WMS returns to the limelight

In addition to his opening keynote presentation at WMS, Luke Elias, president of Muskoka Cabinet Co., will provide a live remote demo of his automated processes on the WMS Live stage.

MISSISSAUGA  -- The Woodworking Machinery Conference and Expo returns to the International Centre February 24-26, 2022 in Mississauga for the first time in more than two years.  Originally scheduled to be held November 4-6, 2021, WMS was postponed due to the pandemic. 
“Our past attendees and exhibitors are chomping at the bit for a face-to-face event again in Canada,” said Tim Fixmer, president and CEO of CCI Canada, Inc., part of Woodworking Network.  “At last the Canadian industry is able to see the latest new technologies, materials and supplies in person. As Canada’s woodworkers continue to deal with the long-lasting effects of the pandemic, WMS will give them the opportunity to look for solutions to supply chain issues and the skilled labor shortage. At the same time, the industry will finally get a chance to network face-to-face for more than two years.” According to Fixmer, attendee pre-registration numbers is running ahead of 2019’s pace.
In addition to exhibits, WMS attendees will be treated to a host of complimentary educational sessions and keynotes on the show floor.  More than a dozen sessions will be presented at WMS Live, including two keynotes and wide-ranging topics from dealing with the legal implications of the pandemic in your business to learning the latest in digital marketing. 
Luke Elias, president and CEO of Muskoka Cabinet Co., will present the opening keynote 
at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 24 on the WMS Live Stage. He will discuss the challenges and opportunities his company has addressed over the last two years. Muskoka Cabinet, an Industry 4.0-enabled manufacturer, added a productivity-boosting robotic work cell last year. It represents the company’s latest investments in robotics that began in 2015. Muskoka has also been a leader in the use of ERP, MES, and RFID technologies. 
In recognition of his achievements – at Muskoka Cabinet and on behalf of the industry as a whole – Elias was named a 2021 Wood Industry Market Leader. In addition to his opening keynote presentation at WMS, Luke Elias will provide a live remote demo of his automated processes on the WMS Live stage. Tommy Gagnon, CEO of AutomaTech Robotik, will be working with Elias on the technology demo.

FDMC Editor Will Sampson will present "Solving the Pricing Puzzle" as the Day 2 opening keynote at WMS, Friday, Feb. 25. The veteran woodworking journalist will share the highlights and his personal insights of FDMC's annual Pricing Survey. He’ll examine what various shops charge for the same work, the fundamentals of pricing custom work, and common pitfalls to avoid in the estimating process.

Sampson has spearheaded the collection and analysis of the FDMC Pricing Survey for more than two decades. He said he is constantly amazed by the wide range of prices submitted by participating readers who develop their estimates using a common set of project specifications. Invariably, he added, the larger and more complex the project, "the more startling the price variations.” 
The 2021 Pricing Survey, results featured in the November 2021 issue of FDMC, included a two-toned cherry ktichen, a maple painted kitchen, restaurant booths, and bookstore displays
Sampson will review some of the best practices he gleaned by comparing the detailed costing estimates submitted by woodworking professionals including materials, construction and installation hours, and profit margins. “To get an even better handle on their cost estimates, we asked them to report their hourly shop rates, whether they use software for bidding, whether they use CNC machines manufacturing, and what state or province they are from,” Sampson said.
WMS Live
A wide range of topics will be presented on the WMS Live stage during the three-day event held at the International Centre in Mississauga November 4-6. 

Mike Baker
Mike Baker, CEO, of the Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario, conducts an educational session at WMS Live 2019. The organization will present several sessions on key topics at this year's WMS Live.

 WMS Live is the main education feature of the event.  The complimentary sessions are presented by industry leaders and exhibitors on the show floor of the International Centre. 
The Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario has committed to several sessions for WMS Live.  WMCO sessions include:                         

  • Cyber Security: Latest issues, trends, and must-dos for your company presented by Erez Zevulunov,  Boris Zlatogorov, MIT Consulting. Despite ongoing preventative efforts, many companies continue to get hacked and business and personal information are at risk. Many companies have been temporarily shut down dealing with cyber incursions. This presentation will discuss the main pillars of defense, response planning, and recovery, which include firewalls, email, point protection, and business continuity planning.
  • Developing leaders in your organization presented by Barry Reid, LMI Canada. All companies struggle with developing leadership qualities in their staff.  Employees may be great on their job, but can they support and lead others to success? This session will focus on the behaviors and skills to develop in your shop to grow future leaders in your organization; lead hands, supervisors, and managers.
  • COVID legal updates with the return to work implications presented by Edward W. Snetsinger, Sherrard Kuzz, employment and labor lawyers, and Randy Dignard, Industrial Safety Trainers. The post-COVID workplace has many legal compliance implications as wood manufacturers consider employee COVID vaccinations, leave and accommodations, work reintegration, and health and safety protocols. The session will offer timely updates and useful takeaways that can help your company stay ahead of the game as we enter the post-COVID economy.    
  • Lean Manufacturing Strategies: How to start, and how to sustain and keep engaging your people once you started presented by Sepp Gmeiner, Lignum Consulting and Brad Cairns, Quantum Lean. Many companies don’t know how or where to start their lean journey. Many companies have already started but have hit a roadblock or the momentum is lost. This session will address both companies who are new to lean and help those who have already started and need a boost of fresh ideas to keep it moving forward.
  • WMCO/WSIB Health & Safety Excellence Rebate Program presented by James Ebidia, health and safety consultant. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) Health & Safety Excellence Program is designed to reward companies for their due diligence and pro-active efforts in managing their health & safety programs. James will describe how the program works, and how it can be a good fit for your company to receive rebates for the safety compliance you are already responsible for.
  • Pandemic supply chain challenge panel discussion:  Building dialogue with suppliers and manufacturers moderated by Peter Degelder, Wood Supply Chain Group Inc., and Mike Baker, CEO, WMCO. Join a panel of current main suppliers to the wood manufacturing industry to address your questions and concerns and build dialogue on the following topics: Pricing and supply trends; market outlook; networking and supplier updates. Suppliers and manufacturers should really be partners in mutual success. Dialogue is the first step to bringing our supply chain back to normalcy post-pandemic.    WMS reg button
  • Business Growth for Small Shops Produced by the Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario.
  • Digital marketing essentials for wood manufacturers in today’s digital world presented by Darrell Keezer, CEO,  Candybox Marketing. Today’s marketplace demands that wood product manufacturers leverage all digital tools available to promote their businesses. But where do you start, and how do you prioritize what to do, and how do you manage it all? This session will review the use of digital branding, video, website, social media, and effective digital advertising to help you promote your company in the digital world.

About the Wood Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo (WMS)
WMS is world-renowned as Canada’s preeminent industrial woodworking event. For more than four decades, WMS has connected Canada’s woodworking professionals with the world’s most prominent machinery manufacturers and suppliers. WMS 2019 attracted attendees from nine Canadian provinces and two territories.
The 2019 edition featured 75,000 square feet of exhibit space and more than 175 exhibitors.  For information about exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities, contact Rich Widick, [email protected]; 630-929-7918.


Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Profile picture for user Harry Urban
About the author
Harry Urban

Harry Urban is the retired publisher of the Woodworking Network. Urban spent more than 30 years working in business-to-business publishing, trade shows, and conferences. He has travelled extensively throughout North America and overseas visiting and reporting on major manufacturing facilities and trade shows. In retirement, he's still following the woodworking industry, but he plans to do a lot more fishing.