CSCSC e-Newsletter

October 30, 2009

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Council News

First Accreditations through Council's National Accreditation Program
The Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council completed a review on October 29 of the programs put forward by education providers in the inaugural round of submissions in its National Accreditation Program (the NAP). The Council is pleased to announce that seven educational offerings have been accredited through that program.
The NAP was established to recognize those educational offerings in supply chain-related topics that meet the Council's standards for accreditation, created with the assistance of the Canadian Standards Association and with significant input from supply chain stakeholders.
The standards are based on national and international best practices and principles, and include requirements for course/program needs assessment, design, development, delivery, and student evaluation. They do not include requirements related to the provider itself, such as its administrative-management system, governance structure, or policies and procedures. To be accredited, the course or program must meet all of the standards.
Post-secondary institutions, associations and private training schools are eligible to submit their programs and courses for review.
Five education providers completed the application process in the first round of submissions. The Council's Accreditation Review Panel met for two days to review and assess the applications, and determined that the following programs met all of the standards for accreditation. Congratulations to these education providers for the excellence of their offerings:
  • Business Administration, Business Operations Management – Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology
  • Certificate Program in International Freight Forwarding – Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association
  • Advanced Certificate Program in International Freight Forwarding – Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association
  • Bachelor of Applied International Business & Supply Chain Management – Bissett School of Business, Mount Royal University
  • Strategic Supply Chain Management Leadership – Purchasing Management Association of Canada
  • Supply Management Training – Purchasing Management Association of Canada
  • Graduate Certificate, Business Process Management – Sheridan College

It is important to note that education providers themselves are not accredited; it is specific programs or individual courses that are accredited.

With their newly accredited status, these offerings are recognized as meeting industry needs; they're differentiated from non-accredited offerings by being proven relevant and valuable. Graduates of accredited programs can expect that employers will increasingly appreciate the merit of their education as awareness of the NAP builds. Educators offering accredited courses and/or programs will benefit, too, as this recognition should boost enrolment in their supply chain-related courses and programs.
The deadline for submission of information about courses or programs for review in the next round is November 1, 2009. Subsequent deadlines are February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1, 2010. Applications are submitted electronically and are reviewed by the Council's Accreditation Review Panel.
More information about the NAP standards, fees and review process is available on the Council's website, at

The Economic Stimulus Plan: A Supply Chain Reality

By Kevin A. Maynard, CAE
Next week, I will be addressing the annual conference of the Canadian Public Procurement Council. My remarks will focus on the impact of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, specifically on human capital. While researching the topic using various print and Internet sources, I have been torn by the marketing of the program and its impact on employers and employees across the country. Just how does the Economic Action Plan affect the labour market and, specifically, has it impacted on the work that we all do in supply chains? Has the Economic Action Plan impacted the number of employees in our sector? Are there specific occupations that have been affected by the Plan more than others? Are there specific knowledge or skill areas that need to be addressed as a result of the Economic Action Plan? And, finally, from our vantage point as a sector council, how can we assist stakeholders as the Action Plan impacts on our communities?
The Government of Canada has an entire website devoted to the Plan. Rather than stick to a script provided from the government’s perspective, I have asked a number of our stakeholders to share their perspectives. Here are some of their thoughts.
Employment – The Plan has resulted in a number of initiatives that have been noted by stakeholders in conversations with the Council. The most significant include WorkShare, through which employees voluntarily reduce their work hours each week and a portion of their payroll is covered through a government wage support, and wage-subsidy programs oriented at new employees or recent graduates, such as the Council’s Career Focus Program. Both programs appear to have had an impact, although a direct effect is very difficult to quantify. Certainly we have heard the WorkShare program has enabled many firms to retain their current workforce on a reduced number of hours without resorting to layoffs. Firms utilizing this approach indicate that there has been success only where there is a true partnership between management and labour, and where there is still a demand for labour. From one firm I heard a comment that WorkShare has enabled it to “weather the storm” and, that as a result of its success, the company is planning to begin hiring again.
For new hires, the news has not been as positive. Many firms have indicated that they are not yet in a position to offer new employment, and will be in that position only once business begins to pick up. There are the odd stories of success, but they are not common.
As a result, most firms (and individuals) are taking the time now to upskill and make use of training and education opportunities. Enrollments are up at many colleges, and interest in education programs offered by all learning-system providers is at a peak. There are significant signs of interest in these “learning opportunities” where a transition program is available, and funding enables an individual to learn new skills that may relate more appropriately to the new economy that is evolving.
Direct Spending – Investment by all levels of government in infrastructure projects has likely had the greatest impact on our sector in terms of both volume and context. Investments in capital projects have necessitated procurement and distribution activities that are at the core of supply chains everywhere, within both the public and private sectors. Although we have not had access to data on the number of contracts issued, the fact that there were over 4,700 projects, all of which would require procurement activity, means that there was an impact from the Plan on people employed in our sector. Knowledge of program requirements around funding, experience in “Buy American” provisions, and advanced intelligence around sourcing and quality continue to shape our everyday work.
The Council will be working with its stakeholders to appropriately address these changing needs. I invite you to share your experiences and perspectives as we work together.

Room for Skilled Trades in the Knowledge Economy

By Elsbeth Mehrer
With our eyes shifting to a “knowledge economy” and the development of so-called knowledge workers, we’ve inadvertently shut out some careers. As a result, we’re now mis-investing time and public money and wasting talent.
Because we recognize the new class of skilled trades and technical careers - which require specialized training, pay family-supporting wages and contribute critical goods and services to our economy – as “different” from professional careers, we have too often removed them from the consideration set. When beginning to talk about our workforce differently, the reality is that these types of vocations fit distinctly into the knowledge economy.
We’ll wait for a good plumber, automotive technician or telephone installer to do our bidding or sit back awestruck at a great meal prepared by a new chef. But in failing to shed the “dirty and dangerous” stereotypes associated with the trades, we’re still awfully glad when someone else’s kid is willing to choose one.
As a society we have set university as the gold standard and undergraduate degrees as a bare minimum. This misguided and misinformed social perspective has never been challenged. Parents have bought in.
When we tell our kids that they can do whatever they want to do – so long as they have a university degree first – we start a chain reaction which directs limited public post-secondary resources to young people who may have no intention of ever holding a job that truly demands university training. These youth may complete a degree but then seek to access additional training more aligned with their natural aptitudes to build, drive, craft, design, program or assemble.
This cycle, repeated over recent generations, has contributed to what will soon be a critical shortage of workers with skilled trade and technology expertise. While Boomer retirements will affect all sectors, the pinch will be even tighter on the trades’ side where the demographic profile runs more “grey.”
In 2008, approximately 30 per cent of Calgary’s labour force was working in skilled trades and technical occupations – that’s approximately 226,000 Calgarians. In the past decade, over 70,000 jobs were created in these categories. According to the Calgary Employment Demand Forecast, jobs requiring college or apprenticeship training are expected to be the fastest growing class of jobs in Calgary in the next 10 years.
Employers share responsibility for shifting the paradigm. One need only scan the want ads to tally the number of jobs that now require a degree – at least on paper. While this is essential for many licensed professions and specialized occupations, it seems some employers equate university with critical thinking skills and interpret years of educational pursuit as a measure of commitment levels.
Surely, aligning people with the appropriate level of training into well-defined jobs is a much wiser use of training resources and a prescription for greater job satisfaction.
Calgary welcomed the world September 1-7, 2009, for the WorldSkills Calgary competition and there was no deriding any of the would-be champions as anything less than the pinnacle of knowledgeable workers. This competition was an opportunity for Calgarians and visitors from around the world to witness and celebrate excellence in skills, trades, and technologies. More than 900 youth from 54 global regions competed simultaneously in 45 skill categories. Seven students from Calgary’s SAIT Polytechnic were among the members of Team Canada who competed in areas as diverse as car painting, network cabling, electrical installation and painting.
At Calgary Economic Development we believe WorldSkills is more than an opportunity to host the world. It’s a chance to recognize the vital contribution vocational workers make to our lives and our economy. More importantly it’s a chance to expose youth and their parents to an oft-overlooked set of demanding, well-paid and life-long careers that are open to them.
There is no question that post-secondary education enhances the earning potential of individuals and strengthens society overall but it does so in all its many forms, not just at universities.
Elsbeth Mehrer has contributed to the work of the Council through participation in the development of the LMI Toolkit and is an active participant in the Industry Committee for the Alberta Workforce Strategy for Supply Chain and Logistics. This article is republished with the permission of Calgary Economic Development.

On the Outside, But Not Just Looking In

By Chris Irwin, MBA
Earlier this month, I attended a talk at Schulich Business School, where Operations Management faculty and PhD students played host to Dr. Kevin Hendricks from Wilfrid Laurier University. As is often the case, we began with introductions; the audience was small enough for us to go quickly around the room of students, who were largely looking for research tips. Describing my connection (negotiations instructor) and my interest (helping positive change take hold), I got the sense that people in the room asked themselves, “What is he doing here?” I was very clearly “outside” this particular group. It’s not the first – and certainly not the last – time that will happen.
You don't have to spend too long with me before I start on about in-groups and out-groups. A fundamental belief of mine is that value-producing collaboration requires better communication across traditional divides (e.g., between the two groups). It can, however, be uncomfortable to spend time across a divide (as I can attest from some of the discussion involving research methods).
The setup for Dr. Hendricks' talk piqued my interest: “Many senior executives simply don't understand the importance and value created by a well-performing supply chain.” His premise was that the best way to “prove” that companies should actively invest in pre-empting supply chain failures was to look at the stock-price drop that followed a reported inventory “incident.” (For the truly piqued, click here.)
The take-away for the students was, as I understood it, that many of the traditional statistical methods (presumably familiar to these PhD students) are useless when looking at such incidents. There are other ways to inject necessary rigour into the study, and this was the focus of much of his talk.
Perhaps a kindred spirit, I am certain that Dr. Hendricks does well in speaking to “practitioner” audiences. He clearly conveyed the importance of getting this message out to other parts of organizations. Arguments for pre-emptive measures that require investment are always difficult. Making the case to “senior management” may be easier with studies and findings he and others produce.
According to Hendricks, the majority of practitioners who take interest in this work do so because of such a failure and, conceivably, a drop in shareholder value in their recent past. This means that practitioners can simply wait for “an incident” to occur. Direct experience has a way of persuading.

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 in Humber’s Supply Chain program. He also teaches in PMAC’s Strategic Supply Chain Management Leadership Program. He blogs on related issues at (Micro Organizational Behaviour) and can be reached through that website.

Website Links


Take Our Kids to Work Day

November 4 is Take Our Kids to Work Day for Grade 9 students across Canada. Through this national program, students connect with the world of work at a time when they’re beginning to make decisions about future directions. Exposure on this day to supply chain facilities and roles would provide young people with knowledge of career opportunities in our sector, and might just start some on a path to employment in the supply chain.

We encourage you to invite your staff to bring their own children and others to your workplace. In addition, you could consider reaching out to local high schools to invite students to your office or warehouse – or other supply chain environment – to learn about your corner of the supply chain.

The Halifax Employers Association: Providing Youth With a Look at the Longshore Industry
From Richard Moore, HEA President and CEO

The HEA has had what I think is a very successful "Take Our Kids to Work Day" program, which I started about a year after I arrived here. Because of the nature of our industry, the safety-sensitive environment in which we work, and the fact that we are a multi-union and multi-employer organization, we coordinate the day on behalf of all our members and stakeholders.

We begin in our office, where the kids are dropped off; we give them a brief overiew of the longshoring industry and some of the work involved, we go through what the HEA does, we have a senior manager from one of the container terminals talk about what they do, and we have a representative from each union discuss what they do and what their union members do.

We follow this with a tour of the Maritime Museum, which is across the road from our office, and then invite the parents to join us for a pizza lunch back in our office. We finish up in the afternoon with a tour of the entire port and stop at a container terminal, where the kids go into the office for a brief orientation, are given the chance to go up in a gantry crane and, if possible, get a quick tour of a container ship. We do this for 12 to 16 kids every year, as that is the most we can accommodate.

We know that worker shortages are coming in the future. Companies will need to increasingly compete to attract the young to supply chain jobs, by building their awareness of and interest in the sector. By participating in Take Our Kids to Work Day, your organization will play a role in creating that awareness. Through such activities, we may all benefit; seeing a day in the life of a supply chain practitioner – with its challenges, fast pace and diversity – will likely focus at least some students on developing careers in this exciting field.

More information about Take Our Kids to Work Day can be found on the website of The Learning Partnership.

Coming Events

Canadian Public Procurement Council, Forum and Products Expo, October 31 to November 4, Victoria, B.C.
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, International Trade Workshops, November 3 and 4, Montreal, Que.
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, Hwy H2O Conference, November 3 and 4, Toronto, Ont.
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Air Cargo Security Training, November 4, Montreal, Que. (initial and recurrent)
CITT, Reposition 2009, November 4 to 6, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

The Logistics Institute, Leading & Managing Change, November 4 to 6, Vancouver, B.C.

Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada, Technology Tour: How Do You Measure Up?
le 5 novembre : Montréal, Qué.
November 10: Toronto, Ont.
November 12: Burlington, Ont.
November 17: Vancouver, B.C.
November 18: Calgary, Alta.
November 19: Winnipeg, Man.
Saskatchewan Institute of PMAC, Communication & Relational Skills Workshop, November 5 to 7, Regina, Sask.

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport North America, Annual Dinner 2009: The Latest Economic Situation & Prospects for 2010, November 9, Ottawa, Ont.

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Air Cargo Security Training, Webinars
Recurrent: November 10
Initial: November 12

Purchasing Management Association of Canada, Sustainable Procurement Showcase
November 10
Vancouver, B.C.
November 13
Toronto, Ont.
Canadian Standards Association and the Industrial Accident Prevention Association, 2009 Warehousing Safety Conference, November 11 and 12, Mississauga, Ont.

Women in Logistics – Ottawa Chapter, WIL Breakfast Club, November 13, Ottawa, Ont.

The Logistics Institute, Executive P.Log. Certification Program, November 15 to 20, Banff, Alta.

Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters (IE Canada), Doing Business in Brazil, November 17, Vancouver, B.C.

Strategy Institute, Lean & Green Supply Chain Strategies Summit, November 17 and 18, Toronto, Ont.

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Air Dangerous Goods training
Initial: November 17 to 19
Recurrent: November 18 and 19
Initial: December 8 to 10
Recurrent: December 9 and 10
Initial: December 8 to 10
Recurrent: December 9 and 10
Radioactive: December 10
Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects (ONESTEP) and First Work, Ontario Road Show: Government Hiring and Training Incentives Programs
November 17 to 19: London, Ont.
January 19 to 21: Toronto, Ont.
February 10 to 12: Thunder Bay, Ont.

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, RFID Business Value, November 18, Webinar
Saskatchewan Institute of PMAC, Competitive Bidding, Contract Preparation & Contract Management Seminar, November 18 and 19, Regina, Sask.
Osgoode Professional Development Centre, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University Intensive Course in Public Procurement, November 23 and 24, Toronto, Ont.

IE Canada, Customs Duty and International Trade, November 23 to 25, Toronto, Ont.

Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters (IE Canada), Doing Business in Mexico, November 24, Edmonton, Alta.
Export Controls Division of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Domestic and Export Controls Seminars
November 24: Ottawa
December (TBD): Montreal
January 27: Halifax
February 23: Calgary
March 24: Vancouver

University of Manitoba Transport Institute and WESTAC, 14th Annual Fields on Wheels Conference, November 25, Winnipeg, Man.

Purchasing Management Association of Canada, in partnership with Purchasing b2b and MM&D magazines, Salary Survey Breakfast Briefing, November 26, Toronto, Ont.

Purchasing Management Association of Canada, Procurement Law Update: Mitigating Risk for Your Organization, November 30, Webinar

Logistics Quarterly, 8th Annual Executive Exchange: Innovation in Supply Chain Management 2009, December 2, Toronto, Ont.

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.
The Logistics Institute, Supply Chain Strategies, December 2 to 4, Toronto, 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