Path to Productivity Unclear -- Experts Discuss New Challenge for SMEs -- Conference will provide guidance in the productivity economy
April 28, 2008

OTTAWA, April 28 2008 – To guarantee prosperity, Canadian organizations must embrace an economy based on innovation in service sector productivity. To provide the necessary guidance, a number of industry experts including leading small and medium manufacturers will engage in a unique knowledge exchange with services firms at a conference on May 27th in Toronto.

The conference, “Finding the NEW Productivity Path”, is of special interest to executives in SME companies, according to Joanne Haywood, vice president, Marketing Services at IDC. “The Small and Medium Enterprises are the companies locked in the fiercest struggle for productivity growth,” said Ms. Haywood. “They are lean enterprises that feel the immediate pressures of a competitive global economy. They literally have to have the best productivity in the world, because the service sector tends to be a borderless global battleground."

Claude Legrand, Managing Partner of Ideaction, adds: “Canada’s economy is a service economy -- you might call it a ‘conceptual economy’ in contrast to the goods-producing economy. Services are responsible for 70% of our GDP and 76% of our employment. The top ten industries with the most dramatic salary growth in the U.S. are all in the service sector. And the importance of the service sector will only continue to grow, as our aging population creates new demands for new services. In addition, the future of manufacturing will be strongly influenced by service innovation. How you sell, how you manage your human resources, how you add services to your product, all will be critical to the success of manufacturing organizations.”

“Although three-quarters of our wealth is now created in the service economy, the process of improving productivity in the service sector is poorly understood, poorly defined and difficult to measure, unlike in the industrial economy” said Mr. Legrand. “How, given these difficulties, can an SME grow?"

"Clearly mid-market business leaders need their organizations to perform well, with consistent growth and strengthening profits. Getting to this end goal requires leadership, to make the necessary strategic decisions to transform business processes and operations, said Robert Torok, Executive Consultant, IBM Global Services. It's not an easy road during a turbulent economic time, but with the right roadmap in place, sustained growth can be effectively achieved."

Executives will share their answers to the problem in a Roundtable format, featuring a panel of experts including:

  • VP, The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
  • Director, Systems Operations, CNIB
  • VP, Technology Group, IDC Canada
  • Director SMB & Channels, IDC Canada
  • Executive Consultant, IBM Global Services
  • Vice President, Systems and Technology, McGregor Industries

Together with 60 of their peers, the CFO and CEO executives will meet to share strategies at the executive roundtable on Tues. May 27th, 2008, in Ted Rogers School of Management Ryerson University Toronto.

The event is sponsored by IBM Canada, in association with IDC Canada and the Ted Rogers School of Management Ryerson University. Partners include the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance.

The half-day executive roundtable is free for senior executives. It gives executives an opportunity to share views on looming issues, and listen to peer discussions about what works and what doesn’t work.

Powered by the Access Group the event takes place in Toronto on Tues. May 27, 2008. RSVP NOW by sending your contact information to or by calling us at (416) 629-7924.

For full details view the event invitation