A recent article in the business section of a major Nova Scotia paper was headlined ‘ Export Picture Glum’ and all the references in the article related to manufacturing while stating ‘97% of Nova Scotia companies do not export’. The story did not paint a very good image of manufacturing for anyone reading it by indicating that a great percentage of those who are doing business here are not active outside the region.
The article highlighted the key export sectors of rubber products, agricultural, forestry and plastics / chemicals but lead the reader to think that beyond that, manufacturers are not actively exporting.
We at Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) know better. On a daily basis EMC is in contact and working with our manufacturing members across the province and we feel the inference of the article did not speak well of the state of manufacturing in Nova Scotia.
Yes, we could ALL do better and most of us work hard to improve what we do every day. Developing new products, improving the competitiveness of existing products and expanding into new markets are a few of the ways companies work to improve the volume of business they do outside of our small or, in the case of some products, nonexistent domestic market.
The reality is we at EMC are hard pressed to think of many manufacturers who DON'T ship their products out of the province or the country. A quick list of exported products would include blueberries, aircraft components, composite pipe, clothing, fabricated steel, blood products, radio transmitters, plastics processing equipment, scientific / oceanographic equipment, custom millwork, video games, licence plates, food processing equipment, street lights, batteries, ice cream, woven plastic sheet, siding / building materials, airport signage, military equipment, off shore oil and gas equipment, snow management equipment and we could go on. The other and perhaps unrecognized 'exporters' are those manufacturers who sell locally manufactured product to another local company who uses the product in their finished goods which are in turn exported.
EMC is proud to be associated with all of our manufacturing members and we recognize many of you quietly go about your business without your neighbours being aware that you are the GLOBAL leaders in your respective fields. Manufacturers have a great history of success in this province and will continue to do so for years to come. Stand up and take a bow (even if you do so quietly) it is well deserved!
If you have any questions about EMC and want to get involved please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenn Durnford is Field Service Advisor in the Maritime branch of the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium.