Networking Meeting in February.

On Tuesday, February 28, 2012,  over 45 people met in Walkerton to hear the latest on benchmarking and machnery integration software.

Another Successful Networking Meeting

On Tuesday, February 28, 2012, over 45 people met at the Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) to hear the lates on the Bluewater Wood Alliance’s progress and to watch presentations on benchmarking and measurements, plus two presentations on software innovations for machinery integration and control from Homag and Taurus Craco.  The manufacturers were very well represented, along with a group of interested suppliers and supplier associate members.

Presentations were made by the 3 companies.  On the machinery side, Homag had their supplier partner, Benz, present the latest in information on using aggregates (machining attachments to CNC machines) on CNC machinery.  Presenter, Bob Barone,  showed how member companies companies , especially those machining solid wood, could utilize machining aggregates to increase productivity on machining centres.  At the very least, anyone with a CNC should know more about this area.

Wes Love, Vice President of Taurus Craco, presented the Weinig solution for integrated manufacturing and gave us a glimpse of how the break- out department in your company might look inthe future.

Lignum Consulting’s Sepp Gmeiner outlined what benchmarking and creating a balanced scorecard can do for your company.  His opening point on the need for sharing measurement throughout the organization gave a solid base for all benchmarking and ongoing measurement programs.  As he said to the assembled crowd, “You can drive a car without looking at the dashboard.  However, having a occasional look at the dashboard helps keep you more in control.”  On the benchmarking front, the BWA continues to work towards getting some solid funding to help get this program up and running.  If we can get some government funding and supporting fees from each company that wants to participate, we will be able to develop a solution together that can work for all our wood products manufacturers, from small to mid- size operations.

This meeting was even more interactive than the previous ones, as the participants were asked at the beginning about the key challenges they face daily in their companies. The participants listed the need to increase sales and find new customers most often, but other issues like improving their productivity, optimizing plant organization and material flow, and the pressure of increasing costs of operation were listed.

At the end of the meeting the group was giving feedback on what type of presentations  they are hoping to see at the next meeting. Suggested topics include: Lean manufacturing, government funding, manufacturing software, investment justification and some other topics.

Participants were also introduced to the Management training program developed and provided online by the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing at UBC.  These programs can be seen at

As usual, the participants seemed to enjoy the networking opportunities in the break and long after the meeting ended.  A few went on to a local watering hole to discuss current business issues over a cool one.