Council Builds Capacity
As the work of the Council continues to transition from a focus on development to engagement, the need for building our own team has developed. To ensure that we can respond to the needs of all of our stakeholders as we begin work on our most recently announced projects, we have engaged two familiar faces to become members of our team.
Dale Ross, a familiar face to most in the sector, is back working with the Council as Project Coordinator for our Occupational Standards Project. Dale brings with him his experience in working with the Council on its previous projects, Phase I of both the Education and Certification and Labour Market Information projects, as well as his vast knowledge gathered over years in the sector, most recently as a member of the faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University and, prior to that, with Effem Foods. We are glad to see Dale back and look forward to working with him as the Occupational Standards Project unfolds.
The second fresh face at the Council, Beverly Myers, joins the Council as Program Manager, a pivotal position that will involve her in the development, execution and implementation of projects from the development of concepts to the launching and support of programs and services developed through those projects. Project Coordinators such as Dale will work with Bev directly. Bev will also have direct responsibilities for two projects, Phase II of both the Education and Certification and Labour Market Information projects.
Bev brings a new dimension to the Council's staff, with her extensive experience in customer service, supply chain planning, SAP implementation and production support, as well as her teaching experience in the supply chain and logistics programs of Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning.
Bev worked for more than 15 years at a Fortune 500 company in various roles of increasing responsibility within supply chain management and logistics. In 2001, she moved to the company's New Jersey facility as a member of its SAP Implementation Area Team, becoming a member of the SAP Implementation Core Team – Logistics in 2002. Moving to the company's San Jose, Cal. office, Bev filled roles in the Demand-to-Supply Team and in SAP Production Support from 2003 to 2005. During her years with the company, Bev was honoured with several awards: Team Recognition Awards in 1998 and 1999, and a Special Achievement Recognition Award in 2005 for reaching SAP implementation milestones on time and on budget.
Returning to Canada, Bev took a year off work to attain a Supply Chain Management Graduate Certificate from Humber, achieving a 93% grade point average, a place on the Dean's List and the President's Medal.
Upon her graduation, Bev was hired by Humber as an instructor for its supply chain and logistics programs. During her first couple of weeks on staff with the Council, Bev continued her teaching work at Humber, until final exams were completed in mid-April.
Bev is passionate about SAP and business processes. Her solid industry background and knowledge will be a resource for Council staff and a benefit to the sector as the Council takes on an increasing number of projects.
And finally, Hailey Maitland, a student intern from Georgian College, joins the Council as Project Coordinator for the Virtual Human Resources Department initiative. Hailey has an educational background in business, with a strong focus in Human Resources and International Business, and work experience that includes a mixture of government settings and responsibilities. She will be working with us over the summer months, as we work collaboratively with five other sector councils to launch a unique online HR resource for small and medium-sized enterprises.
“Doom and Gloom” or “Challenges and Opportunities”?
By Kevin A. Maynard, CAE, Executive Director
Over the last year or so, newspaper headlines have been focused on the economic challenges faced by both businesses and consumers south of the border and, recently, here in Canada, too. Coverage has ranged from “The Sky is Falling” to “High Canadian Dollar Hurts Exporters.” Canadian automobile manufacturers and other export-oriented manufacturers have been the hardest hit in communities across the country. But how has it affected our business base and the daily lives and livelihood of the over 730,000 people directly employed in the supply chain sector in Canada?
If one was to take a look at overall employment on the macro scale, we could generalize and suggest that our sector is still in a growth phase. With a high proportion of those employed in our sector focusing on the transportation, warehousing and distribution of goods in Canada, we are still experiencing high labour demand. Some might even say that, with a shift to more global sourcing, our sector is experiencing expansion rather than shrinkage. We can still see examples of this growth in centres like Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, where there continues to be added investment in new distribution centres. But what about the impact on our sector from within the traditional manufacturing-based firms that include supply chain-related functions? Is it still a good-news story?
The Council is engaged in a series of discussions with our counterparts from the automotive, wood, bio-technology, textile, apparel, trucking and steel (among others) sectors to develop a common voice that can articulate the needs of Canadian manufacturers in a clear and collaborative manner. Many of our discussions are centred around suggestions related to:
- Transition Initiatives – On this topic, we have discussed looking for ways to facilitate the transition of employees identified as surplus in one sector to the sector(s) that have shortages in the same occupation. For the supply chain sector, this might involve assisting an individual laid off in the steel or automotive industry who worked in an occupation such as Material Handler (NOC 7452) to make the move into a DC environment. The Council may work with our other sector partners to identify cases of over-supply and high demand by occupation, so that together we can identify skill and training gaps and opportunities for bridging programs that can develop skills and abilities to meet the needs of employers in our sector, as required. Recruitment strategies to engage these workers in transition may also be part of future initiatives.
- Increased Training for SMEs – Discussion has taken place around the concept that some entrepreneurial ventures simply need more relevant training, to enable them to survive the current economic challenge and grow to be larger enterprises. This concept could see the development of management training programs for senior managers in smaller firms to equip them to thrive in turbulent times. Recent experience in the apparel sector has seen some positive results that have, in fact, reversed the trend of employment decline in that once-troubled industry. Consideration may be given to a broad range of “supports,” including the promotion of tax credits for training, the use of competency-based models to encourage transition between jobs and sectors, and financial incentives aimed at encouraging a training culture that embraces retraining of employees.
As the Council continues to work with our colleagues from other sectors on these issues, we look forward to hearing from you about your experience and perspectives. Please send us any thoughts that you have on transition supports or best practices that you have utilized to meet this challenge.
Don Borsk, our Chairman (and COO of Metro Retail Supply Chain Solutions), will be meeting with HRSDC officials early in May, as they seek industry input on current issues and challenges affecting human resources and labour demand in our sector. We urge you to share your perspectives with us, so that we can make a positive impact on these challenges, and leverage any existing opportunities for firms and employees in supply chain.
Supply Chain Sector Awareness and Employment Project
Community MicroSkills Development Centre (MicroSkills), a non-profit organization that serves communities in Toronto and surrounding areas by providing settlement, employment and self-employment services to individuals – with priority to the needs of immigrants, youth, visible minority people and low-income women – has received funding to undertake an awareness and employment program aimed at increasing the participation of internationally trained individuals (ITIs) in the supply chain sector.
Working closely with the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council (CSCSC) and other industry and educational partners, MicroSkills will assess the transferability of the skills and experiences of ITIs to meet the growing demand of the supply chain sector. MicroSkills will lead the project, providing client recruitment and assessment, case management, workplace essential-skills delivery, job development, followup, and client tracking and reporting. CSCSC will fill an advisory role, providing a sector overview and links to key sector players. World Education Services will provide credential assessments, Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning will provide customized training for the sector, and Supply Chain Systems will provide mentorship and sector expertise. Sector employers will provide workplace experience, job opportunities and project advisory.
ITIs will have access to sector-specific training and employment commensurate with their education and experience. The success of the project will be measured by the increased participation in the labour force of ITIs, and their abilities to fill skills shortages identified by the sector and to contribute to the health of Ontario's economy through enhanced job retention and mobility. MicroSkills will recruit ITIs with backgrounds in information technology, engineering, purchasing and sales, as these skills are readily transferable to the supply chain sector.
Together, partners will transition 225 ITIs into tactical- and managerial-level positions over 24 months. The program model consists of two streams: a fast-tracking Stream I for individuals who are assessed for immediate transferability, and Stream II, through which customized technical-skills development will be provided to individuals without related work experience. Beyond the specialized areas, all participants will be provided with an overview of the sector to reduce misconceptions. They will further receive sector-specific communication and workplace essential-skills training, and be linked with a job developer to assist in accessing workplace experience, employment and workplace supports.
Through this project, the 225 ITIs will participate in a unique program that provides information and opportunities within the supply chain sector; 30% of participants (68 people) are expected to find employment in their field; 60% (136) should be able to find employment in a related field. Project success will be measured by tracking the employment outcomes of the participants against our target of 90% finding tactical and managerial positions with supply chain-sector employers. Another measure of the project's success will be its ability to address a current skills shortage within the supply chain sector, a growth sector. A third important outcome will be the project’s contribution to reducing the negative assumptions about the supply chain sector as offering only entry-level jobs with a warehouse focus.
Project activities will include:
- Working with the project advisory committee to develop and deliver a customized, sector-specific curriculum designed to address the skills shortage within the sector;
- Developing and implementing a communications plan aimed at promoting the opportunities within the supply chain sector for ITIs; and
- Working with employers to support their need to integrate it within their workplace.
The project's Advisory Committee will provide guidance through the implementation process. Members will:
- Act as a resource and liaison to the supply chain sector in engaging the sector in implementation of this project;
- Provide the organization with labour market information and trends to inform the delivery of the project;
- Ensure that MicroSkills’ supply chain project is in keeping with the standards of stakeholders;
- Assist in evaluating the project and ensure that it is meeting the needs of ITIs; and,
- Identify resources that can help facilitate access to employment in the supply chain sector.
If you are interested in volunteering as a member of this Advisory Committee, contact Bev Myers, at email@example.com
or 905-897-6700, ext. 226.
The Thickening of the Border: How Can We Ease the Congestion?
By Terry Nusyna
First in a Series
Since September 11, 2001, the movement of goods crossing the borders has been changing. We know that it takes more time and more information than ever before.
Every time you turn on CNN, you hear the words “border security.” Businesses are being advised to get involved with trade-security programs (C-TPAT and PIP), which make demands and cost money and time. The primary reason to support C-TPAT and PIP is to help facilitate secure trade, so we can be sure we are not leaving our cargo vulnerable to someone's illicit purposes, but that can be very difficult to justify. How do you rationalize to the CEO that ‘the bad guys were going to sneak something really dangerous into one of our loads but, by training our employees in security and threat awareness, we prevented an incident’? How do you measure something that didn’t happen and how do you justify spending money to assure that it won’t happen to you?
Major importers and exporters in Canada have invested a great deal in upgrading their security practices in order to reach “low-risk” status in the programs. The governments on both sides of the border are designing contingency plans in case borders are ever closed to all but emergency cargo and members of the C-TPAT and PIP programs.
C-TPAT, PIP and FAST Throughout the Supply Chain
(Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, Partners In Protection, Free And Secure Trade)
C-TPAT is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection trade-security program that affects goods going into the U.S. The Americans take it quite seriously and feel that crossing their border is a privilege that we should honour as guests. PIP is the Canadian Trade Security Program for goods entering Canada. If you join these voluntary programs and do what is necessary for your business to classify as a “low security risk,” your goods will get priority at the borders and receive expedited passage. That could make the difference between keeping and losing your clients in times of high alert when borders thicken or close altogether. You don’t want your clients to doubt your ability to deliver as promised.
There is no charge to join, but you will need to invest in building a proper security foundation in order to maintain your good standing. It is worthwhile to do it right the first time, as these programs are far from temporary. A plausible action plan will build a credible relationship with the border agencies.
C-TPAT or PIP validators will visit your location to verify your security profile and action plan before you can receive full privileges. Take note: there is one very important aspect of the programs that requires careful attention. It is the supply chain. The programs require full supply chain co-operation, as well as full business-staff involvement, to be effective.
It is the responsibility of the program member to contact all relevant supply chain partners to make sure that none of them compromise the security integrity of the shipments. The best way for the supply chain partners to ensure they can be counted on is to become a member of C-TPAT or PIP. The member countries of the World Customs Organization are in the process of putting their own trade-security programs together, with the hope that future harmonized expectations will make the world a safer place for all of us.
Ms. Terry Nusyna is President of TN Security Group, counter-terrorism and infiltration specialists for trade supply chain security programs, C-TPAT and PIP. Based in Thornhill, Ont., TN offers risk assessments, action plans, threat-awareness training, and “how to” seminars on such topics as developing security profiles and action plans, dealing with security-equipment vendors, workplace violence, travel security, and family, business and personal security. Visit www.tnsecurity.ca to find out more about TN or call 905-731-4568.
Story Time, Anyone?
By Chris Irwin, MBA
Sr. Consultant, Ignite Excellence
I recently had the good fortune of listening to Suzanne Stevens, president and founder of Ignite Excellence, deliver a keynote speech as part of the speaking series put on by the International Association of Business Communicators (www.iabc.com
). In “Swimming with the Influencers,” she asked us to recall the August 14, 2003, blackout that affected Toronto. (As she was speaking in Toronto, the Toronto-centricism was appropriate.)
Need a primer? Click here
. Feeling nostalgic? Click here
If you were in the city, you undoubtedly have a Blackout Story:
“It was amazing! The whole neighbourhood wheeled barbecues out onto the street. People were cooking, talking and laughing. Many were meeting neighbours for the first time.”
“We walked around from dusk until it got dark. I never felt unsafe. I have never seen so many people smiling!”
“<<insert yours here>>”
If you have been reading Ignite Excellence’s submission to the Council’s e-newsletter, you will know that we are expecting you to ask “So what?”
Go ahead…What’s that? “So what,” you say? Oh, thanks for asking.
There are a couple of so-whats: (1) Relationships are human, and (2) Stories help influence.
Relationships are Human
The point of the Blackout Story – and Ignite Excellence Inc.’s raison d’être – is that when people communicate, they can’t ignore the relationship with those around them (physically and, increasingly, virtually). Relationship and trust are things that will guide people when they “fill in the gaps” after you have presented your argument or message.
A relationship that fosters dialogue provides a foundation for an effective exchange of ideas. It is very difficult to develop a relationship without talking to someone (voice-to-voice or face-to-face). Electronic communications (e-mail, text, chat, for example) provide few ways to develop a relationship and countless opportunities to compromise it. Technology enables communication. Communication needs human interaction. Technology is not human and, therefore, requires relationship for context.
The relevance to change agents working in a supply chain context: all the “productivity” gains of the Blackberry, et al, will be offset by damaged relationships that hinder the positive results of effective communication!
Stories Help Influence
Notice how the article is structured so far. You see a STORY. We get to the POINT. You see, I hope, the RELEVANCE. This is the recipe for using personal stories to convey messages. These types of stories can foster relationships by giving personal insight. They also provide some tangible evidence that can support the message or position that you are furthering.
Whether it is a blackout story or a shared anecdote from a challenge/success in a previous position or situation, a story serves to strengthen messages and relationships.
Did I tell you about the time…?
Ignite Excellence is a training and development organization that specializes in influential face-to-face communications. We provide tailored training that helps clients win and maintain business, enhance stakeholder perception and improve internal communications. We can be reached at www.igniteexcellence.com or 416-969-2850.
Chinese Cultural Guide for Employers to Aid with Newcomer Integration
The York South Simcoe Training & Adjustment Board, in conjunction with the Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce and The Markham Board of Trade, has just released The Chinese Cultural Guide for Employers, which provides information and guidelines for those who are interested in employing Chinese immigrants. It spans the employment cycle of sourcing, hiring and managing an employee who has come to the employment market specifically with a Chinese cultural background. The Guide was designed to help employers and employees build a mutually understanding relationship, which is crucial if we're to help immigrants maximize their employment potential and contributions to the Canadian economy.
The Guide was developed with the support of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce through its Global Experience @ Work initiative. Click here
to access the Guide on the YSSTAB website.
Events Serving Good Causes
SCL Supports the Military Families Fund
As part of its 41st annual conference, “Creating a Resilient Supply Chain,” Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada (SCL) will be hosting a networking gala reception on May 5 from which a significant portion of proceeds will go to support the Military Families Fund
. The gala evening will begin with a presentation, “Sustaining the Defence Logistics Chain for Global Operations,” by Major General Daniel Benjamin, Commander of the Canadian Operational Support Command of the Canadian Armed Forces. The event, to be held in Vaughan, Ont., north of Toronto, will feature a 1940s theme and live swing music. For detailed event information, visit www.sclcanada.org/resilient
or contact Yana Verbitskaia, at 905-513-7300.
LET Trust Fundraiser Golf Tournaments
Help raise funds for scholarships to support students enrolled in logistics programs.
- In Calgary: June 2, D’Arcy Ranch Golf Club
- In Toronto: June 4, Nobleton Lakes Golf Course
Get more information or register.
Letters of Credit (p.m.)
Risks Forwarders Face (a.m.)
Cargo Insurance (p.m.)
April 30, Vancouver, B.C.
May 14, Calgary, Alta.
May 20, Toronto, Ont.
Association of International Customs and Border Agencies, 8th Annual Convention
, May 21 and 22, Toronto, Ont.
Forum for International Trade Training, National Conference – Canada on Top: Currency, Competencies and Competitiveness
, June 1 to 2, Ottawa, Ont.
Conference: June 2 and 3
Optional Workshops: June 4
Hamilton Port Authority, Feltmate Delibato Heagle LLP, SCL Canada, CIFFA and Hamilton International Airport, Multimodal 2008
, June 4, Hamilton, Ont.