In order to meet certain business requirements, businesses often consider hiring temp agency. But is this really a good solution when it comes to the question of success? Earlier experiences shared by various businesses are not indicating the same. There are a number of issues of hiring temporary staffs.
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The technology sector in every country plays a very crucial role as an economic driver and the same is true About Canada as well. With the commencement of digital economy worldwide, it is obvious to expect that the technology-driven companies will drive the GDP of nations and will also make its presence felt in many other sectors.
If we look at the Canadian technology sector in particular, the public and private investments will continue to flow which will offer a great help towards improving the competitiveness of the Canadian firm in the global field. And there has to be a combined effect between the start-ups and established firms.
Some important figures of the Canadian technology sector
According to the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship report, there are roughly 71,000 companies present in the Canada’s technology sector. While majority of them are start ups, there are many established companies as well. The total number of employment in these companies is 864,000 that equals to 5.6% of the company’s overall workforce.
The tech companies offer high-paying jobs with an average salary package of $67,000 whist the national average is $48, 000. Despite the less number (below 5) employees in almost 69% of the companies, the sector on the whole is responsible for the 7.1% of the total economic output of Canada.
Technology sector in innovative research & development
According to the reports, the Canadian tech companies alone have invested a whopping $9.1 billion in innovation in the year 2015. Though, the scope for growth is still there in the innovation sector.
There are a number of forums and boards that has ranked the Canada’s innovation across the world. The World Economic Forum has ranked Canada 22nd in the world while the Conference Board of Canada has provided ‘C’ grade to the technology sector in terms of innovation. What is more significant is the study report by a global consortium of Universities. It has ranked both Canada and U.S.A. in the same position in terms of per-capita production of start-up technology companies. But the less support from the government often forces these companies to not flourish as per the expectation.
The growth potential of the technology industry in Canada
Like we just discussed that despite having a good start, most of the start-up firms cannot continue in the long run because of the less support from the Canadian government. But despite the lack of support, almost 84% of the total number of tech-firms is profitable. This highlights the potential of the companies and what they can come up with a little support.
According to the reports of a professional service and consulting firm (Accenture Consulting), the technology sector is outperforming the other economic sectors in Canada. This is one of the most profitable sectors in Toronto Stock Exchange since the beginning in the year 2013. And the present value of this sector is $250-billion.
The companies have also been successful to attract large quantity capital investments over the last 18 months. During this period, the investment amount has also increased in manifolds. 21 companies, in the last year have collected $784 million from capital investments. This shows the mammoth potential in the companies.
The Government Funding Programs for the Technology Sector
There are more than one sources of funding for the Canadian technology firms other than the venture capitalists. They receive funding from the provincial and federal governments as well. The key focus of these funding programs is to support the innovation and growth of the technology industry.
Some of those programs include Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) Tech Funding, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Mitacs Research Grants for Canadian Small Businesses.
The scenario of the manufacturing industry is changing with time and with the application of new technology. Different types of competitions are emerging with the changing requirements, capabilities and atmosphere of the supply chain. A big chunk of the manufacturing output has moved to the developed world. On the other hand, the actual production stages are becoming a matter of lower economic returns.
The access to higher value production mandates allows the firms to not only help themselves in growing, this is an advantage for the broader Canadian economy. However, in order to attract opportunities with higher value, companies need to assure that they have access to best talents in the country and advanced technologies.
The Benefits of Investment and the Driving Factors
The benefits of investment in business requires no explanation, it comes with several advantages like building a new company or upgrading the existing one or even acquiring a new company and most importantly creating employment opportunities.
Below here are some factors that drive investment:
Alongside the invention of new technology, it is equally important to apply those technologies in the practical field and this is where the Canadian companies are lacking. A recent research conducted by the Microsoft in 2015 by interviewing 700 C-suite executives regarding the application of modern technologies like cloud computing, internet of things (IOT) shows that 49% of the executives believe that it helps to have a better position in the competition. 85% of the executives say that they are not implementing technology adequately while 70% of them have admitted that cost s a factor behind this.
Leveraging technology for gaining effectiveness
Time has come for the companies to leverage technology to come up with more benefits and increase the efficiency level like what DHL and Don-Bur did in the year 2006. They jointly developed a teardrop, an aerodynamic trailer that can save fuel and CO2 up to 12%. This invention not only helped Don-Bur to manage the local recession successfully, they became one of the most successful trailer companies in the UK. They also increased the number of stuffs and it helped the local suppliers. This sort of approaches has become extremely important now.
The different and innovative ways to the application of new technology is underpinning the ability of supply chains. It is improving the efficiency of the companies as well. These improved technologies include robotics, 3D printing, sensor, internet of things etc. These technologies not only reduce the manufacturing cost, it reduces lots of other costs as well and offers a smooth manufacturing practice something that is sought by most of the global manufacturers.
It requires no explanation that the future of the manufacturing is the digital infrastructure and will be data-driven. The application of Internet of Things is going to be the future that will drive the new manufacturing practices. With the new devices online and increased volume of data, the manufacturers need the access to high speed networks.
However, it is pretty sad to see that Canada is presently one of the least interested countries to high speed internet service. The Digital Canada 150 Strategy has set a target of 20 Mbps download speed by the end of 2019 that falls short in large margin from countries like Germany, Denmark and Sweden where the download speed is 50 to 100 Mbps.
Despite being hammered by the global recession and competitiveness in the emerging economies, the Canadian manufacturing sector is still making a substantial contribution in the economy of the country and this is quite impressive without any doubt.
However, there is no doubt that the global economy is undergoing a massive change because of the changing technology and its various applications and also because of the growing importance among the consumers and producers.
Talking about the future trend of the manufacturing industry in Canada, it includes factors like transformative technology, digital infrastructure, market access, and investment in people. The Canadian manufacturers need to recognize these factors and make use of them to win the competitive advantage. We will have a brief look at all those factors.
The convergence of existing technologies like computers, data science and broadband in the manufacturing industry has been proved to be extremely effective. Now it is time to harness the emerging technologies like 3D printing, advanced robotics and artificial intelligence. The combined application of these technologies along with technologies like computer controlled cutting machine is finding its relevance and uses in this supply chain. One of the biggest advantages of these technologies is the brand new approach to the way products are made and also to the skill sets. Opportunities are there in plenty to harness the existing expertise in robotics software in Canada.
A big chunk of the improvement in the manufacturing industry relies on the digital infrastructure. Understanding its power and the right implementation can often bring massive changes in the manufacturing industry. The Canadian firms though have understood the ability of this application but the Canadian Telecom or rather the Canadian government is somehow looking not so optimistic about it. Some recent government decisions have created a negative impact on the telecoms to arrange world-class technology.
Enhanced Market Access
Access to the market is always very important. If a company is planning to sell products in any city or country, it is quite important to set up the production there. This improves the quality of service as well as the standard of products. Like what we see in case of Canadian auto parts sector. The access to the U.S. automotive market has been extremely effective and has played a very important role for the development of this industry. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the competitive transportation help largely to the access of this country in the U.S.
Investment in People
There is a very famous saying which goes like “Invest in people who invest in you”. Investing in people is perhaps one of the most effective investments in terms of business. In a developed country like Canada, advanced skills are very much essential to meet the requirements of research and development capacities. Countries, like Germany, make it certain at every step that access to the talents is available at every stage. They maintain a strong communicative network between the private sector, research sector and government sector. They train the talents from an early age and also offer on-the-job training and skills development. This helps to maintain and increase the country’s competitiveness in terms of workforce.
There are only a few countries in the world that have achieved excellent industrial growth by widening the opportunity for generating smart investment from within the country and from others countries as well. Apart from that there are a few considerable things that make a nation competitive enough for industrial growth and business performance enhancement.
Well, along with so many countries taking part in this competition, Canada was also at a suitable position but some recent studies have revealed the decline of the country’s performance. According to The World Economic Forum’s 2014 report, Canada has fallen deep in the ranking for Competitive Industrial Performance Index (CIP). The report actually explains the capacity of a country to establish and increase the presence in international and domestic markets along with evident growth in industrial sectors and activities. According to the report Canada has slipped from the 7th position in 2000s to the 17th position in 2012. Here we are going to describe things that led this result and others positive traits that are still available in here.
A Good Place For Business
Despite a few negative consequences, the country is still a good place for business. It ranks 9th among the 60 largest economies in the world as a good place for business according to the study by Grant Thornton LLP. The study evaluated 22 indicators across five growth areas to come up with the ranking and those areas are; business operating environment, technology, labour market, market growth and financing environment. More so, the country ranks first for its business operating environment that considers some of the key indicators such as; foreign trade and exchange regimes, policies towards private enterprise and compilation.
However, the country scores poor (ranked 20th) in technology and this is where the country lacks the progress. Unless there are enough investments for new and innovative technology, it will not be possible to support the growth of the nation. The country has a huge employer base (51,000), a negligible percentage of which uses and promotes advanced technology.
Commitment to Innovation
A recent research by the Digital Entrepreneurship and Economic Performance (DEEP) has identified some barriers that the country has such as; lack of financing. This is one of the largest obstacles for the small businesses to grow into large-scale companies and compete on the international platform. The country has a very poor level for average technology investment. There were some improvement in the record but that didn’t go on for long. Different studies have revealed the sharp downfall in investment by the Canadian Manufacturers and that led to a 33% technology gap between Canadian and American companies. In order to access the larger markets and increase the incentives fixed cost is required and that can come along with more investment from within the country.
Recognize the Link Between R & D and Productivity
According to the DEEP’s research, we can find demonstrations of links between the extensive R & D Investment and a company’s propensity to qualify as a high-growth organization. There are a few such high-growth organizations in Canada who are characterized by their export orientation and sizeable investments in R & D. it is also have been found in the report that in Canada, exporters were mainly R&D-focused and growth-oriented and they are also in the operation for more years than any non-exporters. More so, the high-growth firms spend 20% of their budget on research and innovation which also ensures the growth. Studies across the world have shown that companies that promote innovation, experience double the revenue growth than non-innovators.
The Link Between R&D and Growth
As it is clear now that skills and management competencies are now an important driver of SME success. Studies have found that exceptional rates of R&D investment and innovation are tightly correlated with average management competencies. Companies that invest in managerial assets through training and exposure to research, technology and international market are very likely to have increased rate of success. So far, Canadian firms are on balance and well-run but, when it comes to producing high-growth firms, the country is outperformed by US, Japan, Germany, Sweden and etc.
Access to Capital
An effective solution to all these problems is access to capital for financing the innovations in the form of technical demonstrations and prototypes. Without sufficient financing, innovations will simply remain ideas and will never turn into reality. Moreover, investment is required for research expansion as well. Canada’s capacity to compete with the international market will largely depend on the access to capital for early-stage capital companies.
Taking care of these things will certainly bring some positive changes in Canada’s business economy and make this country competitive enough for international business market.
Manufacturing Sales at Present
The two key factors that are coming out as the reason behind such drastic change are the slow economic growth in the US and obviously the rise in the Canadian dollar value. However, one thing should be mentioned here that despite the sharp fall, the sales figure is tracking 1.4 percent higher compared to the sales figure of the last year during the same time.
Now if we consider the sales figures in terms of the industries, the gainer in true sense has been the Petroleum and coal refining sector and the credit largely goes to the recovery in the crude oil price. Manufacturing sectors that have seen an abrupt reversal are Automobile and parts manufacturers with 10.5 percent fall from January to April. Some other industries are Aerospace – 8.5% down, Paper – 6% down and Plastic & rubber products - 4.7% down.
If we look at these sales figures by province, the steepest decline was seen in Saskatchewan followed by Ontario and Quebec. The only province to experience solid manufacturing growth is Alberta due to its refinery output.
The Labour Market in Manufacturing Industry
Now, let’s shift the focus to the manufacturing labour market. Considering such a sharp fall in the manufacturing industry, it was pretty obvious to experience a sharp fall in the manufacturing employment sector as well. During the last quarter of the last year, 25,400 new jobs were added by the manufacturers and from the month of February to May, 36,100 job positions have been reduced by the manufacturers.
However, if we consider the employment data by market value, the number is humbly higher compared to the data of the last year during January to May. It is 0.3% higher compared to 2015. The number itself may not be very encouraging but compared to the present manufacturing industry scenario, it is appreciable.
If we discuss according to the province, BC, Ontario, Alberta - all these provinces have experienced job losses. The number of job cuts in BC is 14,000 in May while Ontario and Alberta stands at 11,300 and 11,000 respectively. But still the rate is higher in most of the provinces compared to the last year even in BC and Ontario. The weekly manufacturing wage rate has also come down 1.6% to $1,081 due to the flattened labour demand.
Orders for new manufacturing goods have experienced a fall in the demand and have opened with a downside. The rate has decreased by 0.8% in the first quarter in 2016. The key reason behind this is the volatile aerospace sector. The orders are down by 40%. But the only good news is the April’s numbers; it shows that new orders are coming in the market suggesting a strong trend ahead.
Despite all these downfalls in the economy, the capacity utilization in the business sectors is continuing to grow higher from 83% in the last quarter of 2015 to 83.2% in the first quarter in 2016. The capacity is tight in a number of companies like paper and wood. The facilities are being operated at 97.6% and 96.9 percent respectively. The situation is almost the same in transportation equipment utilization. The plant capacity of the available industries like food processing, primary metals and furniture is also tightening.
Competition in the Manufacturing Industry
The growth in the manufacturing productivity has been following a sharp rise for the last three quarters. The productivity has increased by 2.3% compared to the figure of the last year spring, However, still it is still not sufficient to cope up the losses of late 2014 and early 2015. Manufacturers though seem to be restless and this is the reason why manufacturing productivity has increased 6.1% over the past five years.
One big concern is certainly the rise in the price of productivity-enhancing machinery over the past few quarters. Prices of imported machinery have increased 3.2% in the Q1 of 2016 compared to the last quarter of the last year. And if we consider the last two year span, the price has increased by almost 26 percent. And according to market data, manufacturers are planning for less investment this year. The estimated amount is $17 billion, less than 2015 ($19.1 Billion) and 2014 ($17.9 Billion).
Condition for Business
The already turmoil Canadian economy got another blow in the form of McMurray Wildfire. It has destroyed homes, shops, factories and most importantly millions of dollars. The impact has been highly negative and can be expected to be the same in the short-term time span. Even, it could cause a small-term recession as well.
The next blow is certainly the exit of the UK from the European Union. The long-term impact of this exit is yet to unfold but as for the short-term, this is an economic downfall for sure. The stock market has crashed badly and the rate of pound has fallen sharply. The interest rate has also been affected. The real interest rate has experienced a fall of 3.7% in Q3 2015 to 2.5% in the first quarter of 2016.
The recent renaissance in the global manufacturing industry doesn’t need any introduction. Over the passage of time, the process and techniques of effective manufacturing has changed a lot and throughout this period, the manufacturing companies have always kept their eyes on the convenience and productivity.
Lean manufacturing is all they want!
What could be a great combination for effective manufacturing? When you combine latest technology along with a set process, this ensures an accelerated productivity along with maintained quality. This is something that is referred to as lean manufacturing and all the manufacturing giants and even the entrepreneurs are striving for such a method.
An excellent example of lean manufacturing
Canada has been one of those few countries that have been pretty consistent with the uplifting of the modern technologies. The widespread use of technology for the manufacturing industry is leaving a positive impact on the country’s economy as well.
There are numbers of manufacturing companies in Canada that are following effective ways and technologies to uplift their manufacturing process and the overall outcome from the unit. During the course, they are following some strategies and features in order to improve the effectiveness and let’s now have a quick glance at that.
The features and the advantages
· Visual production: Keeping an update of the production work is important and if that happens through the visual presentation, it certainly increases the awareness. Giant screens throughout the unit will provide the latest updates.
· Delivery just in time: The suppliers will now be updated with the current production status. This will make delivery right in time and along with the right pace of production as well.
· Advanced automation level: The implementation of advanced automated instruments has enriched the manufacturing process for sure. There are some high level automated applications like; automated torque monitoring, induction heating, robotic inspection, higher level of test cell automation, guided vehicles etc. are all part of advancement of the manufacturing process.
· Green environment: Any type of manufacturing involves lots of instructions and blueprints that are mainly given away as written on papers but, having wide screens on all the plants will eliminate the needs of papers. Moreover, the returnable boxes will minimize the need of cardboards.
· Ergonomic workstations: This is important for particular manufacturing units. This technology actually allows the turning of the machines above the head height. This reduces the needs of climbing sup and the potential ergonomic issues that are pretty natural.
· Sterile zone: This is something that has evident impact on improving the manufacturing quality and quantity. This is a particular zone where no food, drinks, mobile phones and jewelry will be allowed because these can cause distractions for the employees. It is certain that it will ensure better product integrity of course.
· Streamlined environment: In order to offer required flexibility to the employees, a streamlined atmosphere is very important. Right from using the tools and instruments to the observation of the overall productions.
Following these effective features and technologies for your manufacturing unit will certainly elevate the production and of course the annual turnover of the unit.
3D printing facility has opened up a new door for the manufacturers to meet the specific requirements of the customers. Here is how businesses can improve this aspect.
The necessity of proper infrastructure, an efficient team of professionals and proper resource management system is very much significant in any manufacturing company. These qualities ensure the much-needed control over the type of products. Though, the recent advancement in additive manufacturing (AM) in the form of 3D printers has changed the picture vastly. Consumers can now design and create items of their choice with the help of Computer Aided Design and simple mapping software.
The recent collapse of companies like Napster in the music industry, Uber in the Taxi industry and Netflix in the film rental industry can be regarded as the foreshadowing of digital disruption. Hence, embracing the technological advancement in the manufacturing industry is the ultimate way out for the improvement of your business.
The Ultimate Open Source Effect
One of the essential parts of 3D printing is obviously 3D scanning. It can use sensors like lasers and CAD (Computer Aided Design) is used to map a physical object by 3D printer. Manufacturers should think of this technological advancement more seriously. With the help of 3D printers, replicating a company’s products and components is much easier and convenient. With the continuation of the advancements, businesses can expect huge sharing of products and components.
This is another very, very important aspect of any business. Building relationship with the customers is always a positive step towards the success of your business. And this is something that cannot be replicated by the improvement of technology. But the advancement of technology can contribute in this aspect. Like elements like 3D printing is a great tool to acquire the trust of the customers by offering them the best possible customized items. If your customers are confident about the quality of your products, brand loyalty will certainly be created.
The Aftermarket Community
When the 3D scans are in the hands of the customers, it is obvious that the aftermarket parts will become more widespread. This approach brings up an opportunity for the customers to get their products customized or configured with their preferred components. By focusing on the customization of products, any business can enter into a new revenue stream thus creating brand loyalty.
Value Added Service
There are ways through which manufacturers can influence the authenticity of their brand and increase the sale. Programs like warranties, loyalty program, improved customer service, value added service – all can be part of this process and should be promoted by the manufacturers.
Offering warranties for non-consumable products create a sense of confidence among the customers about the products. Customers, who are investing their time and money into a new product or design, give much importance to warranties. So, businesses offering extended warranty program on products can move a step forward in winning the trust of the customers.
b) Loyalty Programs
There are hundreds of reasons for business to offer loyalty program for their customers. Loyalty programs help businesses to determine the involvement of customers, give more importance to customer preference and influence customer endorsement.
Are you ready to embrace the advancement?
These are certainly the beginning days for the 3D printing process but manufacturers should have the vision to anticipate the impact of this innovation. You may find companies that are hugely successful by not following the changing trends. But you should always ask yourself one question that is: will you be able to continue your success by staying stationary in this changing world?
Using CRM can certainly elevate your business to the next level. It contains some exclusive features that are time-efficient and cost-effective of course. Get brief detailing about some of the exciting qualities of using CRM for your business.
Companies that deal with large numbers of customers should have a programmed strategy to maintain all the valuable details of the customers. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is like a strategic investment for those businesses that are quite keen to develop their customer base. Unlike the large multinational companies, small and mid-sized organizations are unable to spend much on maintaining customer relationship so, using CRM would of immense help for them.
Managing an effective business relationship with the customers gets easier with the help of CRM. There are a number of activities that a CRM performs for developed customer relationships and those are; Tracking Customer Interaction, Record Key Performances, Real-time Analysis, Reports and Results etc. There are different CRM vendors with different solutions and features.
There are a few exclusive benefits of using CRM and hereunder we are going to explain some of those:
· Effective Time Management : You can organize your clientele by using team calendar. Most of the CRMs offer synchronization with other programs like Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook. Moreover, managing the tasks get easier since the reports can be directly to the inbox for the follow up of the daily, weekly and monthly agendas.
· Real-time Reporting: This is something that helps the organizations to analyze the reports on real time basis. Moreover, customizable graphs, charts and others tools help a better analysis of the real time reporting.
· Enhanced Customer Interaction : CRMs offer a convenient way of conveying messages to the customers with the help of collaboration and easy accessible interaction history. It’s easy to access the recorded answers of the basic customer enquiries.
· Increase the Productivity of sales: It becomes easy to achieve a complete streamlined process with automated order processing, pricing and customer service. Apart from that, the provided tools like email templates, customized reports and asset libraries help saving more time to set up the strategies, goals as per the trends.
· Cutoff in Customer Retention Cost: When you are able to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of order processing and delivery along with eliminating the manual errors, you will certainly be able to reduce customer retention cost. Moreover, training costs will also decrease for equipping the customers with similar tools.
· Automated Process for Increased Engagement: While making new customers from the prospect lists, the details will automatically be included in the CRM for customized emails and personalized follow up notes. You can then develop your marketing campaign based on the history.
· Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: When everything falls into the right place, you certainly can enjoy increased customer satisfaction. Easy to maintain customer history helps avoiding the repeating and conflicting customer messages. More so, staying in touch with the consumers positively is possible.
· Automation of the Administrative Process: CRMs help eliminating the repetitive manual and administrative works by replacing the tasks and allows the individuals to focus more on the revenue-generating activities.
· Set up Realistic Goals: When you can precisely measure the capacity of the individuals, it helps you preparing realistic goals with clear visibility. You can measure performance against goal expectation quite quickly.
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