MRO Magazine

EMC – Being Competitive in the Food Industry Today


Food

August 30, 2021
By EMC

Industries

Photo: Quality Stock Arts / ADOBE STOCK

Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC), our Food and Beverage Sector Initiative members and participants have been enjoying valuable networking events, sharing best practices, experiencing plant tours, and connecting with each other in group settings and one-to-one, both in person and virtually over the past several years. The topics we address and discuss are all industry specific and have ultimately been focusing on what it takes to be competitive in the food industry today.

What makes EMC special?
EMC has grown to become Canada’s largest manufacturing consortium and with over one thousand industry events annually, is one of the most active manufacturing organizations in North America.

For more than a quarter century EMC has been responsible for contributing significant knowledge, expertise and resources towards the success of over 13,000 consortium and online member manufacturers, representing every province across Canada. EMC’s total manufacturing audience includes 40,000+ employers and 600,000 manufacturing employees.

Founded in the mid-1980s and incorporated in 1997, EMC facilitates events in over 60 consortium regions, across over 450 communities. Offering a broad range of hands-on programs and services, EMC is helping manufacturers to lower costs, access greater opportunities to compete for business and improve efficiencies in dealing with the day-to-day complexities of running a manufacturing operation.

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We are often asked what separates us from other organizations who claim to be able to help you achieve the great things you want for your business. Whether you are a business owner, a general manager, a back shift supervisor or a hands-on employee, you all play a part in the success of your operation. You all know it is not always an easy thing to achieve. The speed of commerce, the global economy, social media, etc. are all adding new challenges to what you do every day, in some cases every minute.

The good news is – you are not alone.

Manufacturers all around you are dealing with the same things right now. They are on your street, in your town, or in your region and they produce a whole range of products. Some are struggling to solve the same puzzle you solved last week, while others may have solved your puzzle last month. The challenge is, how do you get to know these people? You drive by their building everyday on your way to work. In many cases, you may not know what they do in their building, but they are manufacturers and we know many of them. We also respect them as the experts that they are. They have been successful and have the scars to prove it – those are the true experts.

We understand that no one company has it all figured out, and we have seen what can happen when companies and strangers share experiences and swap ideas. Neat things happen, discussions happen, and puzzles are sometimes solved. The biggest challenge for some is getting their heads around the idea that it is okay to explain how your first attempt at something may have failed. Trial and error can happen to anyone and you learned from it. Unlike most other organizations that solely provide informational webinars or training courses, EMC provides opportunities for manufacturers to share learnings with each other through our best-practice roundtable sessions, industry events and Member Needs Help service.

Sharing is a learned skill that comes with practice. Help someone out and they help you. Nobody loses. What is to gain? You become a better, more successful business as a result. Do this a couple of times and you will understand what separates EMC from the rest of the crowd.

Furthermore, EMC’s Field Service Advisors (FSA) located across Canada provides services to manufacturers through hands-on facilitation of knowledge exchange and networking between companies, government and other relevant organizations. Each FSA provides individualized attention to EMC members to assist them with challenges in their organizations and working towards solutions.

Joining EMC as a member or participating in EMC’s Food and Beverage Sector Initiatives and industry events provides a perfect forum for building new ideas, discussing innovative concepts, and forming long-lasting relationships with other member manufacturers on the same journey as you. Bringing people together at the grassroots level is the foundation
of EMC.

We are excited to announce that Leah Nacua, Field Service Advisor for EMC, is taking the lead on our Food Beverage Sector Initiatives. Leah has more than 18 years of hands-on experience in the manufacturing sector. She worked as a process engineer and manufacturing engineer for several years in a wide breadth of industries, including automotive, semiconductor, solar-cells, biotech, plastics extrusion, and food packaging. Nacua primarily supported quality and continuous improvement initiatives and, in addition, supported health and safety initiatives as part of an emergency response team and has been part of joint health and safety teams in multiple organizations. Nacua has experience in conducting internal quality audits. She is also trained in HACCP and food defense and managed a food safety program that led to a company’s initial GFSI certification.

Nacua obtained her Chemical Engineering Degree from the University of Waterloo. Prior to joining EMC, she obtained her MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University with a specialization in Strategic Management. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario.
Believing in the power of collaboration, Nacua is passionate about manufacturing, continuous improvement, and sustainability.  She enjoys supporting manufacturers in overcoming their challenges, finding ways to improve their operations, and achieving success.

Nacua’s first Food and Beverage Sector Initiative event, coming up on June 3, will focus on Change Management – Overcoming Resistance, Building Buy-In and Getting Real Results. Laura Lee-Blake, Chief People Officer with Pearle Hospitality Inc., will join us to lead a discussion on effective ways human resources leaders can successfully partner with their business leaders to champion change through adversity.

In addition to our industry events, EMC is offering full and partial funding to manufacturing employers across Canada to implement Manufacturing Essentials Certification (MEC) programs. MEC program streams include production worker, supervisor, leadership, productivity and continuous improvement, health and safety and onboarding. MEC programs provides up to 40 hours (4-5 hours/week over eight weeks) of skills training using industry-validated learning programs, live workshops, facilitated online learning with ongoing support and assistance from professional trainers and a workplace action-based learning project. If you, or a manufacturer you know down the street, are interested in this opportunity, please reach out to EMC’s Learning Centre. Ontario MEC Leadership sessions start June 22.

In closing, EMC is here for Canadian manufacturers. If you are a member, try to get out to your next local event to meet your neighbours again, in a virtual setting or in-person when the time is right. If you are not yet involved with EMC, get in touch.