- Every home has a kitchen
- Canada needs to build 3.5 milion homes by 2030 according to the CMHC report.
- The kitchen cabinet manufacturing sector in Canada is struggling with labour shortages, competitiveness and the increased cost of doing business
CKCA struck an Advocacy Committee in early 2022 to work on developing statements on the challenges in our industry as well as to propose some solutions. We also have built partnerships with other like-minded organizations including CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business) and the CME (Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters). The Advocacy Committee is comprised of industry members who either build or supply to the industry. Collectively the group has worked to develop documents that can be shared with local, provincial and federal decision makers with the aim of first educating them about what our industry does and secondly, to share what our challenges are along with some possible solutions.
We want the Canadian kitchen cabinet manufacturing sector to thrive in this country. But to do so, we must address some of the key pressures that are having an impact on our industry’s ability to perform at an optimal level. Our industry holds the expertise and knowledge about our industry and it is our role to ensure we speak up and ensure others know we have been working for over 50 years as an industry sector. We must speak up.
What is CKCA saying?
- Many kitchen cabinet manufacturers not running at full capacity because they cannot find the workers.
- We need affordable programs with less red tape that attract immigrants to Canada permanently rather than forcing companies to go through private agencies that are expensive or old immigration rules that are not nimble enough to respond to the current labour environment.
- Small business owners cannot afford to hire foreign worker agencies, nor the time it takes to go through an extensive process.
- We need ongoing help to promote working in the trades and in our industry and programs that bring new immigrants into our sector because every newcomer to Canada needs a home and every home needs a kitchen.
- Manufacturing in general yields aprox 9.1% profit margin (according to Stats Can), the wood sector is even less at 7.2% due to infrastructure costs in this sector.
- Foreign imports continue to force manufacturing in Canada to keep pricing and wages low which means they cannot effectively compete for workers and they cannot price competitively against foreign product.
- This is happening in spite of the fact that Canada needs to build more houses at an unprecedented rate. It can’t be a “race to the bottom.”
- We must adopt new technologies to remove mundane jobs that cannot be filled by investing in advanced automation and improving our ability to compete.
- Our industry is comprised of about 70% SME’s (under 50 employees). We need better access to capital so we can upgrade and automate and we need better protection or a level playiing field to compete with foreign product coming in to Canada.
Advocacy is “public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy.”
CKCA is a national association and the voice of the kitchen cabinet industry. Proudly Canadian!
Fact: We are stronger together
- The kitchen cabinet industry generates an estimated $3.5 billion in annual sales and employs more than 25,000 Canadians in an estimated 4,000 SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises) with the largest of companies employing more than 1,500 employees and the smallest to just 1 employee.
- 2018 StatsCan multipliers for the household and institutional furniture and kitchen cabinet manufacturing industry: for every $1 million in output, the industry creates a total of 11.7 jobs (includes direct, indirect, and induced effects).
- The industries that see the biggest indirect impact from the kitchen cabinet industry are wood product manufacturing, wholesale trade, and retail trade.
- We are part of the wood product manufacturing sector which collectively employs more than 70,000 (larger than the logging industry) and represents approximately $10 billion in annual sales.
- Add in all the peripheral industries that sell in to our industry such as finishing, hardware, wood and more and this industry is much bigger than most realize!
- Kitchen cabinet manufacturers are proud to be part of Canada’s manufacturing economy that drives 52% of the GDP in the business sector!
- Approximately 70% of companies employ less than 50 employees.
- This industry has flourished over the past 50 years as a result of migrant workers from Europe bringing their skills to Canada and starting businesses here using European methods.
- Frameless cabinets method used to this day is still a technique that sets us apart from our counterparts in the US.
- We know Canada’s economy is built on the success of SMEs.
- CKCA’s values align with a desire to see sustainable growth in our industry sector.
- There are many success stories to tell, Canada has a solid reputation world-wide for its woodworking skills.
- With improved programs and regulations around sustainable forestry, the future is looking good for the Canadian kitchen cabinet industry provided we can find the labour and we can remain competitive.
- Manufacturing kitchens and other functional areas for the home (i.e. bathrooms, mudrooms, living room cabinets etc.) is a complex business with high mix/low volume outputs. Infrastructure costs are high due to the space, technology, machinery, supplies and labour required.
- With the technological advances in manufacturing, including AI and robotiks, companies must now find the money to invest and upgrade on a continual because of the Internet of Things (IOT). Machinery that used to have a long shelf life no longer does because the technology becomes obsolete much more quickly. Keeping up is essential and costly, plus it requires continual training for staff and a total transformation for the kind of labour that is now required.
- Go into any kitchen cabinet manufacturing shop today and you will see an array of technology.
- In spite of all these advancements our industry still builds beautiful things through a convergence of technology and hand crafting.
CKCA was founded to bring the industry together.
- CKCA exists to tear down the silos of individual companies to help them learn, connect and prosper in business as the industry has progressed.
- Back in 1968 the organization worked to repeal federal taxes (see history here) and were successful!
- Today there are still many issues facing our industry.
- Now more than ever skilled labour shortages threaten the industry.
- The association has successfully through the years provided the vehicle through which manufacturers, suppliers, dealers and associates (all vested parties in the industry) could connect for common reasons with shared goals.
- We must speak up, find solutions, get support to deliver those solutions.
Be part of the conversation – together we will make a difference!
- Join CKCA – sign up and speak up!
- CKCA’s uses a wide range of channels to speak up and support our industry – we’re REALLY proud of the work our members do and the functional spaces they create to improve the lives of their customers. It is purposeful work.
Who is your MP?
- Find your Member of Parliament here.