U.S. District Court, industry, back formaldehyde emission standards

Remarkable cooperation After years of industry associations cooperating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on formaldehyde emission standards, a recent position reversal by the EPA prompted a court decision to allow the rollout of the standards to continue, but at slower pace. On February 16, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District […]

FOCUS ON EXPORTS 2018: Prosperity over the horizon

Many wood-industry manufacturers have businesses that do well in their own back yards — where customers are never farther than a tank of gas in the company pickup truck. But there comes a time when a cabinetmaker or furniture manufacturer wants to expand beyond its municipality to the next province or even another country. To […]

Family business, Costa Rica style

Dropping out of the clouds over San José, Costa Rica, you get the feeling you are a long way from Canada. The view includes a few modern buildings, but many of the residences are walled and you discover as you drive past in your rental car that the walls are commonly topped with razor wire — a reminder that Costa […]

Small business clampdown

New employment standards legislation in Ontario is making it easier for unions to organize in the province. When Bill 148, the “Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act” came into effect on January 1, it lowered the threshold from 50 to 20 percent signup of union cards in the private sector to allow access to employee data […]

Economics of finishing

MILLWORK, furniture and cabinet shops face challenges when they can’t keep up with demand. So to stay on top of things, the decision often boils down to either hiring more hands, or taking the leap into automation. Those same in-demand shops that also do their own spraying in-house manually grapple with having enough skilled hands […]

Technology inspires design

WHEN ARCHITECTS AND DESIGNERS approach a project these days, whether it involves cabinetry or furniture production, technological developments over the past 25 have affected their thinking about design. The question as to what degree things have changed is an important one to Alain Albert, who studied architecture in the 1980s and later transitioned into industrial […]

Guilded by association

When businesses think about marketing nowadays, there are many vehicles to consider: internet, social media, advertising, trade shows, ad mail, showrooms and direct sales. But can industry associations provide another key element to growing your business? Peter Gallagher, president of AWMAC Ontario (Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada, Ontario chapter) and president of Convoy Custom […]

Wood-be start-ups

Entrepreneurial spirits can soar Getting a business off of the ground can be a daunting task, but entrepreneurs in Canada are constantly making the leap. So whether your garage is just too small for your ambition or the vision at your current employer is too small, there are ways to get bigger, personally and financially. […]

Canada-EU trade agreement opens doors

After three years of negotiations and two prime ministers, the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union (EU) and Canada has been ratified by their respective houses of parliament. But what does this free trade agreement now mean for Canada’s secondary wood processing industry? That Canada is almost exclusively an importer of woodworking […]

Hydro rate horror story

EVERYONE THAT PAYS THE BILLS in Ontario knows that electricity rates in the province have been on the rise, whether the invoice arrives at home or business. The conventional wisdom is that, somehow, if you become more energy efficient and consume your electricity in off-peak hours, your hydro rates can be kept under control. So […]