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AWMAC releases its Fall 2020 COVID-19 Survey results

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The Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada just released its Fall 2020 COVID-19 Survey results.
Designed to take the pulse of the industry and its members, AWMAC's survey offers a remarkable snapshot of how companies across the country are faring during the pandemic.

Out of a total of 93 respondents:
- 26.14% were from Ontario
- 18.18% were from British Columbia
- 14.77% were from Southern Alberta
- 13.64% were from Atlantic Canada
- 11.36% were from Northern Alberta
- 9.09% were from Saskatchewan
- 4.55% were from Manitoba
- 2.27% were from Quebec

Here are the survey results:

Has your business been directly impacted financially due to COVID-19 related shutdowns or the economy in your region?

- 72.73% answered yes
- 22.73% answered no
- 4.55% were unsure

Comments summary:
- 30 to 50 percent reduction in sales
- Large backlogs of orders in the supply chain
- Large slowdown in work
- Less corporate projects in places such as Toronto
- Alberta economy has been hit hard by COVID-19

There was a consensus that many projects and contracts were cancelled outright, with many members commenting that more layoffs are forthcoming due to the ripple effect the shutdowns have (and continue to have) on the woodworking industry.

Have you had to layoff staff since COVID-19?
- 57% said yes
- 43% said no.

Do you anticipate you will have to layoff staff in the coming 6 months?
13.95% answered yes
- 50% answered no
- 36.05% were unsure

To those that answered "yes" to having to layoff staff, we asked them:
"If you had to lay off staff, how have you managed to keep up with projects with a reduced workforce?"

Overall, most respondents kept the remaining staff busy with projects by diversifying their jobs. In addition, some noted that they:
- Worked "leaner" while others made do with the staff on hand
- Have now re-hired staff, although projects are still light
- Worked "smarter"
A minority responded by saying that overall, they were unaffected by a small reduction in staffing loads.

How much longer can you continue in operation?
- 3.85% said weeks
- 38.46% said months
- 57.69% said one year

In addition, 83.91% said that none of their staff quit due to safety concerns, with 16.09% replying they had staff leave over COVID-19 concerns.

Has your business participated in the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Program?
- 62.79% said yes
- 37.21% said no

When asked if they will have to close shop or layoff staff once CEWS ends, 85.06% answered no, with 14.94% answering yes.

Workplace Safety
- 47.67% said they did implement additional COVID-19 measures above what the government ordered, with 52.33% saying they did not.
- 80. 46% said that extra PPE was not a significant financial burden to their business, with 19.54% answering that it was.

As case numbers rise in certain parts of the country, have you implemented new safety measures at all?
- 55.17% said yes
- 44.83% said no

Comments summary:
- Masks required when not at desk / masks required all day
- No admittance into the office or shop without an appointment
- No travel by sales team
- Office staff working from home
- PPE required
- Split shifts for social distancing
- Disinfecting work surfaces/machines
- Weekly COVID screening and temperature readings.

Has your business experienced supply chain issues?
- 58.14% said yes
- 41.86% said no

Comments summary:
- Some overseas production delivery times are longer
- Increased material cost
- Long lead times
- Lack of some products on hand / stocking less
- Slower to produce due to staff lay offs
- Lumber and metal shortages
- Factory shutdowns

What is your main concern moving forward regarding the woodworking industry in your region?

Comments summary:
- The oil and gas industry in Alberta
- Lack of work / reduction in the number of projects being tendered
- Price increase and lack of supplies
- Lack of stable, experienced, and reliable staff
- Keeping up with current workload
- Mandated shutdowns
- Safety standards and practices

 AWMAC thanks all those who took the time to complete our survey.
“Your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions play a significant role in identifying opportunities to improve and grow AWMAC and better support you as an AWMAC member."

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