Manufacturers pressured to improve productivity

Many organizations have not invested enough in training, technology: report
By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/24/2003

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n the past few months, a reinvigorated Canadian dollar has put new pressures on Canarm Ltd., a Brockville, Ont.-based marketer and manufacturer of industrial and agricultural ventilation and lighting systems.

A strong dollar is a double-edged sword, says Steve Read, director of operations. The importing side of the business benefits from the increased buying power of the loonie. But for the manufacturing side, about one-third of the business, the strong dollar is bad news. As it goes up, Canarm’s products are less attractive in the huge U.S. market. “The advantage we have always had has now been eliminated,” says Read. Instead, the company has had to look for ways to create revenue without adding costs. The only option is to push harder, be leaner, run the business more efficiently, and reduce idle time, he says. “All those things are more important than ever before. There is no room for waste.”