Upcoming Management Skills Training Program

Patty Renneckar

The Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP) is Canada’s national centre for education, training, and technical assistance for the wood products manufacturing industry, based out of the University of British Columbia. CAWP offers a wide range of training courses, professional e-learning programs, in-plant training, product development, and manufacturing improvement services. 

CAWP offers a Management Skills Training Program in a set of nine short online training courses for wood products manufacturers. The Wood Manufacturing Council funded program development in 2009, and it is open to all. CAWP will be offering Quality Management and Control and Business Finance online from February 14 to March 28, 2022.

The program is designed for various professionals, including entrepreneurs in the wood products industry who need to learn about and implement various management systems to delegate responsibilities and focus on business growth. There are management or supervisory-track employees within wood products companies of all sizes who need to gain new skills to move into positions of greater responsibility. Additionally, there are many employees who need to understand specific functions within their company to do their jobs more efficiently (e.g., salespeople who need to understand how production decisions are made and vice versa). And of course, people from non-wood products backgrounds who are preparing to take on supervisory or management roles in the industry. With the skilled labour shortage, hiring people from outside the industry is becoming more common.

The Business Finance module is aimed at management-track employees without formal financial training who need a basic grounding in financial concepts to manage budgets, analyse return on investment of new acquisitions, produce forecasts related to sales or operational costs, etc. It may also be helpful for small business owners and entrepreneurs wishing to refresh or upgrade their knowledge.

The Quality Management and Control module walks participants through establishing a quality management program to track and eliminate product deficiencies, monitor quality performance, and reduce the costs of material, customer service, rework, and other non-value-adding activities that typically erode the profits of manufacturing companies. The emphasis is on introducing and working with tools that can quickly be implemented in one’s production operations to improve quality and efficiency. It will be helpful to any company that wishes to instill a solid understanding of quality management practices in its key employees. The tools and techniques introduced in the module will yield benefits regardless of whether your company chooses to implement a complete quality system or achieve some quick wins.

The course modules each require approximately 35-45 hours of study over a six-week or eight-week period (depending on the module). They are written specifically for the wood products industry and include numerous case studies and industry examples. 

Participants can either take just one or two individual courses to fill a particular interest or gap in their knowledge or choose any six modules (or five plus a supervised individual project) to obtain a WMC Management Certificate qualification. Each module is offered at least twice a year, and learners move through each course together, interacting and sharing information and experiences.

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