Productivity improvement is a key issue for businesses located in the Niagara Region as they attempt to remain competitive while being situated in a geographic area that serves as an exporting gateway to the United States. Area businesses are experiencing rising costs, increased competition from businesses outside the region, lack of availability of skilled labor, and gaps in innovation. The result is that local businesses are losing market share and experiencing shrinking profit margins.
Niagara Region businesses will have the opportunity to strengthen their competitive positions as part of the Niagara ARC initiative, a regional project that will target 10 local medium-sized firms to each work through a unique productivity improvement engagement with GO Productivity, an industry-led not-for-profit coaching organization that helps businesses become more productive. The project is supported by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) and Niagara Region Economic Development.
From the Conference Board of Canada’s recent report highlighting Canada’s productivity gaps: “Many people confuse the concept of productivity with that of work intensity. Improving productivity is not about working longer or harder; it’s about working smarter. It’s about finding more efficient and effective ways to produce goods and services so that more can be produced with the same amount of effort. It’s also about producing higher-value-added products and services that are worth more in the marketplace. The onus of improving productivity lies not just with governments, but with individual firms and their management.”
The project is now officially launched and partners are working together with other regional stakeholders to begin the process of identifying companies that wish to participate. “Companies across the Niagara Region can really benefit from a refreshed focus on productivity, and this unique collaboration with NRC-IRAP and the Niagara Region can support a strong foundation for productivity improvement within the community for years to come.” says Ron Subramanian, Director for Central & Eastern Canada with GO Productivity.
With support from both NRC-IRAP and Niagara Region Economic Development, participating companies will be able to access the program at a significantly subsidized cost rate. In fact, the program covers 80%, with participants expected to invest the remaining 20%.
Small to medium sized firms (minimum 20 employees) in the Niagara Region that are interested in participating in the Niagara ARC project should contact Ron Subramanian by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.