Calling itself a new voice for a new industry, The Canadian Building Suppliers’ Network (CBSN) is throwing a launch party in Toronto on Wednesday, November 20th.
CBSN intends to act as the voice of the building product and service supplier companies in Canada, offering, among other things, networking events, industry programs, education and online tools to its members.
Core services will include certification programs for Occupation Health & Safety and sustainability, an online purchasing portal and a conflict-resolution process.
Industry veterans behind CBSN
The formation of CBSN is being spearheaded by industry and association veterans Wayne Proulx and Chuck Stradling.
Stradling, CBSN chair, was executive vice-president of Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Toronto from 1999-2009 when the association had approximately 800 members. Prior to joining BOMA, he was employed at Go Transit for more than 30 years, culminating his career as director of property management.
“We listened to the industry stakeholders, suppliers, property owners/managers and enterprise companies, and we identified some very simple basics requiring attention,” Stradling said in a statement.
Stradling said improving upon those basics will heighten the quality and due diligence of contracting in Canada and advance the quality and profitability of member businesses.
Not competing with other associations
Proulx, president of the new organization, has 32 years of senior management experience in the real estate industry. From 2008 to 2010 he was the director of the BOMA Toronto’s conservation and demand management program, a position that overlapped Stradling’s employment with the association.
Proulx developed the $75-million CDM incentive program, which the Ontario government endorsed as a template for the rest of the province. He had previously been the manager of energy and environmental services at GWL Realty Advisors.
“We don’t look at it as competition (for BOMA),” Proulx said in an interview with RENX.ca. “We want to try and distinguish ourselves. We are not an association. We are a network organization.”
Proulx says the existing industry associations represent a type of real estate or a type of supplier. “There’s a need for those, but what we recognized is there’s no broad-based organization that represents all types of real estate.
“We felt there was a bit of a gap there.”
Many suppliers do business with other suppliers and they cross verticals, Proulx said. “What.our intent is, is not to compete, but to collaborate.”
Board and advisory council
A board of directors and an industry advisory council will help steer the strategic direction of the organization. The board will be formed from an array of supplier companies, with the industry advisory council chaired by CBSN’s president and made up of a formal committee of senior real estate industry representatives.
Membership is open to any company providing products and services to the building industry in Canada and comes in three tiers: national, provincial and municipal. A “Tower Club” membership is also available for real estate and enterprise head office corporations.
Proulx said CBSN’s fees are all-inclusive and will cover such things as an annual awards dinner, networking events and a half-page ad in the member directory.
Certification programs developed by the CBSN would be “‘by suppliers for suppliers,”‘ explained Proulx. All CBSN members will be engaged in achieving a level of certification. “It’s about improving the building business and the standards,” he said.
To learn more about the CBSN, GTA residents can register and attend the new organizations launch party on Nov. 20.