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Manufacturing vision... 2020 and beyond Issue 3, Volume 4 • Winter 2019

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Raising the Bar Taylor McCaffrey LLP elevates its client experience with move to 201 Portage.


aylor McCaffrey LLP has been called to raise the bar on what it means to have an innovative, welcoming and stylish office space in Canada. The 55+ lawyer firm has taken over two and a half floors at 201 Portage Avenue – one of Winnipeg’s premiere business addresses - that will make other law firms and offices across the country stand up and take notice. The end of fall 2019 signalled the start of an exciting new chapter for the law firm that was marked with one incredible change – a new address. On August 26th, Taylor McCaffrey and their 55+ leading lawyers made the move to 201 Portage and began settling into their new 39,000 sq.ft. mecca of client-focused space. It was a year-long labour of love for the law firm who poured their heart, soul, and creativity into creating a space that makes a statement to the legal industry and celebrates being at the centre of the city. “With our firm’s growth and development in recent years, we needed a renovated new space that reimagined the way we work, and we knew we wanted that space to be special. It had to be a reflection of who we are,” said Norm Snyder. “We wanted an exceptional, healthy work environment. It needed to promote collaboration and productivity. We started and finished the design process with both our clients and staff in mind.”

As clients step off the elevators on the 22nd floor, they are drawn along the corridor to a reception area that overlooks the historic intersection of Portage and Main. Stylistic light and design features emphasize that visitors are standing at the heart of the city, but it’s the view that provides a full sensory experience. Natural light floods the reception area. Extra high ceilings with exposed ductwork painted white help radiate the light, creating a warm and inviting environment. The reception area features a selfserve coffee and refreshment bar with an island alongside different, cozy places for people to sit. Just off reception, down an extra-wide and inviting hallway, is a series of client meeting rooms. Inside, each meeting room is comfortable, welcoming and extremely private, with glass walls that can transition from clear to opaque with a flip of a switch. On the other side of reception, through a sliding glass wall, is the new Blackstone Lounge. It’s stunning views of the city instantly make this one of the premiere meeting spaces in Western Canada. The Blackstone Lounge is an energizing meeting space for the firm and its clients to use and enjoy daily. The new spaces are built to be collaborative, but they are also built with human health in mind. Natural light is a

shared resource for everyone, rather than something that is only seen in corner offices. Glass walls and high ceilings throughout the space lets the light shine into even the innermost parts of the floorplan. Everyone has a sit-stand desk in order to encourage better posture and overall health. Sound masking technology has also been installed, which creates an inconspicuous background noise to reduce the effect of ambient sound levels around the office. Sound masking allows for increased privacy and fewer distractions in shared open spaces. “We’re proud of this space. It puts our clients and staff first and promotes the kind of camaraderie and cross-disciplinary teamwork that we are known for,” said Snyder. “We hope it shows that we care a great deal about what we do and who we do it for because that’s why we come to work every day.” In concert with the new office space, Taylor McCaffrey LLP is also proud to unveil a refreshed brand identity and website. This new look is a modern expression of a law firm that is about client service and has grown to become one of the best known in the Prairies. Taylor McCaffrey LLP was listed as one of the Top 5 Prairie region firms in Manitoba by Canadian Lawyer magazine.

Visit TMLAWYERS.COM for more information and updates.

Publisher Ronda Landygo 877.880.3392

In this issue Lessons in Leadership


Taking on a new leadership role can be daunting enough. Try doing it while launching a new organization and building a team from scratch. Alison Kirkland shares what she’s learned in her career and how other leaders – current and future – can prepare leadership success.

The Changing Face of Western Manufacturing


Manufacturing sales in the west are lagging those in the rest of Canada and traditional markets are more challenging to access and maintain. Jayson Myers shares his insights on current market trends and some potential avenues for future growth for Prairie-based manufacturers.

Manufacturing a new vision... 2020 and beyond


When talking about vision, 20/20 is as good as it gets. Is it the same for the future of manufacturing on Canada’s Prairies? Learn what changes are most impacting the future of the sector, and how some manufacturers are working to make their futures bright.

The New Beat of Alberta


Manufacturing in Alberta is facing a world of change and uncertainty, and the path forward might seem more than a little hidden. The music might have changed, but it definitely didn’t stop. Meet some innovative Alberta manufacturers already grooving to the new rhythm and new energy.

Women in Industry


How do manufacturers reach the next generation of workers, managers, and leaders? Carrie Schroder spoke with stakeholders to get their insight on how manufacturers can work with educators, parents, and other influencers in the lives of the manufacturers of tomorrow.

Alberta Promotes Safe and Healthy Workplaces


Safe and healthy workplaces lead to safe and healthy workers. Learn how the Alberta government works with industry to ensure manufacturers have the information, resources and tools they need to keep their companies and workers as safe and productive as possible.

Next issue Skills 4.0 - Technological and societal disruptions are coming at us hard and fast. While we can’t predict the future, we can prepare for it. Workers need the skills not only to cope with the change but to thrive in it. They also need to be able to take advantage of change or create it themselves. Manufacturing Manitoba’s future - Manitoba manufacturers are setting course for a bright future. Rooted in a rich history, with a strong Prairie work ethic, nothing is impossible for manufacturers in the Keystone Province. Meet some up-and-coming manufacturers looking to make it big in their own way, plus some of the ‘old dogs’ learning all sorts of new tricks.

Editor Jeff Baker Special thank you to our editorial advisory committee. Creative Director Dana Jensen Sales Cover photo courtesy EEDC. © Copyright 2019 Prairie Manufacturer MagazineTM All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of the publisher. Publications mail agreement #43155015 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Prairie Manufacturer Magazine 207 Hugo St. North, Suite 3 Winnipeg, MB R3M 2N1 To change your address, or to be removed from the mail list, email While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in and the reliability of the source, the publisher in no way guarantees nor warrants the information and is not responsible for errors, omissions or statements made by advertisers. Opinions and recommendations made by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher, its directors, officers or employees.

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Editor’s Notebook

Make the best of things by making the best future Manufacturers make tonnes of amazing things, so why can’t the future be one of them? By Jeff Baker


e humans are weird creatures. We tend to find comfort in patterns and symmetry. We seem to seek those things out in our entropic world, and we often assign some sort of meaning to these instances or happenings. Think about it for a second. There’s something weirdly satisfying about watching your car’s odometer flip from some variation of 99999 to 00000, or topping off at the gas pump to a whole dollar amount, or maybe it’s synching up Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon album with the 1939 classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, and watching the magic happen. Okay, that last one might not be for everyone, but it’s a heck of a way to spend a rainy afternoon.

An auspicious occasion My point is that we’re on the verge of one of those moments: the numbers denoting the year on our calendars will change from 2019 to 2020. It’s the rolling over of numbers that happens

every year, but something feels different about this one. Something about 2020 makes it seem like we should have a certain clarity of vision, a clear direction and direct path toward whatever is in the future. It all sounds either too good to be true or like a heck of a lot of pressure on ourselves. When we’re living and operating in a topsy-turvy world filled with chaos, where instability is the new stability, and up is the new down, having crystal clear vision is probably a stretch for most of us. So, what can we do to keep moving forward? Focus. Focus on the possible… on the potential… on the paths not yet trodden.

It’s going to hurt It’s too easy to dwell on the negative, on the things that once were but are no longer, or on the way it used to be. We grieve the things we knew and the control we had on the situation. But the easy things aren’t necessarily the things worth doing.

Even in the darkest of economic times, the spirit of manufacturing remains strong. The urge for people to create and make something is always there, and it always will be.


Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

Transformational change is one of those challenging things that can be really, really uncomfortable to experience, but reaching the other side makes it worth the discomfort and trouble. It takes guts; it takes time; and it takes energy. But what does the other side – the future – look like? Truth be told, it looks like whatever you want it to. You’re a manufacturer, after all, so manufacture the future you want!

The spirit and the heart of the manufacturer Even in the darkest of economic times, the spirit of manufacturing remains strong. The urge for people to create and make something is always there, and always will be. Every story we cover in this magazine, and every contributor who we welcome into our pages is telling the story of a community of people who are intelligent, creative, and passionate about what they do. It’s about making things better, making people better, and making life better.

In every conversation I have with leaders and executives across the manufacturing community, the common theme that keeps coming up is the people. Without people, manufacturing simply wouldn’t be.

In this issue In this issue, we’re exploring both the future of manufacturing and the people who are changing the face of the sector as we move toward that future. From Alberta-based manufacturers finding innovative and niche opportunities with products and technologies in demand around the world, to helping today’s manufacturing leaders engage with up-and-coming generations of future manufacturers, you’re going to find it inside these pages. We’re also bringing you some great information and guidance to help your workforce stay safe and healthy and keep your company operating at peak efficiency.

Alison Kirkland, newly appointed CEO of Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada, launches our new column on Leadership. In it, Alison sharesedher own leadership journey and how she’s pushing herself to grow and develop both as a professional and as a person. This issue also marks the last of our Just Ask series from our contributor, Kimberley Puhach. While the column is coming to a close, we hope you will keep the lines of communication open and that you stay curious and keep asking questions to better understand diversity and its positive effects on your business and community.

grateful every day for your engagement and interest. Next year is going to be exciting for the Prairie Manufacturer team as we unveil some of our own innovations throughout 2020. We’re already working on some exciting things, and we can’t wait to share them with you. In the meantime, I encourage you to provide your feedback about the magazine by sending an email to I love hearing from our readers, and I appreciate the opportunity to connect with you directly. Until the next time we chat, I hope you enjoy the read.

Looking ahead As 2019 comes to a close, and as we near our fourth birthday, I convey my thanks to you, our readers, for continuing to support Prairie Manufacturer. This magazine is a reflection of you, your industry, and your community, and we’re

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Lessons in Leadership By Alison Kirkland


n September of this year, I took on a new role as the CEO of the Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC). Established in 2011 by the CEOs of organizations that support women entrepreneurs, WEOC is dedicated to the success of women business owners across the country. Until this year, it had been run on a volunteer basis by the inspired women who form the board. In April 2019, funding from the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy enabled the board to formalize the organization with the establishment of a national office. Assuming the role of CEO and establishing a fully staffed national office has been a big undertaking and there have been plenty of moments of self-doubt; of wondering what I had let myself in for by leaving a very comfortable position to take on something so new and as unformed as an entrepreneurial start up. As I searched for inspiration to write this article, I naturally went to the internet and Googled ‘leadership’. There were countless links ranging from key characteristics of successful leaders and things that successful leaders do every day, to quotes about leadership and research papers that explored leadership in-depth. Simply defined, leadership is the ability to motivate a group to act in order to achieve a common goal. What I’m learning is there is nothing simple about leadership. I have been very inspired by the women entrepreneurs I have met over the past 17 years. There have been retailers, service providers and makers of countless products who have taken a nugget of an idea and transformed it into a viable, successful business. Would they think of themselves as leaders? Likely not. In their humility, the makers wouldn’t even say they were manufacturing because that would seem like self-aggrandizement. Many would simply say they saw an opportunity in the marketplace and capitalized on it. According to author and leadership expert Leroy Eimes, “A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see and who sees before others see.” Over the summer of 2019, I spent Thursday evenings with a group of amazing women, each of whom was exploring leadership in her own context. Under the guidance of Jennifer Kozyniak, founder of Step-In Counselling and Consulting and based on the work of Brené Brown whose research focuses on authentic leadership, we pushed ourselves to embrace our discomfort with leadership in our personal and professional lives. It was a subtle yet powerful process as we peeled back layers to examine our own biases and preconceived ideas. It has been three months since our last session and I am still thinking about the insight we gained.


Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019



The opportunity to take on leadership roles can come in different forms at every stage of our lives. The key is not to turn away from responsibility, but to embrace the chance to develop capacity and capability.

One of the early group discussions concerned a popular quote by Theodore Roosevelt who said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end high achievement and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” It is easy to comment from the sidelines about what we think should or shouldn’t be done in a particular situation, to second guess the decisions of others. But when push comes to shove, could we/would we do something differently? That is why I pursued the role with WEOC. I am past the halfway point in my career and I knew I needed a challenge before sailing off into the retirement sunset; to know that previous leaders hadn’t created a follower, but another leader.

The opportunity to take on leadership roles can come in different forms at every stage of our lives. The key is not to turn away from responsibility, but to embrace the chance to develop capacity and capability. One of my most valuable leadership lessons came in my role at the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba, where I lead the team on the delivery of SHEday. This leadership event for women drew 1,500 participants in 2019, and involved a large contingent of speakers, staff and volunteers. The lessons learned, some good and some difficult, led to the development of a stronger foundation on which to become a leader in a larger context. There isn’t one course, one website or one book that tells you everything you need to know about leadership. For me it has been a process of watching amazing people around me, many of whom are women entrepreneurs, who consistently demonstrate common characteristics: • Commitment and hard work • Flexibility, agility and the ability to pivot when necessary • Belief in themselves and their idea • Willingness to listen and take advice • Ability to observe and analyze

• Desire to build a trusted network of individuals who will be completely honest but will also be their greatest cheerleaders • Recognition that they are accountable for outcomes, both successes and failures As they say, if it was easy, everyone would do it. Yet most of us lead in one way or another. From formal work relationships to children playing in a schoolyard and wise words shared with a friend, lessons in leadership are all around us. There is no one right way to lead; leadership comes in all styles and sizes and is often entirely situational; it is a journey of discovery. I hope I am able to take the many lessons gained over the years to find my niche and honour the leaders who have paved the way. Alison Kirkland is Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC), a centralized national organization the supports and promotes women’s enterprise organizations across Canada. Alison has worked with women entrepreneurs across Manitoba and Canada for nearly 20 years, and is an APEC-BIZ Certified Small Business Counsellor.

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Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

2019-05-21 11:38 AM


The Changing Face of Western Manufacturing By Jayson Myers


t’s been a turbulent time for prairie manufacturers. Low oil prices and the contraction of capital investment activity in the energy sector, trade problems with the United States and China, difficulties in getting pipelines built – all these factors have acted as a drag on manufacturing activity in Western Canada. The turning point was in 2012. Since then, manufacturing sales across the Prairies have lagged behind those in the rest of Canada. The value of goods produced and shipped by prairie manufacturers increased by 11.8 per cent from $101.9 billion in 2012 to an annualized $113.9 billion in 2019. In contrast, manufacturing sales in the rest of Canada rose by 19.4 per cent over that same period of time. Manufacturing activity has been especially strong in Ontario and Quebec. As a result, manufacturing sales across the country are on track to exceed $691 billion this year. With sales growth slowing, prairie manufacturers now account for 16.5 per cent of Canada’s manufacturing output, down from 17.4 per cent seven years ago. It doesn’t sound like much, but if the Prairies had kept pace with the rest of the country, manufacturing sales in Western Canada would be $8 billion higher this

year. That means there would likely be about 20,000 more people employed in prairie manufacturing. Manufacturers across Canada face some daunting challenges these days – slowing consumer demand and weaker rates of capital investment, higher risk and new obstacles when it comes to accessing international markets, difficulties finding skilled and experienced workers, increasing costs of doing business to name a few. However, there are some lessons that can be learned from the differences in sales performance experienced over the past several years. The first is the importance of diversification, both in terms of industrial concentration and market penetration. Provinces with a more diversified manufacturing sector and with companies selling into a variety of different domestic and export markets have tended to outperform others where, as in Saskatchewan and Alberta in particular, manufacturing has been closely tied to domestic energy-based supply chains. Manitoba proves the point. Among the prairie provinces, Manitoba has the most diversified industry base and has posted the strongest manufacturing sales growth since 2012.

The second lesson is the importance of innovation. Sales growth has been strongest in those manufacturing sectors where rates of investment in machinery, equipment, and new technology have been the highest. The development of new products and services and the deployment of new, more efficient processes have been significant factors in sustaining manufacturing growth in the face of intense competition and challenging operating conditions. Diversification and innovation have also been at play in reshaping prairie manufacturing. As a result, we’ve seen significant structural shifts when it comes to the relative importance of key manufacturing sectors across Western Canada.

Manitoba Manitoba boasts the strongest manufacturing performance of any of the prairie provinces. Sales have increased by 19.1 per cent since 2012, almost on par with the rest of the country. Food processing is the largest manufacturing industry in Manitoba. With sales growth of 19 per cent over the past seven years, food

The development of new products and services and the deployment of new, more efficient processes have been significant factors in sustaining manufacturing growth in the face of intense competition and challenging operating conditions.


manufacturers account for 26 per cent of the province’s manufacturing output. By far, the strongest growth in Manitoba manufacturing has come in the transportation equipment sector, most notably in aerospace and heavy vehicles. Transportation equipment production has expanded by 50 per cent over the past seven years. The industry now accounts for 18 per cent of total manufacturing sales in the province. Sales of other types of machinery and equipment, including agricultural equipment, have increased by about 10 per cent – an OK performance but lagging behind the manufacturing sector as a whole. With $19.5 billion in sales expected in 2019, Manitoba accounts for about three per cent of Canada’s total manufacturing output, and 17 per cent of total manufacturing activity across the Prairies.

Saskatchewan Saskatchewan is on track to record $16.5 billion in manufacturing sales in 2019, which means the province will


account for 15 per cent of total prairie manufacturing activity and just under three per cent of Canada’s overall manufacturing sales this year. Manufacturing sales have increased by 15.8 per cent in Saskatchewan since 2012, but performance has been uneven over industry sectors. Food production has surged by 50 per cent over the past seven years, and now accounts for almost 30 per cent of total manufacturing sales in the province. On the other hand, sales of petroleum and chemical products have declined by almost 20 per cent. Tied into energy supply chains, the province’s machinery and equipment sector has also seen sales fall by 22 per cent.

Alberta The most notable structural changes in prairie manufacturing have taken place in Alberta. Manufacturers in the province are on track to record $77.9 billion in sales this year, up only 9.3 per cent since 2012. Alberta will account for 11 per cent of total manufacturing sales in Canada and

Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

for 68 per cent of prairie manufacturing output in 2019. As in Saskatchewan, food processing has outperformed the rest of Alberta’s manufacturing sector. Sales of food products manufactured in the province have increased by 25 per cent since 2012. The industry now accounts for 19 per cent of Alberta’s total manufacturing output – up from 16 per cent seven years ago. Chemical production is another sector that has enjoyed strong sales growth over the past seven years. Chemical sales have increased by 18 per cent, and the industry now accounts for 16 per cent of Alberta’s total manufacturing output. Sales of petroleum products have slowed but held their own with respect to their share of total manufacturing output in Alberta. They have risen just over 10 per cent since 2012 and still account for about 28 per cent of manufacturing sales in the province. Other important manufacturing industries have not fared as well. Sales in the metal fabricating business have fallen by 16 per cent since 2012. Machinery

production is down by 18 percent, and transportation equipment sales have declined by 15 per cent over the same period of time. Together, manufacturers in those industries, focused largely on supporting energy and predominantly oil sands producers, are on track to realize $12.2 billion in sales this year. That’s about 16 per cent of Alberta’s total manufacturing output. Seven years ago, they represented the second largest segment of manufacturing in the province, collectively accounting for just over 20 per cent of total sales activity and surpassed only by the petroleum products sector in terms of their contribution to Alberta’s manufacturing economy.

Outlook What lies ahead for prairie manufacturers? The latest forecast from the International Monetary Fund is pointing to a global slowdown in trade and overall economic activity. Other indicators are pointing to a possible recession in the United States. Canada, as highly indebted as we are, will not be left unscathed and, manufacturers are likely to be the first to bear the brunt of weaker economic growth. Europe is already in a manufacturing recession. Growth rates have slowed dramatically in the US and China – the world’s two manufacturing superpowers. This year, manufacturing sales in Canada have risen by less than one per cent. Next year, be on the lookout for a decline. It will be a challenging time for prairie manufacturers: Slowing economic growth will place further downward pressure on oil prices. Capital spending is likely to fall further. Pipeline construction does not appear imminent. And, governments are not in a position to offer much in the way of stimulus as they follow through with their deficit-cutting measures. We’ll likely see further structural change in prairie manufacturing as well. Machinery and equipment sectors are most at risk. Petrochemicals are likely to hold their own. Food products, aerospace, and more technology-intensive manufacturing sectors may actually see sales increase.

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But, let the lessons of the past several years speak for themselves. It will be those manufacturers that have a more diversified customer base, that have invested in new technologies, that have invested in the skills sets and made the operational changes to manage their technologies profitably, and above all, that regard their business as one of providing solutions to customers rather than just getting product out the door, that

are positioned best to withstand a turndown in market conditions. Jayson Myers is the CEO of Next Generation Manufacturing Canada – the country’s advanced manufacturing supercluster. An award-winning business economist and leading authority on technological change, Myers has counselled Canadian prime ministers and premiers, as well as senior corporate executives and policymakers around the world.



o you want to ensure your cherished memories survive for generations? Get them in print. That’s the advice Lifetouch Plant Manager, Brian Klassen, gave when meeting with Rhae Redekop, Executive Recruitment Consultant at Pinnacle. We’re talking about the Game Changers that are leading initiatives to evolve 160 years of technology to meet the demand of 8 million photos per year for what is traditionally known as “Picture Day.” “I think one of the difficulties in our industry is what I would call the Digital Dark Age. Your cell phone has a wonderful camera. But you’re not going to get as good an image, background choices or professional lighting as we provide. Where we add value is in quality and convenience. 97% of our photos ship within five days.” Maureen Drummond, Director of HR Canada adds, “Since our merger with Shutterfly, we can now put those memories on a whole host of other things like pillows, ornaments, calendars and memory books.”

RR: To start, I would love to hear how each of you would describe Lifetouch. BK: We’re primarily a professional photography provider for schools. We photograph approximately 4 million images in the fall and another 3.5 million in spring every year. Out of this facility we produce all the images and DVDs from across Canada; Vancouver Island to Newfoundland as well as up North. Our team will go from 40 or 50 in low season to 260 at our busy time. Including managers and supervisors, we’ll move up to 275 in this building in two shifts. There’s a lot that happens in a short period of time from September 5 to December 1. MD: What I love about our company is that we are creating smiles and memories for people’s milestones such as annual school pictures or graduations. 12

Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

RR: From an organizational perspective, how do you put smiles on faces? MD: We have a well-rounded, state-of-the-art training program for our photographers, because they are the ambassadors on the front lines for our company. So, we work hard to go above and beyond to recognize them. Little things like showing up at a school with coffee and doughnuts if we know they have a hard day ahead of them and bigger initiatives like the Chairman’s Award where the photographers can submit their best pictures of the year. They’re then judged by a group of professional photographers and can win a substantial monetary prize. We’re very fortunate that we have a lot of returning photographers, but we also have quite a few new staff. People that are graduating from photography or right out of high school. We focus on looking for the customer service traits. Can you work with kids, can you interact with students, etc? Our training programs can take care of the rest.

RR: What about on the back end? BK: We’re going through a conversion away from silver halide portraits. Like you’d see in movies where they dip the image in chemicals and hang them on a line in a darkroom. We’re moving away from that technology to ink on paper and then we laminate it. So, we’re changing 160 years of technology going into the next stage of production. That’s where the goals are for our coming years. Some of our most recent recruits through Pinnacle are working on big changes for our industry. We have a good mix of people that have been here 20, 30 and 40 years who understand photography. And now we’re adding people that have a deep understanding of print, manufacturing and Lean. They’re combining all these tools and looking at things in a completely different way. And they’re

Do you want to ensure your cherished memories survive for generations? GAME CHANGERS moving through different areas of the business and providing a different flavor to challenges and solutions.

RR: The focus for the series that we’ve been doing is on Game Changers; the people or events that have shaped the way that that you look at or do things. What or who is your Game Changer? MD: We stopped doing traditional recruitment. We just weren’t getting people in the door, and I wanted to create some excitement around Lifetouch and a connection to the community. I changed our orientation and onboarding after I heard Wade Miller speak at one of Pinnacle’s breakfast sessions. I came back from hearing what he said and we put together a list called Ideas from A to Z. Three categories - No Cost, Low Cost and Sunk Cost and we came up with 100 items in each on what we could do every day, once a week, once a month, etc., to keep people engaged. We did a ton of research and then put these toolkits together for our territory managers in the field. And then we incorporated those ideas at the plants and our offices. It’s helped us move away from the standard onboarding of, here’s a stack of forms to fill out, here’s your standard employee package, next. It’s engagement and conversation about what we expect from you and here’s what you can expect from us. At end of season reviews, we now consistently score high on people feeling connected and appreciated. Some of our initiatives include new employees sitting down with Brian over snacks and talking about anything they want. We have Spirit Weeks and Crazy Sock competitions to connect our photographers who are never in the same location. And we have a Caught in the Act board where you can be nominated when you’re caught going above and beyond and getting your name in for a monthly draw and gift card. BK: We’ve had good success hiring recent immigrants. When we have a job fair, we’ll have 100 people lined up within the first hour. And I would say, 90% are visible minorities.

For senior positions, we would continue to rely on Pinnacle. Otherwise it can be a very painful process. We’re good at hiring seasonal people; we can train all our jobs within a week. But at the senior level, I don’t think I’m a great hiring person. That’s why you get a good team together that can bring different perspectives and a more well-rounded picture. For example, I had completely missed someone. I had been looking for specifics in a resume and personality type and someone said, hey, I think I know a little bit about what you’re doing and what you’re trying to do. I think this person would be good for you. And it’s worked out really well.

RR: Where do you see Lifetouch in the next 3-5 years? BK: Our mission is to build strong relationships with our clients. To take care of the schools, Mom, Dad, the grandparents and to continue to make it easy for people to work with us. Employees are the base of our success. We’ve got some long-tenured staff, and some 1-2, to 10-year people. Our goal is to keep everyone learning and developing. Brought to you by:

About Pinnacle Pinnacle is Winnipeg’s leading local recruitment firm with 25 industry-specialized recruiters in two areas: Executive & Professional Search, and Staffing & Recruiting. Learn more at


The Principal Resource

Asked & Answered Managing the Costs and Causes of Workplace Injury


e love hearing from Prairie Manufacturer readers, through email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even face-to-face. You share with us the issues that are top of mind for you and your organization, and we work to bring you information and experts to help keep you on top of your game. Ask & Answered is your opportunity to share the questions that keep you up at night. Prairie Manufacturer will seek out subject matter experts to answer your questions and help your business thrive. In this issue, we spoke with Dorotea Cassels, Senior Physiotherapist, Work Injury Management Team, at The Wellness Institute in Winnipeg, about managing the costs and causes of workplace injury.

Prairie Manufacturer (PM): What does sick leave cost an organization? Dorotea Cassels (DC): Financially there are WCB costs, wages paid to absent and replacement workers, and administrative costs. Productivity or delivery delays result in dissatisfied customers. Workplace culture is affected by an increase in stress and workload on present workers. Safety and quality may be affected if the replacement staff is inadequately trained or is rushing to get the job done.

PM: Why do workers take sick leave? DC: Sick leave reasons include a wide range of physical and mental causes. Personal and emotional stress, workplace issues and stressors, low job satisfaction, child and elder care, as well as injuries incurred on and off the job, are common causes of lost or restricted work time. The most frequently reported causes are work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). According to Safe Work Manitoba, MSDs account for 63 per cent of time-loss injuries in this province’s manufacturing sector. MSDs are injuries and disorders that affect the body’s movement or musculoskeletal system (which includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, joints, and blood vessels). Repetitive, forceful, or heavy work, along with poor worker fitness, body mechanics, and work habits can all contribute. An aging workforce, the rise of chronic health conditions, and psychological stress are all associated with increases in MSDs.

PM: Who can best advise a company on effective strategies to reduce absenteeism related to MSDs? DC: Physiotherapists (PTs) and Occupational Therapists (OTs) are ideally suited to help employers with

The most frequently reported causes are work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). According to Safe Work Manitoba, MSDs account for 63 per cent of time-loss injuries in this province’s manufacturing sector.


Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

managing MSD challenges. They are skilled at assessing and understanding the musculoskeletal system, treating physical conditions, addressing psychosocial and motivational factors that drive disability, problem-solving causative and ergonomic factors, and providing education. An OT or PT can be contracted to provide single or multiple services based on company need. When choosing a provider, look for a multidisciplinary rehabilitation team that has a wide skill set, multiple resources, and extensive experience in the challenges facing both industrial and office work sites.

PM: What approaches have proven positive outcomes for managing workplace injuries? DC: Several approaches have proven effective in managing MSDs: • Ergonomics or Work-site Assessment & Training - an OT or PT can assess problem areas with recommendations for changes to work stations, workflow, ergonomic modifications, or body mechanics. • Early Assessment and Treatment of Injured Workers – You may wish to partner with an Occupational Rehabilitation Physiotherapist or clinic for early injury assessment and guidance regarding your worker’s abilities and restrictions. Having a therapist familiar with your job-site and work demands

allows for quick intervention, facilitating safe early return to work, timely progression to full duties and quicker recovery. He or she can readily make recommendations for altering job methods to reduce symptoms and risks. Functional Capacity Evaluation – When you need to determine a worker’s abilities, an FCE will tell you exactly which physical job demands the worker meets. The FCE includes checks for full effort to ensure you get a true picture of the worker’s abilities. Cognitive FCE’s focus on work-related executive function, assessing the broad range of perceptual/ sensory, communicative, psychoemotional and behavioural issues faced by workers with traumatic brain injury or mental health conditions. Pre-employment Fitness Screening – When a job requires heavy or repetitive physical work, a functional physical test will assure you only hire workers physically capable of performing the job. Work Hardening /Conditioning programs - With the trend to keep workers at work (often on light or restricted duties), a therapist-supervised functional strengthening program helps ensure workers progress back to full duties. On-Site Services – Contracting with an OT or PT to spend time on-site can be a good investment for early symptom identification, job coaching and regular follow-up, providing solutions and interventions before absenteeism occurs. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Association, this can reduce injury costs by as much as 50% and days off work by 25%. For interventions beyond their scope, an OT or PT can act as a valuable liaison between the company and rehabilitation community. As an added benefit, workers see that the company views their health as a priority Other – There is also evidence for positive outcomes with workplace stretch programs or on-site exercise or gym facilities, body mechanics training, and education through lunch-and-learns or wellness fairs.

PM: Which services does my business need? DC: Before choosing the best strategies to implement, it is imperative


From getting injured workers back on the job ... to making a strategic plan for executive health Invest in recovery and prevention for your team Trust a multi-disciplinary team that’s successfully handled a wide range of workplace injuries, as well as provided the latest preventive programs and care.  Reconditioning  Work Hardening

 Executive Medical Assessments

 Functional Capacity Evaluations

 Pre-employment Screening

 Job/Physical Demands Analyses

 Ergonomic Assessments

 Early Injury Assessments  Worksite Visits

For details contact 204.632.3906 or Get well and stay well at Seven Oaks General Hospital

to examine the root causes of absenteeism in your company. Evaluate the outcomes of all new initiatives. The most successful programs have a solid underlying safety program and support from all levels of management. Dorotea Cassels is a physiotherapist with more that 30 years of experience in musculoskeletal injury prevention and treatment. She is the senior therapist in

the Work Injury Management Program at the Wellness Institute Rehabilitation Clinic where she works with clients to facilitate a return to work. She also assists various companies develop injury prevention strategies. The Wellness Institute is a world leader in the prevention and management of chronic disease. For more information on managing workplace injuries, visit




Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

Manufacturing vision... 2020 and beyond Shorthand for perfect vision, is 2020 the beginning of a new clarity for manufacturers? By David Quinn


leopatra, the last Queen of Egypt, lived nearly 500 years closer to the release of the iPhone than to the construction of the Great Pyramids of Giza. It took humans less than 63 years to advance from the first successful powered flight of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk to having people land on the Moon. Oxford University in the United Kingdom was founded in 1249, nearly 100 years before the start of the Aztec civilization at Tenochtitlán in present day Mexico in 1325. And perhaps most mind-blowing is that everything you see today – right at this very moment – has happened in the past, not the present. This is due to an inherent processing lag of our brains and optic organs of about 50 milliseconds. By the time you actually ‘see’ something, it’s already happened and has probably moved on. So, what does all this have to do with manufacturing? The changes we see happening in industry today are really just the results of things already happened, and those things that have happened aren’t actually as distant as we might like to think. What’s more, the changes that we think are still years or decades away are probably right on our doorstep, if not already past the threshold.

The stability on which businesses generally rely to make their strategic and operational decisions has vanished, and it’s now a case of trying to react quickly enough and hope you’re doing so in the right way.


As Walter Gretzky passed on to his son, Wayne, in the now-famous - and certainly hackneyed – quote, it’s about “skating to where the puck is going, not where it’s been.” Maybe in the latter part of last century it was good enough to be skating to where the puck is going, but in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world, you’ve got to be skating to where the puck is going to be in a game three weeks out with a team you’ve never even heard of before! Welcome to manufacturing in the 21st century!

Back to (and before) Y2K


According to Statistics Canada, during the 1990s, Canada’s manufacturing sector experienced generally strong growth in large part due to trade liberalization, the depreciation of the Canadian dollar, and innovations related to the adoption of information and communications technologies.


However, after 2000, and for the first time since 1961, real manufacturing growth in Canada stalled for more than five years. The factors behind this shift included the bursting of the tech (dotcom) bubble in 2001, a global commodities boom, the appreciation of our dollar in relation to the American currency, and much stronger competition from more countries than ever before. Moreover, the manufacturing sector in Canada was hit hard by lagging productivity growth and cyclical changes in demand.

Enter global crisis The recession of 2008-2009 exacerbated the challenges facing the manufacturing sector. While virtually every corner of the economy was hit, the effects were especially strong for manufacturing. GDP volumes in manufacturing declined at an average rate of 9 per cent annually, compared to 2 per cent in the broader business sector.

Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

While the manufacturing sector has generally experienced greater declines than the business sector in downtimes, the 2008-2009 recession was different. Manufacturing took almost three times as long to recover to pre-recession levels, a recovery period longer and slower than anything since the Second World War. In some regions, sectors, or companies, the recovery may still be ongoing, and performance levels may never actually recover. But that begs a larger question: is it an issue of recovering to what was, or is it a turning point to head in a new direction in a new way?

Changes come, and stay Jerry Bigam, President and CEO of Edmonton-based Kinnikinnick Foods Inc. says the last few years have definitely been challenging. “Processors who supply primarily into the local market have had a really difficult


time because of the significant loss of sales throughout the Alberta market and Western Canada,” says Bigam. “In our sector, consolidation of retailers has been a tremendous challenge, especially for the smaller processors and manufacturers. The buying decisions have been moved out of the local area, turned over to Toronto or Vancouver, and the retailers are doing brand consolidations, restricting multiple brands on their shelves, and even reducing the lines they might have carried longer-term.” “We don’t necessarily have the strong relationships with buyers and decision-makers like we used to, and it’s a challenge getting in front of the folks if you have to fly across the country for a half-hour meeting.

only survive, but thrive in today’s and tomorrow’s market? In the case of Kinnikinnick Foods, they’re thinking differently and doing things differently to take advantage of the new paradigm. “We’re innovating and transforming our business, something we’ve done from the start,” says Bigam. “We were the first company to establish a home delivery food service back in 2000, and we’re reinvigorating and refreshing that channel.” “We use the home delivery channel as a way to trial product developments, introduce new products into the market, and even getting our products to people who don’t live in the urban areas. With our expanded social media use, we’re really working to support this new way of business.”

Survival of the innovative

Keep on innovating

So, what’s a food processor or manufacturer to do in order to not

Many people will know Kinnikinnick as a maker of gluten-free foods,

including bread and other baked goods, but Bigam said the company is expanding beyond that horizon to meet growing customer demands for products that are ‘free from’ a variety of allergens. “We’re making a move away from being just ‘gluten-free’ to making food products that are dairy-free, soy-free, tree nut-free, and even some items that are egg-free. Over the next six to eight months, we will be completely allergen free, which also means our products will be vegan,” says Bigam. “We’re really trying to capture a much broader market segment.”

Chaos reigns supreme For many industrial sectors in Canada and around the world, everything shifted in late 2016. Down became up, black became white, and normality and market rationality became strangely and irrationally unknown. President Trump took office in the United States, commodity prices again crashed, and the



relative stability of the global political and economic spheres disappeared. The stability on which businesses generally rely to make their strategic and operational decisions has vanished, and it’s now a case of trying to react quickly enough and hope you’re doing so in the right way.

Glen Vanstone, Vice President of Enterprise Edmonton with Edmonton Economic Development Corporation says that there’s a misconception about manufacturing being a homogeneous sector, rather there’s a cleaving of the industry into two stereotypes: the big

shiny metal-thing manufacturers, and the makers of everything else. “In Alberta, there are two mindsets at play. One is ‘I’m a manufacturer of energy and energy-related things, and it’s what I know, and I will continue to do, despite how painful things might be right now’. The other is the mentality of being a ‘maker’ of things the world wants, and I can find a way to thrive in a world that wants stuff,” says Vanstone. “The crash in commodity prices has hurt businesses, but that world of abnormally high prices and prosperity is gone, and we’re realizing this is the new normal.” “We have to recognize the massive value contribution that natural resources make to Canada and Alberta, for sure,” says Vanstone, “but we are in a time of transformation on the business level. We’re moving from businesses simply servicing wealth to businesses creating wealth, and there is some structural imbalance now being sorted out.”

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Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019




Free the people to add the value The result of this re-balancing, according to Economic Development Lethbridge CEO, Trevor Lewington, is that the sector’s movement toward Industry 4.0 is happening at the right time and is pushing companies and their leaders to reimagine what it means to be in manufacturing. Lewington speaks from a place of experience and expertise, having come to his current desk with more than 15 years of executive leadership in the food processing industry, including multiple senior leadership positions at Pepsico’s Frito-Lay plant in Taber, Alberta. “We’re not talking about companies being completely automated, with no humans and only top-of-the-line equipment,” says Lewington. “It’s more about leveraging the Internet-ofThings with more sensors and monitors collecting more data for systems that will aggregate it into better information to

allow managers and frontline folks make better decisions.” “When I was at PepsiCo, we weren’t getting rid of people; we were eliminating the jobs that suck, that could lead to injury, or were just so boring or tedious that no one wanted them.”

“Companies shouldn’t necessarily be looking at automation as a way to cut labour costs, rather as a way to reduce or eliminate injuries, or free people up to do the work that adds real value to the business and customer,” Lewington says.

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Companies shouldn’t necessarily be looking at automation as a way to cut labour costs, rather as a way to reduce or eliminate injuries, or free people up to do the work that adds real value to the business and customer.

Change is never easy Though some jobs may simply suck, there are still people in those jobs who will be affected by the transformational change taking place across the sector. And change is never easy, whether it’s positive, negative, or somewhere in between. “If you can teach people new skills and potentially elevate their pay rate accordingly, you’re upgrading your workforce for the opportunities that will emerge. Whether it’s troubleshooting lean manufacturing, total quality systems… these things make your workers more valuable for your own company, but it also adds to their résumés should they move on to other things. It’s really a value-added situation for everyone,” says Lewington.


He adds, “a small segment of the population is going to have a harder time adapting to the new realities of manufacturing; they might be displaced because they don’t have the skills to do something else. The idea of ‘general labour’ is disappearing, because everyone in the plant has to be oriented to quality and safety, and there’s an expectation of being able to interact with technology as a base.”

The road ahead Going forward into 2020 and beyond, the road ahead is going to remain bumpy, but it’s going to be easier for manufacturers who realize there is more than one path forward. According to both Lewington and Vanstone, Canadian companies have

Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

easier access to more markets than their American counterparts, and we need to take advantage of this position. “We’ve got the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership with countries around the Pacific Rim,” says Lewington. “If you’re looking only at Canada for growth, you’re going to have a much lower curve than you would if you were accessing some of these larger and rapidly growing markets via these agreements. Truly leveraging these international markets can be complex, and it might be costly at first, but you can figure those things out and there are a lot


of supports available – both government and non-government.”

Making the difference Roy Cook, President and CEO of Winnipeg-based Monarch Industries, says that his company is working to differentiate itself in an increasingly competitive and volatile market, and that includes new markets and new methods. “Customer demand is becoming much more technical. The markets we’re

moving into are more demanding, the customers are more demanding, and the applications in which our products are used are much more demanding than ever before,” says Cook. “Our workforce has changed to meet the technical demands, and we’ve had to continue responding – gladly, I might add – and it’s helped us gain some business.” According to Cook, flexibility is the key to Monarch’s success today and into the future.

“We try to be flexible in how we tackle challenges and opportunities, so we’re not always operating in departmental silos,” Cook says. “How do we solve the problem, and how do we address the issue for whoever the customer might be?” “It’s about letting our people do what they’re great at, and how we can best deploy all of our resources. It’s the flexibility that keeps the jobs interesting, provides good experiences, and keeps people excited about working in manufacturing.”


Presenters &Winners


New Venture Award

Greenwave Innovations Inc.

Sponsored by Saskatchewan Ministry of Trade & Export Development

Community Involvement Award Spotlight Sport & Corporate Wear Ltd. Sponsored by Cogent Chartered Professional Accountants LLP


Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

Roger Phillips Chamber Builder Award

John Hopkins

Marketing Award

Escape Manor Regina Sponsored by Handy Special Events

Innovation Award

Sperling Silver Distillery

Sponsored by Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Saskatchewan Business Hall of Fame

O & T Farms Ltd.

Wally & Colleen Mah

Sponsored by SaskEnergy

Priority Focus Award

JNE Welding

Sponsored by Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority

Business of the Year

Sponored by University of Regina

Sponsored by David Aplin Group

Wayne Clifton

Presented by Conexus Credit Union

Community Leaders of the Year

Business Leader of the Year

JNE Welding

Export Award

Young Entrepreneur Award

Sponsored by Prairie Manufacturer Magazine

Passions Beauty Studio Sponsored by Cameco

Service Award

Growth & Expansion Award

Sponsored by World Trade Center Saskatoon at Prairieland Park

Sponsored by PFM Capital Inc.

Temple Audio Design Inc.

CRAVINGS maternity-baby-kids

Chelsey Harder



Meet Sara and Nathan Dear Dream Maker, My name is Anita Burbidge and I am the proud mom to 4 great kids: Abby, Ryan, Nathan and Sara. In February of 2018, my 11-year-old daughter Sara started experiencing some pain in her right leg. We decided to get it checked out and the results seemed a little off. To be thorough, we were sent to Winnipeg (8 hours from our home in Flin Flon) to see a hematologist. Within a few hours of arriving Sara was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia - a cancer of the blood cells. She was admitted to the hospital and things moved very quickly from there. The next few days saw a central line inserted and chemotherapy begin. Not long after treatment started we learned that Sara’s leukaemia was a very high risk type that would require a bone marrow transplant. The process to find a suitable donor started right away. Sadly, during this time we were also experiencing another extremely difficult situation as a family. My husband, Andy had been battling 2 kinds of cancer for many years and was coming to the end of his fight. He passed away in April of 2018. Sara continued treatment until July of 2018, when she received her transplant. After months of very difficult recovery, we were finally able to come home to Flin Flon on October 3rd, 2018. Unbelievably, we didn’t know that we were about to face another huge challenge. Just a few weeks later, on October 30th, my son Nathan was diagnosed with adrenocortical carcinoma. His diagnosis came just 4 days before his 14th birthday. This meant going back to the city to start treatment for

We are so proud to be able to make dreams come true for kids like Sara and Nathan, and to help families like Anita’s through some very tough times. But the truth is, we would not be able to bring these dreams to life without support from people in our community just like you. Please consider giving the gift of a dream come true this holiday season. Your donation means more bedroom makeovers, more trips to Vegas, and more smiles and laughter from kids in Manitoba going through incredibly difficult experiences.

Nathan’s cancer. Over the next 4 months Nathan had 5 cycles of chemo before the tumour shrunk enough to be removed through surgery. Thankfully, they were success and it was completely removed. At the very beginning of this long journey we were told about The Dream Factory. We met with them when Sara was first diagnosed and their kindness was so comforting during such a terrible time in our lives. We spent many hours and days over the next year taking about all the amazing possibilities for dreams they might want to experience. It gave them something fun to focus on and look forward to. Sara decided on a bedroom makeover and Nathan wanted to go on a trip. Sara’s bedroom was totally transformed and is now a teenage girl’s dream come true. It’s perfect for her and she now has the most beautiful space to enjoy and to relax in at home after so much time away at the hospital and in the city. Nathan was looking for excitement and decided that Las Vegas would be the perfect destination! We were treated to the most amazing, fun-filled trip imaginable. We travelled and stayed in-style at the beautiful Bellagio hotel and felt like VIP’s on every part of the trip. The Dream Factory Family Funds also could not have been more appreciated with all of the extra expenses we had while living mostly in Winnipeg for a year and a half. 2018 brought some difficult days for our family. Especially for Nathan and Sara, who had some very tough treatment days, missed an entire year of school, and had to spend so much time away from home, friends and family. In the midst of all of that darkness, The Dream Factory gave them a bright spot to focus on. Brainstorming the BIG dreams and planning all the small details gave them a break from thinking about the next doctor’s appointment, treatment, procedure, or hospital stay. Instead, they were focused on something fun and exciting. We could not be more grateful to this amazing organization. To everyone who supports The Dream Factory - thank you for making dreams come true for so many deserving kids, including my Nathan & Sara. It really means the world to the kids who have been through so much, and are blessed enough to have their dreams become a reality. Thank you, Anita

To make your donation – visit or call our office at (204) 989-4010. From all of us at The Dream Factory, thank you for bringing dreams to life!

Manitoba Aerospace

honours industry excellence


n November 28, 2019 Manitoba Aerospace held their 18th annual Aerospace All-Stars Awards of Excellence in Winnipeg, recognizing recipients for their achievements in the aerospace and defence industry. The event recognizes partners or individuals involved in or with the aerospace industry who have demonstrated excellence in a variety of areas from leadership to business growth. Award winners are nominated by their industry peers. “The annual All-Stars Dinner is an ideal forum for recognizing contributions to our aerospace community,” said Ron Drepaul, Chairman of the Board for Manitoba Aerospace. Three recipients were recognized this year for their outstanding achievements: • Award of Excellence for Education & Training – Carolyn Geddert, University of Manitoba Faculty of Engineering • Award of Excellence for Team Work and Business Growth – Approved Maintenance Organization Fleet Expansion Project Team Keewatin Air LP


• Award of Excellence for Technology Development – RADARSAT Constellation Mission Satellite Team Magellan Aerospace, Winnipeg

Helping students and industry take flight “The All-Stars Dinner is also a major fundraiser for the Manitoba Aerospace Student Endowment Fund, said Drepaul.” “Through the generous support of individuals, companies, and organizations over the years, this fund has raised over $329,000 and helped 117 deserving students. Ultimately, this endowment fund is a win-win situation – more students will be able to benefit from specialized schooling, and the number of high-quality young people in the aerospace and defence industry will also increase. All of this together will only serve to strengthen our industry.” This year’s education funding recipients are from Tec Voc High School, Neeginan College of Applied Technology, Red River College, and the University of Manitoba Faculty of Engineering.

Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

Thank you to the sponsors The All-Stars Dinner is made possible by the generous support of numerous industry partners and associates, including: Gold Sponsors: Boeing Canada Winnipeg, Magellan Aerospace Winnipeg, StandardAero, Winnipeg Airports Authority Silver Sponsor: Global Affairs Canada, Trade Commissioner Service Bronze Sponsors: Prairie Manufacturer Magazine, Red River College, Southport Aerospace Centre, University of Manitoba Faculty of Engineering

Aerospace in Manitoba Manitoba’s state-of-the-art aerospace and defence industry is the largest in western Canada and is the third largest aerospace hub in Canada, producing and selling more than $2.1 billion dollars of products and services annually. Aerospace is one of the province’s premier industries and directly employs more than 5,000 Manitobans.

Manitoba’s state-of-the-art aerospace and defence industry is the largest in western Canada and is the third largest aerospace hub in Canada, producing and selling more than $2.1 billion dollars of products and services annually.

About Manitoba Aerospace Manitoba Aerospace is a not-forprofit sector association that works to connect the local aerospace industry

to national and international markets and also aims to develop a world-class workforce to meet industry’s needs through partnerships with Manitoba educational institutions and other key

stakeholders. We support and promote the local aerospace sector through business development, innovation, research, and technology as well as human resource initiatives.

Proud to Support the Manitoba Aerospace Industry


Award of Excellence for Technology Development RADARSAT Constellation Mission Satellite Team Magellan Aerospace, Winnipeg

Magellan Aerospace – Winnipeg team

The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) bus was a complex undertaking, involving many different engineering skillsets, to develop a product that has to work when it gets into orbit. It was a multi-year, multi-discipline project that produced three satellite busses that were launched into space on June 12, 2019.

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Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

The launch was successful and all the busses are working and are providing the necessary infrastructure for the radar imaging payload to achieve performance requirements. The satellite bus requirements were amongst the most stringent in reliability and product assurance that the team has ever encountered.

Magellan Aerospace – Ottawa team

There were many new technology areas where the team had to gain experience (e.g. propulsion) and, once the design was completed, the manufacture, assembly, integration, and test phase of the bus schedule was extremely challenging. Developing the RCM bus has pushed the Magellan Space System team to new and expanded capabilities. This has

resulted in increased engineering experiences such that Magellan is recognized as a supplier of government and commercial operational satellite buses (as well as scientific ones). Another side benefit includes the selection of some of Magellan’s proprietary products which are being developed and/or modified for an interplanetary mission.

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Award of Excellence for Team Work and Business Growth Approved Maintenance Organization (AMO) Fleet Expansion Project Team Keewatin Air LP

As a result of a successful bid for a new contract, Keewatin Air was required to support the expansion of its fleet by six King Air twin-turboprop aircraft over a six-month timeframe. This included the initial sourcing of the aircraft, pre-purchase inspections, purchasing each aircraft, importing or interprovincially transferring the aircraft to Manitoba, post-delivery inspections, significant modification to each aircraft including new avionics packages, configuration of the aircraft interiors to meet the requirements of the customer, pre/post-modification Transport Canada inspections, acceptance inspections by the customer, and finally, full integration of the aircraft into the fleet. At the same time, the AMO needed to recruit six additional Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) who would be deployed to service the new aircraft. All the while, the AMO was required to maintain the existing fleet of aircraft, which included: 11 King Airs, two Citation 560 Ultras, and a Pilatus PC-12 which


Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

were engaged in medevac flights and re-supply duties for other customers. In short, while undertaking this project to expand the fleet by 56 per cent over six months, the AMO needed to support the current operations over a geographic area nearly five times larger than Manitoba. Thanks to the Fleet Expansion Project Team at Keewatin Air and their excellence in teamwork, project management and execution of the fleet integration plan, the AMO was able to fully meet and exceed the goals of the project. As a result, Keewatin Air has delivered on its commitments. Keewatin Air has built a solid, trustworthy, and collaborative relationship with its new customer, while ensuring agreements with existing customers were fully met, without a lapse in service. The planning and execution of the Keewatin Air King Air fleet expansion serves as a benchmark example of fleet integration excellence for the industry at large.

Award of Excellence for Education & Training Carolyn Geddert, University of Manitoba Faculty of Engineering Carolyn Geddert joined the Faculty as an Engineer-in-Residence and then became the Director of the Co-op/IIP program in 2011 when there were 116 Co-op work placements. Since then, Carolyn and her team have significantly redesigned the Co-op program to be more responsive and flexible to the needs of both students and employers. The result is that in 2018, the Co-op/IIP program placed 536 students into work placements with 162 employers. This growth not only provides students with an outstanding educational experience that helps to better prepare them for engineering positions after graduation, but also provides critical skills to a wide range of employers in Manitoba and beyond. Carolyn has been the driving force behind the growth in the Co-op/ IIP. Starting as a one-person operation in 2011, she has since brought a team of five on board to support the Co-op/IIP program. Carolyn is a tenacious and tireless advocate on behalf of the Co-op program and of Manitoba Aerospace as a community. She is a contributing member of the Aerospace Engineering Liaison Group, and she epitomizes excellence and is deserving of recognition from our industry as an individual who has truly “evoked a change in the practice or success of an enterprise.� Her impact can be measured by the many successful Co-op placements that take place in our industry.



Breaking Down Barriers at Black Cat Wear Parts Culture & Strategy Go Hand in Hand


s one of the largest employers in Selkirk, Manitoba; Black Cat Wear Parts is committed to making a difference; for the company, for customers and for the community. The company manufactures and supplies the wearable parts that scrape, cut or grade at ground level on heavy equipment for the construction, mining and road maintenance industries. As the global market share leader in blades and cuttingedge parts, Black Cat produces a million pounds of product every week between its Selkirk production facilities alone. The company manages more than 500,000 square feet of production space and employs 900 people on the prairies, and across the world. Black Cat’s leadership has built a strong culture based on trust, integrity, high achievement and respect, and believes culture is one of the company’s strongest competitive advantages. Everyone, from the c-suite to the shop floor, is passionate about their role in the organization. HIGH PERFORMANCE HURDLES But like many growing companies, Black Cat faced hurdles along the way. To be a global supplier of choice means offering both the best quality and the best service all while striving for the lowest production costs: a tall order in a competitive industry where margins can be slim. To hit these sky-high targets, everyone at Black Cat needs to be committed to the mission – from sales, operations, safety, quality, maintenance or engineering – each employee needed to have a chief operating officer’s view, regardless of their job level.

Above: Zach Zabizewski, plant manager at Black Cat Wear Parts

CONFIDENCE AND COMPETENCE At Black Cat, investing in people and providing training and tools was nothing new. This people-first approach was woven into the company’s fabric. Over the past decade, the company had been building momentum to equip every leader, from the shop floor up, with the tools and confidence necessary for a strategic mindset. One such tool was Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) Leadership Development Program, which supported a will throughout the organization with a clear set of tools that helped provide the way. Says Zach Zabizewski, plant manager “I truly feel fortunate to work with the team we have at Black Cat. We are lucky to have the people we do, with the experience, knowledge and passion they bring to work every day. I am excited to see them continue to grow, especially with the benefits of training like CME’s Greenbelt and Leadership Development Programs.” BY MANUFACTURERS FOR MANUFACTURERS The manufacturing industry, and steelwork in particular, has unique needs that off the shelf leadership programs simply don’t address. Designed by manufacturers for manufacturers and tailored specifically to the needs of the manufacturing work environment, CME’s Leadership Development Program was one of several programs Black Cat has tapped into to solidify culture, improve communication and continue to drive change.

The tailored content built on Lean philosophies and culture not only provided ongoing leadership development to supervisors and managers in current roles, but just as importantly, provided the foundation for new leaders. A mentorship component also reinforced learnings in the office and on the shop floor. Says Zach “we’ve all attended training where we had some great takeaways to practice or implement, but back at the office these fall by the wayside as we’re caught up with our day-today routines. Mentorship allowed me to work with our leaders and plan activities around what they were learning in real time, applying these tools to real life scenarios in our workplace. Not only has this process strengthened my relationship with our leadership group, it’s also allowed me to grow and develop new skills as a leader and mentor within our organization.” Mentorship magnifies the benefits significantly for the organization for all levels of leadership, compounding the return on investment exponentially.

“Mentorship allowed me to work with our leaders and plan activities around what they were learning in real time.” WHAT IS CME’s LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM? CME’s Leadership Development Program helps companies develop supervisors and frontline leaders to influence employee engagement to impact efficiency, improve productivity and strengthen the bottom line.

Above: Black Cat Wear Parts huddle

ENGAGING THE POWER OF PEOPLE Looking ahead to 2020, Black Cat is poised for even bigger and better things. Every foreman is Greenbelt certified and the company plans to have all leaders LDP certified by the end of the year. There is enormous power in having leaders speak the same language, striving towards the same culture and continuous improvement goals.

Mentors from the organization coach participants to apply program learnings to the workplace, including: • Performance management and delegation, • Coaching for improvement, • Dealing with differences and conflict resolution, • Leading high-performance teams, • Conducting purposeful meetings, • Problem solving, • Culture and change, and • Personal leadership Upon completion, participants will be able to lead confidently, encourage and support direct reports, achieve group objectives, and support on going Lean initiatives.

Says Zach, “I truly believe these two programs provide all the essentials for a leader to be successful. I have seen improvement in project implementation, department stability and increased productivity and morale!” Black Cat attributes the growth in their leaders to enhanced confidence, an ability to try new things with practical tools, and increased engagement with team members and mentor peers. The future is bright at Black Cat. The program has allowed leaders to grow as mentors and strengthened relationships among the leadership group and is paying qualitative and quantitative dividends. To start your own journey, connect with the team at CME today for your own one-on-one advisory session and to learn more about these and other services. PROUD MEMBER



The New Beat

of Alberta The music has changed, but Alberta manufacturers are already grooving to a new rhythm By Jeff Baker


ince Alberta’s establishment in 1905, its economy has always been export-oriented and export-dependent. With a small internal market located in an economically isolated region, industries of all sorts have relied on transport connections: rivers, rails, roads, air, and now the internet. From day one, Alberta’s economy has been one of volatility – booms and busts – with certain economic sectors taking the lead in development, production, exports, income, and then the inevitable downsides.

From furs to grains to beef In the early days, when the Hudson Bay Company and the Northwest Company ruled the roost, fur was king, and commodities travelled by birch-bark canoes, York boats, and Red River carts on buffalo trails to the ports of the east and west. With the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the late 19th century, in-migration became tremendously easier, and this led to one of the first dramatic shifts in Alberta’s economy: from fur to grains and animal products. With the people came new populations to settle new regions, new technologies to tackle the land and environment, and even new and strengthened connections to places well beyond Alberta’s borders. From the arrival of the railway and new settlers until the 1950s, it was agriculture that commanded the economic lead in Alberta. The export of wheat, beef, and a handful of other commodities was the core of the province’s economy, and the health of the entire province was closely tied to the price of wheat.


Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

Striking it rich In 1947, the newest and, what some people might say, biggest transformational point arrived in Alberta. That was the year when a significant oil field was found near the towns of Devon and Leduc, close to Edmonton. Though it wasn’t the first time that oil had been discovered in the province, this find was orders of magnitude larger and more productive than anything found before. The future of Alberta changed in a heartbeat, and the economy took off like a rocket. The spin-offs from the petroleum discovery and ensuing development of the local energy industry allowed many other industries to develop alongside in Alberta. Energy-related manufacturing is an obvious example, but other sectors such as financial services, agri-food processing, professional & scientific services, information services, and micro- and nanotechnology, and construction have grown up and benefitted from energyrelated money, too.

What goes up must come down In the last few decades, the energy industry has seen a number of ups and downs and associated and supporting industries have seen the same swings. Research by Dahlby and Khanal at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, shows sectors outside energy that have been promoted as means to diversify the economy are following the same boom-bust cycles, and they may even exacerbate the economic cycles.

The energy sector today is different than that of the early years in Alberta, and there has been some reduction in the volatility of aggregated output across industry due to a more diversified economy overall. However, with the growth of the oil sands and shale gas operations, the manufacturing sector that was seen as a way to diversify and mitigate the boombust effects, is more closely tied to the energy sector than ever before, and the two sectors are so closely tied that there is a magnification of the up- and down-swings.

But we’ve diversified… right? The research from Dahlby and Khanal also found that work undertaken by governments in recent years to mitigate the shocks of energy commodity price changes, by promoting investment in petrochemical and hydrocarbon processing industries, has done little if anything to reduce economic output volatility in Alberta. So, if the manufacturing industry itself is affected so greatly by the energy sector, and the industry’s outputs are more closely tied to energy commodity prices than ever before, is there any hope for the province and its community of manufacturers – both current and future? The answer is a resounding yes!

Don’t wait for success, make it happen Manufacturers are the makers, the creators, the innovators, the ground breakers of our world, and the manufacturing community in Alberta is no different. The people in this industry have never been afraid to tackle a problem head on or take hold of an opportunity that presents itself. Nor have they been afraid to put in the hard work and efforts needed to transform an idea or a doodle into something real.

and international – is going to be key to surviving and thriving in the new reality.

Manufacturers making a go The Prairie Manufacturer team has looked across Alberta to find some of these innovative makers, creators, and manufacturers and share with our readers some of the cool things coming out of Alberta-born companies. These companies and their leaders are taking risks, challenging the status quo, and branching out into the wider world to share their talents, knowledge, and products. They are making their futures from within Alberta but are not being tied solely to the local market. Here’s just a sample of what we found currently being manufactured across Alberta for the world to experience.

Black Sheep Mattress Company A better way to make and sell mattresses. That’s what drove Christian Schmidt to establish Black Sheep Mattress in 2011, bringing the traditional art of mattress making to Calgary. Focusing on quality, sustainability, and local impact, Black Sheep Mattress addresses consumers’ concerns with the impacts on health and the environment that conventional industrial mattress manufacturing can have. Using high-quality materials including untreated wool, organic cotton, natural latex, hydrocarbon-free, food-grade jute, and wood local to the region, Black Sheep mattresses are handmade in the company’s workshop in southeast Calgary.

The (new) band plays on The music Alberta was moving to over the past decades has changed a number of times, and the beat has never returned in the same way. This current wave of change, though it might be faster, more dynamic, and taking a much curvier path forward, is no different. The music has definitely changed, but Alberta is finding – and always will find – a new beat to groove to and a new way of thriving in the years to come. With a new beat and new music, the way the dancers move is going to change. Those that don’t change their moves will definitely stand out, but not in a good way. Doing things differently, looking at manufacturing in a new way, and looking outward into new markets – both domestic

Black Sheep Mattress Company


Customers who purchase a mattress from Black Sheep get not just a handmade mattress, but one that is customized to their specific needs, backed by customer service from real people in their own community.

What does manufacturing mean to Christian Schmidt, founder of Black Sheep Mattress Company? Manufacturing at Black Sheep is about trying to prove the model of a green company. For us, we strive to find the answer to 'how might we build natural products, 10-times better than the rest, while being a company that treats their employees well and offers exceptional service to our customers?' With the growing awareness of adverse health and environmental impacts from materials and chemicals in today's society, we aim to see how our company can fit into and shape the world 10 and 20 years from now.

Nanolog Audio Lab coats by day, classic guitar tones by night, Rick McCreery and Adam Bergren made the jump from studying molecules and nanotech to making beautiful music, and helping others do the same. Nanotechnology is tiny – 20,000 times thinner than a human hair – but the impact it can have in industry is enormous.

Nanolog Audio’s devices, which are designed and manufactured in Edmonton, are the first commercial applications of this particular technology and science. The company sells their nanotechnology devices to pedal builders around the world, and they also develop and build their own products, too.

What does manufacturing mean to Adam Bergren, CEO of Nanolog Audio? Manufacturing is the foundation to our business. It’s what separates us from science lab to budding start-up. Our ability to manufacture our patented Nanolog Devices right here in Edmonton gives us a huge advantage in terms of flexibility, control, intellectual property, and cost which is a testament to the strength of our nanotech sector.

CleanO2 By now, we’ve all heard about carbon capture technology and how it can help reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere. However, the technology is usually talked about on a massive industrial scale, and it usually happens in settings like oil sands facilities or coal-fired powerplants.

Nanolog Audio

Taking the discoveries from the laboratory to the stage is what Nanolog Audio is all about. It’s the application of a process called quantum tunnelling that makes the company’s technology different from the traditional components in the market. In their words, quantum tunnelling is about ‘going through stuff instead of around it. In the case of this technology, it’s keeping the signal from the guitar or other instrument as pure and ‘complete’ as possible, so there’s less loss during its journey from string to speaker.


Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019


Jaeson Cardiff, inventor and founder of Calgary-based CleanO2, nearly blew up his house while developing the technology that is today capturing carbon dioxide from furnaces and boilers around Calgary, across Canada and the U.S., with efforts to expand throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The surprising thing? CleanO2 didn’t actually set out to be a manufacturer, let alone a manufacturer of cleaning products. Luckily, Cardiff and CleanO2 are fortunate to work with the folks at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) around the development of the company’s manufacturing process and the refinement of the design.

it by making gelato. And they do that by being a Certified B Corporation, powered by green energy, certified as a Leader in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice, and are a certified Great Place to Work.


CleanO2 is breaking down the stereotypes with their microscale carbon capture for heating systems. In development for nearly 15 years, CleanO2’s CARBiNX units take a waste product produced by almost every heating system – carbon dioxide - and turning it into an ingredient of soap and detergent products for household and commercial use. Despite what many people believe, the carbon that is captured and processed is not released when the soap is used; it remains bound in a carbonate molecule. This takes ‘cleaning’ to a whole new level!

What does manufacturing mean to Jaeson Cardiff, CEO and Cofounder of CleanO2? Manufacturing represents an opportunity for us to showcase Canadian innovation and our "can do" attitude. We need to encourage people to ‘make’ rather than ‘buy’ where possible as it helps to educate us and promote self-sufficiency.

Fiasco Gelato In the midst of a recession, with limited funds at hand, the only store gutted by fire and an impending lease renewal, it was the perfect time for James Boettcher to transform Fiasco Gelato from scoop shop to a small-batch, craft gelato manufacturer! Over the last 10 years, with Boettcher at the helm, Fiasco Gelato has become a powerhouse in the food scene of Calgary, Alberta, and Canada. Embracing the theme of disruption, Fiasco is showing the world that ice cream can be innovative, true-tocraft, high-quality, and socially and environmentally responsible. The company has a mission and vision to have a measurable impact on how the world looks at employment, business, and what people deserve as consumers. They just happen to do

Fiasco Gelato

In 2018, the Fiasco took nearly 400,000 litres of milk, more than seven tonnes of caramel, and 722,724 strawberries (plus other natural and responsibly sourced ingredients) and manufactured more than 1.4 million pints of gelato for sale across Canada. They did this while diverting 95 per cent of their waste from landfill, and being zero-waste since 2016 through composting.

What does manufacturing mean to Fiasco Gelato? Manufacturing our own product gives the team a great sense of pride. As a team we like to say what we mean and mean what we say; manufacturing our own product allows us to have extreme ownership to ensure that happens every day. Knowing that every pint leaving our warehouse goes through our rigorous quality program is something we are excited to share with the world. Making our own operation schedule allows us to be more adaptable to demand, as well as the opportunity to be innovative and creative throughout the year, working on new product and recipe improvements. The growth we’ve seen in the past five years has been incredible - a constant reminder of where we came from. In the past, every pint was filled by hand, now we are moving to a more automated system, which is like living in an episode of ‘How It’s Made.’ The constant improvement on how we do things keeps the team highly engaged and encouraged to bring forth new ideas that are shaping who we are today.





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Strategic Deployment Lean for Service Problem Solving

• • •

Lean Coaching Safety Due Diligence Building Effective Teams

• •

FOR MANUFACTURERS, BY MANUFACTURERS. Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019 40

Standard Work Technology Adoption




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Respect Demographics 42




Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

just ask...

Diversity and Inclusion By Kimberley Puhach


hat is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term diversity? You might initially think of ethnicity then perhaps gender. This is likely due to the focus on employment legislation dating back to 1986 with the federal government’s Employment Equity Act. This law was intended to increase representation and create equity for groups that were underhired and underrepresented. Women, persons with disabilities, and Indigenous peoples are considered as part of this legislation to this day. Additionally, human rights legislation also provides protection from discrimination for protected groups as defined within the federal and provincial human rights laws. Fast forward 33 years. What does diversity and inclusion mean today, and how are we doing? I think we can agree that some progress has been made but there is still plenty left to do, including understanding the importance and value proposition for employers, employees, job candidates, citizens (current and future), and Canadian society at large. Diversity has – or at least should have – moved beyond legislation now that we know how beneficial it can be.

What have we learned so far and what can we now do? If you’ve been following the Just Ask series, you’ll have noted all the articles have covered aspects of diversity and inclusion. Although these were the most topical areas, they certainly did not cover everything. In this final article of the series, I wanted to share a wider perspective. There are compelling reasons why diversity and inclusion are an important competitive advantage and, generally, the right thing to do. Naturally, this is a big topic that can’t be addressed in a single article. Again, I reiterate that healthy dialogue is key, and this is just a start. I invite you to continue to be curious about diversity and inclusion, and in the spirit of the series, remember you can always just ask.

Name it There’s so much that can be considered when thinking about diversity and inclusion. Consider the full spectrum of differences within our society and how we can learn from one another to be better, together. For the first time in our history we have five generations in the workplace. Canada has the youngest and fastest growing population in Indigenous

peoples who, in the Prairies, could make up nearly one quarter of the population by 2030 or sooner. Persons with disabilities represent 1 in 5 Canadians; mental health issues are on the rise particularly in our youth. Almost a quarter of the population consists of those who identify as foreign born who are also ethnically, culturally, and religiously diverse. As a woman, I represent just over half the population. The LGBTQ2S community is estimated at five per cent of the population, however many folks still do not openly identify themselves, so the statistic is likely underestimated. What about overall skills and abilities? How about varying perspectives and experiences? What an opportunity to leverage all this brainpower and insight! The bigger question is, ‘What are we doing to create inclusive and representative workplaces?”.

Make the commitment One of the first steps in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is to determine why you want this and how you plan to make it happen. Careful alignment to your overall strategy is critical, and authentic and meaningful


effort is key to success and sustainability in this work. The most promising practices are from organizations who make a strong statement through their commitment to diversity and inclusion. It is baked into their strategies, and executives have bought in and are leading the efforts. It becomes part of the organizational and cultural DNA with everyone committed and accountable. It’s simply the way things are done.

Engage and build with intention A good question to ask yourself is, ‘do you know or do you think you know?’. The power of consultation and engagement with those who ‘know’ will support the overall commitment and strategy that you think you know. You might consider forming an advisory circle of people who can share their lived experiences or perspectives about your process, desired outcomes, or even your organization’s current status. In my experience, you can’t beat personal interaction with your advisors. Communication is key, and you can’t really over communicate when it comes to introducing new ideas or changes in the workplace. Most people need to understand the meaning behind why things are changing and understand ‘what’s in it for me.’

stage. How well you determine these first sets of goals and objectives will affect how successful and, more importantly, sustainable your efforts will be. Once you make the commitment, integrate it into your strategies, and consult with your stakeholders. You’ll discover there are so many opportunities. How do you begin when things can seem so overwhelming? Go back to your original reasons for starting the journey, look at your strategies and goals, and pick a few smaller areas on which to focus. This is important foundational work and is best served by engaging everyone who sees the opportunities and wants to be part of it.

Keep going Sharing the goals, objectives, progress, and how each individual fits in the big picture will continue to drive buy-in and success. The concept of continuous improvement can foster innovation and growth and underscore that the work will always be fluid. A common concern from employees at all levels is worrying about saying or doing the wrong thing. Often this leads to silence and disengagement rather than open, transparent, and respectful communication. Create a no-blame and no-shame mantra to keep the communication flowing.

Small steps are a good start

Shout it out!

If it feels daunting, that’s okay. Frankly it should, and it will. It’s worth spending the time and effort in this

Set milestones, measure, and celebrate success while looking at ways to make it even better! Celebrate big and

small and celebrate often. Celebrate ideas and mistakes as the key to innovation. Yes, it can be very complex; it can be difficult; there are costs involved; and you might feel alone in the journey, but the rewards are worth the risk.

In the end Diversity and inclusion aren’t something that are simply nice to have. In today’s society, they’re imperatives that influence the top line, the bottom line, and the organization’s overall health. Set your fear aside and unleash the power of diversity and inclusion one step at a time. I promise you it’s worth it! This can be your company’s distinctive point of difference, an incredible competitive advantage in every aspect of your organization, and your employees will be happier, engaged, and more productive. When people do well individually, everyone does well organizationally. As was the theme with all the past articles, when in doubt, just ask and keep asking. I wish you the best of success in all of your endeavours in creating an amazing organization that is diverse and inclusive. Kimberley Puhach is Associate Vice President, Human Resources – Western Region for Gallagher. She also serves as chair of the Mayor’s Indigenous Advisory Circle in Winnipeg, member of MAVEN Leadership Council, which aims to address gender equality in the tech sector and was recently appointed as a director for End Homelessness Winnipeg.

THANK YOU, KIMBERLEY! Dear readers, Alas, all good things must come to an end, and this series of Just Ask was definitely a good thing. Over the last year and a bit, Kimberley Puhach has introduced us to a number of interesting, important, and timely human resource-related topics affecting every workplace and workforce in some way. Her expertise and connections in the subject matter have helped all of us


Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

learn and explore these topics in a respectful way that seeks to help us better understand each other. We hope that you have enjoyed the Just Ask series, and we encourage you to keep seeking out the knowledge and information that will help you and your team be the strongest and most productive possible. Remember, as Kimberley has reminded us in each column, the best way to learn and keep learning is to just ask.



Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

Harnessing the Power

of Influencers By Carrie Schroeder


anufacturing offers high-quality jobs with incredible opportunities for advancement. These jobs provide individuals across a wide range of educational backgrounds and professional interests lucrative and personally rewarding careers. Through extensive consultation and a nationwide survey, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters produced a summary paper, entitled Untapped Potential: Attracting and Engaging Women in Canadian Manufacturing. Over half the respondents stated that one of the main reasons there are relatively few women in the manufacturing workplace is that school-aged girls are not encouraged to consider manufacturing as a career option. Moreover, when asked how to attract more women to manufacturing, the top response – by a considerable margin – was to improve efforts to encourage girls to enroll in STEM fields and skilled trades programs. The broad perception of manufacturing being dirty, dark, dangerous, and dull continues to exist. As manufacturers, how do we challenge these misconceptions and share the reality that exists in our production facilities today? Further, how do we change the minds of the influencers that help guide the decisions of our potential future workforce?

Educate the educators Carla Allan heads up the Career Internship Program (CIP) at Windsor Park Collegiate in Winnipeg. The CIP is an innovative partnership program where students complete a post-secondary-entrance program of studies, build transferrable soft skills, network with professionals in a variety of fields, and develop focus and confidence for successful post-secondary transitions. The program challenges students to discover and embrace the skill drivers of the 21st century workplace: creativity, problem solving, design, and big picture thinking. Allan noted one of the challenges is the lack of information about manufacturing available to students in high school. She suggests education is always key. “If there is a strong push for women in manufacturing, active promotion of this exciting career field could help. There are teachers like me out there who happily bring in guest speakers and would take students on tours.” As manufacturers, we need to do a better job of equipping our educators with the most up-to-date information on the benefits and opportunities that a career in manufacturing can provide.

What about other influencers? “Parents and grandparents definitely have the most influence when it comes to career decision-making, yet most do not have the tools and resources to serve as career guides,” says Bev Stuart, Associate Vice President, Business Development


We need to work together to dispel the image of manufacturing as dirty, dark, dangerous, and dull and show the true picture of our high-value industry.

and Strategic Initiatives for the Manitoba Institute of Trades & Technology (MITT). “To better position itself with any target audience, [the manufacturing] industry must reach out to, and get in front of, said audience and tell the story that resonates with them. Parents and grandparents want their children and grandchildren to do well. They want them to be self-sufficient, independent, and to have a better life than they had.” How do we do this in a meaningful way that will resonate with students, their parents, and grandparents? Stuart suggests, “the manufacturing community needs to tell the story of what you do and how it’s done. In career development, we do not ask young people what they want to be, rather we ask, ‘What do you want to do?’ For many it will be a values-based answer.”

Lift the curtain When asked what kind of support manufacturers can provide to post-secondary institutions, Stuart said, “we need to know more about Manitoba manufacturers and the alignment to our programs so when we are recruiting students, we can help make the connections up front. We need to know what they do and how they do it.” “Tangible support would be short videos or profiles of clusters of companies telling their stories and sharing why students would want to work in the sector. “Students want to know more about the whole company and its values. Are they innovative? Do they serve their community? Do they have employee sports teams or events? What does the life of a manufacturer look like? Tell the values-based story.” “The tech sector has done a great job of this,” says Stuart. “Back in the 1900’s it was a seen as a sector for loners and “nerds”, and now it is the cool sector! They are innovative, socially responsible, fun, and customer and team oriented.” MITT’s forward-thinking approach to making time for parents and counsellors, and providing top quality information sessions just for those influencers is certainly effective. The institution has grown significantly in the last number of years. Manufacturers are also more forward-thinking too. And this is critical to the success of ongoing programs supporting initiatives to engage students to consider manufacturing as a career path.

Lean 101 for Education builds workplace ready skills, provides an understanding of people-centric leadership and teaches through a lens of continuous improvement. Groups of students participate at a manufacturing facility to engage in a fun and challenging simulation introducing the basic tools of Lean. The students, taught by an industry facilitator, have the opportunity to tour a manufacturing facility and learn about career opportunities. Another exciting program is the dynamic Career Discovery experiential learning simulation displaying a variety of workplace technologies and highlights high demand careers available in the modern world of manufacturing. The students are also encouraged to speak with industry professionals who provide the expert guidance for the simulation. Aiello suggests that manufacturers leverage opportunities like Take Our Kids to Work Day to provide meaningful engagement for students visiting our workplaces. As an example, one manufacturer provides training, tools and material for the kids to build a birdhouse as an introduction to the woodworking processes used in their plant. Another manufacturer hosts a family picnic on site and provides not only food but also the opportunity for all employees to take their families on a tour to show-off their workplace. The sense of excitement and pride shown at this event is nothing short of spectacular!

The challenge is issued

Make the connections

So, where does this leave us? We need to tell our story in compelling ways. We need to work together to dispel the image of manufacturing as dirty, dark, dangerous, and dull and show the true picture of our highvalue industry. I challenge all manufacturing companies to put together a 30-second highlight video to share with educators and students. Open your doors and invite your community in to see how cool it is to be part of a diverse team that manufactures things we use every day. Provide information for educators in your local schools to share how your company is adopting evolving technology. Are there other ways we can highlight the unique job opportunities of the future? How do we engage members of Generation Z (born in 1996 and after) in jobs in manufacturing that do not exist yet? It is more important than ever to cast the broadest net possible to engage with the influencers of our future workforce to ensure we have the skills needed to continue manufacturing into the future - a very cool, digital future!

Andrea Aiello, Director of Workforce Development, at Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters’ Manitoba Division, leads programs to connect education to the manufacturing industry. The Lean 101 for Education program has just completed its first full year with some good results.

Carrie Schroeder is the Director of Operations for Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) in Manitoba, and is one of the driving forces behind CME’s Women in Manufacturing initiative. To learn more, visit


Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019


HERstory: Connie Stacey


rowing Greener Innovations might be based in the Prairies, but their mission as a company spans much further. “One of our goals as an organization, and one of my goals personally, is to work towards the end of energy poverty,” says Founder and President, Connie Stacey. Over half the world’s population lives with insufficient energy supply, and there are billions of people living by candlelight and burning biomass to generate energy for cooking. This doesn’t just have environmental consequences, but significant social costs as well. Energy poverty contributes to reduced education, poor health, and low economic opportunity. Although their ambitions are global, the idea for the company was sparked a bit closer to home. Stacey was out for a walk with her sleeping babies when she passed by a diesel generator. Worried that the noisy machine would wake up her children, she started thinking that there had to be a greener, quieter alternative. Home for Stacey is Edmonton, where she founded Growing Greener Innovations in 2014, after a career in IT. Although she was born in Newfoundland & Labrador, Stacey grew up on the Prairies, in Fort McMurray, and she has lived in Edmonton since moving to pursue her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Alberta. Fast forward to 2019, and Growing Greener Innovations has

created a power system of their own, and their zero emission, zero noise, lithium-ion Grengine™ products have the potential to make a real impact on energy poverty. The Grengine system’s battery component is unique in three ways: it’s portable, it’s scalable, and it’s plug-and-play. That means it can be used anywhere, by anyone, whether that’s individuals, households, or entire communities. “To eliminate things like energy poverty, we had to remove the barriers to accessibility. And that included removing technicians from the equation. If you live in Ethiopia for example, in a remote village, your next-door neighbour is not an electrician,” explains Stacey. Better yet, the Grengine can be recharged using the type of energy that is available to you – whether that’s the grid, or solar, hydro, or kinetic power. Taking an idea and turning it into a real, viable product is an accomplishment on its own. Like any start-up though, it hasn’t come without its share of challenges. “The number one challenge is always cash flow. Starting a new business, and starting a manufacturing business in particular, really has some serious cash flow challenges. In manufacturing you have to spend a lot of money to build your product before you have anything at all to sell,” says Stacey. Finding financing was not easy in the earlier stages, but the company did receive a loan from an

Alberta-based not-for-profit lender. Now that they have some traction and market recognition, Growing Greener Innovations is exploring potential interest from venture capital firms and angel investors. “I’ve been very hesitant about going down that road too quickly,” says Stacey. “We are a social enterprise, and maintaining that direction of the company is really important to me. Profit is not the only thing worth considering. Finding the appropriate partner is really quite crucial in my mind.” The other challenge that Stacey has faced while building a manufacturing business is some of the stereotypes about what a manufacturer looks like. “When people say, ‘someone is coming in to meet you and they’re in deep tech and manufacture batteries’, the first person they think of is generally not a woman. There’s just so few women in this field that it can be a bit of a surprise.” When asked what advice she would give to other women in manufacturing, Stacey admits that although she loves going into work everyday, she initially underestimated just how tough starting a manufacturing business would be. “Research, research, research, and know what you’re getting into. But take the leap of faith anyway. If you’ve got it, and you really believe in it, you do it.”


Alberta promotes

healthy and safe workplaces By Jody Young



ll workers should be able to come home safely at the end of their workday, from the first shift right through to retirement. That becomes more possible when government, employers and workers collaborate to create healthy and safe workplaces. A combination of best practices, education, awareness, and compliance with occupational health and safety (OHS) laws helps achieve that goal. By taking actions before an incident occurs, workplace illnesses and injuries can be prevented. We are accomplishing this by empowering workers, enforcing workplace health and safety laws, and enhancing partnerships between government and employers. Starting in 2019, the Alberta government introduced a prevention initiative that outlines priorities for the OHS system. The purpose is to align the system and coordinate efforts to battle those hazards that most impact worker health and safety and system costs.


Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

The three basic rights Health and safety committees and representatives support the three basic workers’ rights that are a key part of our OHS Act. Workers have the right to know about workplace hazards and how their employer plans to address them. Workers have the right to participate in health and safety at their workplaces, such as serving as the health and safety representative or on the committee. Finally, workers have the right to refuse dangerous work and are protected from reprisals for exercising this right.

Preventing harassment and violence Alberta’s OHS laws also address workplace harassment and violence. The rules define workplace harassment and violence in all forms including domestic and sexual violence. Employers and supervisors are required to ensure workers are not subjected


to nor participate in workplace harassment and violence, are required to investigate incidents of harassment and violence, and take corrective actions. They are required to develop harassment and violence prevention plans and review them at least once every three years. They are also required to advise workers of treatment options if harmed by harassment or violence.

Compliance delivers health and safety

eyesafe CAN



Offers tailored prescription eye safety solutions for any size company and their employees. Controls company costs and provides affordable care for employees, with a perfect fit. More than 300 locations throughout Alberta; delivered by professionals. A free program administered by the Alberta Association of Optometrists.

Let us show you how we can help. 780.451.9451

Compliance with OHS laws helps keep our workplaces healthy and safe. Each year, our ministry proactively inspects employers to monitor compliance with legislation. We choose employers and sectors with relatively high injury and illness rates, high frequency of incidents or complaints, persistently low rates of compliance and emerging trends. Proactive inspection programs help work site parties identify health and safety hazards and measures to mitigate them. Inspection programs in 2019-20 include care workers, exhibitions, residential infill construction, restaurants and catering, trucking, metal/steel fabrication, mining, health care, and selected employers with higher injury and incident rates. Alberta’s OHS staff adhere to high professional standards when conducting inspections and interacting with employers and workers.

Partners in health and safety Working with industry is key to achieving our health and safety goals. The Partnerships in Injury Reduction is a voluntary program in which employer and worker representatives work collaboratively with government to build effective health and safety management systems. By improving health and safety, we can reduce the social and financial costs of workplace injury and illness. The Partnerships in Injury Reduction program awards Certificates of Recognition (COR) to employers that have developed a health and safety management system and met established standards. A COR shows that the employer’s health and safety management system has been evaluated by a certified auditor and meets provincial standards. Our ministry establishes these standards. Employers with a COR may be more attractive to other employers contracting their services or to prospective employees. Employers with a COR may also pay lower WCB premiums. COR is pervasive in Alberta, and we are especially proud that a wide variety of sectors use the COR program in our province. Our ministry is currently reviewing the COR program to see how we can make a good thing even better.

Resources abound Alberta Labour and Immigration offers many resources for employers and workers related to occupational health and safety. This includes webinars, publications, and eLearning programs. I encourage you to visit our resources page at Jody Young is the Assistant Deputy Minister of Safe, Fair and Healthy Workplaces with Alberta Labour and Immigration.


Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

Starting a safety journey: One step at a time L

ocally owned Urbanmine is redefining the metal recycling business, starting with a promise to do things differently: a clean, modern manufacturing facility using only the safest and most environmentally friendly processes to recycle metal and electronics.

creates a strategic advantage; whether it’s related to pursuing certification or attracting the types of industrial or high-profile companies that have stringent supply chain standards and requirements.

Excellence in service and sustainability set Urbanmine apart from the competition. The company employs 50 plus staff and purchases ferrous and non-ferrous metals, batteries and catalytic converters for resale to foundries, mills and smelters. Urbanmine is defying industry stereotypes and redefining the market every day, by providing a positive, problem-free recycling experience through customer service, continuous improvement and above all else, a safe work environment.

Like many manufacturers, Urbanmine historically maintained a strong safety record and had not experienced any significant spikes in accidents, incidents or near misses. Despite this positive safety performance, company management was actively committed to spotting opportunities for improvement. While many manufacturers see certification as an end goal, achieved only when a safety program is operating at near perfection, Urbanmine’s progressive leaders saw it for what it really is – a roadmap that would drive incremental changes towards an ideal state.

As a leader in a new wave of recycling operations, Urbanmine is no stranger to setting benchmarks for the industry. A top down, dedicated safety culture sets the company apart from the competition and

By tapping into Made Safe, the manufacturing sector’s industry-based safety association, Urbanmine accessed a network driven by manufacturers, for manufacturers, tailored to the needs of

the manufacturing work environment. A safety program that integrates Lean culture and best practices only made sense for an organization as dedicated to continuous improvement as Urbanmine. Accessing Made Safe services meant the company was able to develop safety leaders who take ownership from the shop floor up, not the C-suite down, while groups work hand in hand to enhance the safety culture. Supported by one-on-one support with Lean and Safety experts, Urbanmine is integrating these two core pillars as the baseline for their competitive advantage. Ultimately, it is this combination of tools, culture and training that makes all the difference. SAFE Work Certification by Made Safe is well within reach for many manufacturers, but it takes the right attitude to take the first step, regardless of where you are in your safety journey. Connect with the team at Made Safe today to learn more about training, certification and other services.

67B Scurfield Blvd. Winnipeg, MB R3Y 2G4 204.949.1454 An initiative of



Make market exploration a New Year’s resolution By Derek Lothian


his past September marked the second anniversary of the entry into force of the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union. And, in just a few short weeks, on December 30, we will be celebrating the one-year milestone of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for TransPacific Partnership (CPTPP). Both pacts were heralded as pioneering achievements in global policy — landmark accords that would redefine access to 38 key growth markets and spark unprecedented opportunity for Canadian manufacturers. While it is still far too early to gauge the effectiveness of these agreements, a look at export performance over the past decade is a clear indication of the need for Western Canadian companies to continue to diversify their customer bases. In 2009, manufacturers across the three Prairie provinces shipped a little more than $30 billion in goods to international jurisdictions — roughly 37 per cent of everything they produced. This included $5.3 billion in manufactured food products, $1.5 billion in transportation equipment, and $1 billion in agricultural implements. The United States was far and away the top trade destination, accounting for exactly two-thirds of manufacturing exports, followed by China in a distant second, at 7.2 per cent. In fact, if you were to take all 38 countries now encompassed by either CETA or CPTPP, Prairie manufacturing exports to those nations totalled less than $4.5 billion in 2009 — equivalent to only 22 per cent of products


shipped to the United States alone. Fast forward one decade later. And although a lot has changed, much — perhaps an alarming amount — has stayed the same. There is no doubt that manufacturers have, by and large, become better exporters over that timeframe — in no small part due to the aggressive efforts of groups like Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the World Trade Centre, and the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership, just to name a few. During that period, the global sale of Prairie-made goods jumped more than 62 per cent, by a whopping $18.8 billion annually. But there has also been an increasing concentration in where that activity is taking place. The top four export markets for Prairie manufacturers in 2009 — the United States, China, Japan, and Mexico — repeated in the same order in 2018, and grew collectively by 79 per cent, or $19.2 billion. What that means, however, is that cumulative sales to all other nations actually dropped in terms of real dollars, shedding $333 million in overall sales per year. Take the United Kingdom as a case in point. Ten years ago, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta manufacturers sent $695 million in goods across the pond. Today, the Brits spend less than $177 million — a quarter of the original tally. Sales to Russia, meanwhile, have been cut in half, and other smaller markets like the Netherlands are showing signs of erosion as well. If one thing is for certain, it’s that the next 12 months carry a unique degree

Prairie Manufacturer Magazine • Winter 2019

of risk for Prairie manufacturers. South of the border, where 77 per cent of our manufacturing exports now head, our American neighbours will cast their ballots for president, and we will likely learn the fate of the still-unratified Canada-U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement. Across the Atlantic, we will find out the future of Brexit. And, further to the east, the geopolitical situation with China will continue to unfold with very real supply chain consequences. Trade diversification is seldom easy. It’s rarely as simple as finding new buyers for the same or similar products. It often takes years of planning, partnership development, negotiation, re-engineering, repackaging, and overhauling of manufacturing processes. Yet, it’s hard to ignore how many eggs we have in so few baskets. As we head into 2020, consider putting market exploration atop your list of New Year’s resolutions. Like most of mine, it may not stick the first time around; though, there will always be one lesson learned that will eventually lead to progress. Derek Lothian is the former, founding editor of Prairie Manufacturer Magazine. He currently serves as a business association CEO and on several public and not-for-profit boards. He is also an advisor to private manufacturing enterprises across Canada.


2020 JULY 2020

FEBRUARY 2020 CME Manitoba Kaizen Conference February 20, 2020 Winnipeg, MB

MARCH 2020 CME Dare to Compete Conference March 24, 2020 Winnipeg, MB CME Manitoba Gala Awards Dinner March 26, 2020 Winnipeg, MB

APRIL 2020

Made in Manitoba Golf Tournament July 22, 2020 Winnipeg, MB

AUGUST 2020 Manitoba Aerospace Golf Tournament August 26, 2020 St. Andrews, MB

SEPTEMBER 2020 CanWeld Conference & Expo September 23-24, 2020 Edmonton, AB

CME Manitoba Annual General Meeting April 29, 2020 Winnipeg, MB


ISA Automation Expo & Conference April 29-30, 2020 Edmonton, AB


JUNE 2020 Western Manufacturing Technology Show (WMTS) June 1-3, 2020 Edmonton, AB Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada National Convention June 4-7, 2020 Toronto, ON Manitoba Airshow June 20-21, 2020 Southport, MB

To have your event listed in the next issue, contact

Distribution mid-March Spotlight: Skills 4.0 Regional feature: Manufacturing Manitoba’s Future Booking: February 7, 2020 Material due: February 14, 2020


Distribution early June Spotlight: Beyond the City Limits Special feature: Manufacturing North of 60 Booking: May 8, 2020 Material due: May 15, 2020

FALL 2020

Distribution mid-September Spotlight: Shooting for the skies (and stars) Regional feature: Taking Saskatchewan to the world Booking: August 7, 2020 Material due: August 14, 2020


Distribution mid-December Spotlight: Manufacturing: the next generation Regional feature: Alberta: manufacturing clean and green Booking: November 6, 2020 Material due: November 13, 2020



about safety eyewear With Al Amarshi, Director of Eyesafe, with the Alberta Association of Optometrists

How does someone know if their safety eyewear is safety compliant? Be careful! The term ‘impact resistant’ does not necessarily mean that the eyewear is compliant to your provincial safety standards. Look for the following: • The manufacturer or supplier certification mark must be present on all approved safety frames, as well as the side shields and goggle piece. Look for the marking to ensure the frame and accessories meet the criteria for impact resistance. With Eyesafe, the frame will bear the label CSA Z94.3 (or ANSI Z87.1 if your provincial regulations permit ANSI compliant frames). • The manufacturer initials or stamp will be on the lenses, and they must meet CSA Z94.3 standards for impact resistance. To ensure that you always receive compliant safety eyewear, purchase from a reputable eye care provider or program. Compared to regular eyewear, safety eyewear uses stronger materials that are generally shatter-proof and designed to prevent the lens from pushing into the eye. Safety eyewear also provides side protection. Your optometric clinic will choose the right lenses based on your prescription, budget, work hazards, and facial features.

What protection is available for various hazards? Various hazards require special types of protection. For example: • Dust and fine particle debris can cause severe eye irritations. A seal or dust dam on the safety frame protects the wearer from these hazards. In most cases, the seal or dust dam will be removable and replaceable as these can wear out from facial oils. • Chemical hazards require that safety eyewear provide a tight close fit to the face to mitigate the potential of chemical splashes entering the eyes. In most cases, chemical resistant materials are used for these types of safety eyewear. Additional standards will also be required. With Eyesafe, specialty chemical eyewear meets the D3 splash and droplet rating. • Electrical environments pose a unique hazard of injury from electric arcs or flashes and flying objects from electric explosions – frames and lenses must be made to withstand high temperatures and have no metal content. Look for non-conductive safety eyewear specifically designed for these types of hazards. • Outdoor environments require UV protection and protection from glare and direct sunlight. The right

coatings will help to reduce these hazards. Depending on your worksite, you may choose options such as a tint or a photochromatic lens (commonly known by a brand name, like Transitions).

How do I customize and promote an eye safety program that meets my organization’s needs? When choosing a safety eyewear program, look for more than just savings. And, not all programs are created equal. Some programs offer easy website ordering; however, you need to ensure that your safety eyewear fits perfectly and finding a program that allows you to be physically fitted for the frame is critical. Also look for programs that can be customized to meet your organization’s specific policies on frames, lenses, and coatings. Build your program around your specific work hazards. It’s not uncommon for organizations to have multiple policies, each specific to unique divisions or locations. Focus on the proper protection as the top priority rather than the cost. Ultimately, this strategy will pay you dividends through a reduction in injuries and lost time claims.

What if I have employees working in multiple locations or provinces? How do I manage compliance? Look for a program that understands your local provincial legislation rather than a generalized national program. By doing so, you are guaranteed that your policy will meet specific provincial requirements for occupational vision care. Also look for a program that makes ordering easy for your employees – sites throughout the province for obtaining eyewear, easy access to eye exams, and a full range of frame and lens products that meet every hazard in your organization.

Do I need to be a large company to use a safety eyewear program? Not at all. Most programs can assist your employees with obtaining safety eyewear whether you have two employees or two thousand. You will also find that for smaller organizations, your employees can visit any optometric clinic to get their safety eyewear. Eyesafe is a prescription safety eyewear program that has been administered by the Alberta Association of Optometrists for more than 50 years. More information is available at

Manufacturing business support across the Prairies BDO’s Manufacturing and Distribution practice combines accounting, tax, and business advisory with industry prowess. Whether you’re looking to leverage international operations, grow through acquisition, or optimize inventory management systems, BDO provides proactive support and guidance for your business operations.

In the Prairies, our BDO locations include: X X X

Brandon Calgary Edmonton


Grande Prairie Lethbridge Pembina Valley

Assurance | Accounting | Tax | Advisory

Proud partner of X X X

Portage la Prairie Red Deer Winnipeg



Learn and hear from different organizations in a variety of sectors how strong leadership led to successful Lean enterprise transformation.


Learn how to create an environment in which team members find fulfilment and inspiration as engaged participants in their organization’s drive for excellence.


Learn how to gain the involvement of every team member through systematic daily improvement to ensure that the desired future state becomes a reality.


Learn from passionate leaders, practitioners and experts in special interest sessions as they share their experiences, stories and lessons learned.

Profile for Prairie Manufacturer

Prairie Manufacturer - Issue 3 • Volume 4  

Manufacturing vision... 2020 and beyond

Prairie Manufacturer - Issue 3 • Volume 4  

Manufacturing vision... 2020 and beyond