Business consortium bands together

With the current economy putting pressure on companies in the South Okanagan, a trio of businesses are collaborating to share their best practices.

Welder Liane Bauman of Penticton Manufacturing and other employees work on various projects at the company's Dawson Avenue shop Thursday. The company and two other city firms are joining together to collaborate ideas to enhance performance.

Welder Liane Bauman of Penticton Manufacturing and other employees work on various projects at the company's Dawson Avenue shop Thursday. The company and two other city firms are joining together to collaborate ideas to enhance performance.

With the current economy putting pressure on companies in the South Okanagan, a trio of businesses are collaborating to share their best practices.

The Sustainability For the Okanagan (SFO) consortium officially began in April with the Penticton Foundry Ltd., Slimline Manufacturing Ltd. and Penticton Fabricating.

“It’s basically a way of having mentorship between a group of people that have a similar interest, which is having a strong viable business, with strong viable employees,” said Kim Blagborne, president and CEO of Slimline Manufacturing. “We all want to be lean enterprises and that means re-thinking. Lean is about looking at things you do everyday that may be wasteful, and how to get your work environment so that it suits your needs. We can see the benefits of working together as a team to improve our businesses and our futures.”

Blagborne said he has already seen the advantages as it has increased employee enthusiasm and unity and improved efficiency on the production floor.

“In order to remain competitive and retain market share, organizations are seeking new strategic ways to become more profitable and efficient for the tough times today and for the brighter future tomorrow. That’s exactly the underlying concept that some local companies have in mind as they unite to create a consortium,” said Penticton’s economic development officer Dave Arsenault.

Arsenault said the ideal number of members for a consortium is roughly seven to eight organizations, that don’t have to be in similar industry. Applications for membership are currently being accepted. To become part of the SFO consortium the business should be located in the South Okanagan.

According to Arsenault, the innovation and manufacturing sector in Penticton is “strong and robust.” He sees the SFO consortium as one way industries in the community are uniting to strengthen organizations and ultimately Penticton.

“These are the kinds of connections that Economic Development looks to foster; creating win-win relationships amongst local companies in order for them to grow and expand which is very beneficial for the City of Penticton,” said Arsenault.

Jody Marshall, sustainability coach from High Performance Solutions, has been coaching and facilitating consortiums for over 10 years and is working with the SFO.

For more information about joining the SFO consortium, contact Marshall at 250-803-6924 or by email at jmarshall@hpsinc.ca.

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