Sept 24, 2013, marked the day of the tenth quarterly networking event for the Bluewater Wood Alliance at the Walkerton Clean Water Centre. It was a full agenda of member-driven content!
Sept 24, 2013, marked the day of the tenth quarterly networking event for the Bluewater Wood Alliance at the Walkerton Clean WaterCenter.
As a member-driven organization, topics and themes of these events come from consulting with our manufacturing member base. This ensures these events provide value, and also give the opportunity for BWA Associate members to share their expertise. The true nature of clustering engages the supply chain to help the manufacturing base continue to be successful and flourish. Other resources are brought to bear to shed light on new concepts to members and make sure they are aware of resources.
None of this could have been truer than the event Sept24 that had a full agenda, all driven by the members.
First, Export Development Canada (EDC) and Western Union collaborated on an informative session on how our wood manufacturers can begin to export their products to new markets overseas, and more specifically the actual process of negotiating, closing, and transaction phases of a sale overseas.
Did you know that Letters of Credit are as liquid as cash and can be used when negotiating a sale? Did you know that EDC can ensure it as well and they work with your bank to secure any financing you may need to supply raw materials and other resources to fill the order? Examples were given with a potential customer overseas where the seller requested 50% paid upon order of product, and the other 50% in 60 days using a letter of credit. This helps to “allow the customer to save face” when dealing with customers from different cultures where negotiation is a major part of doing business, and, who may otherwise shy away from demands to have the other 50% at the time of shipping. EDC also offers many other resources and intelligence on markets all over the world, and BWA will definitely be inviting them back to address members to assist with expanding to other markets.
The second speaker was Jason Marilla of Argonaut Solutions who addressed BWA members on IT Risk Management. Having a plan in place and supporting it from the top is central to helping to mitigate any risk from online hackers and viruses/malware. Many BWA members have experienced problems in this area in the past. As part of their detailed presentation, Ten Tips were shared to help members get started on the path to mitigate their risk online:
1. Have a proper backup or a disaster recovery plan. Use an image-based backup system that stores locally and offsite
2. Install proper internet security software.
3. Update your systems regularly.
4. Use stronger passwords
5. Implement spam filtering for your email
6. Use content filtering for your network
7. Educate, educate and then educate again
8. Scan first and ask questions later
9. Monitor your systems or hire a managed service provider
10. Audit your systems
The final portion of the day included a Wood Supplier Forum with the following three BWA Associate Members providing these valuable presentations:
• Trends in Green wood raw materials: Upper Canada Forest Products
• Storage Best Practices for solid wood and panel materials: Weston Premium Woods
• Panel Materials, their properties, their origin, and the latest technologies: Goodfellow Inc.
In addition to these sessions, the Associate member showcase of these supplier members shared samples and more information valuable to BWA members.
All in all a great day of clustering to be celebrated! See some pictures below.
Our next quarterly networking event is Nov 27, 2013. Mark your calendar now!
If you are not a member of the Bluewater Wood Alliance and would like more information, please contact BWA Manager Mike Baker: firstname.lastname@example.org
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