You’d be forgiven if building materials aren’t what come to mind when you think of ‘innovation’. For most, the word conjures up images of futuristic robots, sleek spaceships, and self-driving cars. The truth is, however, that for every Ars Technica article covering Elon Musk’s latest fever dream there are thousands of less-celebrated organizations taking great pains to create change in the face of years of industry stagnation.
This is the case for CanWel Building Materials, one of North America’s largest building materials and distribution companies. For CanWel, innovation has meant decades of delivering exceptional service, industry-leading HR policies, and executing an ambitious strategy of mergers and acquisitions.
The hard work paid off. But, 31 years into its journey, CanWel, a publicly-traded, multi-billion dollar company, found itself with a problem. Despite being a well-respected industry leader, its diversified portfolio and innovative spirit weren’t translating online. As a result, the company was having difficulty attracting a new generation of digitally-savvy talent, partners, and customers.