CSCSC e-Newsletter

October 25, 2007

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Internationally Trained Individuals (ITIs)

86,000 people per year! That daunting figure is the estimate of the gap between the supply (people available for jobs in our sector) and demand (the number of vacancies in our sector due to continued growth, attrition and retirements). Where are we going to get the people to fill that gap, especially given the demand from other sectors where occupations are understood and familiar?

The Council sees this as both a challenge and an opportunity that will require implementation of a multi-pronged approach aimed at several key target markets to attract, retain and integrate new employees into our organizations.

One such target market is the internationally trained individual, or the newcomer to Canada. It is estimated that newcomers will comprise one of the few sources of population increases in the near future. Our sector, dependent on global relationships, could utilize the skills, knowledge and experience (both culturally and linguistically) of newcomers and ITIs in helping to fill the gaps caused by Canada’s current demographic patterns.

The Council has been working with The Alliance of Sector Councils (TASC) to promote this vibrant market to all  sectors. On November 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., TASC will hold a workshop on “FCR Essentials” at SCM in Mississauga, Ont. This workshop will explore how FCR issues affect industries and identify practical action that sector councils can undertake. Planned topics for panel presentations and discussions include:
  • Why is FCR important?
  • How can internationally trained workers be effectively integrated into the workforce?
  • An update on government programs

The session will showcase some initiatives that have been undertaken within our sector by settlement agencies, collaboratives and leading firms. If you are interested in participating, contact the Council for a registration form. There is no cost for this workshop!

In addition to our work on TASC initiatives, we have also gathered a number of best practices that will be used in developing a strategy for the Council. To view these initiatives visit the following sites:
  • Government of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program – A short-term (two-year) placement of a foreign worker to assist a firm in hiring an individual for a specific job. Requires proof of vacancy, and linkages to prospective candidates. Process also requires a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) to validate the challenge in finding a person to the fill the job.
  • Foreign Credentials Referral Office – This Federal initiative helps to connect newcomers to information to assist them on their journey to successful community and workforce integration. The FCRO also provides funding for programs that help to accomplish that goal.
  • CASIP – A GTA-based collaborative of member agencies that supports employers with services such as free job-posting services, pre-screened candidates to meet hiring needs and placement, mentorship and internship opportunities.
  • Hire Immigrants.ca – This site identifies challenges and explores opportunities for employers to enhance their businesses through the talents of skilled immigrants. It shares practices of employers already down this path, and presents strategies to include skilled immigrants in Canadian offices, boardrooms, laboratories and work floors.

If you or your firm is interested in finding out more about a sector-wide strategy to utilize this key target group in helping to solve our labour challenge, please contact Kevin Maynard at the Council office, at 905-897-6700, 1-866-616-3468 or kmaynard@supplychaincanada.org.

 

Council News

New Roles for Council ED
Representing the CSCSC, Executive Director Kevin Maynard has taken on two new roles. He is now a member of the Board of Directors of The Alliance of Sector Councils (www.councils.org), as well as Chairman of TASC’s Working Group on Post-Secondary Education. TASC is a coordinating body of 32 sector councils, seven associate members and two partner organizations. Among its other responsibilities, TASC communicates and promotes the value of the sector council approach to human resource development.
 
Kevin is also now a member of the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) Industry Review Panel for the revision of content in its FITTskills course, Global Supply Chain Management. FITTskills courses are taken by students working toward a Certified International Trade Professional designation.
 
Participation in Job Fairs Provides Exposure for the Supply Chain Sector
The Council and the sector's pillar associations have worked together in recent weeks to promote the supply chain as an area of opportunity for job seekers.
 
The National Job Fair & Training Expo, held in Toronto on September 25 and 26, attracted 8,300 attendees. Volunteers from the sector’s pillar associations – both board members and staff – manned the booth for the two days. After the event, those volunteers provided invaluable feedback about the show and how to improve the messaging at our booth. All participants agreed that such events provide a superb forum to disseminate information to the public about the supply chain.
 
In Waterloo, Ont., on September 26, the Council participated in the Partnerships For Employment job fair, a show for students and alumni of Conestoga College, University of Guelph, University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University.
 
In mid-November, the Council will promote the sector at “Destination…Success 2007,” a youth career fair organized by the Grand Erie Training and Adjustment Board of Brantford, Ont. There we’ll provide a hands-on activity to engage visitors and more effectively promote the sector to the fair’s young audience.
  
Tour of Supply Chain Management Inc. by Fujitsu Chugoku Systems Limited Facilitated by Council
A delegation from Fujitsu Chugoku Systems, a Japanese provider of such services as system consulting and integration, security, software development and outsourcing, toured SCM’s Toronto distribution centre on October 24, after the Japan Travel Bureau International (JTBI) contacted the Council for assistance. The JTBI was organizing a program of tours for the Fujitsu group, and was very interested to include a supply chain facility. The Council put the JTBI in touch with SCM’s General Manager, Richard Schneider.
 
Rob Doran and Emilio Cicero, SCM’s Operations Managers, guided the group of 15 visitors through the facility, with the help of a Japanese translator.
 

Getting the Set-up Right: The Importance of Tailoring Your Message to Your Listener's Style of Communicating

Second in a Series
By Chris Irwin, MBA
Sr. Consultant, Ignite Excellence

As described in the Council’s Sector Study, realizing efficiencies often requires individuals to change their approaches to sharing information. Implementation of this kind of change increases in difficulty when people are not fully “bought in.” Buy-in to any message stems directly from an individual’s beliefs and motivations. (See the September newsletter for how individual perceptions are largely shaped by our personal past experiences.) How well an individual receives particular information may depend on how ready he or she is for the message. You can increase this “readiness” by understanding different styles of communication and tailoring messages appropriately.
 
Good Things Come in Fours
Numerous researchers have developed theories that classify people by their different communication styles. You may have run across thinking that categorizes people as, for example, different kinds of colours, animals or birds. Each of these concepts has its own unique features and interpretations, but all are based on the following assumptions:
  • At work, an individual will focus more on either the task at hand or his or her relationships with others (Thinking vs. Feeling);
  • An individual will also have a tendency to either control a situation or let the situation unfold on its own (Controlling vs. Easygoing);
  • The natural reaction for an individual is to focus on one of the above combinations, and that focus will be consistent over time.

Four combinations of characteristics stem from these assumptions:

  1. Thinking/Controlling: A person with this orientation is known in one model as a Driver. Stereotypically, Drivers are focused on results and make quick decisions. “Get to the point” and “don’t waste my time” are their common messages.
  2. Thinking/Easygoing: This person has an Analytical communication style and focuses more on the details of a situation than on the results. The Analytical person needs time to make a decision, because he wants to be sure that all options have been explored.
  3. Feeling/Controlling: This combination creates the Expressive communication style. Such people tend to shun the details in favour of the “big picture” or future possibilities. Their communication style is strong, like that of Drivers, but less directed.
  4. Feeling/Easygoing: This last combination produces the Amiable communicator, a very friendly person who has a difficult time being assertive. These people are most concerned with their relationships with those around them and tend to value trust more strongly than the other types do.

Strong Caveat: It’s dangerous to assume that people are as easy to figure out as this, but we do all tend toward one group. There are some important communication needs to consider in order to tailor a message to each of these groups.

Attention, Please!
We have all delivered a message that didn’t seem to arrive, whether the listener had a glazed look and followed up with, “What were you saying?” or remained silent, giving a false impression of comprehension. Distractions loom everywhere, and many are beyond our control. We cannot, for example, control the emotional distraction experienced by the employee who has come to work after having a fight with his spouse, but we can tailor a message so that it is well received by each of our communication types. A listener who is communicated to in a style other than his “preferred” method will become distracted by questions that come to mind during the interaction.
 
Imagine a foreman telling employees that the company is implementing a new process to decrease work in progress. Based on their preferred communication styles, different employees will have mental slips like this:
  • A Driver will think, “How does this affect me?”
  • The Analytical person will ponder, “Did they think to include an analysis of X because that is sure to affect the outcome in some interesting way?”
  • The Expressive will be saying, “Wow, how will this affect our operations in the West? And in Asia? Should we be rolling this out across the organization?”
  • The Amiable person is concerned with: “Why is he being so direct? Is he mad at me?”

Left unanswered, concerns such as these, which stem from varied communication needs, will reduce the ability of the receiver to actually hear the message. Controlling the “beginning” of the communication, as shown below, can eliminate these potential distractions:

  • Driver version: “I want to tell you about the new system we are implementing to decrease work in progress.”
  • Analytical version: “As you know, reducing work in progress is something that we have been looking at for a while. We’ve looked at a number of different approaches, and think we’ve come up with a change to the system that will give us the results we need. Let me tell you about it.”
  • Expressive version: “Consistent with our overriding goal to create a best-of-breed operation, we are implementing a system to reduce work in progress. It is very exciting; here is what it involves.”
  • Amiable: “How was your weekend?”

Note: Amiables do need a certain amount of small talk to be ready for a message. This can certainly be deferred if there isn’t time by saying, “I would really like to hear about your ski trip, but we will have to do that later. I need to let you know about a new process…”

Again, we can only control so much in communicating with and influencing others. One of the things that we can proactively change is how we prepare another person for a message based on their communication style. This demands gaining an appreciation of how they engage with others, and adapting to the needs of their dominant communication style. Any change that we can make in our approach can increase the effectiveness of information sharing, which can help deliver competitive advantage through the supply chain.
 
Chris Irwin is a Senior Consultant with Ignite Excellence Inc., a training and development consultancy specializing in persuasive communications. Maximizing the effectiveness of internal communication (including in a supply chain) is one of Ignite Excellence’s areas of expertise for communications-skill development. Chris can be reached at cirwin@igniteexcellence.com.
 

PMAC Launches Its New Strategic Supply Chain Management Leadership Program

In a move away from its exclusive focus on purchasing and procurement, the Purchasing Management Association of Canada has launched a new, more-comprehensive program of study, the Strategic Supply Chain Management Leadership Program.
 
PMAC's new eight-module, 36-month program looks at the full supply chain, from end to end, and was designed to produce graduates who provide "innovative strategic leadership to enterprises to achieve strategic competitiveness and a sustained competitive advantage."
 
Information about the new program can be seen on PMAC's website.
 

New Online Video Provides Answer to “What is a Supply Chain?”

Bananas: A Logistical Journey” leads the viewer on a trip along the supply chain that delivers bananas from a plantation in Central America to a Co-op grocery store in Calgary, providing information on the people and processes at each step of the journey. Users can gain some appreciation of the critical decisions that must be made by workers at each point along the trip by participating in the site’s logistical activity.
 
The Calgary Logistics Council and Alberta’s Joint Learning Initiative worked with several industry partners in the creation of this resource. Funding was provided by Alberta Employment, Immigration and Industry.
  

Coming Events

Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council, Board meeting, Guests are welcome; anyone interested in attending should contact info@supplychaincanada.org, October 26, 2007, Montreal, Que.

Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport North America (Ottawa Chapter) and The Canadian Transportation Research Forum, Future Development of NAFTA Surface Freight Transportation Infrastructure and Operations, October 26, 2007, Ottawa, Ont.

The International Economic Forum of the Americas – Toronto Forum for Global Cities, The Infrastructure Challenge: Financing and Governance, November 5, 2007, Burlington, Ont.
 
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, Highway H2O Conference, November 7 and 8, 2007, Toronto, Ont.

World Trade Center Miami, Air Cargo Americas 2007, November 7 to 9, 2007, Miami, Fla.

Osgoode Hall Law School, Professional Development Program, Intensive Course in Public Procurement, November 8 and 9, 2007, Ottawa, Ont.

CITT, Annual General Meeting, November 10, 2007, Quebec City, Que.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, Canada - US Manufacturing Trade Summit, November 13, 2007, Mississauga, Ont.
 
Institut international de logistique de Montréal, International Logistics & Transportation 2007, November 13 to 15, 2007, Dieppe, N.B.

CITT, FITT and IE Canada, Supply Chain Finance & Technology Innovations, November 21, 2007, Halifax, N.S.

IE Canada, The Customs Duty and International Trade Course, November 26 to 28, 2007, Toronto, Ont.

Warehousing Education and Research Council, WERC Annual Conference 2008, May 4 to 8, 2008, Chicago, Illinois

The International Air Cargo Association, Executive Conference and Annual General Meeting 2008, May 12 to 14, 2008, Copenhagen, Denmark

Purchasing Management Association of Canada, 83rd Annual National Conference, May 21 to 23, 2008, St. John's, Nfld.

©2018 Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council
©2018 Conseil canadien sectoriel de la chaîne d'approvisionnement
www.supplychaincanada.org