CSCSC e-Newsletter

November 23, 2007

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Council News

October Board Meeting
When the CSCSC Board of Directors met on October 26 in Montreal, 26 of the 29 attendees travelled from across Canada to participate. (One Board member, Maria Lindenberg, even journeyed from San Francisco, where she recently took on a new role as VP, Procurement of Chevron Global Downstream LLC.) Not only Board members were present; members of various CSCSC committees and of the Coordinating Committee of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges Supply Chain Affinity Group were also in attendance, along with several guests.
After dealing with the Council’s business through the morning and early afternoon, attendees heard from Chris Irwin – whose articles have appeared in these newsletters – as he demonstrated the importance of tailoring delivery of one’s message to the communication style and needs of the listener. Following completion of a questionnaire designed to reveal their own communication styles, some participants appeared surprised to discover that they just might communicate differently than they thought.
Board members and others at the meeting also participated in assessing the Board’s performance through its first year. Attendees completed surveys to evaluate such things as the Board’s understanding of its constituents and their concerns, its understanding and fulfillment of its key roles and responsibilities, its planning process for establishing priorities and its ability to provide policy direction for the organization, its relationship with key partner organizations, and its ability to recruit new members.
Directors are also expected to undertake a review of their own individual performances as Board members, and to discuss their thinking with Board Chairman Don Borsk. These evaluations will help members to determine whether or not they should continue to participate on the Council’s Board.

The Council’s Mission Statement
As part of its work to define the Council’s strategic plan, the Strategic Planning Committee, led by Chair Lesley Smith, VP, Supply Chain of Wal-Mart Canada, created a new mission statement for the Council: 
"The Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council brings together partners in the sector to develop solutions to the human resource challenges faced by stakeholders. Recognizing the vital role of the supply chain to Canada’s economy, the Council is committed to enhancing the sector’s ability to attract and retain workers at all levels and across the full range of functions, and to advancing the skills of those workers." 
The statement was approved by the Council’s Board of Directors at its October meeting.

TASC Roundtable with HRSDC Minister Monte Solberg
A “blog” by Andrew Cardoso, Executive Director, The Alliance of Sector Councils
The CSCSC participated, along with representatives of other sector councils, in a roundtable with Canada’s Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Monte Solberg. The CSCSC was represented by Chairman Don Borsk and Executive Director Kevin Maynard.
A word of compliments to all the TASC members who attended the Roundtable on “HR Issues in the Manufacturing Sectors” with Monte Solberg on November 16 in Toronto, especially the employers who were present from various sectors – they were phenomenal!
I happened to meet one of Solberg’s assistants at the airport on the way back to Ottawa who told me the minister was extremely pleased with the discussion, the ideas put forward and the mix of people there.
As planned, the roundtable took place following his speech to the Empire Club at the King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto. His speech focused on skills and labour shortages and included various key statistics. This will be posted shortly on his website and is worth looking at.
The one-hour roundtable, facilitated by Peter Kent of Global TV, began with short openings by Kevin Maynard, John Mavrak [Executive Director of the Council for Automotive Human Resources] and the Minister, followed by comments from industry representatives, as was planned by the Manufacturing Caucus. These included eight industry reps, selected by sector councils, who were very well prepared and made thoughtful comments on the state of the industry. Comments from the reps of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Chamber of Commerce were also useful and nicely complemented the views of the sector council reps.
This was one of the great accomplishments of the meetings, because what we had was highly credible employer reps, closely associated with sector councils, clearly articulating the HR challenges faced by the manufacturing sector. This was also the first time we were at an important table with the three major well-recognized business organizations – at our invitation, and on our agenda: the HR agenda. It is in our interests that they speak up more on these issues and, while we had something to learn from what they had to say, as well-seasoned lobby groups on manufacturing issues in general, they had much to learn from our articulate business folks.
The issues covered included:
  • the effect of the dollar on manufacturing
  • plants operating below capacity due to labour shortages
  • need for tax incentives and training rebates, using the EI fund
  • encouraging young people to consider the trades, needing a cultural shift in Canada
  • reducing regulation and paper burden
  • continuing to fund the Career Focus program due to its high success rate
  • speeding up the immigration system, especially for temporary foreign workers (TFW)
  • TFW program doesn’t work for small businesses, too costly
  • labour shortages in lower-skilled fields, as well
  • looking to older workers
  • helping with innovation
  • needing federal/provincial coordination

The issues put forward and the solutions suggested were all very real, pointed and constructive – the other major accomplishment of the meeting.

Solberg closed the meeting with sincere thanks to the people present for the thoughtful comments – he took many notes – apologized for the rush, but stressed that he had received many thoughtful suggestions of things he could be doing, and pledged to continue the dialogue. Colette Rivet [Executive Director, BioTalent Canada] made closing comments thanking the minister and deputy minister.
In my discussion with his assistant at the airport, she said they felt bad that the meeting was rushed due to his heavy schedule and said they would like to do this again early in 2008, perhaps with other representatives, too. I indicated that we have a meeting of all the councils in early February, which seemed like good timing. Stay tuned.

Launch of Peel Industry & Education Partnership

The Centre for Education & Training, an on-site trainer that serves Greater Toronto and beyond, recently launched the Peel Industry & Education Partnership, through which it plans to create a better-prepared and -educated workforce in Peel Region (the municipalities of Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga), through the collective efforts of industry, educators and service organizations. The partnership aims to ensure that:
  • youth and others have the information and experience they need to make appropriate career choices;
  • businesses are involved in creating the kind of labour force they need for future growth; and,
  • education and business work effectively together to support community and economic growth.

After providing an overview of the project and of similar partnerships across Ontario, organizers presented several speakers who offered their perspectives on the value of an education/industry partnership. Robert Doran, Operations Manager of Mississauga’s Supply Chain Management Inc., was one of those speakers, on hand to provide a business perspective on such partnerships.

Robert noted the difficulty that SCM has had in filling the 50 new full-time positions it has created this year. Many applicants for those jobs have lacked essential required skills, including basic math, for example. To combat this problem, SCM is a strong supporter of business/education partnerships, such as those in which it participates in Calgary.
SCM works with two high schools there to help raise funds for the purchase of equipment and supplies. The company also provides tours of its facility to raise awareness of supply chain management as a career option, and first-aid training to teachers and students. Furthermore, it has printed materials produced by the print shop of one of the schools. Through their participation in co-op programs, students can work on group projects at SCM.
The company also provides summer and co-op jobs to post-secondary students, benefiting the students and creating for itself a potential pool of trained employees.
SCM is also an industry member of the Calgary Logistics Council, which was established to raise the profile and public understanding of the transportation, warehousing and logistics business sector. In response to the rapid growth of Calgary’s logistics sector, the Calgary Logistics Council launched the website Careers in Logistics.
According to Robert, the business/education partnerships in which it is involved benefit both SCM – and other employers – and students. One of the less-obvious benefits to the company of participating in such partnerships is the positive light in which they cast the organization, making it known as a valued member of the community. Robert looks forward to establishing similar relationships in Mississauga through the new Peel Industry & Education Partnership.
Following Robert’s presentation, Ian Hill of The Changing Point (, recent recipient of the Learning Disabilities Community Leadership Award, presented by Harry Rosen, along with numerous other honours, spoke passionately about the need for opportunities for young people and for commitment from those “to whom much is given” to come up with innovative solutions to the growing problems faced by at-risk individuals and communities. Noting that, by 2011, the number of people leaving the workforce will match those entering it, allowing for no growth at all, Ian emphasized the need for change that would, among other things, allow people currently labelled “unemployable” to develop skills that would enable them to join the workforce. Achievement of this goal would, again, benefit both employers – who could tap into a new labour pool – and certain individuals, those who, for one reason or another, have had problems finding employment.
Ian’s closing presentation was a rallying call to action to listeners to get involved in the activities of the Peel Industry & Education Partnership. Could you…
  • volunteer time to help develop proposals or make contacts?
  • provide office or meeting space, equipment?
  • contribute to marketing and promotional activities?
  • join the Board of Directors or a steering committee?

If you’d like to participate, contact the Partnership office, at 905-949-0049, ext. 3010 or

Leveraging the “Me” Factor: Recipe for Success in Interpersonal Communication

Third in a Series
By Chris Irwin, MBA
Sr. Consultant, Ignite Excellence
Marshall McLuhan’s widely quoted but poorly understood line states: “The medium is the message.” In interpersonal communications, you become the “medium,” which means that you are the message, or, as we will see, a big part of the message.
To be done effectively, message delivery (or presentation skills), in both face-to-face and voice-to-voice situations, requires a specific set of skills. In a situation where you are expected to deliver a message, many things can contribute to the success or failure of the opportunity. We are taking for granted that, at this point, our presenter has avoided the pitfalls of gaining and maintaining attention based on how people best receive information (see October 2007 newsletter).
A number of bodies of research in North America and from around the world support the following equation: 
What You Say
+ Who You Are
+ How You Say It
= Total Influence Over the Audience 
Research suggests that “what you say” can account for less than 10 per cent of your total impact, whereas “who you are” can affect that by as much as 40 per cent. The realities of this in working life become apparent in a number of situations. Here are some mock advice-column letters to illustrate:
Notes from the Real World: 
#1 – Dear Real World:
It is the weirdest thing. We have put lots of effort into our recent Six Sigma rollout. My team and I have taken the courses, read the research, and applied all of our learnings to the company’s situation. The senior management team has bought in and I am convinced that this project is exactly the right fit for us to regain our competitive advantage by streamlining processes and reducing waste. All the right things are lining up, and I gave a little talk to put my ideas forward in one of our cross-functional team meetings. I got pretty nervous because there were about 60 of us there. Ever since then, I am getting pushback from the other project teams when I talk to them.
Can’t Get Them to Trust Me
#2 – Dear Real World:
There is a certain situation that has occurred to me at work a couple of times and I need some advice. I have been with my organization for a number of years and I certainly am able to get good insight from the line workers. Because I came out of the rank and file of the organization, I can see the world from that perspective. The insight that I add is in translating what is on the ground to the management team. On several occasions, I have brought ideas for initiatives to the senior team, and have received lukewarm response. One of my fellow directors (she came to us from a competitor’s management team) has twice brought up ideas that I had presented previously… and her ideas seem to get accepted right away. Am I missing something?
Don’t Have the Senior Team “Who Factor”
#3 – Dear Real World:
I am not sure what to do about this situation, but I am probably the only one in a position of objectivity with regard to this latest move. Much of our manufacturing has moved to China for very good reasons and the technology and process transfer has been superior. One group of components goes toward end products that are strictly sold in North America and it doesn’t make sense for that to go offshore. One of the consultants working with us on the project was adamant about “going all the way” with this switch. He has to see that this one set of production is different. How can this happen?
The Wrong Ideas Sometimes Get Through 
Who Factor
Getting and keeping a strong “who factor” can make a huge difference in communicating a message. It can give good ideas the leverage they need to move through; it can also mean that some ideas go unchallenged.
The adage that you don’t get a second chance to create a first impression holds very true in presenting. Presentations often give us an opportunity to create an impression with a wide range of individuals. Everything from how you stand, to how loud you speak, to how much you engage individuals in eye contact will give a lasting impression with the audience, and can help to give you the benefit of the doubt (or not) in everything that follows.
Those who can create a strong impression in presenting, often do so consciously. There is too much at stake to leave this kind of impression to luck. Decide upon what impression you want to create and work with yourself and others on how best to achieve it.
It is not fair, but it is simply not enough to have the right “what.”
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

Association News

At its November 10 AGM in Quebec City, CITT announced its new Board of Directors for 2007/2008. Information can be seen in the press release on CITT’s website.
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada
SCL has a new President. Robert Armstrong joins SCL with over 35 years of experience in the fields of international trade, cross-border logistics, and customs regulations and procedures. Bob has worked for both the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters Inc. and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada.
SCL Board of Directors Chairman Mike Mroczkowski is confident in the choice: “We could not have asked for a better fit. Bob has the background and vision to thrust SCL into a new chapter of growth, innovation and significance. I genuinely believe that we are opening the door to a new and exciting future for the association and its members.”
Bob can be reached at, 905-513-7300 or 1-866-456-1231.

Can You Help?

Schulich’s Strategy Field Study Program Needs You (And You’ll Benefit)
Each year, the Schulich School of Business looks for 80 to 85 organizations to participate in a business/education partnership program, its eight-month-long “Strategy Field Study” group project for students in the Schulich Masters in Business Program. Each study is conducted by a group of six to eight Schulich graduate students, with a wide range of expertise across business functions and industry sectors, as part of their final-year requirements. The student group regularly reports and consults with its faculty advisors throughout the project.
Group members undertake a detailed analysis of an organization’s core strategy and policy, then make comprehensive strategic recommendations. Through this process, they develop a thorough understanding of the environment, markets, technology and operations of an organization. They also integrate and apply knowledge and skills acquired throughout the graduate business curriculum, and further develop their ability to work productively in a team.
An organization must demonstrate significant responsibility for determining its own scale and place of operations. If the host company is a subsidiary or a division constrained in these choices, the corporate context and relationships with the parent or headquarters must be accessible for the students to study. There must be a variety of products and services offered by the prospective organization. Students may choose to study an organization as a whole or, if it is large, they may focus on a division of it that is a separate business unit.
A group of seven MBA students has approached the CSCSC for help in finding a company for its field study. Students in the group are specializing in management information systems and strategic management, supply chain management, finance and financial engineering, and marketing. If your company might be a suitable candidate to benefit from such a study, please contact the group’s representative, Monish Verma, at 647-268-7730.
For more information about this program, contact Schulich’s Strategy Study Office at 416-736-5082, or
Participation in the project allows organizations to have a direct impact on the education of future Canadian executives. It also provides a unique, cost-effective means of evaluating your organization’s core strategy and policies.
Career-fair Quiz Game: "How Well Do You Know the Supply Chain?"
The Council has created a fun, interactive quiz game for use at career fairs. We gave it a test run at "Destination...Success 2007!," a youth career fair held in Simcoe, Ont., on November 14. With some refinement, we expect this game to become a staple ingredient in our career-fair toolkit.
We could use some help, though. To engage the students and job seekers who visit our booth – and to give them a sense of the importance and range of the supply chain sector – we need more interesting and thought-provoking questions, along with two to four options for answers.
If you could spare a few minutes to develop a question or two relevant to your niche in the supply chain, we'd appreciate your input. (Please provide, at least, the correct answer and, at most, three reasonable-sounding, but incorrect, alternatives.) Please send your questions and answers to
With your help, this could become a very useful and entertaining way to educate the public about the supply chain.
Looking for Input on Another CSCSC Effort: A Brochure
How would you sum up, in a sentence or two, why you work in the supply chain sector? Why have you found it exciting, stimulating or rewarding to work in this field?
The Council is creating a brochure about the supply chain. It will look at what a supply chain is, how opportunities abound because of the current and growing shortage of skilled workers, and why employment in the sector is attractive.
We'd like to include quotations from people who find satisfaction working in the sector. Will you share your story? Send your thoughts to

HRSDC's Outlook for the Canadian Labour Market

To find out how HRSDC views the current status of and expected trends in the labour market, see its recently published "Looking-Ahead: A 10-Year Outlook for the Canadian Labour Market (2006-2015)."

Coming Events

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

RFID Journal: RFID Journal LIVE! Canada – November 26 to 28, 2007, Toronto, Ont.

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association: Law and Legal Liability: Law Programs for Non-Lawyers, Part II – November 27, 2007, Montreal, Que.

IE Canada: Workshops – Are You Compliant? Harmonized Tariff System and NAFTA
December 3: Vancouver
December 4: Calgary
December 5: Winnipeg
December 10: Kitchener
December 11: Markham
The Conference Board of Canada: National Career Development and Workforce Learning Event – January 21 to 23, 2008, Toronto, Ont.

International Air Transport Association: World Cargo Symposium 2008 – March 3 to 6, 2008, Rome, Italy

CME – Alberta Division and Alberta Employment, Immigration & Industry: National Buyer/Seller Forum – Oil Sands Opportunity Knocks: Get Your Piece of the Action! – March 25 to 27, 2008, Edmonton, Alta.

Canadian Industrial Transportation Association, Canadian Transportation & Logistics magazine and Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association: Transpo 2008: Global Trade: Is Canada Competitive? – March 26 and 27, 2008, 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.

Transportation Clubs International: "Global Challenges – SMART Solutions" 2008 Conference – September 11 to 14, 2008, Moncton, N.B.

International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations: FIATA 2008 World Congress – September 23 to 26, 2008, Vancouver, B.C.

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