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WMCO forms buying group

 20 April 2021     HGO Staff 

HANOVER, Ontario – The Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario (WMCO) has created the first Canadian buying group for manufactures of furniture, flooring and related wood products.

Called the Wood Supply Chain Group (WSG), it will initially have a small membership comprising several existing WMCO members including solid wood bedroom specialist Durham Furniture as well as Cabico Custom Cabinets, Windmill Cabinet Shop Ltd., Woodland Horizon Ltd., Carver Cabinetry, Best Damn Doors, Braam’s Custom Cabinets and Milestone Millwork.

Mike Baker, who WMCO’s board of directors recently promoted from executive director to chief executive officer, told Home Goods Online the group’s creation was the result of much research and discussion beginning back in 2018.

While acknowledging buying groups have been popular among retailers, particularly independent store owners, creating one for manufacturers has a different set of challenges.

For the first year, the size of the group will be intentionally kept smaller as the goal is to find “added value” ways of working together with an initial focus of “offering a rebate program that focuses on voluntary purchases. We’re going to look for places where we can lower costs together,” Baker said. “The purpose is to create and grow win/win relationships with our vendor partners. Through these successful agreements, our members can remain competitive and successful during these increasingly trying times.”

The WSG will be managed by Peter DeGelder, president of the COGS Approach Group, a London, Ontario-based consulting firm specializing in purchasing, sales management, and logistics. “We are excited to serve in the WSG effort. We passionately believe in the mandate presented to create win/win relationships for all member and vendor partners,” he said in a statement.

Its first year of operation will essentially be a pilot program, DeGelder said, adding he will be surveying the member group to determine what their individual needs are and negotiating supply agreements with current and potential vendor partners.

Forming the group is also part of the WMCO’s growth strategy as it broadens its outlook from southwestern Ontario to the entire provincial. Until recently, the organization was known as the Bluewater Wood Alliance.

WSG membership is currently limited to WMCO members, who are currently don’t pay a fee for its services. “But eventually, we well open it to companies outside of our cluster,” Baker said, noting those firms will have to pay for the services they receive.

WMCO chairman Chris Martin of Horizon Coatings said: “I am extremely proud of the committee and am looking forward to the success of the Wood Supply Chain Group.”

Companies interested in joining the group should contact Peter DeGelder at [email protected].

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Home Goods and its accompanying newsletter - HGO This Week - covers the furniture, bedding, appliances, consumer electronics, accessories, lamps and lighting and floor coverings product sectors of the big ticket home goods market in Canada. HGO is also a forum for the dissemination of market research and hard-hitting articles on best practices for Canadian retailers.

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