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: firstname.lastname@example.org