Is your business too hot!?

Most of us know that dust and flammable vapours need to be aggressively controlled.  But there could be a silent unseen exposure at your facility.  With regards to the electrical system and related equipment, we all know of the following risk management protocols to prevent such electrical fires:

  • Don’t leave temporary equipment plugged in when it’s not in use.
  • Don’t overload electrical equipment or circuits.
  • Avoid using extension cords, and never consider them permanent solutions.
  • Use antistatic equipment where required by NFPA or manufacturers’ guidelines for handling.
  • Follow a regular housekeeping plan to remove combustible dust and other hazardous materials from areas that contain equipment and machinery.
  • Implement a reporting system so that anyone who observes an electrical fire risk can report it without consequences.

Image result for thermal image of faulty machinery electrical system Image result for thermal image of faulty machinery electrical system

But do you inspect your electrical systems for “hotspots” that could potentially lead to disaster?

At Cowan we can provide a thermo-imaging inspection of your facility at no cost to you!

To arrange an inspection please contact me at 226-268-3102

 

Alex Bilik B.Sc., FCIP, CRM

Commercial Business Development Manager

 

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Strategic Leadership and Planning for the Future at the Summer Quarterly Networking Event in Walkerton!

On Thursday, June 20th, the BWA hosted its Summer Quarterly Networking Event at the Walkerton Clean Water Center. Mike Baker, Executive Director of the Bluewater Wood Alliance opened the event with an update on current events and highlighted some new content set to roll out later on this year.

What makes great leadership and why?

To successfully implement programs such as Lean Manufacturing, Sales Growth Strategies, or other systems in your factory, you need your people all working together to see it through. What if you have a terrific system for your business but lack the strategic leadership, communication, team dynamics and productivity techniques to lead teams and implement your vision?  Barry Reid of Leadership Management International was one of the speakers at Walkerton communicating and educating on a variety of components related to how to achieve success, define it, and attain it. What are the factors?

Have you ever set out a goal, got off track and didn’t achieve it?
What motivates people – which last and which fail?

If you have a list of wants and needs for your business but struggle to find time to achieve them, it is necessary to explore the root cause. Since we all have 24 hrs. in a day, how come some people are successful and others not? Leadership Management International works with companies to identify those roadblocks and help create actionable results-oriented solutions.

Have you ever had days when you’re just so busy, but feel like you got nothing done?

Time management is a critical function for Owners, Presidents & Managers and with that, Barry also presented on how to visualize effective time management and what to spot when we’re trying to stay efficient.

“I’m going to get that (time management graphic) tattooed on me after today!” – One BWA member said during the talk as the room broke out into laughter.

For over 50 years Leadership Management International has been developing leaders with process driven techniques and programs to develop professional leaders for companies of all industries.

Barry Reid of Leadership Management International speaking on performance measurables of success.


Estate & Succession Planning

Are you ready for retirement? Is your business ready when that happens? What about an unexpected change in plans?  What if you can’t make decisions due to unforeseen circumstances?
Jill Sampson of The Alliance Lawyers located in Owen Sound presented on these important measures every business owner will need to asses at some point in their career. Jill separated the session into two focus areas: Estate Planning & Succession Planning.

In the matter of a Will, things to consider planning for may include: Who will be your executor? Do you have a residue clause in place? Is there going to be a trust set up? Who is your power of attorney if something unexpected were to happen tomorrow? “What if a family member has fallen out of favor or there is a separation?”, some BWA members asked.

Many wood manufacturers businesses are family run businesses. Managing the control of the business is another important area a business owner needs to plan for. Jill broke down categories within documents used to manage and plan for such life events.


Employment Law

After following up with a Q&A period on Estate and Succession Planning, Jill continued on to address an ever-changing and evolving landscape of Employment Law.  Knowing how to correctly respond to employees who show up to work under the influence of a mind-altering substance or judgement impairing substance will help companies stay on the right side of the law.

The audience had great questions that had some unexpected answers, for example: “Where do my rights stand if I send someone home from work due to intoxication from alcohol?” Jill continued to inform us of case law examples outlining that other factors can play a role in such questions, such as WSIB & Human Rights.

Mental health is now a category that WSIB is now beginning to look at and this category may continue to trend in the future.


BWA Quarterly Networking Events are opportunities for everyone: Owners, Presidents, HR Professionals, Office Managers, Engineering Managers, Sales & Sales Managers, Operations Managers, Lead Hands, Supervisors, and Production Staff to learn about trends in our industry and stay connected. Leverage the power of the BWA network. Attend Quarterly Networking Events to meet people who experience the same challenges you do. Share experiences, ideas, insight, trends, and technology to prepare for new opportunities and challenges ahead.

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How do we Grow and Develop Our Staff?

By Andrew Wall, Sandler Training Milton

As a professional development expert, I get asked all the time how do I know how to help my staff? Well good news, it doesn’t have to be so hard. The Devine Inventory provides an Employee Lifecycle set of products that turn Managing and Leading your people into a Science vs an Art Form. Good news!

As you are looking for B+/A Players during your recruiting efforts, Devine has pre-hire reports that evaluate a person’s behaviors. These behaviors are grouped into competencies and specific competencies are required for a position. Devine literally has hundreds of these reports already created so you don’t have to recreate the wheel. These pre-hire reports will provide a 1-99 score on how they match the job competencies and then simplify the interview process by providing behavioral interview questions for each job competency. Interviewing simplified!

When you want to “develop” your staff, Devine has a product that removes any 1-99 rating and instead focuses on how the person’s behaviors perform against the ideal for each position and how they match up vs the job competencies. The report provides specific information on how to use your strengths and how to develop lower behaviors. As the manager, it is comforting to know that Devine has already thought of how to uniquely “coach” each person according to their own development needs. This Devine “coach” report dramatically improves your coaching time with your staff. No report or evaluation is perfect.

After helping more than 11,000 people interpret and understand their own Devine Report, I can confidently say these reports make hiring, growing, developing and retaining staff much more predictable. “Thank you” social psychology for making my job as a professional development expert more predictable and successful.

Focusing on your Best Customers

By Andrew Wall, Sandler Training Milton

Not all customers are created equally. You have probably heard of Pareto’s Law or the 80/20 rule. In sales, 80% of your revenues will come from 20% of your customers. Companies need to analyze these 20% customers to understand the demographics and psychographics of these “sweet spot” clients and then identify prospective companies that look similar.

Demographic markers can include the number of employees, number of offices, revenue per year, and their location relative to your company.

Psychographic markers may include a willingness to use external experts.

Once you have identified these important prospect characteristics, you need to create your prospect list by utilizing LinkedIn, Industry directories, or purchasing a list from Info Canada or Zoom. Now that you have created your “ideal client prospect list”, you need to start prospecting.

Gaining new clients but losing existing clients out the back door is frustrating. With your 20% clients identified, make sure you are servicing them exceptionally and maintaining contact with them regularly. Depending on your product or service, you may be meeting with your most important clients quarterly, semi-annually or annually. Ensure you ask them how you are performing in their eyes, what has changed in their business, discuss what is new in your business or other products or services they are not utilizing then develop an action plan for your next steps.

Happy clients are a great source of referrals as long as you ask them. Start to work “smart” and not just hard at keeping your most important clients and acquiring new ones that look just like them. Happy Prospecting!

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BWA members movin’ full steam to Lean.

BWA Lean Road Map Training Event packed the room with manufacturers eager to learn.

On January 24th, 2019 the BWA hosted it’s Lean Road Map Training Event at Kitchener’s premier business hub EDC’s Export Growth Hub at Catalyst 137. 

It was as recent as last December the BWA held it’s Lean Training to a packed room of manufacturers. And by popular demand, the event was brought back to train an even deeper reach of manufacturers staff in all areas of their business. Lean thinking focuses on driving down waste in all areas of manufacturing; the seen waste and the unseen waste cannot hide with Lean implementation.

Throughout the event, Lean Trainers Brad Cairnes (Center of Lean Learning) and Sepp Gmeiner (Lignum Consulting), showcased to their audience an interactive presentation on the fundamentals of lean and provided examples of how it benefits their businesses. Brad Cairnes also brought video footage of top performing wood manufacturing facilities showcasing the power of lean thinking.

“This is awesome, bad @ss, whatever you want to call it!” – Staff Member introduced to Lean.

What areas of your business have you not yet considered that have waste? What areas could you tap into to drive down waste? What do you consider waste? Be ready for the next Lean Training announcements to not miss the next opportunity. Stay up to date by subscribing to our mailing list.

BWA members during the full day Lean Road Map Training Event held at EDC’s Export Growth Hub – Catalyst 137, Kitchener.

For those who want to continue the learning experience and focus deeper on their shops, the BWA has worked with Brad, Lynn & Sepp to facilitate such a request. Many companies are moving forward with the next steps of the BWA Lean Program.

To learn more about the BWA Lean Program and more details about this event, please contact Ryan Tabone at Email: [email protected]