The QFMA’s 2019 Convention was held from Thursday, November 7 to Saturday, November 9, 2019 at the Château-Bromont Hotel in the Eastern Townships, with the theme “Digital transformation: technology at the service of your business objectives”.
Convention-goers were able to attend conferences that provided them with a better understanding of the trends in digital transformation and helped them grasp the essentials to capitalize on these changes while keeping the human aspect at the focal point of the discussions.
In addition to the conferences, the convention schedule included a tour of Granby Industries, the welcome cocktail reception on Thursday evening, ideal for networking opportunities, and the President’s Banquet, on Friday night.
Thursday, November 7
1 p.m. – Tour of Granby Industries
Pierre Fournier, the president and CEO of Granby Industries and his staff were superb hosts to the 50 conventioneers in attendance. The North American market leader in the designing, manufacturing and distribution of steel tanks for the safe storage of combustible liquids recently moved to a new 110,000 square-foot site and now has an operating mode based on fully integrating automation into every phase of the manufacturing process. The transitions entail major challenges and the people-oriented approach that has been implemented to address these changes is highly impressive. Convention-goers were delighted by the tour, and there were even some gifts handed out at the end: tuques brandishing the company logo!
In collaboration with
6 p.m. – Welcome cocktail reception (dinner)
The Convention’s welcome cocktail reception afforded a special opportunity for networking, and during this time people were treated to some great food and engaging conversations!
The cocktail was presented by
Friday, November 8
9 a.m. – Consumer trends and differentiation strategies in the Québec furniture market
This presentation focused on the major changes in consumer behaviour, including the importance of understanding consumers’ values, the need to differentiate, the areas of differentiation – including personalization, the role of business culture and the importance of digital transformation. The conference wrapped up with an informative workshop during which the people at every table were invited to find an area of differentiation for a line of wooden toys. By Carl Boutet
10:15 a.m. – Break presented by
10:45 a.m. – Manufacturers: How can I survive the changes in the value chain?
This conference, a complement to Mr. Boulet’s, included a discussion on the costs of maintaining the status quo in the context of eroding profit margins, changes in the relationship with our partners, and a context in which the global giants refuse to negotiate and impose new standards. The value chain is in full transformation, and as result of this informative conference, it has become clearer how you can continue to hold your own by varying your activities, for example. By Marie Nicollet
Noon – Lunch presented by
2 p.m. – Online business: the essentials to make the most of it
With the help of a first-hand account of online merchant M2GO, this presentation explored the essential things you need to adapt to the changes in the buying behaviour of digital consumers and derive the most benefit from it.
Names and descriptions of products, photos, in this era in which traditional retailers also sell online, it is of utmost importance to provide all of the essential elements for an online selling presence. By Vincent Gagnon
3:30 p.m. – Human changes in the digital era
During this highly energtic conference, the businesswoman explained the four major principles through which the person, the individual, can be positioned as a veritable engine of digital transformation: continually adjust, embrace change, redefine the rules and control their environment by following the example set by obstacle course (parkour) runners! The bottom line? Be trailblazers! By Marie-Pier St-Hilaire
4:30 p.m. – A word from Mario Bouchard, Assistant Deputee Minister of the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation
We were honoured to welcome a guest speaker of considerable stature at the EIM – Mario Bouchard, the assistant deputy minister for Strategic industries and Major Economic Projects. Among the topics he addressed was the future of Investissement Québec, where changes are upcoming that will be of particular importance to businesses located outside the major centres.
4:45 p.m. – Your company’s digital maturity: where does it stand?
Christian Galarneau delivered an inspirational presentation to conventioneers, urging them to take part in a sectorial committee on labour with the collaboration of Céfrio which strives to learn about the evolution of new technology integration and their impact on your human resources.
6:30 p.m. – Aperitif
7:30 p.m. – President’s Banquet
This was a memorable event because of the performance by the aerial ballet, Les Oiseaux du Paradis, which left the conventioneers in attendance in awe of the performers’ physical and artistic talents.
Saturday, November 9
8:30 a.m. – Members’ annual general meeting and CEO summary
This marked the first annual members’ meeting for Gilles Pelletier since he assumed the QFMA’s CEO post last June. He delivered an outstanding presentation of the many projects the staff worked on during the last year and he also provided his insight for the Association’s future. Over the next year, business development will be one of the top priorities. Incidentally, at a strategic planning meeting, the QFMA’s raison-d’être was defined thusly: Unite, support and propel the industry to enhance the exposure of Québec furniture, both locally and worldwide.
11 a.m. – Inspiration conference – Change, the source of stress and happiness
Through a series of compelling and entertaining anecdotes, Ms. Charest conveyed to conventioneers to what extent changes, in every sphere of our life, are sources of stress. But these changes enable us to do things that bring great satisfaction. Ms. Charest led us to understand how you can make organizational and developments mutually rewarding, how to establish the link between our personal and professional life, and how to experience a more positive form of stress. Yes, it can be done! By Rose-Marie Charest
Thank you to all participants and we’ll see you next year!