Business Intelligence
This summer I wanted a make a hire here at EuroVinyl Windows. I wanted a fresh set of eyes on the process of an order from the time it is received to the point at which it lands at our customers’ location. I knew what I wanted but was unsure where to go to find such a person or even a job title to plug into a search. “Process Engineer” seemed to have a good ring. A candidate possessing such a title, I assumed, could look at a process and, with engineering, design and implement an efficient workflow.
Our cover story this month is on Centennial Windows, one of Canada’s great success stories in the window manufacturing business. One interesting aspect of Centennial’s story is the way this company recognized early that energy-efficient window designs were going to be the wave of the future and jumped in with both feet to make an efficient window and to support the Energy Star program.
The future of Canada’s manufacturing sector will be shaped by our capacity to move away from the traditional manufacturing model, and instead leverage creativity, technology and innovation, reveals a new report released by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce during the Guelph Economic Leadership Forum. In Only the Smart Survive: How Canada Can Remain Competitive in Manufacturing, the Canadian Chamber examines how to reverse the decline in Canadian manufacturing through modern policies and incentives, particularly in sectors such as automotive, aerospace, clean-tech and biotech.
During the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 2016 National Fall Conference, Michael Collins, partner and managing director of Building Industry Advisors, LLC, provided an economic overview and outlook of the window and door industry.
Municipalities issued $7.3 billion worth of building permits in August, up 10.4% from July. This marked the second consecutive monthly increase. The gain in August was mainly attributable to higher construction intentions in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.
Sept. 15, 2016 - Municipalities issued building permits worth $6.5 billion in July, up 0.8% from the previous month. The advance was largely the result of higher construction intentions for institutional and industrial buildings. Ontario and Alberta led the national increase.
Aug. 18, 2016 - Municipalities issued building permits worth $6.4 billion in June, down 5.5% from the previous month. Lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and institutional buildings were mostly responsible for the decline.
Aug. 4, 2016 - Municipalities issued building permits worth $6.8 billion in May, down 1.9% from the previous month. Lower construction intentions for commercial buildings in Quebec and Ontario and single-family homes in Ontario contributed most to the decrease.
Marketing guru Seth Godin says, “Safe is boring and boring is bad.” You only need to look at Donald Trump’s unbelievable success in driving his brand through social media to see the truth in that statement.
As I enter my 30th year of window manufacturing, it’s fair that I could be considered a tire kicker. It stems from not having the internet 30 years ago to meticulously guide us through our early acquisitions. Shop equipment had to be seen before it was purchased, most often at well-attended industry trade shows.
Careers can take funny paths and mine is no exception. When I graduated from journalism school in 1994, media companies in Canada were undergoing a massive round of mergers and consolidations. In effect, people who didn’t know what the Internet was and what it was going to do to the media industry snapped up smaller newspapers and TV and radio stations that had already been weakened by the Internet and what it was doing to the industry.
July 7, 2016 - The United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union represents a major economic shock to the U.K. and Europe. It will lower business and household confidence in the U.K. and Europe, while also potentially fanning the flames of referenda in other countries given the electoral cycle in Europe. Despite the importance of the shock to Europe, it is expected that the impact beyond its borders will be relatively contained, as the United States, China and India remain on reasonably solid footing. On balance, our global growth forecast has been marked down from 3.1% to 3.0% in 2016, and from 3.5% to 3.3% in 2017.
July 7, 2016 - Onerous municipal regulations for residential development are reducing the supply of new homes (houses, condos, townhouses, etc.) in Canada's biggest cities and contributing to rising home prices, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian policy think-tank.
June 23, 2016 - Half of Canadian businesses could soon have a competitive advantage over the rest: according to a new study commissioned by TELUS, there's an even split between Canadian businesses when it comes to their plans for Internet of Things (IoT) technology.The study found that 52 per cent of Canadian businesses are considering, planning, piloting or deploying an Internet of Things (IoT) solution, while 48 per cent indicated that they have no plans at all to adopt the technology. For those who are not considering IoT, 64 per cent feel that there is no business need."By embracing IoT technology, Canadian businesses have a huge opportunity to reap the benefits of digital transformation, yet we're seeing that some are much further along the adoption curve than others," said Jim Senko, senior vice-president of Small Business and Emerging Markets at TELUS. "From streamlining business processes to creating entirely new business models, IoT solutions have tremendous potential to generate efficiencies, increase cost savings and quite literally, revolutionize how businesses operate. If companies aren't already looking into the technology, they're at risk of falling behind those that are."Organizations that have embraced IoT are seeing the results that the technology can deliver - and they want more. The study revealed that the vast majority (86 per cent) of Canadian businesses who have piloted or deployed an IoT solution are seeing its value and 83 per cent are planning or already implementing additional solutions. There's a sense of urgency amongst these adopters as well, as more than 50 per cent wish they were further along in their deployments.  According to the study, Canadian businesses are sharply polarized when it comes to the impact they think IoT will have on their industry. Nearly two-thirds of businesses who are in the piloting and deployment stages predict that they will see a transformational impact on their business over the next five years, while only seven per cent of non-adopters feel the same way."The vast majority of businesses that are piloting IoT solutions are realizing that small changes can have a big impact and that, with the right partner, the technology can be deployed safely and securely," said Senko. "A business can start with something simple like remotely tracking vehicles or high-value assets and then evolve their IoT strategy and build their business case as they gain experience with the technology. There are IoT solutions for nearly every industry, and it's important that businesses 'test the waters' to fully understand what IoT can and can't do for them."  Other key findings in the study include: Of the 52 per cent of IT decision makers who are interested in IoT: 23 per cent are considering 11 per cent are planning 9 per cent are piloting 9 per cent have deployed at least one solution The most common solutions currently being piloted or deployed are security (53 per cent) and remote monitoring (47 per cent) The biggest barriers to adoption for IT leaders, regardless of development stage, are budget (51 per cent), security (41 per cent), privacy (36 per cent) and demonstrating ROI/building a business case (33 per cent) More than half (55 per cent) of Canadian businesses do not feel they have the necessary IT expertise within their organizations to develop IoT solutions and require external partners The study was conducted by MARU/VR&C (formerly the Research & Consulting Division of Vision Critical) and surveyed 506 IT decision makers from businesses across Canada in March 2016.For more information
May 26, 2016 - The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has released the AAMA 2015/2016 Study of the U.S. Market for Windows, Doors and Skylights. This bi-annual report delivers timely information on residential and non-residential market trends and product relationships for windows, doors, skylights, curtain walls and storefronts. Forecasts are based on projections of construction activity as of March 2016.

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