Wood and Furniture Industry: Germany Inspires Companies in the Region

By: Connect Bois

After a first post-pandemic mission on American soil last year, manufacturers from Connect Bois and the furniture design niche flew to Germany. The objective: to be inspired by new trends, exchange, forge links and partnerships at the two most important industry fairs in the world, Interzum and LIGNA.

In all, 16 businesses from Centre-du-Québec and Mauricie/Lanaudière took part in this technology watch mission set up by Connect Bois and organized in collaboration with Carrefour Québec International (CQI).

The idea for this mission to Germany came from manufacturers who wanted to visit these must-see trade fairs in our industry. It was a privileged opportunity to discover trends, technological advances and meet suppliers, but they came back with much more,” says Connect Bois Director Marie-Josée Boisjoli.

With these technological advances and its leading position in this sector of activity, Germany is proving to be a source of inspiration for many. An inspiration that Quebec industrialists badly need, hit hard by the scarcity of labour.

Among those who have drunk new ideas: the manufacturer of coffins Victoriaville & Co returns satisfied.

I went to LIGNA to learn about new trends and equipment, as we are planning significant technology investments. Our presence at the show not only allowed us to observe the latest trends, but also made it possible to network with several manufacturing companies and even local companies that we do not know enough. I’ve met some great people. We really had some great exchanges! ” says Caroline Logan, an engineer with the company.

It’s the same story for Cuisi-Boutique in Drummondville.

The mission at Interzum was really rewarding. The show allowed us to see interesting materials, hardware and accessories. We see what’s coming for different products and we can draw inspiration from it. Then there was this human dimension with our group. A spontaneous chemistry was felt from the presentations at the airport. The different conversations, the professional as well as personal exchanges allowed us to create links, share, network and help each other! ” adds Stéphany Cyr from Cuisi-Boutique.

The mission was also an opportunity for these local manufacturers to find new suppliers and, who knows, new customers.

Like the trend in Quebec, the circular economy also seems to be well anchored in the philosophy of these European players in the wood industry.

At Interzum, we felt it was ubiquitous. The environmental aspect and sustainability are not only a trend. They are part of the philosophy of excellence,” says CQI’s export project manager, Anne-Marie Lamothe.

This joint mission also reveals undeniable advantages for its participants. The interactions between the companies allowed many to benefit from interesting tips or contacts.

Throughout the mission, the rich moments of sharing and exchanges between the participants made it possible to discuss and validate opportunities for collaborative projects for the development of the sector,” says Connect Bois Director Marie-Josée Boisjoli.

We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to participate in this mission. Seeing the latest technological advances in machinery, materials and components on site motivates us to continue to innovate. We had the chance to meet extraordinary people and share our expertise and experiences in our sectors of activity. To date, we can say that this mission is by far the most rewarding experience of the last two years,” said Marc-André Pronovost, Director of Operations at Matelas Avanti.

For Connect Bois and CQI, this European stay will undoubtedly bear fruit for these SMEs.

“The genius and inspiration of local businesses are a guarantee of sustainability for the wood industry,” concludes Anne-Marie Lamothe, export project manager.

CQI is a regional export promotion organization bringing together a dozen experts who support businesses in the Estrie, Centre-du-Québec and Mauricie regions in their expansion projects outside Quebec and abroad. Sixteen companies in the wood sector participated in the mission to Germany, including twelve from Centre-du-Québec, three from Mauricie and one from Lanaudière.

Connect Bois brings together companies and partners committed to promoting and developing the wood processing and furniture sector in Centre-du-Québec. Since 2007, the organization has supported the development and growth of its members. Well aware of the challenges and issues of the sector, he implements collaborative projects that meet common needs.

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