CSCSC e-Newsletter

December 17, 2007

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Council News

CSCSC Working with TDSB in its Education/Sector Council Partnerships Project
The CSCSC has joined with the Canadian Automotive Repair and Service Council (CARS) to work with the Toronto District School Board and Lakeshore Collegiate in Etobicoke, Ont., in an education/sector council partnership, one of many currently in development. The TDSB hopes to collaborate with school boards from across Canada in this project, in order to collectively create a model that can be adapted for application anywhere in the country.
The overall Education/Sector Council Partnerships Project (ESCPP), of which the CSCSC’s budding partnership is a component, is a pilot, with funding for two years and nine critical targets:
  • To develop sustainable industry/education partnerships;
  • To embed nine HRSDC-identified essential skills in related school programs;
  • To create expanded opportunities for experiential learning by students and teachers;
  • To initiate courses and programs that are sector- and skills-focused;
  • To build students’ career awareness;
  • To enhance parental awareness of new realities;
  • To make use of classroom resources with sector applications, websites and labour market information;
  • To develop a protocol for the recognition of skills and the granting of industry-recognized certificates and credentials; and,
  • To assist with effective transitions to work or post-secondary learning.

Recognizing that it was not meeting the needs of many of its students, the TDSB set out on this project to engage the approximately 50 per cent of students who flounder under its current teaching model. In addition to struggling with their education, these students have limited awareness of career opportunities and, often, little help from parents who are equally lacking in knowledge of options open to their children. (The TDSB discovered in a focus group with parents that, on average, they know of only five per cent of the career opportunities in today’s workplace.)

Focusing on essential skills – reading text, document use, numeracy, writing, oral communication, working with others, thinking skills, computer use and continuous learning – and career awareness, the goal of the project is to develop innovative ways to engage students in high-school learning. By linking with sector councils, the TDSB aims to provide real-world information and experiences to youth as they make critical decisions about their future paths.
The CSCSC and CARS met with teachers of Lakeshore Collegiate on their November 30th PD day. The morning-long meeting was designed to introduce teachers to the concept and to gather their initial thoughts on a partnership. They are eager to explore opportunities for job-shadowing, mentoring, experiential learning, worksite visits, career fairs and more; they also expressed a hope that funding for equipment might be part of the support provided by industry partners.
A design team of teachers, school administrators, TDSB officials and sector council representatives will meet again, in February 2008, to further the process of partnership. The team will begin then to look at how to incorporate supply chain, auto-repair and essential-skills learning objectives into Lakeshore’s curriculum for the 2008/2009 school year.
In the meantime, the TDSB plans to take a group of about 15 decision-makers on a week-long Alberta tour, both to see first-hand some of the exciting innovations in learning that are taking place in that province and to begin to engage Alberta educators in the project’s longer-term goal of collaborating on a national plan for development of industry/education partnerships. 

Women in Logistics Raise a Voice

By Ruth Snowden, Governance Director of Women in Logistics, a workforce development strategy of The Logistics Institute
If you ask them, they will tell you. Women, sharing their opinions in facilitated group discussions have proved that many voices raised in unison are stronger than one. Drawn from across the country and from every level and industry in the supply chain/logistics sector, women have shared their views on everything from the issues motivating them to those that ‘keep them up at night.’
During national launch events for the Women in Logistics initiative held in the spring of 2007, over 600 participants – the vast majority female – contributed their experiences and insights in facilitated feedback group discussions. Animated discussions highlighted career opportunities and roadblocks, issues and concerns. One key element everyone was asked to share was information on the skills, knowledge and education they felt was needed to succeed in today’s supply chain/logistics sector.
That feedback has been compiled and published in a facilitated feedback summary report, available at This concise analysis of anecdotal information provides invaluable insights into the current experiences of females working in today’s supply chain/logistics sector. According to Dr. Deborah Hurst of Athabasca University’s Centre for Innovative Management and new Director of Programs for the Women in Logistics initiative, “Organizations hoping to attract and retain women in logistics and supply chain roles will benefit from the personal reflections of the women involved in this report. In addition, this information will help to inform the ongoing career development and educational opportunities for women in this field.”
Responses to the general summary question overwhelmingly indicate that women are seeking those leadership and communication skills that will help them reach the next level in their careers. Whether due to increasing complexity in the workplace, the fast pace of today’s work or diversity of culture as organizations go global, the need for soft-skills training topped the list. As to what attracted them to supply chain/logistics work in the first place – and what motivates them to stay there – women responded strongly with two words: ‘challenge’ and ‘change.’ Is it any wonder then that women are keen on further developing the soft skills that will allow them to thrive in the challenging, rapidly changing world of logistics?
Work load, negative gender bias and work/life balance are the most-significant stressors, according to the feedback. “Females are passed over for management positions” and “too many things to do, not enough time to do them” reflect the sentiments of many respondents. Not only do women compete with men for leadership positions, but respondents also spoke of a strong degree of competition with other women, possibly because of the limited number of opportunities that exist in the industry. Topping the list of enablers – those aspects of work that enabled their career success – women pointed to mentors, ‘bosses who recognize your talent, encourage and guide you,’ and the need for more female role models.
A workforce development strategy of the Logistics Institute, the Women in Logistics initiative creates processes and programs that attract, support and retain women in the supply chain/logistics sector and assists women to further develop their professional careers. Since the formation of the establishment Task Force 18 months ago, WIL has recently organized into a new working structure.

“Formalizing the Women in Logistics initiative with a national executive-committee structure will ensure a stronger voice and focused approach to providing opportunities for professional development that meet women’s needs,” says Heather Cartwright, CEO of Logixsource Consulting Ltd., and the new Chair of Women in Logistics. “With an executive team that includes Regional Directors representing six key Canadian regions, we plan to create strong, local communities of interest within a national organization,” she stated.
With a network approaching 1,000, Women in Logistics is rapidly gaining traction with women in the sector. Serving as both a platform promoting women and a forum for women to express their views, WIL has become a central communication link for women in supply chain/logistics. Strategists and human resource professionals in corporate Canada are encouraged to use the facilitated feedback summary report as a tool when designing programs and initiatives to attract and retain females in their workforce.

Attracting and Integrating Internationally Trained Professionals into Canada’s Labour Force

At a recent national stakeholder-consultation event held by the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT), it quickly became clear that the kind and scale of human resource issues we face in the supply chain are likewise a major concern in industries outside our sector. Discussions focused on the need to improve integration of skilled immigrants into the Canadian workforce in order to partially address the looming crisis related to Canada’s shortage of skilled workers.
Silvano Tocchi, Director of HRSDC’s Foreign Credential Recognition Division, noted that immigrants to Canada will account for all net labour-force growth within 10 years and all net population growth within 25 years. In spite of their growing importance to the Canadian economy, however, only 42 per cent of immigrants find full-time work in their field within two years of coming to Canada. In 2006, the unemployment rate for immigrants was 11½ per cent, more than double that for their Canadian-born counterparts.
With data such as this, foreign-credential recognition and prior-learning assessments (designed to acknowledge the skills and knowledge of internationally trained professionals (ITPs) in both the workplace and learning environments), mentoring and career-planning services, ESL and industry-specific language learning, cross-cultural training and community support have become essential activities, required to promote, among other things, Canadian competitiveness.
As the CSCSC expands the realm of its pursuits over time, expect to see increasing attention on the recruitment and integration of ITPs in the supply chain sector. As the story goes, many skilled immigrants are in Canada eking out a living driving cabs. Unless Canadian industry is successful in making better use of the existing skills and knowledge of such people (along with those of disabled and retired-at-65 Canadians, for example), its competitive position cannot fail to weaken.

Presentation Notes – “Strategic Gateways and Trade Corridors: The Challenge of Shifting International Trade,” by Professor David Gillen

Presented on November 16 as part of the CMA Canada Supply Chain Management Speaker Series at the Centre for Supply Chain Management of the School of Business & Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University
Professor David Gillen is Vancouver International Airport Professor of Transportation Policy & Management, and Director of the Centre for Transportation Studies at the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia.
Professor Gillen spoke for two hours to an audience composed mainly of fellow academics. His presentation was quick-paced and fact-filled and, since shorthand is an art I haven’t mastered, I captured much of his discussion only in snapshot notes. Hence, a brief look, in point form, at some interesting facts:
  • China has a negative trade balance with every country but the U.S., whose significant imports from China provide for an overall-positive trade balance for that country. This heavy reliance on the U.S., however, especially given its current economy, puts China in a risky position.
  • An increasing amount of manufacturing is being done in western China, from which shipment of goods by rail is much more quickly achieved westward, to Europe, than through China to its eastern ports. Poor transportation infrastructure makes for very high transportation costs in inland China. Growth in air cargo from China is expected as part of the response to these high inland-transportation costs.
  • Continuing product miniaturization will lower the number of containers shipped; it will likely also contribute to the growth in air cargo.
  • A significant number of the containers that arrive at Canada’s ports from Asia are immediately shipped onwards to the U.S., with no value-added services in that movement of goods for Canadians. Consequently, Canadian investments in those ports could be seen as an investment in American prosperity.
  • To ship from China to Canada’s Prince Rupert port requires two days’ less sailing time than to American ports further down the coast. In addition to providing cost savings related to this decrease in sailing time, Prince Rupert’s attractions include its proximity to Edmonton’s inland terminal, where empty containers can be loaded with wood, scrap metal, coal and grain, for example, for the return trip to China. Because of its huge trade imbalance with China, the U.S. returns a large number of empty containers to Asia, an expense with no return. Increasingly, raw materials such as grain, lumber, logs and scrap steel are shipped back to China in these previously empty containers; however, still fewer than 50 per cent are returned filled.
  • Because of problems getting increasingly big container ships into the Port of Montreal, growth is expected at eastern-U.S. ports, with subsequent shipment of goods by rail. Shipments through the Great Lakes, although larger than those by rail, take longer to arrive at their destinations and, consequently, may cost more than smaller rail shipments.
  • Only 63 per cent of transpacific container vessels arrive on time at their scheduled port calls. There are currently no incentives for shippers to leave on time in order to deliver to North American ports on time, or to inform ports when they expect to be late, which would allow the ports to use the docks for other ships in the meantime. In Australia, incentives, including a slot-reservation system, have created real efficiencies.
  • Information about shipments that emanates from the use of RFID technology could be shared by shippers and wholesalers with the ports to enhance efficiencies.
  • Gateways are alliances through which both upstream and downstream agents benefit. They integrate infrastructure, service, information and human capital. Their economics of scale reduce transaction and logistics costs, and their reliability and consistent service reduce risk, creating a willingness in partners to co-invest in the network. Gateways are a facilitator in the global supply chain, increasing productivity by expanding markets, lowering costs and allocating risk optimally.
  • Recommended reading: The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, by Marc Levinson.

Professor Gillen's presentation can be seen on WLU's Centre for Supply Chain Management website. Information about Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative is available at

Getting Past the “So What?”

Addressing the Audience’s “What’s in it for Me?” Concern
Fourth in a Series
By Chris Irwin, MBA
Sr. Consultant, Ignite Excellence
Now-deceased Irish politician, Charles Haughey, is credited with the quote, “Deep down, I am a very shallow person.” This mind-set may become highly visible in your listeners when your plan for change comes face to face with their status quo inertia. When you’re asking people to change their behaviours, be prepared to answer the self-serving question – whether it’s spoken or not – “So what?”.
The “So What?” Litmus Test
Try this out: think of what you want someone to do, and go through the dialogue of an ad nauseam return of “so what?” Here is an example:
Project Lead: “Hi there. I am going to need you to adopt a new system of reporting for this stage of the manufacturing process.”
Emboldened Line Worker (helping to make a point): “So what?”
PL: “Well, it will give us more information about the process.”
ELW: “So what?”
PL: “We can compare that with other areas in this plant and in our other locations.”
ELW: “So what?”
PL: “We will get better information and be able to make better decisions.”
ELW: “So what?”
PL: “We can run a more-efficient operation and cut costs.”
ELW: “So what?”
PL (thinking of how to stop this line of questioning NOW!): “We will keep margins in face of stiff competition and be able to keep you on staff, and before you ask ‘so what?,’ this means:
  • you can continue to earn a living;
  • you can spend your time on high-value-add tasks;
  • you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that the company is keeping up with the changing landscape; and
  • you can derive a certain amount of pride from being part of the change.”

These conversations find a natural end when you talk to people about how they can Make Money, Save Money and Save Time. There is also a lot to be said for the benefits of such feel-good conditions as Peace of Mind and a bit of ego-driven Enhanced Status.

So what?
If you keep in mind how the other party can “selfishly benefit” from doing what you want them to do, it can make for a more-persuasive communication. You may find your ideas getting through faster, which could…save you some time, make you feel important, etc., etc.
Happy Holidays and Merry Influencing!
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

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas – to those who celebrate it! – and best wishes to all for happy holidays.
The CSCSC office will be closed from noon EST on Monday, December 24 until 9:00 am on Wednesday, January 2.

Can You Help?

Two Aberdeen Group Studies: Contribute and Receive Complimentary Reports
Research on P-Cards
Amit Gupta, a Research Analyst in the Global Supply Management practice of Aberdeen Group, is looking for input to a study on purchasing cards (commonly referred to as p-cards), which he is conducting in order to understand the various touch points, bottlenecks and timelines for stakeholders, including implementation teams, card-issuing banks, suppliers and end-users of a p-card implementation project. The research will provide actionable recommendations to simplify the implementation process and expand p-card usage to a greater number of categories, end-users and suppliers.
If you have experience with p-cards and contribute to the study by completing a 10-minute survey, Aberdeen will send you, in return, a complimentary copy of the following two reports, each priced at US$399:
  • The Purchasing Card Benchmark – August 2007
  • Global Commercial Payment Cards – April 2007

Additionally, you will receive a full, complimentary copy of the report related to this research upon publication.

Information about all survey respondents will be held strictly confidential.
If you have any questions about the study or the survey, which closes on December 21, contact Amit at
Supply Chain Executive's Strategic Agenda Study
Aberdeen’s research of 210 enterprises in early 2007 found that supply chain executives were embracing new approaches and priorities for their supply chain technology roadmap. This new report will examine the changes that companies made in 2007 and the extent to which their goals were realized. In addition, it will identify the key agenda items for 2008 for supply chain executives.
The aim of the report is to identify best practices in the following areas:
  • Risk management
  • Avoiding grey-market losses
  • Supply chain responsiveness
  • Corporate social responsibilities and green initiatives
  • Centralization of supply chain organizations
  • Designing for supply chains

Each respondent who answers the survey will receive a complimentary full copy of the report containing this study's results (a $399 value). Individual responses will be kept strictly confidential and data will only be used in aggregate.

Link here to complete the survey.
Niagara to GTA Corridor Planning and Environmental Assessment Study: Looking for input to identify transportation problems and opportunities
At this stage in this study, current conditions and future trends are the focus. The study team is looking for input on the elements of the existing transportation system that affect the operations of your business and your insights into what improvements could be made. Find information about the study at
To complete the questionnaire, before December 21, click here. To log in, use:
User name: ngta
Password: pass
Your insights will become part of the public record and will be documented in the "Area Transportation System Problems and Opportunities" report.
Help to make Ontario provincial decision makers aware of your interests and ideas around transportation-system improvements.
Wanted: Mentors and Community-minded Employers in Brampton and Mississauga, Ont.
Opportunities Unlimited (OUL) is an internship and mentoring program of Youth in Motion, designed to help young people at risk (e.g., single parents, early school leavers, new immigrants, Ontario Works recipients) to develop employability skills through in-class training, a paid work placement and the support of a mentor. More than 80 per cent of participants successfully return to school or enter the workforce with the help of the program’s mentors and employers.
OUL is now seeking:
  • mentors who will act as job coaches; and
  • community-minded employers in the Peel area who are interested in providing a six-month, full-time employment placement.

Participants’ minimum-wage salaries are paid by Service Canada. There is no cost to employers.

For more program information, visit and click on Opportunities Unlimited or contact Program Coordinator Hilda Cupeta, at 905-455-5741 or

Recruitment Opportunities

Recruit from qualified college and university candidates for full-time, part-time, contract, internship and summer positions. Reduce your recruitment time, effort and costs by meeting many potential employees in one place. Promote your organization on campus to thousands of students at a time.

Durham College and University of Ontario Institute of Technology – Oshawa, Ont., February 13. Registration fee: before December 31 – $300; after December 31 – $400. Guidebook profiles are guaranteed if received by January 18. Click here for more information and to register.

University of Windsor and St. Clair College – Windsor, Ont., January 29. Registration fee: $270 (standard package) or $375 (premium package). To ensure your inclusion in the e-guidebook, register before January 4, 2008. Click here for more information and to register.

University of Guelph, University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, Conestoga College (Partnerships for Employment) – Waterloo, Ont., February 6. Registration fee: $715. Deadline for inclusion in the printed version of the employer guidebook is January 11. Click here for more information and to register.

When You Have a Few Minutes...

...have a look at "Supply Chain Movie," a fun and engaging recruitment video for Grant MacEwan College's Bachelor of Applied International Business and Supply Chain Management degree program. It takes a while to load (you might have time to get a coffee after you link to the page!), but it's worth waiting for.

Coming Events

Canadian International Freight Forwarding Association: Air Cargo Security Training Programs, Toronto: January 17, February 12; Montreal: January 31, February 27

The Conference Board of Canada: National Career Development and Workforce Learning Event, January 21 to 23, 2008, Toronto, Ont.

The Retail Bulletin: Responsible Retailing Summit 2008, January 30 to 31, 2008, London, England

SAP: Logistics and Supply Chain Management 2008, February 13 to 15: Nice, France; February 25 to 27, Orlando, Florida

eyefortransport: Green Transportation & Logistics World Summit, February 19 to 21, 2008, Zurich, Switzerland

Institute of Business Forecasting: Supply Chain Forecasting & Planning Conference, February 24 to 26, 2008, Phoenix, Arizona

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

Logility: Connections 2008: Saddle Up for Supply Chain Success, May 14 to 16, 2008, San Antonio, Texas

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

AMR Research: Supply Chain Executive Conference: The Changing Global Landscape, May 28 to 30, 2008, Scottsdale, Arizona

Forum for International Trade Training: National Conference – Canada on Top: Currency, Competencies and Competitiveness, June 1 to 2, 2008, Ottawa, Ont.

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