CSCSC e-Newsletter

October 29, 2010

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Council News

Dealing With the Much-Discussed Need to Reach Youth: Getting the Supply Chain Career Message to Students
The Council is now partnered with Junior Achievement of Canada to deliver supply chain career information to students across Canada. With JA’s tremendous reach (last year, its programs involved 210,000 Canadian students), the Council’s opportunities to build awareness of supply chain careers have thereby expanded enormously, and we need help to bring this initiative to life!
JA Canada’s programs are delivered within the school system by volunteers who share their expertise in and enthusiasm for the work they do. Students in all grades from 3 to 12 benefit from the exposure to the world of work that those volunteers provide. Student participants in JA programs not only develop skills in teamwork, decision-making, problem-solving, communication and critical thinking, but also learn about a wide variety of careers that they might otherwise be unaware of. By working with JA, the Council can demystify supply chain careers for young people as they consider their future paths. This partnership places careers in our sector in front of a wide audience of Canada’s youth, and does so utilizing a network of locally driven education partnerships known for their high-quality curriculum, training and support to volunteers.
We know that employers in Canada’s supply chain sector are faced with a labour force that is largely unaware of the sector’s opportunities and unprepared to fill available jobs. Employers need more workers with better skills. We know, too, that all kinds of groups in the sector have long been grappling with how to get into the schools to inform students and their parents, as well as teachers and guidance counsellors, about the myriad career possibilities in the supply chain. The Council’s partnership with JA Canada is an important step toward meeting that need.
If we’re going to succeed in collectively building a skilled labour pool for supply chain employers, those employers need to be engaged; they need to help. Doing so can be easy. Making it possible for employees to volunteer time to a local JA program to talk about their career experiences (and their passion for the supply chain) or share their expertise is a pretty simple way for an employer to help. In addition to time from volunteers, JA needs financial investments to recover program-delivery costs related to support from local JA offices and materials provided to students, volunteers and teachers. Employers are asked to provide both people and funds to enable our reach into classrooms. With JA, you can connect to young people in a structured, proven way.
And helping just may reward. The employees who volunteer their time improve their presentation skills and gain confidence. They comment that it helps their communication and time-management skills. They hone their leadership and conflict-management abilities. They are, in effect, acquiring training through the volunteering experience. In addition, they come back feeling appreciated and, hence, more motivated. And, their efforts may, in the long run, help their companies find keen, skilled new workers, people who have chosen to build a career in the supply chain.
If you are interested in sharing your passion or your knowledge – and feeling that you’re doing good works! – let us know. Contact Kim Biggar, at 905-897-6700 or, to get more information about how you can get involved in your area.

Help to Shape Occupational Standards for the Supply Chain: Focus Groups to Provide Feedback on Draft Standards
Through its Occupational Standards Phase II Project, the Council is writing standards for 15 supply chain occupations. Draft versions of 13 of those standards are ready for review by anyone interested in having input. Through this process, people working in the sector can help to write the standards relevant to their own work life.
Three of five focus-group sessions, looking at standards related to purchasing, warehousing, marketing and sales and supply chain-related senior management, have taken place. Two remaining sessions are planned as follows:

Transportation: Route & Crew Scheduler, Customs Broker, Postal & Courier Service Manager
Thursday, November 18
Montreal (in French)
Location to be determined
Logistics Information Systems: Computer & Information Systems Manager, Industrial Engineering Technician
Monday, November 29
Offices of CSA Standards, 5060 Spectrum Way, Mississauga, Ont., Conference Room #3

Register to participate in either of these focus groups by contacting Sue Ruscetta of CSA Standards, at 416-747-2271 or For more information, contact Program Manager Beverly Myers, at 905-897-6700, 1-866-616-3468 or

News From the Pillar Associations

Purchasing Management Association of Canada
2010 Salary Survey Briefing
Presented by PMAC, Purchasingb2b and MM&D
Tuesday, November 16
This year’s salary survey briefing is free-of-charge and accessible nation-wide. An in-person event will take place in Toronto and simultaneously be broadcast online as a webinar. Questions will be encouraged.
The briefing will feature an in-depth analysis of the 2010 PMAC/Purchasingb2b/MM&D salary survey. Get insight on how to attract and retain top talent, and keep up on the latest trends in compensation, benefits and training for supply chain professionals.
  • Live webcast across Canada from 12:30 to 1:30 pm ET.
  • Complimentary light lunch in Toronto at Rogers Communications HQ, 333 Bloor Street East, 3rd floor training room at 12:00 pm followed by the presentation and discussion. (Space is limited, so reserve early.)
To register, simply complete the registration form and return to PMAC or register online.

Sustainable Return on Risk

By Chris Irwin, MBA

The monthly mailer from APICS brought my attention to a panel hosted by SAP at the end of September that touched on how supply chain-related activities can lead to business sustainability and, more importantly, can reduce risk. One of the comments on the website of the original article suggests that this is not "new news," and goes on to share the commentator's own presentation from eight years prior conveying a similar risk-reduction message.

I concur that stating "It's not about going green, it's about making money and minimizing risk" smacks of motherhood, but clarification of this from a strategy level will quickly become a negotiation about trade-offs involved.

For simplicity's sake, let's look at an industry that makes no pretense in the "doing good" department: contraband cigarettes. Tom Blackwell's recent series in the National Post  exposes a picture of a complex supply chain and the risks taken on by some of the parties.

Beyond the tobacco farmers as suppliers of raw materials, the industry needs paper and filters. Suppliers would be smart to engage their buyers in a discussion in order to fully understand the risk-and-return trade-offs. The discussion should address the risks involved with supplying illegal factories, apparently located on First Nation reserves. The balance of risks (of being associated with a contraband industry) with return (of additional sales) can become a business decision beyond its ethical implications. You can see how this becomes an internal negotiation, as well, and provides an opportunity to clarify what is acceptable by multiple measures.

Avoiding these negotiations leaves a larger degree of risk than necessary. If/when a crisis breaks regarding untoward supplier relationships, the communications and public affairs department may be stuck with "We never bothered to ask" as a defence. This may not be acceptable to stakeholders on grounds ranging from ethics to stock price. Gaps between "do" and "say" create risks that need to be acknowledged, and then managed and reduced. Treating these situations as a collaborative negotiation (internally and externally) can assist in this process.

Not every industry operates in such proximity to ethical and legal risks. Nonetheless, the approach is similar; sustainable business can offer some common ground from which to build a conversation/negotiation about shared value. A first step is to identify the different aspects of sustainability and how they are prioritized. It will be worth the effort.

Chris Irwin helps organizations to better align by clarifying priorities and developing skills for people to discuss, rather than debate, and collaborate, rather than compete. 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 can be reached through his website (Micro Organizational Behaviour).

Fast = Stupid: Why Managing Rapid Change Requires Slowing Down

By Jonathan Wilson, Soul Systems
Countless authors of business books cite one recurring theme: the increasing speed and complexity of change. Typically, they provide one solution: executives need to think, act and adapt very quickly. Adapt, yes. Act, certainly. But think, no. Rapid adaptation and action that is strategic and bears long-lasting fruit is borne of deep and ponderous thought.
The mind is able to acquire vast amounts of data. But data acquisition is not thinking. Thinking is making connections. Those connections are the insights that yield, among many things, innovation.
Pressured as we are by the rapid-change brigade, many of us get trapped into making improper or erroneous connections between data points. Hasty thinking breeds false assumptions. A global Fortune 500 recently faced massive pressure to catch up to competitors. Its answer: to engage in a glut of acquisitions. But hasty thought has led to a bloated company with a false short-term profitability reading working in tension with the tremendous long-term cost of forcing into alignment the acquired companies, killing their internal cultures and, therefore, their own performance.
Financial crashes, corporate failures, oil spills – all indicate that we need to think more carefully and more comprehensively, even – indeed, especially – in the face of urgent crises. What does it take to think better?
Why It’s So Hard to Focus These Days
One prized solution to the dilemma posed by rapid change and human limitation is information technology. For example, social media allows us to source a huge array of diverse insights in a way never before possible, which in itself should lead to a higher collective IQ. Unfortunately, recent studies reveal that the social-media technologies we use to build vast collective brains actually undermine the individual IQs feeding into those brains.
The barriers erected by current technologies need to be noted if we are to tap into the profound thinking capacity of the human beings that drive our companies. Here is what research is showing:
  1. The constant stimulation of e-mails, instant messages, social media sites, and the inevitable link-chasing that ensues, prevents people from taking the down time their brains need in order to effectively process information.
  2. The multi-tasking that inevitably arises as we flit from one digital device to another leads to an inability to think in a sustained and focused manner – which persists even when the person is not multi-tasking. (Multi-tasking also induces stress, which, extended over a long time period, leads to a variety of health problems.)
  3. Finally, the short bursts of visual and mental stimulation that characterize everything from an iPhone app to a Tweet cause the body to inject a spurt of dopamine into the system. This is frequently addictive. In other words, social-media technology has an inbuilt tendency to hook people into habits that undermine effective thought.
At the end of the day, however, the source of thinking remains the human being. A company might, therefore, harness speed-enabling, thought-capturing technology, but human thought is no faster than it was a thousand years ago. People need time and a distraction-free space to think things through in a thorough manner. Powerful ideas are the result of a person – or a collective – spending time in sustained and focused thought.
Many things stand against you or your people having time to think, including the very technology that presents so much genuine promise for increasing collective thinking power. But this isn’t the only barrier. The corporate world’s overall culture of haste militates against effective thinking. If you and your colleagues want to tap into the power of the human mind to create and solve problems, give yourselves scheduled time and space to think, both alone and together. The greater a leadership role you play, the more time you need to take to think. A business that doesn’t take the time to slow down and think is stupid. Literally.
An expanded version of this article was first published in Soul Systems’ Leadership by Soul e-letter. Reprinted with permission. See more at Jonathan Wilson has worked recently with the Council facilitating discussion at association forums.

Website Links


Can You Help?

Interns Available in GTA
Students in the International Business Management, Project Management, and HR and Marketing Management programs at Centennial College will be completing their final semester in December and are seeking internship opportunities starting in January 2011.
Centennial's basic rules for internship placements are:
  • Students work four days a week on the job and spend Fridays in class
  • Placements are for three months or 12 weeks
  • While internships are unpaid, employers are asked to reimburse travel and lunch costs, if possible
  • Interns may be dismissed at any time for any reason during the three-month placement
  • All insurance, including WSIB, is covered by the college
  • Hosts are to evaluate students for 60 percent of their final grade
  • Placements are to start between January 2 and January 30, 2011.
To have an intern in your workplace, contact William Vukson, Internship Co-ordinator in the School of Graduate Studies at Centennial College, at Include a brief job or position description with your message.

TRIEC's Immigrant Success Awards: Could you or your organization win?

The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) is now accepting nominations for its 5th Annual Immigrant Success (IS) Awards, which recognize leadership and innovation in recruiting and retaining skilled immigrants. The IS Awards are sponsored by RBC; media partners are Canadian HR Reporter, CBC Toronto and The Toronto Star.
Tell TRIEC about leading employers and individuals (with operations in the Greater Toronto Area) by filling out a short nomination form online by Wednesday, December 1. You may nominate yourself, your organization or another individual or organization.
There are four awards; your initiative to better integrate skilled-immigrant talent may line up with at least one of these opportunities. Visit for award information, descriptions and online nomination forms.
Winner benefits include:
  • Public recognition at the IS Awards ceremony, a high-profile networking opportunity hosted by RBC
  • Increased profile through the IS Awards website, TRIEC marketing and
  • Opportunity to post winner video and seal on company collateral and website
  • Hand-sculpted glass sculpture
Past winners have been highlighted through such media as Canadian Business, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Canadian HR Reporter, Business News Network, Financial Times, and CBC Television and Radio (see past coverage at
Questions? Contact Claire DeVeale-Blane at or 416-944-1946, ext. 271, for more information.

Coming Events

Event in the Spotlight
Free Webinar: Incoterms 2010 – Get prepared for important updates
Tuesday, November 2, 1:00 to 2:00 pm ET
Presented by the Forum for International Trade Training, the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association and the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council

Are you aware of the changes coming to Incoterms? Are you ready to use these new terms in your global business activities? Do you know you can get the latest update on Incoterms 2010 absolutely free?
These changes represent the first significant update to Incoterms in a decade and, given the worldwide use of these terms, your business needs to ensure it’s using the most current terminology. The updated Incoterms will go into effect on January 1, 2011. 
Join us on Tuesday, November 2 at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern) for a one-hour free webinar presented by Ruth Snowden, Executive Director of CIFFA.
To connect to the webinar:
Video: Click the link, enter your name (no password required) and click “Enter Room”
Audio: Toll-free dial-in number: 1-888-289-4573; access code: 2041706 

Other Coming Events
The Logistics Institute, Leading & Managing Change, November 3 to 5, Vancouver, B.C.

Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table, Business of Shipping, November 4, Vancouver, B.C.
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, IATA Dangerous Goods Training
Montreal (French)
: November 9 to 11
Recurrent: November 10 and 11
Radioactive: November 11
Montreal (English)
November 16 to 18
Recurrent: November 17 and 18
Radioactive: November 18
: November 17 to 19
Recurrent: November 18 and 19
Radioactive: November 19
: November 22 to 24
Recurrent: November 23 and 24
Radioactive: November 24
: December 7 to 9
Recurrent: December 8 and 9
Radioactive: December 9
: December 7 to 9
Recurrent: December 8 and 9
Radioactive: December 9
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada, Toronto Chapter, Breakthrough Distribution and Material Handling Technologies, November 10, Mississauga, Ont.

The Logistics Institute, Executive Certification Program, November 14 to 19, Banff, Alta.

IE Canada (Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters), Customs Duty and International Trade Course, November 15 to 17, Toronto, Ont.
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Incoterms 2010 (Updates), November 16, December 7, Webinar

MacDonnell Group, CPE Certified Port Executive 2010
November 16 to 19: Montreal, Que.
December 6 to 11: Vancouver, B.C.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters – Ontario, 14th Annual Queen's Park Reception, November 30, Toronto, Ont.

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Essentials of Exporting, November 30, Webinar
The Logistics Institute, Supply Chain Strategies, December 1 to 3, Toronto, Ont.

Transport Institute, University of Manitoba, 15th Annual Fields on Wheels Conference, December 3, Winnipeg, Man.

Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada, British Columbia Chapter, Mark the date: Holiday networking event, December 6

Conference Board of Canada, Workplace Diversity and Inclusiveness Forum: Translating Diversity into Business Advantage, December 6 and 7, Toronto, Ont.

Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada, Toronto Chapter, Mark the date: Holiday networking event, December 8, Mississauga, 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