There is no substitute for hard work.
— Thomas Edison
Yellowhead Wood Products is bringing together the talents of several key employees with the leadership and life-long experience of Craig Corser, company president and CEO.
Corser has provided a vision for the future that will ensure the company's strength and continued growth. Corser says the best way to motivate a talented employee group is through a convergence of everyones interests. This includes a large measure of employee profit sharing and employee ownership.
By introducing the concept of convergence between himself, customers, suppliers and employees, Corser expects to preserve a heritage of three generations of family involvement in the wood products industry. Corser's grandfather, Arthur Corser, began sawmilling in Alberta in 1919.
His father, Richard (Dick) Corser, continued with the Erith Tie Company Ltd., based at the confluence of the Erith and Embarrass Rivers, along Highway 47, between Robb and Edson, in the Canadian province of Alberta. Erith Tie Company was renamed Sundance Forest Products in 1987. In 1990, Sundance was sold to the Chinese International Trust Investment Corporation (CITIC), but ties between the Corser family and Sundance remain strong.
While Craig graduated with honours in 1979 from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in London he adds, his education truly began after university.
"I consider myself to have apprenticed under my father. The milling of wood is a family tradition. Knowledge of wood, manufacturing techniques and business ethics have passed from generation to generation."
"I was taught that the most important thing in business is not necessarily knowing what to do, but rather, knowing what not to do."
The combination of his classical education and practical experience has enabled Craig to cultivate strong business relationships with his employees, and with customers and suppliers throughout Western Canada.
"The employees are Yellowhead's most important resource. They are a quality group of individuals, and they are a treasure," he says.
That treasure is a resource Craig is willing to cultivate. Corser has not only talked the talk but also walked the walk through cultivating convergence with the employees on several different fronts. These include the development of weekly bonus and annual profit-sharing programs.
Weekly team bonuses are based upon safety, quality and productivity and provide for friendly competition within the employee group. Twenty-five per cent of the profits of Yellowhead Wood Products are directed back to the employees through the profit-sharing program.