CSCSC e-Newsletter

June 30, 2008

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Addressing the HR Needs of the Sector

The CSCSC, along with five other sector councils, is in the beginning stages of launching a new, unique, web-based Human Resource Department, a rebranding initiative from the Virtual Human Resources Department (VHRD) developed by the Canadian Plastics Sector Council.
The Council’s goal with the VHRD project is to develop a series of generic, web-based utilities that can be strategically tailored to the HR needs of individual small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to assist them in addressing a wide variety of human resource issues. Areas of focus for the VHRD product include:
  • Recruitment and selection employment policies
  • Managing performance
  • Reward and recognition
  • Training and development
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Additional HR tools and information
  • Employment-policy samples
The VHRD will be easily customized to the user’s specific needs, allowing firms in the supply chain sector to achieve their desired outcomes. SMEs will significantly improve their ability to deal with HR issues in a time-efficient manner, thereby improving both their productivity and competitiveness.

If you wish to view a sample of this product, visit the Employer Centre of the Canadian Plastics Sector Council's website. Click on the link to the VHRD and you'll be directed to a log-in page. To obtain a log-in name and password on your first visit, register your company by requesting an activation code. This activation code will allow you to view a select portion of the on-line tool at no charge.
The CSCSC is developing a working group whose mandate will be to guide research and review analyses to ensure that our sector-specific VHRD's outputs meet the needs of key stakeholder groups within the supply chain sector.
If you are interested in volunteering to be a member of the working group for the Virtual Human Resources Department Project, please contact Beverly Myers, Program Manager, at or 905-897-6700, ext. 226.

Business Takes Action 10/20 Challenge

Provided by Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
The Ontarians with Disabilities Act is changing the way Ontarians do business. New customer-service guidelines require businesses to assess accessibility issues to ensure that all customers have access to the same quality of care. Businesses must ensure that customer service, transportation, information, communication and the built environment are all available and accessible to persons with disabilities. This includes anyone with a physical, mental, developmental or learning disability, mental disorder or injury for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

The Business Takes Action 10/20 challenge is already helping businesses meet this goal. The program, developed through the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, provides businesses with tools and resources to meet these needs. These resources include access to service providers, links to employees with disabilities, and information about changes to legislation and policy.

The initial response from businesses has been mixed. Concerns about cost, adaptability and cohesiveness continue to be the main obstacles. Many businesses, however, are proving these concerns can be easily addressed, resulting in raised productivity and production.

In the U.S., drugstore mega-giant Walgreens has led the way in accommodating persons with disabilities. The Walgreens Outreach program is putting those who might otherwise not be able to work or find better paying jobs in the work force. Jobs range from full time to part time, and employees receive pre-hire training. The jobs are based in distribution and logistics centres, including Anderson, South Carolina, where nearly 50 per cent of the operation is staffed by persons with disabilities. Those with disabilities are given equal pay to those without, and both successfully work together. Many of the jobs at the centre are in management, and people with a wide range of disabilities have been hired.

Walgreens provides additional outreach for other employers looking to make the same move, through its website The website also provides information on partnerships with agencies, and resources on wages, benefits and the latest news on plant expansions and additions.

Since implementing the program, Walgreens has seen a sharp increase in efficiency and rarely has to deal with worker absenteeism.

In an interview with Ability Magazine, distribution and logistics senior vice president Randy Lewis noted, “The greater efficiency actually comes from the level of automation we have. The deal about using people with disabilities is they can do a job as well as a person with typical abilities. The side benefit is that I think it’s a better environment because everyone treats each other a lot better. There’s more team work. There’s an awareness of purpose.”

Businesses and organizations in Ontario will be required to meet accommodation guidelines by January 1, 2025.

More information is available at:
Read more about Walgreens' initiatives.

“Taming that Monster Under the Bed” Conference

Presentation Summary – Dr. Roger Gibbins, President & CEO, Canada West Foundation

“Taming that Monster” was held in Calgary on June 9 and 10. Speakers looked at the critical relationships between supply chains and the environment.

In the conference’s June 10 opening keynote presentation, “Supply Chains in an Uncertain World: Links of Iron or String?,” Dr. Roger Gibbins painted a picture of the challenges faced by Canadian companies as they deal with the continuing fallout of 9/11 and a changing economy. With 85 percent of our total trade being done with the U.S., Canadians are hugely affected by its increasing protectionism and security concerns.
Although nearly seven years have passed since the terrorist attacks in the U.S., measures to increase security are having an evermore thickening effect on our border. “Just-in-time” deliveries are becoming progressively more difficult to achieve, which has caused companies on both sides of the border to begin to return to “old ways”: stockpiling and making second, “just-in-case” deliveries, for example.
There is growing evidence of economic protectionism in the U.S.: talk of renegotiating NAFTA and introducing environmental tariffs on imports is an indication of America’s ongoing adjustment to globalization. Even the 100-mile diet can be seen as a trade inhibitor. While the pathway of development in Europe is toward a seamless economy, the opposite is true in North America. Whereas the border between Canada and the U.S. used to be seen as different than others because of its status as the longest undefended border in the world, it is now different because of the increasing thickening occurring there.
Canada’s Asia/Pacific Gateway Initiative, designed to enhance our transportation connections to Asian markets – and thereby reduce our trade reliance on the U.S. – will see investment of $1 billion from federal and provincial governments over a six-to-seven-year period. This amounts to approximately $160 million a year, about what it costs to create a single urban interchange. Compared with investments being made on infrastructure in Asia and elsewhere, our $1 billion investment is minor. Calling it a “Canadian disease,” Dr. Gibbins noted our habit of “doing the right thing, but on such a small scale that it won’t have any effect.”
Dr. Gibbins ended his presentation with a discussion about environmental controls. Having already pointed out that environmental effects flow up and down supply chains – that a decision, for example, by cookie manufacturers to increase the use of palm oil as they remove trans fats from their recipes has led to the endangering of the pygmy elephant population in Malaysia – and that supply chain connections provide Canadians with points of access globally that can be leveraged to create change, he finished by observing that, because many of the consumer goods that we can buy so cheaply are produced overseas in places, like China, where environmental controls are lax, Canadians are, in effect, outsourcing our pollution costs. Cheap consumer goods are available to us because low environmental standards exist where they’re produced. A paradigm shift may be required to accustom Canadians to paying more for those goods.

Spending More Money On Security Does Not Necessarily Make You More Secure

Are you measuring how well you've secured your business by how much you've spent for security? Solutions to your security weaknesses will come in many different forms that may not always have a dollar figure attached to them
By Terry Nusyna

The new trade-security programs, such as C-TPAT and PIP, are bringing many businesses to the realization that they need to address security in order to remain in secure supply chains. Many small and medium-sized companies have never been in this position before, and haven’t devoted much time to developing a security culture in their businesses. Things are difficult enough these days without having to think of spending money on security projects.

The reality is that you could be in the supply chain of a company that is attempting to become classified as low risk in Canadian, American or European Union security programs in order to ensure the swift, secure passage of their goods across borders. If you want to remain in that supply chain, then it is time to have a look at what security measures you have in place and to consider whether they are effective enough to prevent someone from taking advantage of a shipment for their own purposes.

Technology is going to be your biggest cost in this endeavour, so make sure you are well advised about what is needed and what is not needed. Keep in mind that the company that sells you hardware is likely more interested in finding you solutions that involve their hardware than it is in looking at other types of solutions that might be less costly and more effective. A security professional can provide advice to help you wade through the options.

Technology has a role in security plans, but, ultimately, you will be counting on your people power first and your technology last. Your success or failure in properly training your people will have the biggest impact on the success or failure of your security plan.

You should build your security plans based on layers: the more security layers you have, the more secure you are. But, again, it will always come down to your people. If your people do not believe in your security plan, it will eventually fall through the cracks and fail. Once you train your people to understand and recognize how security threats could have an effect on them in their everyday roles, then they will be on board and receptive to your plan. Without crossing this barrier properly, you will not receive the help you need from them to make your security plan effective.

The first step is to convert them from their indifference. Proper training is worth the investment, as the empowerment of your employees will save you much more in the long run than you spend.
While performing our security assessments for C-TPAT and PIP, we have witnessed strangers walking freely onto company properties through gateways that were left open. One company was very proud of the $75,000 automated gate it had purchased to prove it was a good, reliable member of C-TPAT. Unfortunately, we have yet to see the gate closed and locked. Someone may have forgotten to talk to the employees about this important security investment or maybe they didn’t respect the procedures enough to bother. This reminds me of another company that put in a new access system, but, again, failed to engage its employees, so that, after a short time, the smokers figured out how to bypass the system to prop open doors to smoking areas.

To develop reliable security practices it is most important that you consider your business operations and your people. Start by assessing what you have and what you need. When evaluating your security practices or the practices of your supply chain partners, questionnaires may not provide a true picture; reality can be very different than the answers provided.

Your company and your supply chain partners may have lists of procedures, but procedures alone will not create secure premises. The most important element to consider is people. If employees don’t like the procedures or don’t know about them, the procedures will not be followed. If someone were to target your business for illicit purposes, you can be sure that he or she would not be too concerned about your procedures.

You should develop a solid security plan before you even call a supplier and, if you are not skilled in security, you should get help with that security plan. This way, if you do need to buy any equipment, you will be directing the equipment dealers with your needs rather than them directing you. Your professional security advisor should be able to answer your questions about access and surveillance systems, employee-hiring practices, container seals, and the C-TPAT and PIP validation process. Get help from objective professionals who understand security and can teach you and your staff what you need to know to create a security plan that will have legs and grow with your future.
Ms. Terry Nusyna is President of  TN Security Group, counter-terrorism and infiltration specialists for supply chain trade-security programs C-TPAT and PIP. Based in Thornhill, Ont., TN Security offers risk assessments, action plans, threat-awareness training and how-to seminars on topics such as developing security profiles and action plans, dealing with security-equipment vendors, workplace violence, travel security, family, business and personal security. TN offers presentations for management and associations to explain supply chain trade-security programs and their return on investment. Ms. Nusyna can be contacted at Website:

Lean...Without Being Mean

By Chris Irwin, MBA
Process Improvements in Ontario Health Care
There is a rigour to Lean thinking that can appear supremely cold and calculating. However, its unwavering focus on “what the customer sees as value” should curry favour with those who are receiving (e.g., paying for) the end product, which ideally equips companies to look after their people and their environment. Welcome to the triple bottom line.
See… it’s not all about the relentless pursuit of cost savings.
There are some very real inefficiencies (waste, or "muda") that can be rid from any system with this approach. This may be part of the reason we are seeing such approaches embraced in non-traditional areas, including the service industry and, yes, health care.
The Flo Collaborative
The Flo Collaborative kicked off in September 2007 in order to examine and improve the flow of care in Ontario health care. Two Ontario hospitals acted as pilot sites for projects under the Flo Collaborative, working with the regional Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) and Community Care Access Centres (CCAC). The overall “flow” of care crosses several different organizations; for example, a client/patient moves from admission into a hospital medical unit, receives treatment and care within the hospital, and then transitions from the hospital to receive an appropriate level of care. The approach for improvement includes “The Model for Improvement,” Lean methodology, Six Sigma Tools, and PDSA cycles.
Not surprisingly, many initiatives that offer the possibility for “quick wins” target frontline staff who are actively engaged in their current standard processes. Andrew Ward, Senior Manager at the Erie St Clair CCAC, worked on the pilot project in Windsor between his CCAC and the Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital. He explains, “Often times, staff are well aware of shortcomings within the process but remain silent in expressing their ideas for improvement.” He adds that now, because of the Flo Collaborative, staff have greater opportunities to discuss and try new process changes. Often resistance to change is common in such improvement projects; however, Andrew still found an appetite for the improvements: “Many times we overlook that the frontline has lived with their current system inefficiencies and that they want the change, as well.” As with other change efforts, people have to feel comfortable contributing their individual insight to realize the overall process improvements.
Assessing and Influencing Authority
Asked about lessons learned in getting the all-important “buy-in” from “naysayers,” Andrew sees great potential in gaining involvement from the beginning. He says that it is well worth the initial investment in time to determine who has informal authority, in addition to those with formal authority. “No process change is made in a vacuum,” he explains. “Many things must be considered prior to making an adjustment in staff workflow.” Project leads and others within the team need to feel involved in order to want to share information.
There are some natural barriers that people can hit if they take a “business” approach to anything related to health care. Nonetheless, there are some significant improvements to be gained from a systematic approach, such as that with the Flo Collaborative. Like in any change initiative, it is ever so important to unlock the knowledge of the frontline by enabling good two-way communication. Andrew concludes, “By taking the time and identifying team members of formal and informal authority from the beginning, process changes will yield higher and more sustainable outcomes.” Don’t be mistaken: just because it’s soft, doesn’t make it easy.
Chris Irwin brings value in enabling effective interpersonal communication in sectors that are undergoing change. He helps to reduce interpersonal noise in organizations facing challenges from globalization, technology communications and workforce diversity, including generational differences. He blogs on related issues at (Micro Organizational Behaviour) and can be reached through that website.

Essential Skills for the Changing Workforce

Provided by the Centre for Education & Training, Mississauga, Ont.

"Skilled workers a retiring species" – Globe and Mail – March 4, 2008
"Wanted: respect for skilled trades" – Toronto Star – March 5, 2008
"Labour shortage key issue: Solberg" – Toronto Star – April 12, 2008
The above headlines suggest that commentary about the shortage of skilled workers across Canada is increasing. Industry and government leaders, associations and sector councils are all sounding alarms about the challenges companies face when they cannot find skilled workers to fill critical job openings. This is particularly troubling in today’s economy, when skill requirements are changing constantly, and organizations, now more than ever, realize that the knowledge and capabilities of their workforce have a significant impact on their ability to grow and succeed.
Given the current pace of workplace change, solving problems around current skill shortages is increasingly urgent. Employees and employers are just two of the many stakeholders with a key role to play in finding solutions. Employees need to be flexible and adaptable and commit to an ongoing process of acquiring skills and knowledge in order to keep, or grow with, their jobs. Employers need to create a continuous-learning environment and provide appropriate learning and development opportunities for their employees that support their business goals and strategic direction.
A cost-effective way for employers to start addressing skill shortages and create a continuous-learning environment is use of the Essential Skills framework, a workplace skills initiative developed and funded by Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC). The framework defines nine essential skills used in most occupations and includes a variety of tools that can be used to enhance the skills, performance and productivity of Canadian workers.
In January 2008, the Centre for Education & Training in Mississauga, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Peel District School Board, received funding from HRSDC for a project called Essential Skills for the Changing Workplace. This project is designed to assist employers in small and mid-size organizations with the integration of essential skills into their workplace and human resources practices.
To increase awareness and understanding of essential skills, the Centre is offering free two-hour seminars for human resources and line managers. During this interactive seminar, managers and supervisors will gain a thorough understanding of the Essential Skills framework and a variety of essential skills tools to assist in:
  • conducting essential skills needs assessments
  • writing job descriptions that indicate how workers use essential skills on the job
  • integrating essential skills into hiring and selection processes
  • aligning employees' use of essential skills with performance goals
  • developing succession plans to ensure employees are ready for new roles as the need for new skills arises
  • promoting health and safety in the workplace

Besides attending an informative seminar, participants will have access to an Essential Skills Workplace Consultant, free of charge, to guide them in determining their skill needs, identifying resources and local services that provide assessment and training, and identifying essential skills tools to best suit their requirements.

For additional information about attending an Essential Skills seminar, contact the Centre for Education & Training, at 905-949-0049, extension 2058, or

Website Links


Research Study on Managing Supply Chain Disruptions

Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada (SCL) was asked to help promote participation in a study being conducted by a research team at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. (The survey is open to anyone, not just SCL members.)
You are invited to participate in a short survey that will enable the researchers to identify the causes of supply chain disruptions. The survey asks for your opinion related to supply chain design characteristics, the nature of disruptions, and supply chain performance.
Your responses will be completely confidential. The data from the survey will  be analyzed and the results documented in a report. You will be sent a copy of the report, per your request, as soon as the survey and analysis are completed.
The report will enable you to:
  • Benchmark your supply chain in comparison to best-in-class supply chains;
  • Identify actionable strategies to improve your supply chain's reliability; and,
  • Improve your supply chain's performance and competitiveness in the global product markets.

Click here to take the survey.

SCL Raises Funds for Military Families Fund

On May 5th, Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada (SCL) hosted a gala reception in support of Canadian troops as part of its 41st annual conference, "Creating a Resilient Supply Chain." The proceeds from the evening totalled $13,350 and were donated to the Military Families Fund.

The MFF is a vehicle that helps support Canadian Forces members and their families with speed and flexibility in times of need, enhancing and complementing existing programs. For more information on the Military Families Fund, visit the MFF website.

A keynote address from Major General Daniel Benjamin, Commander of the Canadian Operational Support Command, kicked off the reception proceedings and received the highest session rating of the entire conference. Themed around the 1940s and patriotism, reception delegates could purchase photographs with the Major General, and chocolate cigars to further increase the donation amount initially established through registration fees.

Coming Events

TN Security Group, C-TPAT/PIP/AEO: What are they and why do we need to join them?, July 8, 15, 22, 29; August 5, 14, 19, 26 – 11am, 2pm, 8pm, Webcast seminars
National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc., Cascadia Chapter, Sourcing in the Public Sector, July 9 to 11, Vancouver, B.C.
TN Security/Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, The Real Truth about C-TPAT, PIP and FAST from Experienced Experts, July 24, Mississauga, Ont.
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Performance-based Logistics for Outsourced Supply Chained Operations, August 13, Lombard, Illinois
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Process Standards Workshop, August 14 and 15, Lombard, Illinois
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Air Cargo Security Coordinator training
initial: September 3, October 8
recurrent: September 4, October 9
initial: September 17, October 22
recurrent: September 18, October 23
recurrent: September 23
recurrent: September 26

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Strategic Issues in Supply Chain Management, September 8 and 9, Baltimore, Maryland
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Item-Level RFID: Future Direction, Current Status, September 9 and 10, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Transportation Clubs International, "Global Challenges – SMART Solutions" 2008 Conference, September 11 to 14, Moncton, N.B.

APICS – The Association for Operations Management, Hot Issues, Cool Solutions: International Conference & Expo, September 14 to 16, Kansas City, Missouri
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, September 15 and 16, Kansas City, Missouri

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Air Dangerous Goods training
initial: September 16 to 18, November 18 to 20
recurrent: September 17 and 18, November 19 and 20
initial: October 7 to 9
recurrent: October 8 and 9
initial: October 21 to 23
recurrent: October 22 and 23
initial: November 18 to 20
recurrent: November 19 and 20
National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc., Ontario Public Buyers Association, Inc. Chapter, Review: Preparing for the Certified Public Purchasing Officer Exam, September 22 to 23, Richmond Hill, Ont.

National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc., Ontario Public Buyers Association, Inc. Chapter, Review: Preparing for the Certified Professional Public Buyer Exam, September 23, Richmond Hill, Ont.

International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, FIATA 2008 World Congress, September 23 to 26, Vancouver, B.C.
National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc., Canada West Chapter, Introduction to Public Procurement, September 24 and 25, Edmonton, Alta.

National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc., Ontario Public Buyers Association, Inc. Chapter, 50th Annual Meeting and Conference, September 24 to 26, Richmond Hill, Ont.

National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc., Ontario Public Buyers Association, Inc. Chapter, Developing & Managing RFP's in Public Sector, September 24 to 26, Richmond Hill, Ont.

National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc., Ontario Public Buyers Association, Inc. Chapter, Introduction to Public Purchasing, September 24, Richmond Hill, Ont.

National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc., Ontario Public Buyers Association, Inc. Chapter, Electronic Purchasing, September 25, Richmond Hill, Ont.

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Annual Global Conference 2008, October 5 to 8, Denver, Colorado

Purchasing Management Association of Canada and DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Sixth Annual International Symposium on Supply Chain Management – Supply Chain Integration: Leadership, Trust and Negotiation, October 15 to 17, Calgary, Alta.
National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc., Ontario Public Buyers Association, Inc. Chapter, Competitive Bidding Issues, October 20, Whitby, Ont.
National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc., Atlantic Public Purchasing Association Chapter, Developing & Managing RFP's in Public Sector, October 21 to 23, Moncton, N.B.

National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc., Ontario Public Buyers Association, Inc. Chapter, World Class Procurement Practices, October 24, Barrie, Ont.
Ontario Institute of the Purchasing Management Association of Canada, 11th Annual Conference: Supply Chain... the Core of Innovation, October 24 and 25, Ajax, Ont.
Aberdeen Group, Manufacturing Executive Summit, November 4 and 5, Boston, Mass.

CITT, Reposition 2008, November 5 to 7, Winnipeg, Man.
National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc., Ontario Public Buyers Association, Inc. Chapter, Sourcing in the Public Sector, November 5 to 7, Oakville, Ont.
National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc., Canada West Chapter, Planning, Scheduling and Requirements Planning, November 5 to 7, Edmonton, Alta.
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, November 13 and 14, Chicago, Illinois

Always up to date in our online event listing! 

Did you know...

In 2008, almost half of adult Canadians (48%) are estimated to be below the internationally accepted literacy standard for coping in a modern society.
To solve an issue as profound as the literacy challenge, the Canadian Council on Learning advocates the working together of governments, employers, educators and individuals. Read more.

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