Manitoba’s solid wood value-added sector is still in transition to a mature industry. There is a wide range of technical, product development, human resource, marketing, and industry development challenges yet to overcome for the industry to move to a position of world class.
It is within this context that the federal government, through the Canadian Forest Service (CFS), engaged Forintek Canada Corp to identify the technological needs of the secondary manufacturing industry in Manitoba.
The new reality for solid wood value adding, as well as for every other industry, is the crucial role of innovation for business development and growth. A relentless commitment to innovation is necessary to achieve and sustain global competitiveness. For this reason, research and technology must underpin everything that companies do, including product and market development, production, customer management, and environment and regulatory compliance and leadership.
Despite the diversity of product lines offered by different segments of the value-added sector, Forintek has identified many common technical issues that need to be addressed for the benefit of the industry as a whole. These issues relate to manipulating wood as a raw material through such processes as machining, drying, gluing, and finishing.
As well, based on Forintek's findings, a number of strategic priorities are recommended for moving the industry forward:
adopt a customer focus to meet changing needs and pursue new opportunities;
strive for continuous improvement and productivity gains for international competitiveness;
maintain a strategic focus on selected value propositions;
foster innovation throughout the Manitoba value-added industry, addressing research and technological issues on a common front wherever possible;
strive to strengthen & upgrade the overall competitiveness of the industry; and
continue to pursue global strategies to maintain a competitive edge.
By working together to address this wide range of business and technological issues, industry, government, and research and educational institutions have the opportunity to effect change and growth in the industry.