CSCSC e-Newsletter

March 31, 2009

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Council News

New Products Launching Soon
Supply Chain Labour Market Information Toolkit: Includes Updated Labour Market Data for the Sector
The Council's new LMI website provides accurate, up-to-date labour market information (LMI) and corresponding tools. This site is the result of two concurrent CSCSC projects: a phase II LMI project, through which the majority of the new tools were developed, and an LMI-update project, through which labour market data has been updated to reflect the current state of the sector.
Through the LMI-update project, the Council has defined the ratio developed by Industry Canada for use in the 2005 supply chain sector study, and applied it to recent Labour Force Survey data to establish current statistics for the sector. With a process now in place, as an outcome of this project, future updating of the sector’s labour-market data can be achieved using a consistent methodology, enabling accurate analysis of trends, overall and by occupation, on a national, regional or local level.
Input from supply chain stakeholders across Canada was considered in the development of the LMI toolkit. Priority needs communicated in focus-group sessions included information related to wages and salaries, local and regional market conditions, employment opportunities, recruitment, hiring and retention of employees, and training and education. These and other topics have been addressed by the tools now available through the CSCSC’s website.
The many resources available through this website address the diverse LMI needs of the CSCSC’s varied stakeholders:
  1. Employers could benefit by using the LMI tools in numerous ways. For example, in determining the site of a new manufacturing facility, a planner might search for information to establish the supply of labour and current wages in various locations. The toolkit could be used by HR staff in a review of policies regarding employee training, retention and satisfaction.
  2. Young people and their career influencers could use the toolkit as they make education decisions. Information about labour demand, wages, job responsibilities and requirements, and local companies that are hiring, for example, could help to make viable education-related options clear.
  3. With information accessible in the LMI toolkit, educational institutions planning their supply chain programming will be able to more easily assess the needs of students and industry. Knowing what skills are most in demand and about labour demand and supply, they’ll be able to provide programs that turn out graduates with the skills needed by employers in the sector.
  4. Job seekers can use the site’s job finder to pinpoint relevant positions for which they might apply, and examine occupational standards to discover the skills and knowledge generally required to competently perform those jobs.

Watch for launch information on the Council's homepage, at

Virtual Human Resources Department for the Supply Chain Sector: Help for SMEs With Limited HR Expertise
The Council's online resource to help small and medium-sized supply chain companies deal with a multiplicity of human resource functions will also be launched shortly. The Virtual Human Resource Department (VHRD) contains the tools and information required by an employer to attract, retain and develop its workforce. Policy samples and templates, how-to procedures, forms and other useful tools are provided to assist employers in:
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Employment policies
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Training and development
  • Managing performance
  • Reward and recognition
Developed initially by the Canadian Plastics Sector Council and adapted by the CSCSC to meet the specific needs of supply chain companies, the VHRD includes downloadable tools that can be customized and used on an ongoing basis.
Recruitment and selection tools, for example, include a list of recruitment sources, a guide to conducting telephone pre-screening interviews and reference checks, a reference-check form, a cross-cultural interviewing guide, and more. Customizable policy guides relate to such topics as absenteeism, orientation, and health and safety. Other tools focus on areas including performance appraisal and recognition, training and development needs, salary, bonus and overtime compensation, financial and non-financial benefits, offering flexible work arrangements, and conducting employee surveys and exit interviews. Links to numerous national, provincial and other online HR resources are also available.
A one-year full subscription to the VHRD, available for $500, allows employers to download and save information from all sections of the site. One-year access to individual modules can be purchased for $100 each.
Using the Council’s VHRD tools will enable the owners and staff of SMEs to focus mainly on their core business, by spending less time dealing with HR issues. This strategic business-management tool will help to make people management easier and more efficient and effective.
Again, keep an eye on the Council's homepage for launch information.

The Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects (ONESTEP)

By Mukhtar Ahmadzai, Manager of Employer Solutions, ONESTEP
The Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects (ONESTEP) is a province-wide umbrella organization for the community-based training and employment sector. More than 450 programs are provided by our member agencies, with over 250,000 clients served each year. Services include, but are not limited to: career and personal counselling, literacy, job-finding clubs, IT training, sector-specific training (for example, in finance, tourism and healthcare), enhanced language training, and job development.
Since its incorporation in 1987, ONESTEP has been governed by a volunteer board of directors drawn from member agencies. ONESTEP is a not-for-profit organization with registered charitable status, and a proud member of the Canadian Coalition of Community-Based Employability Training (CCCBET).
As an umbrella organization, we are able to offer employers quick access to all 450 employment programs from across Ontario through one contact point. Our member organizations work with various employers, and we are looking to further develop such relationships. By working with ONESTEP, your organization would need to connect only with us and we would develop programming to meet your needs, put you in contact with the programs that can best assist you in your area and connect you with clients that can make an immediate impact within your company.
Annually, ONESTEP hosts The Opportunities Conference, which over 600 front-line staff, program managers, directors and senior executives attend to network with companies and professionally develop their skills. This is one example of how ONESTEP can put your company on the scope and connect you with those who can help you achieve your goals.
For further information, contact me at 416-591-7151, ext. 222 or through email, at

Good Problems to Have?

By Chris Irwin, MBA
We are all familiar with the adage: "Don't bring me problems, bring me solutions." If this is your mantra, please accept my apologies. I am actively working to change that mindset – in a supply chain function – one evening at a time. I am recently involved in delivering training for the Supply Chain Awareness Program for Employment (SCAPE), whereby people with international training and experience can receive courses toward designations recognized in Canada.
In the overview material and cases, much of the focus is on tools and frameworks to identify problems... not just our problems, but within and beyond the organization (e.g., from supplier's supplier to customer's customer). The level of complexity and the breadth of the analysis pretty much ensure a grab bag of problems. In my experience working in various industries and countries, a different perspective (e.g., international) provides an increased ability to see "new" problems. Stopping every time to ponder solutions would be paralyzing.
I am not at all suggesting that solutions be ignored. The better solutions to these complex problems demand participation from other stakeholders, who may require some help understanding the importance of the problem. Credibility and flexibility are necessary ingredients in this communication. The SCAPE training at MicroSkills will provide part of the credibility, as will Canadian work experience as it accumulates. Flexibility is addressed through the material in "translating" problems to different audiences. We tend to practice the following languages:
  • Profit impact on dollars tied up in, for example, inventory (business language); 
  • Customer service impact of slowdowns and delays (sales language); 
  • Risk impact of uncertain forecasting (finance language); etc.

The plan is to involve all the necessary people to contribute to a better sustainable solution that almost always involves complex trade-offs. One perspective will not deliver the insight required.

Rather than bring solutions with problems (or not bring problems because we can't find the solutions on our own), the line should be "Bring me problems and a list of potential collaborators." I think that those with other language skills and experiences could be part of this shift.
Chris Irwin works with organizations undergoing change to reduce interpersonal noise in cross-functional and stakeholder communications. He is on faculty at the Schulich School of Business, and teaches in PMAC's Strategic Supply Chain Management Leadership Program. He blogs on related issues at and can be reached through that website.

New Resource: Roadmap

The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) recently launched the Roadmap, a new online resource to help employers hire and integrate skilled immigrants. Available at, the Roadmap is designed to equip anyone with human resources responsibilities with strategies and tools to engage skilled immigrants more effectively at every stage of the HR lifecycle, from recruitment to integration and retention.
Features of the Roadmap include:
  • A graphic-rich and interactive user experience
  • Substantive content, such as tools, tips, resources and guides, including video and audio, organized for every stage of the HR lifecycle (recruitment, assessment and selection, onboarding, integration and retention)
  • Functions to save and send content to colleagues

Improvements to Government of Canada Work-Sharing Program

The Government of Canada introduced its Economic Action Plan to support Canadians during the global recession and invest in Canada's long-term growth. As part of this plan, the Government is investing $8.3 billion in the Canada Skills and Transition Strategy (CSTS) to support workers and their families, including measures for income support and skills and training. A number of labour market policies and programs are being adjusted to temporarily provide additional support to workers and the unemployed facing transitions in these tough economic times.
Included in the CSTS are improvements to the Work-Sharing Program. Work-Sharing is an Employment Insurance (EI) program that assists businesses experiencing a temporary slowdown caused by factors beyond their control. It is designed to avoid layoffs by offering EI income benefits to qualifying workers willing to work a reduced work-week while their employer recovers.
Work-sharing represents a win-win situation. Employers can retain employees and avoid expensive rehiring and retraining costs, and employees are able to continue working and keep their skills up to date.
The Government has extended work-sharing agreements to a maximum of 52 weeks to allow companies a longer time to recover. The Government is increasing access to Work-Sharing agreements through greater flexibility in the qualifying criteria and streamlining processes for employers. For example, the Government is easing the requirements for the employer's recovery plan. Due to the uncertainties arising from the current economic downturn, the policy recognizes that employers may not be able to articulate specific timelines or benchmarks related to recovery. In addition, the government is committed to reducing the paper burden for businesses involved in work sharing, making it easier for them to do business.
The Government has also taken action to reduce the waiting time between agreements. Employers who participated in a Work-Sharing agreement that ended prior to February 1, 2009, are immediately eligible to apply for a new extended agreement involving the same employees, without a waiting period between agreements.
These changes will permit more employers to avoid lay-offs while their industry recovers from the recession, thus minimizing the financial impact on workers and the communities they live in.

For more information:

Website Links


News from the Sector's Pillar Associations

Purchasing Management Association of Canada
Join 500 of Canada’s Top SCM Leaders at the PMAC National Conference in Quebec
The 84th Annual PMAC National Conference, from June 3 to 5, 2009, in Quebec City, is a premier event for supply chain management professionals – and the largest of its kind. More than 500 of the country’s top procurement and supply chain management decision-makers gather once a year to learn the latest developments and best practices in the profession.
Hear from Canada’s top chief economists on their outlook for business, learn how to strategically mitigate risk in your supply chain, learn from the successes and challenges of other delegates, and establish new contacts and resources for your professional network.
Through education and networking sessions, learn how to make a difference in your organization while discovering Quebec’s history, culture and fine cuisine.
Register today and make a difference in your organization! 

Coming Events

Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transportation – Ottawa Chapter, The Canadian and Global Mining Industry in Uncertain Times, April 3, Ottawa, Ont.

Food Marketing Institute, 2009 Supply Chain Conference, April 5 to 8, Miami, Florida
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada – B.C. Chapter, Best Practices in Warehousing and Distribution Centre Management: The Lower Mainland Experience, April 6, Burnaby, B.C.
Supply Chain Digest, Transportunities online expo and conference, April 7 and 8, Web conference

Institute of Packaging Professionals, Transport Packaging: Where Cost-Cutting Meets Sustainability, April 16, Toronto, Ont.
Industrial Accident Prevention Association, Health & Safety Canada 2009, April 20 to 22, Toronto, Ont.
Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council, Focus Group: Occupational Standards Project – Information Systems Analyst, April 21, Mississauga, Ont.
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Half-day International-trade Workshops, Montreal
April 21: Cargo Insurance (a.m.), Incoterms (p.m.)
April 22: Letters of Credit (a.m.), Risks Forwarders Face (p.m.)
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Air Dangerous Goods Training
Montreal (English) 
Initial: April 21 to 23; recurrent: April 22 and 23
Initial: April 28 to 30; recurrent: April 29 and 30
Montreal (en français)
Initial: April 28 to 30; recurrent: April 29 and 30
Women in Logistics, The Art of Successful Connecting!, April 23, Burnaby, B.C.

APICS – Montréal, 21e Conférence annuelle en gestion des opérations, le 24 avril, Montréal, Qué.
Healthcare Supply Chain Network, Second Annual National Healthcare Supply Chain Conference, April 26 to 28, Toronto, Ont.

Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada and Canadian Industrial Transportation Association, Supply Chain Leadership – Raising the Bar, featuring the Transpo 2009 Exhibition, April 28 and 29, Vaughan, Ont.
Conference Board of Canada, 2009 CSR: Measuring, Managing, and Sustaining Performance, April 30 and May 1, Toronto, Ont.
Canadian Materials Handling & Distribution Society, 12th Annual B.C. Championship Forklift Rally, May 2, Surrey, B.C.
Institute for Supply Management, 94th Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit, May 3 to 6, Charlotte, NC
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, May 4 and 5, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Transplace, 2009 Shipper Symposium, May 5 to 7, Dallas, Texas
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Applying Supply Chain Strategies, May 7 and 8, Lombard, Illinois

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport North America, Transportation Situation & Outlook Conference, May 11, Ottawa, Ont.
State University of New York – Plattsburgh, 2009 Global Supply Chain Management conference, May 19 to 21, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Forum for International Trade Training, 12th National Conference, May 25 and 26, Mississauga, Ont.
Greater Moncton International Airport, Air Cargo Logistics Symposium, June 3 and 4, Moncton, N.B.

Purchasing Management Association of Canada, 84th Annual National Conference: Making the Difference, June 3 to 5, Quebec City, Que.
World Trade Group, European Supply Chain and Logistics Summit, including The Supply Chain Distinction Awards 2009, June 8 to 10, Düsseldorf, Germany
McMaster University, Translog 2009, June 17 and 18, Hamilton, Ont.
Association of International Customs and Border Agencies, 9th Annual Convention, June 22 and 23, Windsor, Ont.

National Institute of Governmental Purchasing Inc., NIGP Forum 2009, August 22 to 26, St. Louis, Miss.
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Annual Global Conference 2009: Global Supply Chain – Chicago Style, September 20 to 23, Chicago, Illinois
APICS – The Association for Operations Management, 2009 International Conference & Expo, October 4 to 6, Toronto, Ont.
Ontario Institute of PMAC, Supply Chain... Capital Decisions, October 23 and 24, Ottawa, Ont.
Canadian Public Procurement Council, Forum and Products Expo, October 31 to November 4, Victoria, B.C.
CITT, Reposition 2009, November 4 to 6, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
Always up to date in our online event listing!

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