Published on : Monday, September 9, 2019
“A Leap of Faith” an iconic concept, to be discussed at WMS Canada by the contemporary kitchen cabinets maker, Miralis from St.-Anaclet, Quebec on amazing transformation of wooden robots. President and CEO Daniel Drapeau will discuss on the brand’s robotization, branding and taking ‘a leap of faith’ in manufacturing contemporary kitchen cabinets at the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo (WMS). Drapeau will present this interesting topic at WMS luncheon keynote on November 1, on the topic, “A Leap of Faith: How Bold Decisions Can Make All the Difference.” Interested participants will get a rare opportunity to experience the latest innovations from the market experts and professionals at WMS.
“I want to explain to the audience that sometimes you have to trust your gut to improve your business. Even though making changes might be risky, doing nothing can be even more risky,” said Drapeau, he further added ”I know for a fact if we had not done most of the moves we made, we would not be alive anymore. The company would have died. The debt was too high, the economy was bad and this industry is very competitive so you have to differentiate yourself. That is one of the messages that I will share.”
Taking leaps of faith
During the recession in 2009, Drapeau along with four other employees invested in Miralis. “That was our first leap of faith because while the business was good the economy was bad. We knew it had to be reinvented in some ways. The business was focused on manufacturing wood components for cabinetmakers but we decided there was not much room for innovation selling raw components. So, we took another leap of faith. We made the decision to switch the core of our business 180 degrees by transitioning from being a component supplier to becoming a trendy European-style kitchen cabinet manufacturer.”
Since 2009 Miralis came a long way under the leadership of Drapeau. The company experienced growth and has been recognized by Deloite as one of the Best Managed Companies in Canada. Annual sales have also increased rapidly and employment increased from 120 to 300 in the past decade. Drapeau noted that substantial investments in technology and attention to branding have factored into the company’s success.
Drapeau concluded, “We worked a lot on branding,” Drapeau said. There was no branding at all when we were a component business. We created the branding for our kitchen cabinet business, including working with kitchen cabinet influencers and TV shows. Now we also have billboards and things like that.” He further added on about taking the leap of faith into robotics, “we are preparing for the future.” “Right now, for the short term, we don’t necessarily need to do this. But for the future I believe that it will be needed and it is good to start now. It is really tough to program those robots and create all of the mechanics around them to be able to do what humans are doing. At the same time those people that the robots replace are being moved to other positions of the plant where the work is much more fun for them.”