CSCSC e-Newsletter

February 21, 2008

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Council News

February 1 Board Meeting
The Council's Board of Directors met in Mississauga on February 1, a particularly snowy day in the Toronto area. That 13 people made it in person to the meeting that day, from cities across Canada – with three more joining by conference call – is certainly a testament to the commitment of our Board members and the organizations they represent.
This was a meeting for Board members only, unlike most of our Board meetings, to which representatives of other stakeholder groups are invited. The smaller size of the group promoted discussion, on topics related to governance and membership, succession planning, communications and project proposals.
An important outcome of the meeting is the establishment of a new, yet-to-be-named association-engagement committee that will look at the role of the sector's associations in the Council and ways to involve them in the Council's work and structure. Several Board members volunteered to set up the committee; they are looking for other volunteers to participate in their efforts. If you are interested in joining this new committee, please contact Kevin Maynard, at or 905-897-6700.
Website Resources
Want to keep tabs on coming events? Visit our up-to-date online events listing.
Need to find information about associations relevant to the sector? Publications? Go to our Resources page.

Accessing Current Labour Market Information for the Supply Chain Sector

A key activity of the Council is the provision of useful, reliable and current labour market information for use by individuals and organizations (firms, institutions and professional associations) within our sector. We are frequently queried by firms on labour availability for specific occupations, like Materials Handlers, or asked about compensation rates for those occupations. Similarly, we get a host of questions from individuals searching for career opportunities. For example, take the case of “ Rajiv,” interested in pursuing his career in transportation. Specifically, he was interested in data for a dispatcher (NOC 1475). He asks, “ Is the growth rate for this occupation above the national average? What is the national salary average? How does this compare with other occupations? And how does the rate in the GTA compare with other locations for this occupation? What post-secondary education are employers after? And, finally, after dispatching, what is next?”

The Council has been working to provide an easy access to solutions to questions such as these. Phases one and two of our LMI project should be of assistance. An update of occupational data will be provided as part of the solution…but we are not there yet.

As we work to integrate solutions into our website and projects, we can access helpful information at Working in Canada, part of the Going to Canada portal developed by the Federal Government. This site, found at, provides the answers to most of “Rajiv’s” questions. And, although designed to assist newcomers to this country, it has valuable labour market information that can assist us all.

To access the site, click on the link above and then on the red “Start” button found in the middle of the page. Next, enter the occupation for which you want labour market information. You can simply enter the NOC code, if you know it (NOC 1475 for dispatcher, in this example) or find the NOC code for any of the 26 occupations in the supply chain sector from our fact sheet and enter that information, or you can type in the job title or occupation that you are looking for. If you use an NOC code, you will be asked if the job title accurately describes the occupation for which you're searching. If it does, click on “continue." If not, use the list that appears to select from similar occupations.

Next, select the part of the country for which you want LMI. You can do this by either clicking on the map or using the scroll feature to choose the province or territory. Next, click on Area, and a report will be generated that provides generic information about your chosen occupation and area.

The report allows the user to access specific labour market information derived from government sources, where available. To include this data in your search, simply click on the “+ expand” button next to any of the categories in which you want to access current information. You can select from:
  • Main Duties
  • Jobs and Skills Requirements
  • Wages
  • Outlooks and Prospects
  • Training Opportunities
  • Associations and Unions
  • Language Assessment
  • Other Information

The first four items are those that contain the answers to the type of questions about labour market information most often received at the Council.

We urge you to take a look at this comprehensive site, which begins to unravel the complexities of LMI data; it is comprehensive and, at the same time, specific. We are working to integrate this information into our LMI processes and, more seamlessly, into our website. Share your feedback with us, and if you are interested in becoming a member of our Labour Market Information Working Group, please contact us. For further information on the Council’s LMI project, please visit

Servicing the Supply Chain

Try this: think of all the things about your favourite restaurant that you really like. Be thorough and make sure to focus on both the service and the product. Talk to two other people about the same place, and you will notice that the mix of product and service preferences can vary widely. And, the mix can change over time. Great service can compensate for mediocre food; continued poor service, however, brings more scrutiny to even the highest-quality food.
Every job encompasses this same combination: what you do (your "product") and how you do it (your "service").
The labour market information that the Council is now making available gives valuable insight to employers and employees (both current and prospective) as to what jobs will be required and where gaps are likely to occur. As labour shortages loom, both employers and employees can make use of the "service" element to ensure that their respective "product" is seen in the best-possible light.
Servicing your workforce
Whether in logistics, warehousing, transportation, inventory control, purchasing or any other supply chain area, each function fulfills a vital service to the organization, directly or indirectly. Recognition and inclusion in the wider business story can give people at all levels of the organization increased buy-in to the corporate mandate. Some may not care: they are not looking for that kind of service. Others will relish the information and appreciate being involved.
Dissemination of information takes different forms and is important in executing good service. Corporate messages must align with the informal communication channels from managers, supervisors and on down the line. These communication channels quickly dry up if they are one way, so companies – and their people – have to listen well, too.
Servicing your workplace
Daily contact with others is where service begins and ends. Treating others in the company as clients strengthens the interdependence that allows for efficiencies in the process. Indirectly, your job will also affect different links in the value chain. These links tend to become more visible when unscheduled activities occur (or when "fires" erupt). These situations often provide opportunities to create more value through service that we provide in communicating necessary information. Out-of-the-norm situations give unique glimpses into related areas up, down and across the organizational chart. Use these as opportunities to provide service.
Parting words
When we think about "customer service," we often think of a face or, at least, a voice on the phone. Increasingly, we have opportunities to provide value-added service in communicating information by electronic means, either sent (e.g., e-mail reporting) or stored (e.g., recording data in the system).
Companies and individuals can embrace communication as a forum for fostering customer service. The idea of providing "service" to employees and employers ensures that the importance of the role is fully recognized. This becomes increasingly important for both parties when workforce gaps emerge.
Parting words to employees: Service your way to success!
Parting words to employers: Ignite Excellence can help with the cultural shift to internal customer service. You are more than welcome to become a customer of ours...
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

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association
Ruth Snowden has been appointed Executive Director of CIFFA, effective March 11. She brings a diverse background of leadership, industry and association experience to CIFFA. During her long and varied career in freight forwarding, she has filled several senior sales, management and executive positions – always with CIFFA member companies. Ms. Snowden has helped hundreds of clients serve customers across borders and around the globe. She has been actively engaged with CIFFA for many years, first as a volunteer Director of Education for the Central Region and, more recently, in a consulting capacity. A principal in her own company for the past four years, Ruth remains committed to “leading individuals and organizations to success.”
“CIFFA is a great association,” Ms. Snowden said, “and I am looking forward to working with members and the employee team to make it even stronger. Freight forwarders need to speak in a united voice with various government and regulatory bodies, particularly during this time of rapid change. Equally important is CIFFA’s mandate of ensuring that employees of our member companies have access to the education and training they need to succeed in today’s global supply chains.”
Ms. Snowden has a BA from the University of Toronto’s Trinity College. She has also earned certification as a Professional Logistician (P. Log) from the Logistics Institute. She has taught hundreds of adult learners and is a frequent guest speaker at industry events. In her community, Ms. Snowden took a leadership role on the task force to launch the Women in Logistics initiative, where she continues to serve as a Director.
For more information, contact Maureen Jobin, CIFFA's Communications Officer, at or 416-234-5100, ext. 229.


The Workplace Institute, which provides strategic planning, policy development, consulting, training, education and research relating to the mature workforce, would like to know if your company is taking novel approaches to attracting and retaining older workers. Applications are being accepted until June 1 for this year's Best Employers Award for 50 Plus Canadians™. Winners will be announced at the 2008 Summit on the Mature Workforce on November 5, 2008 in Calgary. Click here for more information.

Can You Help?

Volunteers Needed
Skills Canada – Ontario is looking for volunteers to help youth explore career opportunities in the skilled trades and technologies, and to provide experiential learning opportunities to both elementary and high-school students across the province. If you'd like to consider helping, click here for more information.
Aberdeen Studies
Participate in either of the following studies to receive a free copy of the resulting research report:
  • Data Management for Business Intellligence: this report will investigate the strategies, capabilities and supporting technologies that best-in-class companies are employing to alleviate building pressures caused by rising data volumes and complexity; to be published on April 1, 2008.
  • Recruitment Process Outsourcing: a study of companies that are using external RPO providers; to be published in March 2008.

Hire a Work-experience Student from Mount Royal College

Students in the supply chain management program at Mount Royal College in Calgary are prepared to contribute to your workplace from May to August 2008.

The students in the College’s four-year applied degree program are required to complete two paid, four-month work terms as part of their education. Through the program, these students acquire knowledge in:
  • strategic sourcing
  • production planning
  • logistics management
  • purchasing
  • inventory management
  • materials handling
  • transportation
  • customer relations
  • enterprise resource planning
  • physical distribution
  • global logistics and trade
  • information systems
  • e-business
  • quality management
The College offers businesses cost-free recruiting. They will:
  • Assist, when necessary, in the creation of a job description
  • Advertise available positions to qualified supply chain management work-experience students
  • Collect and forward résumé packages to businesses
  • Arrange interview times, contact short-listed candidates, and provide complimentary interview space
For on-line job posting, click here.
To contact Work Experience Coordinator Jennifer Sainz, call 403-440-6471 or e-mail

Coming Events

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

SAP, Logistics and Supply Chain Management 2008, February 25 to 27, Orlando, Florida

International Quality & Productivity Center, 6th Annual Cold Chain Management and Temperature Control Summit, February 25 to 27, Toronto, Ont.
American Business Conferences, Carbon Footprint Consumer Products Summit, February 26 and 27, 2008, San Francisco, Calif.
Canadian Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada, Supply Chain Career Strategies, February 27, 2008, Toronto, Ont.
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Air Cargo Security Training Program, February 27, Montreal, Que.
IE Canada, The Future of First-Cost & 9801: Impacts on US Customs Duties, February 27, 2008, Montreal, Que.
Canada Border Services Agency, in association with Ontario Division of the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers and Association of International Customs and Border Agencies
The Harmonized System of Classification
February 27 and 28, 2008, Cambridge, Ont.
The North American Free Trade Agreement
March 5 and 6, 2008, Cambridge, Ont.
March 19, 2008, Burlington, Ont.
March 20, 2008, Cambridge, Ont.
March 26, 2008, Niagara Falls, Ont.

Women in Logistics, Open House, March 3, 2008, Mississauga, Ont.
International Air Transport Association, World Cargo Symposium 2008, March 3 to 6, Rome, Italy
IE Canada – Quebec Chapter, Your Customs Broker: A User's Manual, March 12, 2008, Montreal, Que.
Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Lean for the Supply Chain, March 12 to 13, 2008, San Jose, Calif.
Women in Logistics – Calgary, Speaker Brenda Fischer oversaw the design and construction of the new Alberta Children's Hospital and the move of patients to that facility, March 13, 2008, Calgary, Alta.
IndustryWeek, The Mobile Supply Chain: A Tool to Fight Thin Margins and Rising Costs, March 25, 2008, Internet broadcast

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, 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, Toronto, Ont.

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