Info packed day @ BWA’s Quarterly Networking Event Sept.28th

Friday, September 28th marked the Bluewater Wood Alliance’s 29th Quarterly Networking Event. The Bluewater Wood Alliance provided industry experts to talk about: Sales & Prospecting, Benefit Industry Trends and CNC Optimization and Utilization

Over 60 manufacturing business leaders attended this quarter. The event took place at Ontario’s largest woodworking skills development center: Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

The event commenced with an introduction by Member of Provincial Parliament Amy Fee. Amy, (MPP Kitchener South-Hespeler) a member of multiple Standing Committees including Social Policy & Government Agencies, shared with us a reminder to engage with our local MPPs by raising your voice for important issues to you as business people and individuals.

We also had Brenda Gilmore – current Chair of Technology, Trades, and Apprenticeship for Conestoga College recognize two recipients of the Weston Family Skilled Trades Scholarship: Skylar Sawyer & Ryan Korczak.  Unique to this scholarship is that all recipients become student ambassadors for the trades. Recipients get involved in numerous co-curricular activities within the School of Trades and Apprenticeship at Conestoga College such as “Trades and Technology Days” & “Explore Your Future Days”, as well as external activities such as elementary and high school visits, conferences, and much more.  Mentorship, professional development, and giving back to an ever-growing trades community are key components to this program.

Could my sales and prospecting benefit from a boost?

  • Andrew Wall – President of Sandler Sales Milton (right) presenting/speaking @ Sept 28th BWA Quarterly Networking Event

Our first speaker for the Event was President & Owner of Sandler Sales Milton – Andrew Wall.  Andrew, a 26-year veteran of sales and sales management, gave us valuable insight into having a system of approach when interacting with clients and prospects.  When a client thanks you for your services – how you respond to that compliment can be transformative to your next potential sale.  Andrew gave us some great tips with the RECONR method on how to best utilize these moments for your business, and what do with them.  We continued the learning with a quick workshop putting into practice proven methods that are easy to employ.  Rather than just learning a technique, Sandler Sales is a sales methodology that teaches and mentors their client’s attitudes of leadership with an emphasis on lasting success.

Is my business at risk of very expensive prescription drugs my employees may need in the future?

Our second speaker was President of Beneplan Vince Principato with an in depth look at what is trending in the benefits industry.  Vince brought several important questions to our listeners that day.  As new and more advanced drugs come on the market, some can reach costs in the 10’s of thousands of dollars and reach much higher.  Vince shared with us solutions that are out there that can reduce the impact on your company benefit plans.  There are also testing methods that now exist that can dramatically increase the effective and safe response in the host patient taking medication.  Vince’s insight and knowledge gave us all some valuable information to think about with our businesses and plans for the future.

Is it time I get a CNC machine for my shop?

Concluding the day’s event were two BWA members – Grant Nicholson of Upper Canada Stretchers & Loren Burns of Precision Woodcraft.

A picture says a thousand words, and Grant brought with him many photos of his talented use of CNC potential.  For those considering getting a CNC for their business, Grant gave many examples and visuals to showcase the varied and wide-ranging capabilities of CNC machining.  Some images included a 20 ft. circular picture frame, and an ornately detailed carving in which he described how CNC machines can use bits as small as 1/16”!

Are there things with my CNC I should be doing but am not? Am I optimizing it best I can?

Loren Burns of Precision Woodcraft continued the second half of the talk reviewing several ways businesses can optimize the use of their CNC machines.  In his talk, he shared with us methods and suggestions to reduce cycle times & maximize machine throughput as well as effective approaches to efficient utilization of human labour.  Sometimes sound principles can get left behind in the rush to produce – so Loren also addressed key factors in a well-run CNC machine that will yield quality results.

And that concluded the day’s events for the 28th Quarterly Networking Event.  No wait…there’s more!

Following the speakers, attendees were given a shop tour of Conestoga College’s Wood Shop Facility and got to see the College’s new state of the art digital 3D finishing sprayer training software.  The software is capable of measuring the efficiency, amount & thickness of material transfer, even the reflectiveness of the wet virtual paint and much more – all in real time.

Check out the Bluewater Wood Alliance Event Page for more information on upcoming and past events.

Want to contribute to the continuing success of the BWA? Don’t have a lot of time to spare? No problem! The BWA is looking for sub-committee members to participate.  The time involved is very minimal (a few calls every other month) sub-committee members will be assisted with the guidance of BWA board members. Contact Mike Baker at 226-668-5455 for more information.

Be a part of the conversation, let us know what you liked about the event and share this article with those you know.