CSCSC e-Newsletter

August 31, 2009

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Council News

National Accreditation Program: Submissions Received in First Round of Accreditations
As of the submission deadline for the first round of accreditations, the Council will have received information from up to 21 education providers about their supply chain-related programs and courses to be evaluated by the Accreditation Review Panel (ARP) in September. The submissions have been made in response to the Council's newly launched National Accreditation Program, which will recognize supply chain educational offerings that meet the standard established by the Council with the assistance of the Canadian Standards Association and significant input from supply chain stakeholders.
Programs and courses that are accredited in the first round of reviews will be identified near the end of September.
Submissions can be made by education providers at any time. Those received after August 31 will be reviewed at the second meeting of the ARP late in 2009. The ARP will meet four times a year to consider submissions received in the preceding three months.

To learn more about the Council's National Accreditation Program or to submit a program or course for review, visit

Interested in Hiring New Employees? Supply Chain Career Focus Program Provides Wage Subsidies
The Council's Career Focus program, which provides funds to employers for wage subsidies for new employees between the ages of 15 and 30, is gearing up. If you are interested in benefiting from this program, contact Sheryl Keenan, at or by calling 905-897-6700.
More details about the program can be found at Watch for more information coming soon.

Material Handler Skills Upgrading Project: Focus Group Sessions in September 
Three focus groups were held in July, in Toronto, Montreal and Halifax, to receive stakeholder input as the Council develops occupational standards for material handlers. Further sessions will take place in September in western Canada. If you are interested in participating in any of the following meetings, in person or by phone, contact Dale Ross, at, to register.
  • Calgary – Thursday, September 17: Sheraton Cavalier Calgary Hotel, 2620 32nd Avenue NE
  • Edmonton – Thursday, September 17: Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, 3rd Floor Boardroom, World Trade Centre, 9990 Jasper Avenue NW
  • Vancouver – Friday, September 18: Holiday Inn Express Metrotown, 4405 Central Boulevard, Burnaby
More information about the project and the focus-group meetings can be seen at

Trend Analysis on HR Intelligence
Over the last year or so, the federal government has been keenly interested in the linkages that sector councils could provide in relaying current labour market information and perspectives on employment trends from Canadian firms back to policy makers and other decision makers at HRSDC and within other departments. Initially, the CSCSC was engaged in this effort through a reference group that included a number of major employers, like Metro Canada Retail Supply Chain Solutions. Recently, through discussion at The Alliance of Sector Councils (TASC), the CSCSC has agreed to participate in a multi-sector initiative that will combine perspectives from a number of different industries.
Sixteen sector councils have agreed to participate in trends analysis, with an initial test having been completed in the summer months. Our goal is to gather information monthly from our sector, and provide it for compilation and reporting with the information from other councils to Ottawa.

The four questions are designed to pull together key intelligence on HR trends while being as simple and responder-friendly as possible. We anticipate that it should take respondents less than five minutes to participate.
  1. Hirings: Do you anticipate that hirings or recalls in your organization will be up, down or static over the next month?
  2. Layoffs: Do you anticipate that layoffs in your organization will be up, down or static over the next month?
  3. Training: Is your organization’s planned investment in training over the next month higher, lower or the same as last year this time?
  4. The context/the buzz: In relation to the above three questions, what do you consider to be the key challenge facing your organization at the moment and what are the HR implications?
Over the course of the next six months, we will be gathering answers to these questions from employers through our online survey. We urge you to visit our little survey and respond between the 8th and 15th of each month. If you have colleagues in HR who would be better respondents, please share the link with them. After the results have been tabulated, the CSCSC will provide our stakeholders with a review of our sector trends, and a comparison from the other sectors, monthly in our newsletter.
What are sector councils saying about the project?
Here is what some of the participating councils have said…
The CFIC is committing to this project because our Council is not yet doing extensive work in LMI, but we think that these kinds of indicators, particularly if benchmarks will be available from other Councils, provide good, current intelligence about human resources in our sector, and that’s the kind of information that sector councils should be able to make available.
Cheryl Paradowski
Canadian Food Industry Council
I believe that this approach to gathering labour market intelligence for our industry is crucial. [I have] a new outlook to trends analysis and I feel this would be very beneficial to my CEOs. So we need more of this.
Linda Gauthier
Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council
This gives me a good reason to be in touch with some of my employers – on an issue that will be of interest to them.
Richard Lipman
Wood Manufacturing Council
The HR Council will be participating in this survey because it looks like it will be a fast and efficient way to track trends and issues among key employers. It will complement other sources of information and data collection.
Lynne Toupin
HR Council for the Voluntary Sector
The CTHRC believes that sector councils should be at the forefront in providing national, sector-based, information on labour market issues and trends. Each council successfully does that within its own sector. A project like this could help to generate a wider awareness of the role of sector councils generally in the Canadian economy – so that in the more macro discussions of labour market issues, sector councils are recognized for the role they play and are quoted, etc. We could collectively generate the same kind of awareness/information as the Canadian Council on Learning.
Wendy Swedlove
Canadian Tourism Human Resources Council
We are confident that this information will help to share some perspectives on the HR state of our sector, and provide some baseline comparisons both over time and between sectors. If you have questions or comments about HR trends analysis within our sector, or the cross-sectoral initiative underway at TASC, please contact Kevin Maynard at the Council.

Help Promote the Supply Chain to Job Seekers and Students
The CSCSC will once again have a booth at the National Job Fair, in Toronto on September 22 and 23, and at the National Education Fair, in Montreal from October 14 to 16. These events are expected to draw at least 12,000 and 25,000 visitors, respectively.
If you're enthusiastic about the supply chain and would like to promote awareness and provide information about careers in the sector, we could use your help. In a three- or four-hour shift in the booth, you'll talk to a steady stream of people, directing them to education and career resources available from the Council and other providers in the sector. (Information will be provided to you to prepare for your stint at the event.)
To get more information or to volunteer to participate at one of the fairs, contact Kim Biggar, at
To learn more about these events, click here.

Council Resources Designed By and For Stakeholders
  • Labour Market Information Toolkit: Supply chain-specific LMI, including updated Canadian labour market data, links to Canadian federal and provincial LMI sites, as well as international sites, mapped information about labour demand in Canada's supply chain sector, and more
  • Virtual HR Department: Information and downloadable tools – policy samples and templates, how-to procedures, forms – that can be customized to assist employers with recruitment and selection, employment policies, compensation and benefits, training and development, managing performance, and reward and recognition

Free Subscription Available to New IWLA Magazine

3PL Canada is Launched
The Canadian Council of the International Warehouse Logistics Association announces the launch of its new quarterly magazine, 3PL Canada. The inaugural issue will be mailed in early September and will feature articles on lean operations, human resources in Canada, mobile technologies, CSCSC’s new occupational standards and the IWLA’s Canadian version of the Standard Terms and Conditions for Merchandise Warehousemen.
If you would like to obtain a free subscription to 3PL Canada, provide your name, company name, postal address and email address to, and watch your mailbox.

Supply Chain Confidence Survey

Confidence is identified as one of the key enablers to improve supply chain performance; however, no in-depth research has been conducted in this field. Diana Esparza, of the University of Ottawa Telfer School of Management, is conducting research to understand how confidence is built and the role it plays within a supply chain system, as well as the impact that confidence has on the strategic decision-making process and supply chain overall performance.
For the purpose of this study, "confidence" reflects an overall perception by a leader of one of the components of the supply chain that, at each stage of the chain, his or her partners will act in the best way possible.
Confidence encourages companies to have and reach higher expectations. It enables them to respond rapidly to constant changes.
To participate in this study – and thereby help determine the impact confidence has on global supply chains – click here or contact Diana Esparza, at All participants will receive a complimentary copy of the executive summary of the report to be generated from this study.

Workforce Connex Ontario: Building Aboriginal Training and Employment Partnerships

Employers who attend this two-day event can expect to develop networks with the Aboriginal community, as well as educators, to help resolve labour shortages, create new business opportunities and markets, and develop Aboriginal inclusion strategies.

Making the Call (Or Not)

By Chris Irwin, MBA
If you read this column, you will know by now that I have a very soft spot for analogy. My favourites involve the restaurant industry, and to guard against diminished impact from overuse, allow me to share one from a client of mine, who is enamoured with sports analogies. He explains a relatively recent switch in his and his agency's role:
"We used to be like hockey referees. If things were working, people barely knew we were there. Occasionally we would be called in to work on problems, but there was often clarity about what should happen. These days, we are baseball umpires and are constantly being asked to call 'strikes' and 'balls' in situations where things are happening fast and in front of many spectators."
The difference in the impact of the authority of officials is stark between hockey and baseball (leaving national orientations aside).
In hockey, a referee is unable to see everything because the action is so constant. In most instances, no action on the part of a referee is an acceptable response. There is an expectation that less-serious infractions and breaches will be ignored, and that occasionally a major breach will slip under the radar (for example, if it happens behind the play). In instances where a potentially game-changing decision is required, such as with a disputed goal, the lines are very clear and the maximum impact – one goal – is usually surmountable for the other side.
Baseball umpires, on the other hand, have a nearly omniscient view of the field of play. They are constantly required to make binary decisions – i.e., in or out (watch this clip for the frenzy created by delayed calls). One of the most-important criteria for an umpire's decisions – the vertical strike zone from the player's shoulders to knees – changes with every batter, plus the ball travels at highway vehicle speeds and only very recently has support been allowed through instant replay. "Game-changing" calls routinely become "game-ending" (e.g., how rare is a bottom-of-the-ninth third out on strikes?)
In the working world, which would you rather be?
A straw poll would likely show a preference for refereeing, but I will suggest that many organizations need the calls made by umpires. There are steep potential downsides to "no action" as a response to a situation:
  • Delays that cause missing a window of opportunity;
  • Diminishing perceptions of the person's ability/leadership; and
  • Deflating employee spirits as "analysis" continues seemingly forever.

From my involvement with supply chain professionals, I've found that they often make up the group that has the best view of the "field of play" and may be in a good position to make (or initiate) a positive "game-changing" decision that takes into account wider implications. The criteria for success, like the strike zone, may need some clarification to maintain the quality of the decisions and garner necessary support.

The other thing to point out, before the analogy goes too far, is that the best decisions come when the "us against them" dynamic is altered toward collaboration. This is why I still prefer the restaurant stories.
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.

Retirement Intentions Survey

Planning for future needs is an important HR function in any organization. As baby boomers age, employers who don't have a handle on the coming retirements of their employees are likely to face difficulties with worker shortages and knowledge loss.
The Workplace Institute offers the Retirement Intentions Survey© as a means to determine the retirement turnover that an organization can expect in coming years. The survey can help to:
  • measure the business risk associated with the loss of corporate knowledge;
  • assess those areas in an organization where shortages due to retirements are likely to be most acute;
  • assist in the preparation of workforce plans and strategies; and,
  • suggest programs and policies to encourage the retention of high-experience employees.

To get more information about this service, contact the Workplace Institute at 1-877-610-0109.

Pandemic Resources Available for Employers

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care maintains a website to help Ontarians in numerous roles prepare for their responsibilities in the event of an influenza pandemic. The site notes that:
Depending on how widespread the influenza pandemic is, our daily routines will be disrupted from time to time. For example, companies may have to close down some of their operations. Cities may decide to provide essential services only in some areas.
Resources for employers include a pandemic planning guide and checklist, along with posters, protocols and more. The Ministry has established an employers hotline to help companies prepare for a pandemic. Call 1-866-331-0339 or email to get answers to your questions.

Website Links


Coming Events

Event in the Spotlight
International Warehouse Logistics Association – Canada, October 14, Toronto, Ont.

IWLA’s first annual fall conference will provide a forum for discussion of contemporary issues to help 3PL and warehouse operations eliminate waste and thereby become more profitable. Headlining the event will be practical how-tos from LeanCor, North America’s only third-party logistics provider wholly dedicated to the application of Lean principles through supply chain functions. Supporting presentations will provide techniques to help attendees close the technology gap, reduce HR and health and safety risks, and broaden their horizons with respect to emerging new markets! 

Other Coming Events

WTG Webinars, Supply Chain – It's Risky Business!, September 3, Webinar
Saskatchewan Institute of PMAC, Introduction to Marketing Seminar, September 9 and 10, Regina, Sask.

Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada – Quebec (CAL Québec), Golf Tournament to Benefit Fondation En Cœur, September 10, Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Que.
The Van Horne Institute, Northern Transportation Conference 2009: Weathering the Economic Storm, September 10 and 11, Iqaluit, Nunavut

HK Systems, 2009 Material Handling & Logistics Conference: Supply Chain Forward, September 13 to 16, Park City, Utah
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Air Cargo Security Coordinator training, Calgary, Alta.
Initial: September 16
Recurrent: September 17

B.C. Institute of PMAC, 17th  Annual Workshop: Triple Bottom Line - "People, Planet, Profit," September 16 to 18, Nanaimo, B.C.
Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council, Focus Group Meeting: Material Handler Skills Upgrading, September 17, Calgary, Alta.
Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council, Focus Group Meeting: Material Handler Skills Upgrading, September 17, Edmonton, Alta.
Greentech Media, Greening the Supply Chain, September 17, Boston, Mass.
Xtalks, The Business Case for eInvoicing: Low Risk, High Return, Rapid Payout, September 17, Webinar
Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council, Focus Group Meeting: Material Handler Skills Upgrading, September 18, Vancouver, B.C.
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Annual Global Conference 2009: Global Supply Chain – Chicago Style, September 20 to 23, Chicago, Illinois

IE Canada, Customs Duty and International Trade, September 21 to 23, Calgary, Alta.

International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), 2009 World Congress, September 21 to 25, Geneva, Switzerland
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada, Green Supply Chain Management: The Path to Profitability
September 22: Montreal, Que.
September 23: Burlington, Ont.
September 24: Toronto, Ont.
September 29: Vancouver, B.C.
September 30: Calgary, Alta.
October 1: Winnipeg, Man.
October 16: Halifax, N.S.
The Journal of Commerce, 4th Annual Canada Maritime Conference, September 23 and 24, Vancouver, B.C.
Logility, Connections 2009 – Supply Chain Optimization: Mission Possible, September 23 to 25, Atlanta, Georgia

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Lean Supply Chain Training Workshop, September 24, Chicago, Illinois

Saskatchewan Institute of PMAC, Leadership & Professionalism Workshop, September 24 and 25, Saskatoon, Sask.

eyefortransport, 3rd Hi-Tech & Electronics Supply Chain Summit, September 29 and 30, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Canadian Transport Lawyers Association, 2009 Annual Conference: A Cross-Border Conversation, October 1 to 3, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
APICS – The Association for Operations Management, 2009 International Conference & Expo, October 4 to 6, Toronto, Ont.
The Next Generation Supply Chain Collaborative, 2009 New England Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition: Supply Chain Innovation and Optimization, October 5, Marlborough, Massachusetts
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, October 5 and 6, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Journal of Commerce, East Coast Maritime Conference, October 5 and 6, Jersey City, New Jersey
Les Grandes Conférences les affaires, Entretien industriel : conjuguez fiabilité et réduction des coûts en temps de crise, le 6 au 8 octobre, Montréal, Qué.
University of Manitoba Transport Institute, 2nd Manitoba Outlook on Transportation, October 7, Winnipeg, Man.
International Warehouse Logistics Association – Canada, 3PL Excellence: Lean, Mean and Green, October 14, Toronto, Ont.
Saskatchewan Institute of PMAC, Strategic Capital Equipment Procurement Seminar, October 14, Regina, Sask.
Aboriginal Human Resource Council, Workforce Connex Ontario: Building Aboriginal Training and Employment Partnerships, October 14 and 15, Toronto, Ont.
University of Manitoba Transport Institute and the Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Research Institute (Helsinki, Finland), Humanitarian Logistics: Relationship Building in Relief Supply Chains, October 15 and 16, Ottawa, Ont.
Transportation Association of Canada, 2009 Annual Conference & Exhibition: Transportation in a Climate of Change, October 18 to 21, Vancouver, B.C.

IE Canada, 78th Annual Conference & Trade Show: Best Practices in Global Trade and Customs, October 19 to 21, Toronto, Ont.
Canadian Industrial Transportation Association and Escalation Consultants, Inc., Actions Management Can Take to Control Rail Expenses, October 20 and 21, Toronto, Ont.
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada – Quebec (CAL Québec), 9e colloque logistique, October 21 and 22, Montreal, Que.
Saskatchewan Institute of PMAC, Introduction to Negotiations Seminar, October 22 and 23, Saskatoon, Sask.
Ontario Institute of PMAC, Supply Chain... Capital Decisions, October 23 and 24, Ottawa, Ont.
Global Commerce Forum, The Second Annual International Conference on Energy, Logistics and the Environment, October 23 and 24, Las Vegas, Nevada
Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, 4th International Conference on Women's Issues in Transportation, October 27 to 30, Irvine, California

Purchasing Management Association of Canada and McMaster eBusiness Research Centre of the DeGroote School of Business, Seventh Annual International Symposium on Supply Chain Management: Managing Global Supply Chain Networks in Uncertain Times, October 28 to 30, Toronto, Ont.
The Van Horne Institute, Current Advances in Transportation Engineering and Planning: A Certificate Short Course, October 30 and 31, Calgary, Alta.

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.
Saskatchewan Institute of PMAC, Communication & Relational Skills Workshop, November 5 to 7, Regina, Sask.
Saskatchewan Institute of PMAC, Competitive Bidding, Contract Preparation & Contract Management Seminar, November 18 and 19, Regina, Sask.
IE Canada, Customs Duty and International Trade, November 23 to 25, Toronto, Ont.
University of Manitoba Transport Institute and WESTAC, 14th Annual Fields on Wheels Conference, November 25, Winnipeg, Man.

Conference Board of Canada, Workplace Diversity and Inclusiveness 2009, December 2 and 3, Toronto, Ont.
Saskatchewan Institute of PMAC, International Business & Multi-Cultural Skills Workshop, December 2 and 3, Saskatoon, Sask.
World Trade Group, 7th Annual Supply Chain and Logistics Summit North America, December 3 and 4, Dallas, Texas
Always up to date in our online event listing!

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