Volume 4, Issue 1 - Summer 2019

So, manufacturing… we meet again

By Jeff Baker

Hi, I’m Jeff. I’m the new editor of Prairie Manufacturer Magazine. In March, I was asked to join the Prairie Manufacturer team and take over the editorial reins of this ground-breaking magazine. I’m excited to be at the helm of this publication, helping Prairie manufacturers tell their stories to their peers and beyond.

I’m definitely not a stranger to the world of manufacturing, especially in Alberta. Over nearly 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to see inside numerous manufacturing facilities and spend time connecting with the owners, executives, and leaders who are leading the transformation of the industry across
the Prairies.

Now wearing my Editor’s hat, I get to uncover the hidden stories and help Prairie manufacturers just like you share the innovative, creative, and ground-breaking work that’s going on in the region and changing the face of manufacturing not only here, but across the globe.

But enough about me, Prairie Manufacturer is about you, the manufacturers.

When you break it down, manufacturing is about making things… whether that’s making more things, making new things, or simply making things better.

Manufacturers know all about making things and making lots of those things better. Now, it’s about making the people who make those things better.

This issue is chock-full of contributors who are doing things differently, seeing things differently, and challenging the assumptions and status quo of how we do business in today’s manufacturing world. They’re asking important questions, pushing for real answers, and trying to have a positive impact on the industry, now and into
the future.

It’s a new path that’s being forged by Prairie manufacturers, and it’s a path that includes more people than ever before, reaching into more communities than ever before.

On page 6, read about a young Indigenous woman in Manitoba taking the lead in her own manufacturing company thanks to an opportunity presented as a challenge to her values. Manufacturing doesn’t just build things; the industry is also helping to build bridges between communities across the region. Turn to page 33 to learn how in Charting a New Path, Together.

The world continues to change, and the change is accelerating. Manufacturing is no different. Companies are facing these changes head-on, but there is still a lot to do, explains Carrie Schroeder in the latest Women in Manufacturing article on page 38.

The names we call the equipment we use might be the same, but the nature of this equipment and ‘how’ it does its job is night-and-day compared to even just a decade ago. In Not Your Grandfather’s Tractor on page 20, read about how these innovations are making a difference not just here on the Prairies, but around the world too, and spreading well beyond the traditional sectors.

Manufacturers hold the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to make things of all sorts. It’s the same knowledge, skills, and experience that will keep manufacturers – and their customers – at the fore of the changing economy and enable them to thrive in
the future.

After all, if manufacturing is about making something, that something can be a more inclusive, representative, and engaged industry that makes a better world for all of us.

In the spirit of making those somethings better, I invite you to contact me. This is your industry, your magazine, and your community. I want to hear from you! Send me your feedback, story ideas, information on manufacturers making a difference or doing something outstanding, and anything else that matters to you and your organization. Please drop me a line at jeff@prairiemanufacturer.ca.

Until the next time we chat, I hope you enjoy the read.