Web-Cab addressing labour shortages

November 2018

CKCA member Web-Cab is very much aware of the labour shortages plaguing our industry.

They’ve adapted the Production Assistant, a MES type software to simplify training and improve productivity.

Read full article here.

HR Topics and Tips

Welcome to the HR page!

We’ve listened to our members. We know HR is important to the success of any company. We will use this space to feature articles, tips, case studies, examples of policies to help our members.

Below you will see contributors such as Sunrise Kitchens, WMC, JobTalks and others.  Got an article suggestion or looking for information? Contact us at info@ckca.ca

Don’t forget, we’ve got programs to help you afford and retain good employees.

  • Medical benefits (save $thousands on your coverage with a CKCA medical benefits plan that pools our volume to get better rates including a 24 month rate guarantee) c
  • Corporate discounts on Goodlife for your staff and their families
  • Mark’s Work Warehouse discount cards for all your staff….and we’re adding more all the time.
  • Check out the Member Discounts section of our website.
Sound advice that explains why now, more than ever, valuing people is so important for your company’s survival. Click here.
The continued story of this company’s journey to continually improve by embracing the concepts of Kaizen. Here’s an update on how this company is doing as their journey continues. Article here  (March 1 2021)
Located on Vancouver Island, Mid Island Cabinets has taken 3 important “behind the curtain” steps to strengthen their business. Read full article here.
“We were already on the path of improvements and were looking into the lean manufacturing method, but when we visit the shops that were using the Kaizen method/culture, we were just so blown away that we contact Chris Leonard, Kaizen Institute very shortly thereafter. So far we have been very impressed with Chris and are looking forward to working with them as we progress through the program.”
Kathy Hatcher
Mid Island Cabinets
   A vital non-profit organization that introduces students, parents, teachers and counselors to exciting careers in the construction industry

Jon Callegher spoke at the CKCA National Forum in Calgary 2019.

Retaining Employees in the Skilled Trades

March 2019 – A report one year in the making has just been released.  Over 400 construction workers from 10 categories participated in a study. The primary objective of this study was to explore ideas for improving retention and recruitment of employees in the residential construction and related infrastructure trades in the GTA.

Read the Executive Summary here.

Read the full report – Retaining Employees in the Skilled Trades – See presentation here.

Amrita Bhogal, HR Manager, Sunrise Kitchens, is an eager HR professional whose focus is to elevate people’s mindset and coach them to live a continuous improvement lifestyle. She has always had an entrepreneurial mindset and turned her passion for helping people she decided to pursue Human Resources in university. Nine months into her career she was introduced to the principles of Kaizen and since then adopted these principles in her life. Presently, she is educating the workforce at Sunrise Kitchens on learning to use Kaizen principles in daily tasks at work and at home.

Amrita believes in “educating people and providing them with the tools to achieve a growth mindset.”

  CKCA’s Executive Director, Sandra Wood, interviews Amrita Bhogal (Sunrise Kitchens) in the January/February edition of Woodworking Canada Magazine.

Is HR keeping you up at night?  Think Kaizen.

Navigating COVID-19 in Your Business (May 2020) – Read article here

Celebrate team success often (Sept 2019) – Read article here

Changes are a good thing (Aug 2019) – Read article here

Behaviors Dictate Culture (May 2019) – Read article here.

What values have you imprinted on your company? (March 2019) – Read article here.

Losing the new hire – Effective employee retention strategies (February 2019) – Read article here.

It’s your people that transform your materials – Change for the better! (January 2019) – Read article here.



The Wood Manufacturing Council is a non-profit corporation that works to bring together stakeholders in advanced wood processing to help collectively address human resource and skills development issues in the sector.

Women in Wood – Information and resources to encourage women into the profession.  Click here


Thriving business – Tips and advice


CKCA provides tips and tools to help your business thrive.


Lean Manufacturing – FIX WHAT BUGS YOU!

Lean isn’t new, but many kitchen cabinet manufacturers are at various stages of adapting lean practices, others have not embraced the concepts so far.

Check out this presentation give at the CKCA Ontario Regional event in June, 2019  by 2 kitchen cabinet manufacturers who have are implementing lean in their shop. Their candid discussion about that journey will inspire you.  Click here.

Developing the Next Generation in the Family Business

How do you make sure your business will thrive after the current generation steps away?

vNacelle is working with small business owners to assist with that transition and can provide some insights.

vNacelle invites you to attend a free Webinar to get further insights.
Upcoming webinars are planned for:
  • November 7th, 1pm MST and
  • November 19th, 10am MST

To register, click here


If you’re unable to take advantage of the webinars, they provide a detailed article here.


Lynne Jacob was keynote speaker at the CKCA National Forum in May 2018.

Lynne is a professional business coach and specializes in helping businesses in the trades. sound advice from an expert.

Lynne is a regular contributor to CKCA’s newsletters, her articles are below and are full of a wealth of knowledge and advice to help your business thrive.

MLJ lInternationaL

CKCA has partnered with Lynne Jacob, Business Coach with MLJ International. Lynne offers tips and advice to help you and your business thrive. If you like the various postings we list below, then give Lynne a call. It may be the healthiest decision you’ll ever make.

phone: +1 506-800-5147 text: +1 613-484-3861

Lynne has been helping businesses in the trades since 2004. She is a straight shooter, tell-it-like-it-is coach who has helped businesses overcome challenges much faster and more easily than her clients imagined without having to work harder, longer hours. Lynne knows that one of the hardest things for business owners to do is hand over the reins to their employees, but as an international coach Lynne sees the younger generations as more risk-taking and entrepreneurial-minded than many previous generations and she believes that this can be great news for you to get the support you need whether you have years of work ahead or if you are considering a retirement exit strategy.  Lynne believes that “fun has never been so profitable”.  healthiest decision you’ll ever make.


  • Get a Life (outside of the business) (May 2019) Read more here.
  • Get referrals from impressed clientele (Apr 2019) Read more here.
  • Find, Hire, Train & RETAIN them (Mar 2019) Read more here.
  • How to use debts, budgets and reserves as tools to create a stronger business (Feb 2019) Read more here.
  • Follow through on your ideas – Understand what truly stops you (Jan 2019) Read more here.
  • Plan the time to plan business developments and honour it! (Dec 2018) Read more here.
  • Build your non-traditional Business Plan. (Nov 2018) Read more here.
  • Want your business to thrive? Take a vacation! (Oct 2018)  Read more here.
  • Keeping your business “saleable” (Sept 2018) Read more here.

Trends and Stats


We’ll post stats and trends from various sources and from our own research to give you industry insight and benchmarks.




What the experts told CKCA at a recent L.A.B. seminar. (Nov 2019). Click here.

Did you know?

The Canadian kitchen cabinet manufacturing industry represents an estimated $1.5 billion in annual sales and employs more than 25,000 Canadians across Canada representing just less than one third of the advanced wood manufacturing sector. The industry is comprised of an estimated 4,000 SME’s (small to medium sized enterprises) with the largest of companies employing more than 800 employees to the smallest company of just 1 person. The industry has been a thriving part of the Canadian economy for more than 50 years with a “birth” in the early 60’s when an influx of skilled migrant workers from Europe brought their knowledge and methods to Canada. To this day those methods are in use and define a significant difference between Canada and its largest trading partner, the US (US using framed cabinetry, Canada using the European frameless).

Part of the advanced wood manufacturing sector, kitchen cabinetry has experienced evolutionary changes from mechanization to digitization and now the internet of things.

In this space, we will post stats from various sources that provide insight into our industry.

Employment data

Canadian Woodworking Industry Stats – Who Works Where – Source Woodworking Network (Dec 2018) Click here.

Presentation by Jon Callegher, PhD, JobTalks to the CKCA National Forum, April 27, 2019

Recruitment Strategies and Data

Should we do for our industry what Construction is doing for theirs? Or shall we let other sectors go after the talent and we are left behind in the dust? Jon Callegher, PhD, JobTalks provided valuable insight into the perception of the trades and how we need to develop recruiting strategies to get more people into the wood industry sector. The statistics will surprise you.  We need to move the dial on this issue and check out the BDC presentation below that gives a more in depth look at what’s happening in Canada.

See Jon’s presentation slidedeck here.

Business Development Bank of Canada Presentation by Michale Poynton, Manager, Business Centre, BDC Calgary Office to the CKCA National Forum, April 26, 2019

Business Resilience 

Check out this informative presentation (slidedeck here) that shows compelling data about the emloyment and digital situation in Canada. The trends are staggering and SME companies need to take steps now to navigate the challenges that are just around the corner.


CKCA Board Member, Peter Lansitie, of Hettich tells us what trends he saw at IDS 2020. Read full article (Jan 2020)
Valuable information from CKCA member:

Antibacterial decorative panels and decorative hardware.  With Covid-19 a part of everyone’s life these days, it’s no surpise to see antibacterial product now available. How will this impact overal kitchen designs? Time will tell. Read full article (June 2020)

Bring Nature into your designs! Bringing natural elements, such as wood and stone, into interiors remains one of the easiest ways to add texture to a space.  Richelieu takes you through a variety of different finishes, colors, patterns and applications.Read full article (Nov 2019)

How to Plan a Lighting Installation Layout for a Kitchen in a Few Easy Steps! The ideal time to plan kitchen lighting is during a remodel, however it is possible to revamp it at any time thanks to Richelieu’s easy plug-and-play system. This article covers the layout installation for a kitchen, but can be applied to any project. (Nov 2019)

Ever wonder what it’s like to actually find that spatula or whisk right when you need it? Being efficient in the kitchen means finding your cooking tools easily and quickly when you need them most.  Having well-organized drawers is a simple way to achieve a more functional kitchen.  Richelieu has put together a guide to find the perfect drawer organizer to suit every drawer and kitchen tool.  Read full article (Aug 2019)

GOLA integrated cabinet profiles open up a world of possibilities – Seamless contemporary-looking cabinetry with integrated handles is a growing trend in kitchen cabinetry now. Richelieu pushes this trend even further by offering an integrated pull with lighting.  As the trend for European styled kitchens takes off, see how you can design with the minimalistic European aesthetic in mind.  Read full article (Aug 2019)

10 Must-Have In-Cabinet Accessories – Your clients are looking to remodel their kitchen. Given the amount of time they spend in the kitchen, as most people typically do, they will most likely appreciate having a few accessories to make their life easier. After all, everyone wants a better functioning, more efficient kitchen space. Read full article. (Oct 2018)

Untapped market – Your next business opportunity right here.  Eric Pothier, Director of Business Development, Richelieu gave an excellent presentation on an upcoming trend that could open new business opportunities for kitchen manufacturers.  Micro living is happening everywhere, not just in densely populated major cities, but in cities of all sizes across North America.  Read full article (Sept 2018)

Valuable information from CKCA member:
CKCA Vice-President Heidi Boudreault from Denca, based in Calgary, spoke with AkzoNobel’s Bob Averett, Global Colour Design Manager, and Rob Haley, Colour Trends Manager, to ask the questions that get to the heart of how colours are chosen and what influences those choices. Read full article (Jan 2020)

Use your website as a virtual showroom

  • The power of an image is everything.

  • Did you know you have 8 seconds to get the attention of your next client?

  • Are you using your website to its full capacity?

  • Do you know what the latest tools are to help keep your website, a “virtual showroom” current?

Candybox Marketing does and that’s why CKCA has partnered with Candybox to help our members get sound advice from the experts. Recently ranked No. 188 on the 2018 Growth 500 (formerly PROFIT 500) chart by Canadian Business and Maclean’s magazine, this company continues to provide an innovative approach to marketing, design and execution.  Darrell Keezer, CEO and Neil Persaud, Business Development Manager have both spoken at CKCA events because of their expertise in on-line marketing. You are in good hands when you seek their advice.

Articles posted below (most recent at the top). If anyone knows how to get the most from a website, it’s

Candybox Marketing.

Did you know CKCA members get a free 30 minute consult with Candybox Marketing?  Give it a go, learn something valuable, get sound advice from experts, your business will thank you.

Contact Neil Persaud, Business Development Manager 416-479-0177 ext 210 or neil@candyboxmarketing.com

Candybox Articles:

  • Pick Up The Phone! (Aug 2019) – read article here
  • Chatbots (May 2019) – read article here
  • What’s the Point? (Apr 2019) – read article here
  • Are Your Customers Struggling to Land? (Mar 2019) – read article here
  • Is Your Website Stuck in Traffic? (Feb 2019) – read article here
  • New Year – New You, New Web Presence (Jan 2019) – read article here
  • Does your website need a jump start?  (Dec. 2018) – read article here
  • Incomplete strategy – Incomplete Company (Nov. 2018) – read article here
  • Lifeless forms: Lifeless website (Oct. 2018) – read article here
  • Flash is Dead and your website may be too! (Sept. 2018) – read article here
  • Are you using Social Media to its full potential? (June 2018) – read article here
  • Google Maps has changed (May 2018) – read article here
  • Are Broken Links Breaking Relationships?  (Mar 2018) – read article here
  • Is an Information Overload killing your site? (March 2018) – read article here


Could this be your next area of growth?

Micro living is here to stay and represents a huge area of potential growth for the kitchen cabinet industry.  This article explains further, but also attend the upcoming CKCA Eastern Regional event in Sherbrooke, QC, September 24/25 to get the full scoop from expert Eric Pothier, Director of Business Development, Richelieu.

Read article.

Diamond CNC Takes Action to attract new talent in Brantford, ON

How can we encourage the next generation of kitchen cabinet manufacturers?

Diamond CNC has participated in this video that shows a promising future in manufacturing.

Worth sharing, a great tool to help promote the industry.  Please share this link with educators in your community and help raise the profile on the diversity of careers in manufacturing.

Watch video here.