WMCO Logo

Your time is important.
Solve challenges.
Get answers faster.

HOW IT WORKS

You are connecting to an engaged supportive community network of woodworking professionals.

We collaboratively solves common challenges, share ideas, do B2B and much more.​

We are industry driven and create initiatives driven from the bottom up.

A wholly unique organization with wood manufacturers driving the direction.​

Collaborating among peers.

Number 1

Kaizen themed plant tour focus groups addressing the tour hosts challenges

Number 2

Upskilling your employees at WMCO training events.

Upskilling your employees at WMCO training events.​

Solve challenges together.

Save on your company’s WSIB premiums, benefit plan, employee training costs and more.

Number 3

Save on your company’s WSIB premiums, benefit plan, employee training costs and more.

Number 4

Save time from finding resources on your own and paying higher prices.

Save time from finding resources on your own and paying higher prices.

Learn from other members.

Networking events with industry peers & round table events.

Number 5

Networking events with industry peers & round table events.

Saving time from getting answers on your own.

Never miss an event or presentation. ​ ​ Watch past events video on demand. ​

Number 6

Never miss an event or presentation. Watch past events video on demand.

Number 7

Instantly communicate with owners and managers of all size woodworking facilities on WMCO WhatsApp & BAND networks.

Instantly communicate with owners and managers of all size woodworking facilities.​

Some of our members you may know.

Be among your industry peers.
Share best practices, resources & solve challenge collaboratively. ​

Testimonials

“Through the Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario, we successfully connected with Milestone Millwork – another WMCO member – to visit their manufacturing facility and learn more about their finishing process. Chuck Pelletier, the owner, provided hands-on training for a specific finishing technique, as well as shared many helpful tips about the flow of his shop. This kind of collaborative spirit within the millwork industry is both refreshing and positive and speaks volumes about the kind of members the WMCO attracts and retains.” – CCW Architectural Millwork

WMCO Logo

Your time is important.
Solve challenges. Get answers faster.

“We cut our sanding labour in half from knowledge we learned on Plant Tour Focus Groups with the BWA (now WMCO).”
William VanLagenOwner of Carver Cabinetry

1-10 Employee Size Manufacturing Member

CDN $43.75 per month(billed annually)
  • Free access to WMCO hosted Plant Tour Focus Groups
  • Get access to Video on Demand of past events
  • Access to WSIB Premiums rebates (up to 10%)
    (conditions apply)
  • 67% cost savings on select training programs
“In the short time we have been a member, it has been a great resource for our company.  The seminars about lean manufacturing are invaluable and have really caused me to re-evaluate all our manufacturing processes.

The network meetings offer insight, information and networking opportunities that are incredibly focused and relevant. And my favourite part is the plant tours – they are fantastic!”

Simon LloydSpringwater Woodcraft

11-49 Employee Size Manufacturing Member

CDN $87.50 per month(billed annually)
  • Free access to WMCO hosted Plant Tour Focus Groups
  • Get access to Video on Demand of past events
  • Access to WSIB Premiums rebates (up to 10%)
    (conditions apply)
  • 67% cost savings on select training programs
“I have never seen a better organization for a resource for information and has allowed me to collaborate with fellow woodworkers in a safe environment. We have gained great friendships with others in the industry that now have become business relationships in working together on projects.”
Homestead Woodworks

50+ Employee Size Manufacturing Member

CDN $131.25 per month(billed annually)
  • Free access to WMCO hosted Plant Tour Focus Groups
  • Get access to Video on Demand of past events
  • Access to WSIB Premiums rebates (up to 10%)
    (conditions apply)
  • 67% cost savings on select training programs
“We all get to hear from each other’s experience, what works for them.  We all have similar issues in our workplaces whether it’s recruiting employees or buying equipment & software – it’s a great way to network.”
Mike ClaireOwner of Diamond CNC

Supplier/Associate

CDN $43.75 per month(billed annually)
  • Access to the Wood Manufacturing Network
  • Access to build relationships with wood manufacturers through WMCO network
  • Get access to Video on Demand of past events
  • Access to WSIB Premiums rebates (up to 10%)
    (conditions apply)
  • 67% cost savings on select training programs

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access the network?

Access WMCO’s network though several channels of service depending on your needs.  Some ways include:

  • Instantly communicate with many owners and managers on digital communication network on WhatsApp and BAND.
  • Unlimited access to attend in person or online at our networking events and hybrid plant tours.
  • Download our contact list of members phone numbers, email addresses to reach out directly to members.
  • Introductions to members and community partners who can help you from our network with your outreach requests to us.

Does the membership include my employees or just me?

Yes your membership is extended to your company’s employees to engage with us, attend events and participate in opportunities.

What do I get access to with my membership?

  • Access to instantly communicate with industry professional owners, presidents and managers of wood manufacturing companies and supply chain service providers who are ready to do business answer questions, help solve challenges or engage in the network.
  • Send member inquires out to our entire mailing list while maintaining your valued privacy (inquire for details).
  • Send out or respond to RFQ’s through our network (inquire for details).
  • Access to watch on demand on our website past events like plant tours and industry professionals presentations.
  • Access to member preferred pricing on employee upskilling training like WMCO hosted sales training; digital marketing; leadership development; health and safety; lean manufacturing training.
  • Access WSIB rebate program to save up to 10% on annual premiums (some conditions apply).

Can I contact anyone in the WMCO network?

Yes, you can reach out to anyone in the WMCO network.  We can assist by contacting us directly or you can go direct to contact members utilizing the downloadable contact list or via our WhatsApp group and Band App.

What can I gain from a membership?

Access, collaboration, opportunity, insight.  Access to answers on common challenges owners face through the network.  Access to upskilling your workforce. Industry driven collaboration among wood manufacturers and the supply chain.  A knowledge sharing community of professionals.  Opportunity to engage in funding projects as they become available.  Opportunity to contribute ideas leading to new developments for this industry driven cluster.  Insight into how the wood manufacturing industry is evolving and therefore increasing your competitive edge as a business.

What is a Cluster?

Industry clusters involve one industry, in a defined region, focused on the manufacturing companies.  They embrace supply chain, work with local academia for workforce development, and government partners to fund projects and activities, to help the industry thrive.

Clusters have been successful in Europe for the last 30 years. They are new to North America, where few true industry-led clusters exist. The Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario is the only cluster for the wood industry in Canada.

How is a cluster different than an association?

Clusters also differ from associations by creating collaborative projects and activities between companies that are beneficial to all; including competitors. The focus is the improvement of all companies to make the industry globally competitive.

WMCO cluster is also structured by their board governance so that manufacturers remain in control, while also allowing supplier members to contribute to the development of the cluster.

About Us

We’ve grown in 10 years from very humble beginnings and now encompass a larger area and offer a much more comprehensive program to assist our members, and along with this comes a name change to better reflect who we are today.

Back in 2009, seven wood manufacturing companies in the Grey-Bruce, Huron Perth region of Ontario were feeling the pinch of the economic recession, and the pressure of foreign imports. Even though some were competitors and had been for many years, collectively, they needed to do something that could be mutually beneficial for all of them, to help them through this difficult time.

They started to talk to each other, invited each other into their factories to see their operations. After exchanging some ideas and best practices, they quickly realized they all shared the same challenges and opportunities. Having learned about industry-led clusters in Europe from research on needed changes in the industry, they set about starting one.

In January 2011, two representatives from the BWA went to the Cluster Academy in Linz, Austria, for cluster training. The decision was made to form a cluster, which was incorporated in March, 2011 as a non-profit industry-led cluster, named the Bluewater Wood Alliance (aka: the BWA), with 7 initial board members. The BWA’s initial cluster region was defined as a 1-2 hr radius from the Hanover-Walkerton area.

BWA reached out to other companies in the region, along with the supply-chain companies, and began to hold quarterly networking events where suppliers and manufacturers could meet and discuss new technologies and further develop their business relationships. By November of 2012 they had grown to about 25 member companies and hired a cluster manager.

They then ramped up the frequency and variety of events to include plant tour Kaizen events, training, export development projects, and round table sessions on important topics.
Gradually, interest grew among wood manufacturing companies from all over southwestern Ontario (SWO) to attend the events. Membership grew fast. Companies from the GTA, as far west as Chatham, and Niagara and up to Muskoka joined the alliance.

In 2016, the BWA had 80 members. It was decided to expand the official cluster region to include all SWO to better serve the members, while also expanding the board of directors to 10 manufacturing members and 2 supply-chain members in order to best represent the membership segments. Networking and training events began to take place across SWO to best serve the expanded catchment area and diverse membership.