Bang for your dues

In the skilled-labour challenge, association value is a two-way street The lack of young people pursuing the skilled trades, including careers in this industry, is an issue the manufacturing sector has been wrestling with for decades. And there’s still no winning round in sight. With the baby-boomers getting ever-closer to retirement, it’s an issue with […]

Export: Go big or go home

According to Wood Industry’s November 2014 survey, 79 percent of Canadian respondents expect revenue growth this year — a figure that approximates a similar survey in the States by the Milwaukee, Wisc.,-based Cabinet Makers Association (CMA). There, just over 86 percent of respondents to the CMA’s survey said they are anticipating revenue growth this year. […]

Managing risk

Some people don’t like change. But when it comes to safety and risk management in your business, changing your ways can be critical to preventing catastrophe. Just ask Josef Pruellage. He is the senior risk assessment consultant with the risk services division of Hub International, the largest insurance brokerage firm in Canada. Pruellage has done […]

Getting on board with barcoding

In 2014, barcoding turned 66. And it’s more ubiquitous, more advanced, and plays a more vital role, than ever before. Perhaps more than barcoding inventors Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver ever imagined. Silver was a young grad student at the Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia in 1948. He overheard a conversation and blazed the […]

Custom versus custom

It is rather like standing at an unmarked crossroad in the middle of nowhere and trying to determine whether both roads lead to the same place, whether they go off in entirely different directions or whether one road ends abruptly at a precipice. When it comes to the future of fine wood craftsmanship design and […]

BOLD market opportunity: U.S. and beyond

Canadian secondary wood manufacturers have been squeezed in recent years. While demand from construction has been booming, importers from China and elsewhere have crowded much of the marketplace. The rising Canadian dollar, the U.S. housing bubble, limited international trade, and even inter-provincial trade barriers have often forced Canadian producers to keep their target markets local. […]

Can’t find help? Look at home.

New labour prospects could be hoping for a second chance … and living next door Canada’s wood industry is in desperate need of skilled workers, and has been for a long time. Jim is a skilled worker looking for work in Canada’s wood industry. He is trained, loves working with wood, and would love nothing […]

What is your relevant humidity?

It is March of 2002. The place is a dock in New Delhi, India, where a container of high-end, Canadian-manufactured kitchen cabinets has been waiting for a month to clear customs and be delivered. The ambient temperature in the sun approaches 50 C. The relative humidity is over 90 percent. Inside the steel boxes … […]

Fillings the skills gap: Video update

Last year we ran a feature on the amazing work being done by Dean Mattson and his students in the cabinet-making program at North Salem High School in Salem, Ore. Below are a few videos of the program posted by Mark Till. The first is a very short trailer, followed by a music video. The third […]

Big enough for gold medals, big enough for Europe

New trade agreements mean new offshore opportunity for Canadian manufacturers Canada’s wood industry has changed — probably forever. Competition from importers has made the domestic market far more competitive. A more expensive Canadian dollar has made exporting a challenge. A forever-recovering U.S. economy has sidelined a once-powerhouse buyer of Canadian goods. As a result, Canadian […]