop was led by Andrew Wall of Sandler Training. Sandler Training has 250 local training centres in more than 27 countries world-wide, and Andrew has already had a highly successful career in sales and management. He now focuses on training and mentoring other to be successful.

The day started with Andrew helping each member identify issues effecting their company. One members issues were often issues for all those attending. The day was spent focused on improving sales as Andrew offered proven advice based in experience as well as science to help members tweak their sales processes.

Not only was the day full of great teachings from Andrew but the participating members were able to share their experiences and knowledge with one another. The round table discussions and group activities gave members plenty of opportunities to help each other solve common issues and shed a new light on how to improve their sales processes.

Due to the overwhelming feedback of this event, we plan to offer other sessions in the future, so stay tuned and check our event page.

Group activities gave members plenty of opportunities to help each.

BWA Sandler Sales Training Group Photo – April 6th, 2018

If you would like more information about this event and the BWA, please contact:

Tara Davey
Program Administrator
Bluewater Wood Alliance
e: admin@bluewaterwoodalliance.com

 

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The 26th BWA Quarterly Networking Event: US Export/Import and NAFTA, Colour Trends and Bill 142.

The 26th Quarterly Networking Event was held at Humber College in Etobicoke, ON, and hosted over 40 BWA member companies providing value to members with presentations on NAFTA, Colour Trends and Bill 142.

Northern Border Operations for Cole International started the afternoon off sharing their expertise in US Export/Import and thoughts on NAFTA Implications. Michael Dahm and Raluca Mihalceanu of Cole International provided insight into the potential impact on raw materials, finished goods, and border brokerage processes. They encouraged us to take a look at our businesses now and identify areas that could be impacted. Suggesting we speak with suppliers, explore other markets where Canada has trade partnerships and stay up to date with the NAFTA negotiations.

Rodney McFalls a USA based expert on colour trends shared fresh new colours that we will be seeing shortly in the market. He shared the latest colour trends and faux finishes with the group. He shared tips and advice with us encouraging us to think about colours. The right choice can attract your customer’s attention drawing them to your products in “the sea of brown” found in the showroom setting. Rodney is closely tied to the International Furniture Market held in High Point, North Carolina, Neocon; and an active member of the Color Marketing Group, (the Premier Association for Color Forecasting Professionals).

Ted Dryer of Madorin/Snyder finished off the day with a presentation on Bill 142 – the Construction Lien Amendment Act: New rules have been enacted to ensure prompt payment timelines for contractors and sub-contractors in our industry. This will impact many of our members in their respective supply chains, including architects, contractors, designers etc. who purchase our products and services.

A big thank-you to these three companies for sharing their expertise! Click here to download the presentations.

Please mark your calendar for the next BWA quarterly networking event scheduled for June 21, 2018!

Lots going on right now with the BWA! If you are not a member of the BWA but would like to learn more, please contact:

Mike Baker

Executive Director

 

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Bill 148 Fair Workplace Act Learning Event

We’ve all heard about the changes Bill 148 Fair Workplace Act will have and have had on the Employment Standards Act, but it’s less clear how the new laws will change company policies, employee relations and of course the bottom line. On February 27th, 20 BWA member companies traveled to Communitech in Kitchener to participate in the BWA – Bill 148 Learning Event. They came with questions and concerns about the new laws and shared them with each other and lawyer Gregg Carr from Giffen Lawyers who joined us to help find answers to our questions and concerns.

The afternoon started with a presentation by lawyer Greg Carr. He reviewed Bill 148 and the Employment Standards Act, covering the practical implications it will have on our businesses. The presentation covered the minimum wage increase, equal pay for equal work, types of personal leaves, scheduling and shift changes and the different classifications of employees – temporary, part-time and full-time employees.

Following the presentation, members participated in a break out session where everyone was able to raise their concerns and share how they are reacting to the changes. Issues and questions were then presented to the group for further discussion and Greg weighed in with his expertise. It was a great opportunity to share and gain a better understanding of how everyone is reacting.

The take away from the day was clear, although the new laws are intended to protect vulnerable employees the changes will be felt by everyone and it is left up to businesses to find efficiencies and save money where they can. As the new legislation comes into effect and the challenges of working with the new rules are felt within your business, continue to ask questions and share with each other your best practices in the members-only Group Discussion – Bill 148 Fair Workplace Act.

Bluewater Wood Alliance members who missed the event can listen to an edited version of Greg Carr’s presentation by logging into the site under the media page. http://bluewaterwoodalliance.com/media/  

You won’t want to miss these upcoming events in March and April. Click here to visit the events page.
March 27 th – Quarterly Networking Event at Humber College
April 6th – Sales Training – Sandler Training in Milton
April 17th – Lean Training – Kitchener Central Library

If you would like more information about the upcoming events or the BWA, please contact:

Mike Baker
Executive Director

Bluewater Wood Alliance
manager@bluewaterwoodalliance.com
1-226-668-5455