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Bluewater Wood Alliance at Doma Doors Mfg. Ltd.

Thursday, October 9th, 2019 the BWA facilitated a Plant Tour Focus Group of 35,000 sq. Ft Doma Doors Ltd. located in Mississauga.

Plant Tour Focus Groups strive to spur innovation among wood companies by allowing the host company to showcase what they do well as a manufacturer as well as address the current challenge they are facing they want to improve.

Doma Doors Mfg.’s focus was on finding new ways to manage the vast quantity of machinery used to produce the volume of productions they run, as well as managing the software for operations.

Prior to the tour, the group reviewed the host’s challenge with a brief insight into the company’s operations. Afterward, the attendees regrouped to workshop and assess what they saw and suggest ideas for improvements and changes.

Above: Doma Doors is a 35,000 sq. ft. that produces a variety of door styles.

Doma Doors is a 35,000 sq. Ft. facility that produces a variety of door styles, including MDF, solid wood, and vinyl wrapped doors. They are a company that celebrates a positive and healthy workplace culture while continuing to meet the volume demand of the marketplace.

“I liked that they let everyone (wood manufacturers) in here, and they had the openness to share challenges and best practices.” – BWA member, Drew Nevens, owner of Cabinet Solutions.

Above: BWA manufacturing members walk through Doma Doors Mfg. Ltd. facility on October 9th, 2019.

BWA Plant Tour Focus Groups are all about continuous improvements. One of the best ways to keep your company on a competitive edge is to invest yours, and your workforce’s education on lean manufacturing.

To find out more about Lean manufacturing, make sure to attend the Bluewater Wood Alliance’s Live Stage event at the Wood Machinery and Supply (WMS) Show this November 1st at 1:00 pm.

For more information on the WMS Show click here:
https://bluewaterwoodalliance.com/events/wms-woodworking-machinery-supply-conference-and-expo-2/

Are you aware of the changing landscape of the wood industry?  Interested in hearing more about the BWA and our events?

Book a meeting with the BWA to find out more: [email protected]

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Quarterly Networking Event – Export Readiness Series – September 26th

Export Development: Removing the risk; expanding markets

Canada is widely regarded internationally for its high-quality wood products. Our expertise opens the doors to exporting, but exporting has its own set of challenges.

Guest speaker Lucian Mihett, Export Development’s Senior Account Manager, and an experienced commercial banker discussed how to access capital, de-risk international sales, and take advantage of the current low-interest-rate environment. EDC is Canada’s international trade expert devoted to supporting Canadian companies with international business opportunities.

Lucian Mihett, Export Development’s Senior Account Manager, discusses how EDC can support Canadian companies with international business opportunities.

Lucian shared how companies don’t have to tie up capital with banks, how to avoid risk with offshore clients, and how to do a market analysis. Those in attendance learned, working with EDC can help free up time, money, and attention so they can focus more on preparing for success in new markets.

The BWA continues to provide solutions for wood manufacturers, suppliers, and service providers training and skills development for those doing business locally as well as those interested or already into global markets.

To help navigate the open waters of international trade, the BWA is expanding our services to provide more training for our members. New Lean manufacturing training, Sales Growth Strategies Training, Leadership Development training, Export Development, and Health & Safety!

On Thursday, September 26th, the BWA hosted its Fall Quarterly Networking Event – Export Readiness Series at the home of Ontario’s largest Woodworking Center, Conestoga College.

MPP, Conestoga Mike Harris commenced the event by recognizing the significant impact the value-added wood sector has on the Ontario economy. He highlighted the 155K+ direct & indirect jobs our industry employs; the $16B revenue it contributes to the Ontario economy. He also outlined the upcoming Ontario’s Forestry Sector Strategy – a plan to help unleash the potential of the forest industry.

Mike Baker, Executive Director of the Bluewater Wood Alliance, opened the event with an update on current events and highlighted more new content set to roll out later on in the new year!

Mike Baker Executive Director of the BWA kicking off the September Quarterly Networking Event

Social Media Marketing the Smart Way

You wouldn’t ask your accountant to fix your car’s transmission, so why would you have a staff member oversee your company’s social media in addition to their daily job functions?

How a company brands themselves online is more than putting up a facebook post and calling it a day. Michelle and Tamara of Form and Affect shared a great deal of insight on effective strategies when implementing a social media marketing plan. From a CEO level perspective, Form and Affect extrapolated the types of goals to set and metrics to evaluate its effectiveness.

A social media marketing plan is, in effect, the gateway for international customers to learn about and assess a Canadian wood company.  This holds for companies that currently ship products across borders, as well as companies that may be considering it.

They discussed target audiences and how to engage them, content strategies, choosing medium channels, digital advertising, ROI, and implementation of a plan.

The presentation raised a lot of attention for many manufacturers that may open the door for future events with more related content.

H&S – Better to be safe than sorry!

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Nowhere is that more fitting than with health and safety in the workplace.

Presenter, Randy Dignard of Industrial Safety Trainers, shared many case examples and information on what businesses in the manufacturing sector need to comply with the law. He also shared how companies can perform their best due diligence for the well being of their employees.

Has the MOL ever paid your company an unexpected visit?  What prompted it? Why do they happen?  Randy, elaborated on various reasons of MOL visits as well as provided understanding
things companies can do to ensure they are doing their best if met with inquiries from ministry officials.

Randy Dignard of Industrial Safety Trainers speaking on proactive safety measures for Health & Safety.

Have you considered getting your workforce trained in health and safety? Do you feel your employees are trained well enough on how to be safe workers? Ensuring your workforce can perform their tasks safely and comply with the Ministry of Labour is in everyone’s best interest.

That’s why the BWA is partnering with Randy Dignard of Industrial Safety Trainers to bring to the BWA a Health and Safety training program to be rolled out early 2020. Stay tuned for more details, and if you have any questions or feedback on this, please contact the BWA.

Randy Dignard, is one of Ontario’s leading safety consultants, recognized by Ontario courts as an expert in Workplace Safety, has been involved in Workplace Safety for over 30 years. As president of Industrial Safety Trainers Inc, Randy spends most of his time coaching and mentoring business owners across Canada on how they can demonstrate due diligence and compliance to Ontario’s Safety Laws.

If you would like more information about BWA, please contact:

Ryan Tabone
Program Coordinator
Bluewater Wood Alliance
e: [email protected]

Together we’re strengthening Ontario’s wood manufacturing future.

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BWA Lean Leadership: To Export Readiness – paves the way for success! 

Above: BWA Lean Trainers, Brad Cairns Quantum Lean & Sepp Gmeiner Lignum Consulting demonstrate key elements of successful morning meetings

Above: BWA Lean Trainers, Brad Cairns Quantum Lean & Sepp Gmeiner Lignum Consulting demonstrate key elements of successful morning meetings

Thursday, August 29th marked an exciting new phase with the first BWA Lean Leadership: To Export Readiness Training Event at EDC’s Kitchener location: EDC Export Growth Hub.

Is leadership a topic that resonates with you and your company? Do you have a struggle with getting new ideas implemented? Are you not sure what methods to employ them? Are you trying to find your footing on beginning a lean journey at your facility? These aren’t uncommon questions, many factories are learning more and more about Lean, but what is keeping them from continuing to move forward?

Foreign markets continue to be an opportunity for Canadian wood companies, particularly the USA. How can your processes be ready for increased volumes from new sales opportunities? It is proven that adopting Lean Manufacturing & Industry 4.0 helps pave the way to success. Europe is ahead of the curve and Canada needs to stay globally competitive.

This brand new training event for Lean Leadership is here to show managers and leaders what it will take to make their factories Lean and sustain a Lean culture among all of their staff. To be successful in new markets an essential element is to have efficient processes. And a key driver of that success comes from adopting lean principles to meet new volume deadlines while achieving manageable lead times for customers.

“If I hit all of these points (referring to a visual aide), I’m sending the right message, and it (the process) will get faster” – Lean Trainer Brad Cairns explains, referring to a synergistic effect of Lean Leadership principles.

The BWA Lean Leadership – To Export Readiness Training Event made sure to teach not only the role of the leader who is leading a lean transformation but also many facets of how to be useful in developing a lean culture – from: powerful morning meetings with real examples and time for Q&A; easy fast ways to create improvements and how staff can get engaged to participate; common mistakes leaders make when trying to foster a lean culture; fundamental principles and why they work to create change; with lots of time to discuss current challenges and ways to address and fix them; and much, much more.

 “It was good to get refocused. We’ve done lean training…we’ve had Brad out to do lean training in our facility, but as a refresher for (lean) leadership, I wish I would have brought the rest of my leadership team to remind them what we’re trying to do” – Steve Dennison, Dennison Homes.

If you have taken the Intro to BWA Lean Road Map – To Export Readiness or the new BWA Lean Leadership – To Export Readiness Training Event make sure you’re taking the right approach to implementing lean and helping your employees be inspired to change and succeed.

Funding is available for training through the Canada Ontario Jobs Grant (COJG) & for companies currently exporting. If you export or are considering exporting – Yves Landry Foundation can also support funding for skills training.

Missed out on this event? Contact the BWA and tell us your interest in running it again. If you’re interested in attending the next BWA Lean Leadership – To Export Readiness Training Event or any other BWA event, you can contact:

Ryan Tabone

Program Coordinator/Advisor
e: [email protected]
Alternatively, register online at www.bluewaterwoodalliance.com

Please stay up to date and check the BWA’s website often for our calendar of events & to find out more about our programs for wood companies that are saving them money, like the BWA Benefit Program

Together we’re strengthening Ontario’s wood manufacturing sector’s future.

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Canada’s Innovation Corridor Summit – Taking the Corridor to Market

Mike Baker, Executive Director of the BWA participated in the 2nd Annual Innovation Corridor Summit on June 11, 2019, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto!

It was a day of discussion and advocacy that brought together regional experts to explore how to accelerate the growth of Corridor businesses through improved commercialization, collaboration, and deployment opportunities.

Mike Baker, Executive Director of the Bluewater Wood Alliance was a panel speaker on the topic of Industry Collaboration. This expert panel of leading companies and organizations discussed how they are pushing the envelope on productivity-enhancing technology in manufacturing. The panel highlighted their successes and shared insight on how to build productive partnerships.

Mike Baker, Executive Director of the Bluewater Wood Alliance was a panel speaker on the topic of Industry Collaboration at this year’s Innovation Corridor Summit.

The Innovation Corridor summit is organized by Canada’s Innovation Corridor Business Business Council, a partnership of leading Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade in Southern Ontario.

BWA attends the EU-Canada Cluster Matchmaking Event

The European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) hosts the EU-Canada Cluster Matchmaking Event 2019 in 5-7 June 2019
in cooperation with the Canadian Superclusters initiative in Toronto, Canada. The overall objective of the event is to foster collaboration between European and Canadian clusters for the benefit of their SME members.

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BWA’s Lean Roadmap Training Event brings manufacturers and suppliers to the starting line!

 

On May 16th, the BWA hosted its Lean Road Map Training Event for manufacturers and suppliers at EDC’s Kitchener location: EDC Export Growth Hub.

Brad Cairns & Sepp Gmeiner brought a wealth of knowledge to train and discuss all aspects of Lean Manufacturing.

What bugs you about your current systems? Reflect for a moment on your current systems in place at your facility…

What does it mean to you, to be productive as a company? Accomplishing something is perhaps the first thing to come to mind and an obvious and logical answer.

But what specifically is it that you are working towards to accomplish? How is your business achieving this answer? And are you satisfied with the results as they are in your factory, or is there a desire to improve upon the current results?

Brad Cairns & Sepp Gmeiner (left) watch and guide attendees on a hands-on workshop/seminar, part of May 16th, 2019 BWA Lean Road Map Training Event.

“I see these guys, they’re really becoming a team and they’re becoming more efficient, their work environment is getting leaner. The processes they’re doing; there’s less waste, there’s more production happening with less work, and getting easier.  I look at the transformation that’s taken place and I see it as a very positive improvement “.

-Windmill Cabinets, Staff member

Why go Lean?

A big part of Lean is finding waste and eliminating it – but it’s much more than that. It’s an approach to how companies produce results. It’s about continually improving your company without the immediate need to consider big capital investments or increasing the size of your facility. Lean taps into the potential already waiting to be released in your company. It has the ability to empower your workforce and engage your staff.

Common Questions about Lean?

  • “I think we’re too custom, is this for us?”
  • “Where do I start the Lean implementation?”
  • “How do I convince my staff to buy-in and engage?”
  • “What is an element of Lean that is present in all types of companies and systems?”
  • “I don’t think we have time to implement this. Is there a solution to this and have other companies got around this?”

If these questions resonate with you – all of these questions get addressed by Brad & Sepp using Lean Principles at our BWA Lean Road Map Training Event & there are answers to solve them.

Ready to find out more and see about attending a BWA Lean Road Map Training Event? Watch for our next event to be posted on the BWA’s website. Can’t wait for the next event? Would you rather have the BWA’s Lean Training come to your facility? We can do it! Contact [email protected] to find out how.

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

Tara Davey
Program Administrator
Bluewater Wood Alliance
e: [email protected]

Together we’re strengthening Ontario’s wood manufacturing future.

Make sure you don’t miss out on the next event. Check out our website for the latest calendar of events and sign up for events there too.  If you’re not a member, sign up today to the Bluewater Wood Alliance and get yourself a seat at the table.

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BWA Proud Partner with Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster!

After six months of working with various industry sector leaders, academia, and other partners, the Bluewater Wood Alliance is representing the value-added wood products sector in the biggest manufacturing supercluster in Canada!

Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced Thursday that the Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster was one of the successful bids.

What this means for our wood products manufacturing industry, is that we are at the table with other big industries in Canada like automotive, aerospace, IT, robotics, and other major sectors. Our profile is now raised higher, along with the importance of our wood products manufacturing industry to the economy! The BWA is very excited to be appointed to their board of Directors!

There are three pillars to the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster strategy:

  • co-invest in collaborative, industry-led projects in things like vision systems, AI, IoT, data security, robotics, advanced materials, and additive manufacturing
  • support the creation of new tools, testbeds, and infrastructure to help create the next generation of manufacturing firms
  • build out a robust ecosystem of supports and services that accelerate technology adoption in manufacturing i.e. technology readiness assessments, training and skills development, and go-to-market support

As the first and only Porterian cluster in North America for the wood industry, the already established BWA cluster was an important element of the Supercluster bid. BWA member wood companies can participate in, and benefit from, projects and initiatives created from the collective momentum that the BWA cluster delivers. Governments like to work with clusters because they can help multiple companies all at once. The BWA project within the Supercluster is going to bring funding for investment in game-changing technologies to BWA members. The details are currently being worked out while a contribution agreement with the federal government is negotiated. More concrete details will be confirmed when this is completed.

Joining an industry cluster like the BWA brings you to the table for many opportunities, such as the Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster project, that single small and medium-sized companies would not have access to on their own.

See these links for more details on the Next Generation Manufacturing Canada Supercluster:

http://www.ngmcanada.com/about.html

http://www.ngmcanada.com/news.html

Stay tuned for more details as the project unfolds!

BWA Finishes 2016 Hitting Milestone of 100 Member Companies!

Greetings everyone!

This past year has been a very busy and productive one for the BWA and its members! Factories are busy! Members are engaging in BWA networking events, plant tour focus groups, projects, and training.

New members are joining, and our industry is starting to get some momentum. This past week, our 100th member joined: True North Log Homes in Bracebridge.

The BWA now sits at 70 manufacturing and 30 associate supplier members, and we are continuing to grow!

Here are some of the highlights of this year:

  •  4 Plant Tour Focus Groups engaging members in Continuous Improvement methodology
  •  4 Quarterly networking events with subject matter expertise and supply chain members
  •  First quarterly event hosted by Post-Secondary Institution (Conestoga) with visit by Hon.  Minister McGarry, MNRF
  • 2 public Finishing training sessions followed by in-house training by subscribing members
  • 2 High School wood shop tours to BWA members for workforce development
  • Export development project to Index Design Show, Dubai, UAE in May, 2016
  • Export development project to High Point Market, High Point, NC. for April and Oct markets
  • BWA offers sponsors to 20 High schools for Woodlinks curriculum with Wood Manufacturing Council
  • BWA participates on 2 program advisory committees for post secondary: Conestoga and Georgian College to facilitate industry input to curriculum
  • The BWA is continuing to pursue opportunities for its members with its government partners, and wishes to thank the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for its ongoing support!

Make sure to mark Jan 25th, 2017 in your calendar for the next Pant Tour Focus Group hosted by GCW Cabinets in St. Thomas!

On behalf of the Bluewater Wood Alliance, its members and board of directors, we wish everyone a Christmas and prosperous new year!

We can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for us in 2017!

 

Best regards,

Mike Baker

Executive Director

1-226-668-5455

[email protected]