These affordably-priced online courses to teach skills such as production planning, quality management, new product development, supply chain management and equipment justification to workplace learners in the wood products industries. Each module requires about 5hrs of study per week over the course of 6 weeks. The courses were designed specifically for the wood products industry and the content is based on case studies from the various sub-sectors. Our goal is to teach skills that can be immediately applied in the workforce related to production, purchasing, HR, QC, equipment evaluation and purchase, sales/marketing, and new product development. These are NOT academic courses, and the skills learned can be applied immediately in the workplace. Each course is led by a tutor with extensive industry experience.

The following is list the learning objective for the upcoming courses:

New Product Development
* Explain the process required to develop new products and make modifications to existing products
* Outline product and design concepts, communicate with product designers and engineers and work in design teams to develop new wood products with specific functional criteria and performance specifications
* Summarize the theories and practice of developing new wood products from the conceptual planning and design phases, through to the manufacturing phase, and finally to the commercialization and product launch phases
* Explain the fundamentals of design, how design can be incorporated into production, how to hire and work with a designer and how software and other tools can help facilitate the design process
* Describe the principles of ‘design for manufacturability’ and ‘lean development’ and how they can be used to reduce product costs and the cost of developing new products respectively
* Explain the importance of true product improvements and how an innovative culture, customer input, ergonomics and mass customization can help to do this
* Define the concept of sustainability with regard to product design, and list ways to start ‘greening’ products and processes
* Access information and assistance from governments and associations for new product development initiatives

Supply Chain Management
* Describe the various transportation options, benefits and drawbacks of different modes of transportation, and basic logistics management methods.
* Explain the importance of information collection, forecasting, mapping a supply chain, selecting supply chain partners for the short and long term, operational decision (day to day) and inventory control.
* Explain the need for multiple sources of supply
* Customize specifications for your own needs based on available supply
* Summarize the importance of Just-In-Time delivery e.g. reserving supply, negotiating for time and inventory control (e.g. increasing delivery)

SOURCE: Centre for Advanced Wood Processing

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