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BWA Has Another Hit Meeting Event at Conestoga College for 60 Companies!

Having the Ontario Centre for Wood Processing at Conestoga College host the BWA Quarterly Networking Event seems a perfect fit! They are the largest post secondary wood processing program in Ontario. We all know how important our workforce development is for our industry. When wood product manufacturers get together there for a day of learning and networking, the atmosphere just feels right!

Consultations with BWA members have indicted two big themes (among many others) that they have in common: they want to reduce their costs and waste, and increase their sales. Very simple you would think. But the implications run deep into how we manage our companies, our processes, and our people.

To approach the Lean Manufacturing theme to reduce costs and waste, it is necessary to look at the lean principles in the Toyota Production System that are a benchmark for all industries. Looking further, we need to apply them to the wood industry.

No better way to do that, than to engage a collaborative presentation by two experts in the field: Sepp Gmeiner of Lignum Consulting, and Brad Cairns of the Centre for Lean Learning. Although these two experts may compete with one another, they rose to the occasion to work together for the benefit of our members. This true to the cluster model the BWA adapted from Austria: collaboration for the betterment of the industry as a whole, despite competition!

Sepp provided a thorough introduction of lean principles and how they can be applied to wood production, with good visuals and examples people could understand. Brad Cairns followed up with examples of implementation of lean projects with videos and concrete examples and results of what can happen when employees become engaged and a part of the process. One big take-away was the use of video in real time of what is happening in your shop before and after a project. The two together were a “dynamic duo” and we look forward to working further with both Sepp and Brad as they help transform our businesses to the next level.

On the sales and marketing front, Andrew Wall of Sandler Training provided an informative and interactive session on how we manage the right approach to sales development and the people we have working for us. This is a very complex system that, similar to production, requires disciplined processes to be followed consistently in order to achieve results. Andrew provided many examples and take-aways for members as we re-evaluated our current practices and considered the opportunity of developing discipline behind our sales strategies.

These two themes: Lean Manufacturing and Sales and Marketing, will be the centerpiece of a new series of learning and training coming up in the new year provided by the BWA. Stay tuned for the events coming up in the calendar in 2018.

In addition, Sadoon Mohiuddin of Canmade  explained the new anti-tipping by-laws (F2057 and F3096) Government of Canada is implementing for the home furniture industry. He brought in a sample of Vokes Furniture for the demonstration that was well received.

Finally, a rich networking opportunity took place over breaks and following the event at Edelweiss Tavern in Kitchener!

Mark your calendars for the upcoming tours of Toyota Canada Oct 26 and Nov 15, but you must register to obtain a spot, and be a member of the BWA!

For more information on the BWA and events like this contact BWA Executive Director, Mike Baker at manager@bluewaterwoodalliance.com

BWA Quarterly Event with Member Case Studies at Humber College Attracts Wood Industry

Building relationships that add value is what the BWA cluster network for the wood industry is all about! The Bluewater Wood Alliance cluster region includes all of southwestern Ontario. This means that we have members in various parts of the region that need convenient access to our events and networking activities. Humber College in Toronto hosts the 2nd largest post secondary cabinetmaking/woodworking program in Ontario. The perfect breeding ground for industry business and workforce development- and host for the BWA quarterly event!

Drew Aaslep is the lead faculty for Humber for their programs, and he shared with the members their program scope and facilities with a tour following the event. Great assets they have, and students ready to join the workforce!

The event kicked off with a presentation by Steve Smith with the government of Ontario who updated all of our members on current programs that are available to them to help their businesses. Always good information that is well received!

The topics this quarter started with the Ministry of Labour, dust collection standards, and the story from a BWA member that had a recent experience with being shut down due to an initial complaint from a disgruntled employee. This complaint lead to a series of visits from the MOL which then had them focussing on the dust collection standard. He was assisted by engineer Wayne Vollick of Quinte Consulting who help solve the members problem. Wayne helped to tell the story that many of the members could empathize with given the complex system of regulatory legislation that governs our workplaces. These discussions are priceless, as we hear real stories from real situations and we share solutions!

The next topic had the same flair with a combined presentation on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems provided by BWA associate members Seredex, BDO, and Planit Canada. This was followed by a valuable member case study provided by BWA member and past board president Andrew Schuster of Crate Designs. Andrew told the story of how Crate designs pursued ERP for their business, including set-backs and added costs and time, with a positive outcome. Andrew’s closing remarks after telling their story included: ” while it took longer than expected, was a lot of work up front, and cost a little more than we planned, we can’t imagine running our business without it now…what took hours and days to complete in the past can now be completed in 10 minutes.”

Hearing this kind of information from fellow industry members  is extremely valuable to our manufacturers as they attempt to embrace new technologies to help their businesses thrive. This kind of sharing and technology transfer of information is central to the success of the BWA cluster model.

The BWA has scheduled three Finishing Training dates in May: May 10 at Conestoga College, May 24th at Humber College, and May 31 in Walkerton, ON. Register now while there is space!

The next quarterly event is June 29, 2017 at the Walkerton Clean Water Centre in Walkerton, ON.

If you would like more information on the BWA and its activities, please contact BWA Executive Director Mike Baker at manager@bluewaterwoodalliance.com

 

BWA Quarterly Event – Humber College, April 5, 2017. The BWA cluster includes all of southwestern Ontario and our college partners. They make the perfect hosts for industry to network!

 

BWA Quarterly Event – Humber College, April 5, 2017. Andrew Schuster of Crate Designs telling the story of how Crate designs pursued ERP for their business.

BWA 22nd Quarterly Event Continues with CNC, Export, and Process Improvement!

The 22nd BWA event was held at the Walkerton Clean Water Centre in Walkerton, ON, and hosted over 40 BWA member companies. CNC, export and continuous improvement remain as strong themes for BWA members.

Canada has a tremendous resource of Trade Commissioners that are stationed in markets all over the world, and based here in Canada with the ability to connect with them. Sameer Ahmed, our regional trade commissioner based in Waterloo, ON, presented details on their services to BWA members. Approx 35% of the BWA members that don’t export have the possibility to consider it, and approx 20% of BWA members’ business models don’t fit with exporting. Currently, approx 45% of BWA members do export somewhere. There are many resources available and details from Sameer’s presentation are posted on the BWA member page. Sameer can be reached at: sameer.ahmed@international.gc.ca

The theme of CNC continued with BWA members Loren Burns of Precision Woodcraft in Millbank, ON, Ethan Vos of Cutting Edge CNC in Newmarket, ON, Grant Nicholson of Upper Canada Stretchers in Owen Sound, and Ewald Becker of Planit Canada provided a collaborative presentation followed by Q&A.

Loren Burns shared what happens to create a custom part for a customer using 5 axis CNC, and followed the path from the drawing in Master Cam to creating the code and machine set up and running time. Consideration for tooling, wood species, and nesting and set up were all discussed while members witnessed the creation of one of his parts. All were educated on the amount of time it takes to set up vs. the actual machine running time!

Grant Nicholson shared his technique of using custom software in comparison to “off the shelf packages”. He explained his process of creating 3d vector code from photographs and drawings to create art and custom parts to be made on a CNC. Grant shared images of his process of creating his unique art that he takes to CNC.

This was followed by Ewald Becker of Planit Canada who provided an overview of the advantages of “off the shelf” design software, with some examples of Cabinet Vision. Price points range from $1000 to get started and go up depending on your needs. Advantages of ease of use and with a focus on your business purposes are the focus for turn key software solutions and many of our members use them.

Ethan Vos of Cutting Edge CNC then shared “CNC on a budget”; essentially how you can get started using the technology without spending a lot of money with a focus on good software, good tooling, and the right attitude! Ethan shared many valueable examples that he himself has put into practice that were “take-aways” for members.

Finally, Sepp Gmeiner of Lignum Consulting shared his visions of Fit and Complete: an extension of his recent article in Woodworking Magazine. Sepp reminded everyone that if you focus on the basics of wood production: 15-20% of productivity can be improved without new equipment purchases! Waiting, Re-starting, Waiting: Why does it happen in your process? Sepp had the crowd thinking critically of how we conduct our day-to-day routines and find the opportunities we over-look with the basics.

As with all BWA events, the networking was rich, and extended after the event to a local restaurant into the evening. We observed many new business relationships sprout as happens at all of thee events.

If you want more information on the BWA, contact BWA Executive Director Mike Baker at: manager@bluewaterwoodalliance.com

Minister for MNRF Attends BWA 21st Quarterly Networking Event: a Big Hit with 90 Attendees!

When you take the true clustering model the BWA delivers by including stakeholders like Conestoga College’s Ontario Woodworking Centre, combined with manufacturing members sharing best practices as the key speakers, supply chain members adding expertise, and a networking venue to make industry connections to help grow your business, the magic happens!

The event kicked off with introductions of everybody in the room, so you know whom you want to talk to on the networking breaks. A true metric of engagement is who you see out at these events. This was followed by an update of BWA activities, projects, and membership by BWA Executive Director, Mike Baker. New BWA members Carocell Interiors, New Image Kitchens, Performance Abrasives, and Freeport Technologies were welcomed! The BWA is now at 95 member companies and growing! 

Next the Hon. Minister of Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Kathryn McGarry, spoke to the crowd about her concerns for the industry, both primary and secondary in Ontario, and their endorsement and support for the BWA cluster model. The BWA was honoured to have the Hon. Minister present at our event to see what a truly powerful cluster of companies we have become in Ontario. We look forward to having her out to future events to learn more about the needs of our member companies in the secondary manufacturing wood products industry in Ontario!

Next up: a dynamic collaborative presentation by three BWA manufacturing members who are custom CNC houses: Loren Burns of Precision Woodcraft, Ethan Vos of Cutting Edge CNC, and Grant Nicholson of Upper Canada Stretchers/Nicholson Design. Each of these creative individuals shared their perspectives on what CNC is and its potential for what it can do. Many BWA members will never get a CNC in house, and will always need to outsource this expertise. Others are on the edge of making a CNC purchase, and have multiple things to consider. Other have been using them for years. There was something for everyone as they covered all aspects from software to tooling to vacuum  and maintenance. From pushing the envelope for the production of complex designs, to volumes of repetitive or complex router patterns, or attractive and inspiring art pieces, all angles were discussed.  Stay tuned for future talks from these folks, as they just scratched the surface and have more expertise to share.

Next, David Blackler, Finishing Technologist with Conestoga College, Woodworking Centre of Ontario provided a presentation on finishing that included considerations for surface spraying variation for wood species and mdf products, and how can you maximize coverage and minimize passes (cost reduction). This was followed by addressing choices of laquer and nuances for wood and mdf, and considerations for training employees in house.

Dave finished off with a short demo of the spray simulator used for training. There were a few brave folks from the audience that gave it a whirl to test their accuracy!

The finale was a tour of the Ontario Woodworking Centre. Conestoga College has the largest post secondary woodworking training centre in Ontario, and members were able to tour the shop and see all of the new equipment and capabilities that are in use.

This was all followed by a social gathering for food and beverage at a local establishment, where the networking continued into the evening for many members (often the best part!)

Whew! What an afternoon!

If you want more information on the BWA membership and its activities, contact BWA Executive Director Mike Baker at manager@bluewaterwoodalliance.com

From left: BWA Executive Director Mike Baker, BWA President/Chair Dennis McGlynn, MNRF Hon. Minister Kathryn McGarry, Executive Dean for the School of Engineering/IT and Trades Julia Biedermann, Conestoga College President John Tibbits

Grant Nicholson shares his vision of CNC capabilities.

BWA 20th Quarterly Networking Event: Digital Transformation, Export, and Ontario Wood, and Welcome New Members!

Industry 4.0 is here to stay! The wood industry is getting on board with events like this! BWA welcomes 5 new members!

On June 22, 2016, the Bluewater Wood Alliance held its 20th quarterly networking event at the Walkerton Clean Water Centre with a capacity crowd. Front of the line up of topics was an update from BWA Executive Director Mike Baker who reported on current BWA projects and initiatives, and welcomed 5 new members: Maplecraft Doors, Kraemer Woodworking, Ladson Creative Millworks, BDO Canada, and Allied Stars Industrial.

This was followed by a presentation by Ontario Wood, and the MNRF export supports by Paul Mingay and Indrajit Majumber. If you use a percentage of Ontario wood in your products, there are many benefits of being a member of Ontario wood, including trade shows and publications and promotion of your company; and its free! Contact BWA for more information!

Export Development Canada provided an update on risk mitigation for exporters. About 30% of our members export, and another 30-40% could be and are considering it. Fears and apprehensions were shared, and solutions provided to help our members get more up to speed on the benefits, and what’s involved in exporting their products.

The latest theme out of Europe now is industry 4.0, and digital transformation. Sepp Gmeiner of Lignum Consulting provided an introduction and context on what has been the hottest industry topic for the last number of years in Europe. Just last month, Ligna Messe hosted a conference on Industry 4.0 in Hanover, Germany.  Industry 4.0 refers to the connected factory, and engaging technologies to run your business. Sepp provided an easy to understand reason why all this is happening, and why we in the wood industry must choose a place to get started that makes sense and scalable.

Mark Corker of Seredex and Ewald Becker of Planit Canada followed up with two approaches to engaging technologies and understanding what digital transformation is; and what it means to us in the wood industry. Mark Corker provided an in depth description and context for wood manufacturers small and large, and Ewald a perspective for the cabinet makers. Mark added value to open discussion and Q&A with member examples and case studies, and looking at ERP as an example. Members shared their experiences that included both successes and frustrations. This portion added even more value to the session. It was hard to shut it down but the venue had to close!

As always, the event followed with some fellowship and continued networking with refreshment at a local pub where more than 20 of the members went after the event. This is often the most productive part!

If you have not been to a BWA quarterly networking event, then you are truly missing out! The next one is September 30th, 2016, hosted by Conestoga College. If you would like more information about the BWA, please contact the BWA Executive Director, Mike Baker manager@bluewaterwoodalliance.com

Mike Sooley and Johanna Franz od EDC talk to members about export

Mark Corker of Seredex addresses members on digital transformation

Sepp Gmeiner of Lignum Consulting introduces Industry 4.0 to members

BWA Quarterly Event: Export and Lean Expertise Up Front For Wood Industry.

Chief Economist for Export Development Canada, Peter Hall, and BWA member Mike Vokes from Vokes Furniture, both lined up to provide BWA members valuable information on the current economy, exporting, and lean manufacturing implementation for the wood industry.

The Upside of Rising Risk: Check the news, and you’ll see that the Canadian market is facing challenges. Look across the border and around the world, and things are looking increasingly turbulent. Risks seem to be rising everywhere, and yet many are experiencing growth. Does this make sense? And does it suggest that things are going to get better…or worse?

The main thrust of Peter’s message was that the U.S. is poised for further growth, and this will benefit Canada, and the wood industry for exports to the U.S. The danger lies in pessimism, and falling victim to panic. The uniqueness of the current situation is growth during instability. Keeping the course steady as she goes and remain confident, was the main message.

Peter also provided some interesting details on trends in the wood industry, showing us at the beginning of an upward trend across the board. Lots of Q&A took place that allowed the members to engage in very meaningful discussion. A big thank you to Peter and the folks at EDC who attended the event. His slide presentation is available in the member area of the BWA website, and the video of his talk will be posted soon.

Mike Vokes of Vokes Furniture, with the assistance of Sepp Gmeiner of Lignum Consulting, provided a dynamic overview of their lean journey from a small company, to where they are today. The stories of tribulations, mistakes, and successes made along the way provided a rich opportunity for members to learn from another manufacturer.

The big message is to start measuring where you are, and make small changes and continue to benchmark and compare how your changes are impacting on the measures. The big challenge all members face is taking the time to do it while sustaining day-to-day business. The more we all talk about it together as an industry, the more we learn, and the more confident we get to take the risks necessary to innovate and improve our industry as a whole. The mindset of continuous improvement is beginning to spread in the wood industry! Thanks to Mike and Sepp for charing this valuable presentation to members! It is also available in the BWA member area.

If you want more information on the BWA, contact Executive Director, Mike Baker: manager@bluewaterwoodalliance.com

 

Peter Hall of EDC engages the BWA

Peter Hall of EDC engages the BWA

Mike Vokes and Sepp Gmeiner present to BWA members

Mike Vokes and Sepp Gmeiner present to BWA members

BWA Members Keep Up Date with Software/Machinery Integration and Finishing Technologies!

The power of clustering is leveraged by the expertise found in the supply chain! Read on!

Software/Machinery integration and finishing technologies emerge once again from member’s needs to the surface for the recent BWA quarterly networking event!

35 BWA companies participated in another successful afternoon of networking and learning!

New BWA members were welcomed: Kitchen Visions, Parker House, Cutting Edge CNC, Budd Steel, and Akhurst!

The BWA Cluster region is now expanded to include southwestern Ontario as more wood companies learn about the value of clustering activities. The BWA membership now stands at 80 members in total!

The event kicked off with an update of our actives by BWA Executive Director Mike Baker.

This was quickly followed by presentations by Weinig, Planit Canada, and Sherwin Williams. Half hour networking breaks between the speakers allowed members lots of time for members to mingle and connect with each other. The presentations followed these themes:

Software/Machinery Integration: Cabinets, and Solid Wood Processing Applications

 

Many BWA  members are new to the use of technology to link sales, design, engineering, ordering, cut lists, scheduling, etc from the “front end” of your business, to the production floor at your machines. Once at the machines, what role can software technology play and what are the capabilities? How can these capabilities help you in your operation? There also BWA members that have been using this technology for some time, but continue to evolve in it’s understanding and its application. We live in  exciting times with what technology can do for us, an it is constantly changing.

 

BWA has members both realms: dealing with solid wood break-out for furniture and other applications, and cabinetmaking companies that need it to link design and sales to processing sheet stock and other steps in the process.

 

Kyle Roseneck of Taurus Craco, dealer of Weinig shared new software technology with solid wood break-out equipment to maximize yield and also expedite the processing steps to minimize labour and time.

 

For the cabinetmakers, BWA member Ewald Becker of Planit Canada taught  members about how software strategies are used to help link the “front end” of  businesses to the processes on the shop floor.

Formaldehyde – Free Lacquer Based Finishes

Many companies continue to use lacquer based finishes as a reliable solution to their product’s use. Conversely, other companies have converted to water-based products with acceptable results. The science continues to evolve. Environmental demands and customer perceptions also play into the pressures to move away from laquer based products.

Fromaldehyde – free laquer finishes are another solution that is available today.  BWA member Brent Fischer of Sherwin Williams provided an overview of the science involved and the properties of this option to the industry, followed by Q&A. 

These events always end with a large group continuing to network after the event an into the dinner hour (often this is the best part!).

If you would like more information on the BWA and these events, contact Mike Baker at manager@bluewterwoodalliance.com

The power of clustering is leveraged by the expertise found in the supply chain!

Ewald Becker of Planit Canada

Kyle Roseneck of Taurus Craco addresses the BWA crowd

Sept 17, 2015 Quarterly Networking Event Focuses on Risk Management and R&D in your facilities!

Loss control industry trends, and realizing R&D defined is very simple that can give you tax credits give members good value and insight into their businesses!
The BWA now sits at 74 members! Our quarterly events have now evolved into opportunities to meet with wood industry colleagues, potential partners, and customer/suppliers as well!
This quarter, we had three main themes that were relevant to everyone:
  1. Risk Management for Wood Product Manufacturers
As wood product manufacturers, our needs in managing risk in your operations are unique. What are our major exposures of risk? What are our major causes of loss and how do we prevent them? What are the trends in the industry and what do you need to be focussed on? What coverage gaps do we need to be aware of?  As a business owner, why should loss control matter to you? Case study examples with wood manufacturing operations were shared, and open discussion Q&A presented by BWA member Chris Cameron of The Magnes Group was enjoyed by all. 

2.   SRED: Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credit Revisited
SRED has been around a long time, and a number of our seasoned BWA members have accessed this tax credit. However, there have been changes to the rules, and many NEW BWA members were not familiar with nor have ever applied for SRED. This addressed recent changes to the legislation and also the following questions: What is SRED? Who is eligible? What is eligible? What kind of refund can I expect? What do you look for in your manufacturing operation that could be eligible and how do you identify SRED eligible activities? What does the application look like? How long does it take to prepare an application? Audits: What happens at an audit and how do you prepare for an audit? Paper trail discipline while preparing your claim so you are ready for a potential audit. Benefits of using a consultant and expected costs. Case study examples of a wood manufacturing operation successful SRED applications were shared. Xurbo SRED Specialists provided this presentation with lots of time for Q&A. Many members showed great potential in tapping into this tax credit who had not before.

3. IRAP: Industrial Research Assistance Program (Industry Canada, National Research Council)
Many BWA members have used IRAP before to assist with the adoption of new technologies and processes to improve their businesses. The IRAP program continues to assist manufacturers as technologies change. IRAP is a very easy program to access, with recent changes and updates to the program including Advisory Services, Project Funding, Youth Employment Program, and Networking Linkages. The new IRAP representative for our region, Kris Conjeevaram, was pleased to take this opportunity to meet the BWA members and shared these details to members, followed by Q&A. Talk to other BWA members who have used the IRAP program before!
Chris Cameron of Magnes Group engages the BWA audience

Chris Cameron of Magnes Group engages the BWA audience.

Ryan Scodeller of Xurbo SRED Specialists

Ryan Scodeller of Xurbo SRED Specialists

For more information and details about these events and the BWA, contact BWA Manager Mike Baker: manager@bluewaterwoodalliance.com

 

BWA Welcomes 10 New Member Companies to the Cluster at June event and AGM!

The BWA has now grown to 72 members, 50 of them are manufacturers, and 22 of them are associate members! Nice ratio!

The BWA had its recent AGM and quarterly networking event June 18, 2015 at the Walkerton Clean Water Centre. This event welcomed 10 new members, and also had three themes for learning and sharing:

  1. Forming a Foundation for GrowthMany BWA members struggle with finding more time to work on their business, rather than in it. Shawn Casemore of Casemore snd Associates provided an interactive session referring to your  Mindset, Priorities, and Habits  as the three main themes to help make the transition to grow your business.

       2. New technologies for case goods: Murat Dogan of Ima-Schelling Canada provided a short introduction to these new technologies for our members.

A- Logistics– Sheet Stock Inventory Storage Systems for Panel Processing Nesting Machines,  

B– Lazer Edgebanding Technologies and Alternatives for hot air and PUR Glue 

3.     Demystifying the 5 Axis CNC: Paul Eulander of Bisse Canada provided an overview of the capbilities of the 5 axis CNC and its capabilities. Paul explained how, as technology changes, this technology is becoming more accessible for the smaller players in the game.

Paul Mingay of Ontario Wood explained the value of the brand and its advantages to the members, and many have participated in Ontario Wood sponsored trade show space, among other collaborative projects.

The following new members were welcomed to the BWA!

Coates Creek Cabinetry, Sterling Custom Kitchens, HBK Timberbarn, North on Sixty, Idesign Cabinetry, DJ’s Furniture, Elmira Custom Kitchens, Formatop Manufacturing, Railmaster Stairways, and Timeless Materials

If you are a wood products manufacturer and want to get in on the action with the BWA, contact BWA Manager Mike Baker: manager@bluewaterwoodalliance.com

Shawn Casemore of Casemore and Associates engages BWA members.

Shawn Casemore of Casemore and Associates engages BWA members.

Digital Marketing, Profit Improvement Planning, and Panel Gluing Technologies bring value to members from far and wide!

The weather cooperated for the BWA March 26 quarterly networking event that brought over 50 members together from across southwestern Ontario!

Spring weather cooperated for over 50 BWA members from across the southwestern Ontario Cluster region! The March 26 event was originally scheduled back in late Nov, 2014 and postponed due to weather. Members were primed and ready for this first quarterly event of the new calendar year!

The event opened with an update on BWA projects by Manager Mike Baker. Top on the list included the current and ongoing project funding for BWA members provided through the OMAFRA RED program. BWA members are eligible for funds toward improvement projects of their choosing. (If you  missed out, there is another round starting April 1! It’s not too late if you join now!). Next on the collaborative project update included upcoming trade show at High Point, North Carolina, and Index 2015 in Dubai UAE.

Digital Marketing is a common topic for all of us in the BWA, both manufacturing and supplier members alike. Themes that members needed to learn more about included dispelling myths about Search Engine Optimization and understanding how to truly tap into its potential to attract people to your website over others. Having your website and online presence really needs to be effectively married into your over-all marketing strategy in order to reap its full potential benefits to your company. Other opportunities on this topic included strategies to attract web traffic from the U.S and out of the country for export purposes. Richard Picart of Search Engine People provided a dynamic presentation on foundational concepts and principles on these themes including conversion optimization. Watch for future BWA training events on this topic in the near future.

Profit Improvement Planning requires a quick identification of gaps in your business processes that impact a company’s effectiveness to optimize efficiencies to realize a profit. Setting measurable goals with timelines and understanding key financial ratios and how to calculate them can help guide companies to being more efficient and focussed on customers and margins at the same time. George Lightfoot of Entrepreneur Support Services provided a unique overview of an approach all business can take to improve their profitability by identifying the activities and processes that are truly having an impact, and making necessary changes to realize bigger profits and higher value to your customers. Financial strategies are key to profitability, and George leveraged his 45 years in the industry to provide an interesting and enlightening approach to looking at financial ratios and strategies to improve your business.

The gluing of wood panels for applications in cabinetry and furniture manufacturing is a constantly moving target with technology and preferences. The trick is to maintain the integrity of your glue lines to accommodate finish with consistency in an efficient manner. Kyle Roesneck of Taurus Craco provided a detailed overview of the converging technologies available with a review of wood properties under gluing conditions. The vast knowledge that Kyle possesses was appreciated by members and very obvious as he continued to answer members’ questions and concerns as the event concluded.

Congratulations to all members of the BWA and our guest speakers for another very successful day of clustering activity! If you are a wood product manufacturer or supplier in southwestern Ontario and would like more information on the BWA, please contact BWA Manager at manager@bluewaterwoodalliance.com

Richard Picart of Search Engine People engages the BWA audience on digital marketing strategies

Richard Picart of Search Engine People engages the BWA audience on digital marketing strategies.

George Lightfoot of Entrepreneur Support Services engages BWA members in discussion.

George Lightfoot of Entrepreneur Support Services engages BWA members in discussion.