CSCSC e-Newsletter

December 21, 2009

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Happy Holidays

The staff of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council wish you happy holidays.
May 2010 be a good year for you and yours.

Council News

National Accreditation Program
The Supply Chain Management Post-Graduate Certificate Program of Humber College
Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning has been accredited through the Council’s National Accreditation Program, bringing to eight the number of Council-accredited programs. A list of all programs accredited since the NAP was established in August this year is on the Council's website.
Applications for accreditation of educational offerings through the National Accreditation Program are reviewed four times a year by the Council's Accreditation Review Panel. Although submissions may be made any time, at, cut-off dates in 2010 for the quarterly review periods are:
  • February 1
  • May 1
  • August 1
  • November 1
Information about the NAP process is available on the webpage indicated above or by contacting Beverly Myers, at 905-897-6700, 1-866-616-3468 or

Update on the Council's Annual Strategy Session With Our Funder
By Kevin A. Maynard, CAE
Each year, with the support of the Council's Strategic Planning Committee, our Board of Directors and key stakeholders, we make a trek up to Ottawa to outline the work of our Council, to discuss the priorities of HRSDC and the federal government, as well as issues affecting our sector, and to define opportunities for the coming year. This year, we presented three concepts for discussion as part of the session, held November 17th at HRSDC’s national headquarters. Our presentation highlighted the work of the Council over the past year, with specific reference to our new logic model and our seven core activities: development of occupational standards; encouragement of learning programs; encouragement of skill development; providing advice and best practices in human resources management; providing accurate and relevant labour market information; sector coordination, outreach and partnership development; and the promotion of career awareness and career planning.
For 2010-11, the Council reiterated its commitment to completing two proposals presented as concepts last year, one involving the engagement and inclusion of Aboriginal and First Nations peoples in the supply chain, and the second involving primary research on the role of older workers in our business, with a comparison to other sectors. HRSDC has agreed to work with us in the development of these proposals.
One new concept, which was introduced with a favourable response, was the idea to revisit our HR Study that was completed in 2005. Here, too, our funder agrees with the stakeholders present at the meeting and, recognizing the need to look again at the state of our sector, has given us the green light to develop a full proposal to update our earlier study.
Look for further updates on these three initiatives in the new year!

Research on Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Transportation Sector

Due to the high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the transportation sector, the University of Waterloo's Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD), the Transportation Health and Safety Association of Ontario (THSAO) and six transportation companies have recently collaborated on a two-and-a-half-year research project to develop feasible and effective ergonomic interventions to prevent the development of MSDs by workers in the sector.
Ergonomic assessments were completed on all major jobs and tasks at each of the six companies, and a list of feasible, transportation-specific interventions was generated. The interventions were evaluated based on their effectiveness to reduce the risk of MSDs. Recommended practices and tip sheets were created from the information gathered throughout the project.
Information available on the CRE-MSD website covers truck design, driving, entry and egress from the cab, tarping, operation of landing gear and more. See, in particular, the Recommended Practices section of the site.

New Bi-monthly Newsletter – Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table

The Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table has issued the first edition of what is to be its bi-monthly newsletter, The Connector. As the editor points out, a shortfall of almost one million workers is expected in the construction, expansion and operation of the Gateway by 2015, making action in this area critical.
Of particular interest to the Council is the newsletter's story about training, “Canada Falls Short on Workplace Learning.” The story cites research that shows that less than 30 percent of adult workers in Canada participate in job-related education and training, and more than 40 percent of Canadian adults lack the literacy and numeracy skills they need to function well in today’s economy.
The Canadian Policy Research Networks report to which this article refers – Lessons from Other Countries Regarding Incentives for Employer-Sponsored Training – suggests that Canada must engage labour and business in setting training priorities, disseminate information about training programs, continue to support the development of sectoral labour market organizations, and provide financial incentives targeted to small to mid-sized employers and less-educated workers.

The remedies suggested here are focuses of the CSCSC's work. By continuing to work with supply chain employers and educators, as well as governments at all levels, we aim to both increase awareness of the importance of training and provide resources to simplify the development of training programs.

Walk the Talk or Risk the Balk

By Chris Irwin, MBA
Cynicism can be a very destructive force, and can be particularly damaging to the trust/goodwill/benefit-of-the-doubt that seems to help collaboration unfold. I might suggest that perceived hypocrisy is the very best fertilizer for those cynical weeds in the collaborative lawn of an intra- or inter-corporate culture.
Claiming hypocrisy appears to be a safe place from which to launch a critical attack. Many of the criticisms of this month’s Copenhagen climate summit point to a disconnect between curbing greenhouse emissions and jetting off to global conferences, then taking limousines to the hotel.
On a smaller scale, in the setup to some client work I did on effective meeting behaviours, the senior manager showed up a few minutes late and then began chastising the group for hampering effectiveness with their lack of respect for people’s time.
In my role as a trainer/instructor, I have an opportunity to instill the importance of “walking the talk” when engaging hostile stakeholder groups, or even members of a cross-functional team. Most of the time, clients, students and attendees can’t tell if I actually walk my talk. (Recall the cynical adage: If you can’t do, teach.)
Note: A colleague of mine, who also teaches negotiations, found a neat way around the issue: “It’s not how good a negotiator I am; it’s how good you are after I have taught you.”
There are two situations where those watching, I think, have an opportunity to really assess my walk-to-talk ratio.
  1. Training presentation skills: Similar to writing a book on writing skills, leading a training session on “presenting” always makes me feel naked. During one such session, I found the projector frozen (having spent a December night in the trunk of a car). I am certain the audience was quietly thinking, “Wow! What is he going to do now?” and expecting me to have the right answer (which is, get on with the content; you will find the projector works fine once it is warmed up!).
  2. Negotiating grades for a Negotiation class: Students have an option to analyze and strategize their negotiation with me for a final mark in my MBA course. I don’t feel as naked in these situations because of the obvious power imbalance.

Either of these situations provides clear opportunities to spot the “do as I say, not as I do” moments. I can’t say that I have been called out much at all, but one gentleman approached me after a training session with a hypocrisy sighting: “You told us you tend to ‘beg forgiveness over ask permission,’ but then you kept asking us if it was OK to move on.”

Hmmm. Needless to say, no “participation” marks were on the line this time.
When under scrutiny, I think that credibility can become very solid very quickly if the talk and walk line up. Authenticity is a strong asset in managing and leading change from any level of an organization. I firmly believe that those under the most scrutiny (from strong out-group camps), have a fighting chance to gain/regain credibility when they “walk their talk” as much as possible. This means that if I am not flawless, I can’t hold you to a flawless standard… that would be hypocritical, which would make you cynical, which limits our ability to collaborate.
No one is bullet proof. It is far too difficult to fake it. Lead with your strengths, and find others to cover your weaknesses.
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


Can You Help? – Ontario connects employers with students to enable development of experiential-learning programs. If you're interested in sharing your supply chain experience or expertise in a local school – whether through a one-hour career talk, a full-semester co-operative education opportunity or anything in-between – sign up at

News from the Sector's Pillar Associations

Registration Open for Winter Courses
Winter course registration for the CITT Program of Study runs from December 15 to January 15. Courses in Logistics Fundamentals, Business Knowledge and Advanced Logistics will be available. Register on the CITT website.
Purchasing Management Association of Canada
PMAC's recently completed salary survey, undertaken in partnership with Purchasingb2b and MM&D magazines, does show one positive outcome for supply chain practitioners of the recession: 71 percent of survey participants believe the economic downturn has made their skills and experience more appreciated at their organizations.
Other interesting results indicate that people skills are considered the most-important supply chain skills; only 6 in 10 respondents believe that their compensation is keeping up with their job responsibilities; and, 7 in 10 feel they should have a professional designation to get ahead. While 79 percent of respondents reported that their employers do pay for educational courses, only 65 percent of employers appear ready to cover the costs for a full professional-certification program.

Coming Events

SMC³, 2010 Jump Start: Supply Chain's Look Ahead, January 19 and 20, Atlanta, Georgia

Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects (ONESTEP) and First Work, Ontario Road Show: Government Hiring and Training Incentives Programs, January 19 to 21, Toronto, Ont.
Export Controls Division of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Domestic and Export Controls Seminars
January 27: Halifax
February 23: Calgary
March 24: Vancouver
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute, Building the Lean Supply Chain Problem Solver, February 2 to 4, Atlanta, Georgia
APICS The Association for Operations Management – Ontario Grand Valley Chapter, Innovation conference, February 4 and 5, Cambridge, Ont.
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Strategic Supply Chain Management: Concepts and Applications, February 10 and 11, Lombard, Illinois
Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters (IE Canada), 5th Annual Food Forum – Embracing Global Diversity: Business Opportunity and Global Compliance, February 17, Mississauga, Ont.
Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters (IE Canada), 7th Annual Western Canada Conference – Driving Success In Customs and Trade, February 22 and 23, Calgary, Alta.
Schulich Executive Education Centre, The Logistics Management Course, February 22 to 24, Toronto, Ont.
Conference Board of Canada, Strategic Supply Chain Management Forum, March 2 and 3, Toronto, Ont.
International Warehouse Logistics Association, 119th Annual Convention & Expo – $urviving & Prospering: Translating Hard Choices into Profits, March 7 to 9, San Diego, California
IATA, World Cargo Symposium, March 8 to 11, Vancouver, B.C.
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute, Building the Lean Supply Chain Professional, March 9 to 11, Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute, World-Class Warehousing and Material Handling, March 16 to 19, Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute, Building the Lean Supply Chain Leader, April 13 to 15, Atlanta, Georgia
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada, Mark the date: 43rd Annual Conference, May 4 and 5, Toronto, Ont.
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute, World-Class Inventory Planning and Management, May 4 to 7, Atlanta, Georgia
Healthcare Supply Chain Network, National Healthcare Supply Chain Conference, May 16 to 18, Toronto, Ont.
Canadian Transportation & Research Forum, Annual Conference – Transportation and Logistics Trends and Policies: Successes and Failures, May 30 to June 2, Toronto, Ont.
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute, Global Supply Chain Strategy, June 8 to 10, Atlanta, Georgia
Purchasing Management Association of Canada, 85th Annual National Conference: Winds of Change, June 9 to 11, Regina, Sask.
Academy of Management, Operations Management Division, Annual Conference: Dare to Care: Passion and Compassion in Management Practice and Research, August 6 to 10, Montreal, Que.
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, 2010 Annual Global Conference, September 26 to 29, Chicago, Illinois
APICS The Association for Operations Management, Mark the date: 2010 International Conference & Expo, October 17 to 19, Nashville, Tennessee
CITT, Mark the date: Reposition 2010, October 27 to 29, Vancouver, B.C.
Always up to date in our online event listing!

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