CSCSC e-Newsletter

November 29, 2010

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Council News

Launch of Recruitment and Retention Toolkit for the Supply Chain
Earlier this month, the Council launched its Recruitment and Retention Toolkit, a new resource devoted to recruitment and retention for employers and career seekers. The Toolkit includes:
  • A three-minute video that illustrates the diversity and importance of supply chain roles. Employers can use the video to welcome, motivate and thank employees.
  • A PowerPoint presentation for use in showing the impact and significance of the supply chain to the Canadian economy.
  • A series of career profiles that provide a human story to complement the Council’s National Occupational Standards.
  • A supply chain map that links to career information by function.
  • A recruitment and retention resources guide that includes planning components, tools to begin the process, a workforce attraction, retention and development model, and other useful information.
  • Five steps to follow in building a recruitment and retention plan, with resources related to each step:
    • Assessing organizational readiness
    • Analyzing your needs
    • Creating your plan
    • Implementing the plan
    • Looking back
  • Implementation tools to assist with recruitment and retention requirements such as:
    • Matching people and skills
    • Writing accurate job descriptions
    • Offering the right compensation
    • Keeping good employees
    • Making sure your supervisors and managers are helping to retain workers
  • A recruitment and retention tools and resources model to look at attraction, retention and workforce development from a number of perspectives – those of employees, employers and communities – and show how all the factors involved in finding, keeping and developing workers are interconnected.
The Recruitment and Retention Toolkit is on the Council’s website, at

Recording of Incoterms Webinar Available
The free webinar hosted early this month by the Council and its partners, the Forum for International Trade Training and the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, was hugely popular. In fact, many who hoped to listen in couldn't, because the webinar and related conference call were quickly oversubscribed. The good news is, though, that the webinar was recorded and can be replayed anytime. Access the recording of the one-hour session here.

Accreditations Update
The Council's Accreditation Review Panel met recently to consider the three most-recent submissions for accreditation, one from each of two colleges and a supply chain-related association. Results of voting will be known by mid-December. Currently, 34 programs and courses are accredited through the National Accreditation Program. More information about the NAP and a listing of accredited offerings is available at

News from the Pillar Associations

Course registration runs from December 15 to January 15. Courses in Logistics Fundamentals, Business Knowledge and Advanced Logistics will all available.
Ontario Institute of the Purchasing Management Association of Canada
OIPMAC is now accepting expressions of interest from qualified instructors to teach in its
Strategic Supply Chain Management Leadership Program.   
The program is delivered at an executive or graduate level with a strategic emphasis. Both academics and practitioners are eligible instructors.
The application form includes more information about requirements, as well as submission instructions.

A Collaboration Story

By Chris Irwin, MBA
Independent consulting is a very easy industry to join. A nail and a shingle (or an e-mail address and a website) is all you really need to get started. Michael Porter will tell you that low barriers to entry is one way to ensure stiff competition.
Whether or not it is a case of “misery loves company,” other independents, and not-so-independents, invite cooperation and collaboration on projects. “Two (or more) heads are better than one” may be another cliché to highlight here. Working with another party on a client project brings in another type of relationship to be negotiated. Collaboration in the supply chain world creates discussion of moving from “vendor” or “supplier” to “partner.” There may be just as many reasons for or against such a move, so the decision should take into account the past, present and envisioned future of the relationship. It should also reflect the realities of the market within which the potential partners will compete together and maybe even separately.
Such decisions are extremely interesting from a negotiation perspective. At the heart of the decision is this idea of whether or not it is possible to simultaneously place an emphasis on the relationship and on the outcomes that you both seek (whether or not those outcomes are shared). I recently consciously moved a fellow collaborator into the “partner” box. This box had previously been empty, and now has a population of one.
If you have been following the Micro OB story, you will know that it is almost three years old, which allows time for a practice to develop and evolve. My new partner is Creative Connection Consultants, which I join as Managing Partner of the Canadian practice. Our practice is small enough in headcount that the main partnership is between me and my colleague/collaborator Jennifer La Trobe. We have been working together for well over a year, which allowed for testing of how well the partnership would fit. Allow me to share, from my perspective, some of the reasons that I think this is going to work.
New Perspective
Both Micro OB and Creative Connection have current clients and we have worked to support each other’s clients. In one instance, having Jennifer involved with a client relationship stopped me from extending excessive benefit of the doubt to my client. The familiarity that comes from a strong working relationship can make it hard to question and probe further, rather than simply accepting a client's statements as fact. A fresh look and a different perspective can be very valuable in these situations.
Different Thinking
Other than the matching syllable counts in our given names, we have little in common in background, which has been (and will continue to be) a great benefit to our clients. It is really good practice to have to defend a particular model with which you have had success… even if you are “right.” This is evidence that good collaboration does not mean full agreement on everything.
Similar Orientation
The lengthy dress rehearsal has demonstrated that we are aligned on some fundamental areas of running a professional-services company together. Testing some of the assumptions, I think, has made us both more aware of where we add value, and the kind of work we want to do.

Are there take-aways from this story for other partnerships? Maybe, although so much of a partnership depends on the myriad of contexts that surround it. If there are lessons, I think that openness to dissenting opinion is important, as is a “dress rehearsal,” if at all possible. I also suggest that confirming perceptions of the word “partnership” is a good idea, as much of the execution strategy will stem from the attitude of partners to the approach taken in this area. Clarification can help foster success in collaboration. This story continues, and I will keep you posted.
Chris Irwin is the Managing Partner for the Canadian practice of Creative Connection Consultants (, who work with companies to release superior performance by understanding the organizational narrative. 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 website

Website Links


Coming Events

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, International Trade Workshops, December 1, Toronto, Ont., AM: Incoterms; PM: The Risks Forwarders Face
Export Controls Division, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Domestic and Export Controls Seminars, December 1, Montreal, Que.

IE Canada (Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters), Understanding Incoterms 2010 & NAFTA Audit Workshops
December 1: Toronto
December 2: London

The Logistics Institute, Supply Chain Strategies, December 1 to 3, Toronto, Ont.

The Van Horne Institute, The Calgary Region as a Transportation Hub, December 2, Calgary, Alta.

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Cargo Security Coordinator training – Webinar, December 2
CSC Recurrent/CSC Initial – Part 1: 1:00 to 2:00 pm ET
CSC Initial – Part 2: 2:30 to 4:30 pm ET
GT Nexus, The Collaborative Supply Chain in the Cloud – Webinar, December 2, 10:00 am ET
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP's Security Best Practices – Webinar, December 2, 2:00 to 3:30 pm ET

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

Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada, British Columbia Chapter, 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.

MacDonnell Group, CPE Certified Port Executive 2010, December 6 to 11, Vancouver, B.C.

The Logistics Institute and American Public University, Navigating Challenges in Global Enterprise Leadership – Webinar, December 7, 11:00 am to 12:15 pm ET
The Logistics Institute, Supply Chain Security and Risk – Webinar, December 7, 2:00 to 3:00 pm ET

George Brown College, "Are You Ready?" Workshop (focused on issues involved in recruiting and hiring skilled immigrants), December 7, Toronto, Ont.

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Incoterms 2010 (Updates) – Webinar, December 7 and 8, 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET each day

World Trade Group, 8th Annual Supply Chain & Logistics Summit 2010, December 7 and 8, Dallas, Texas
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, IATA Dangerous Goods Training
: 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, Holiday networking event, December 8, Mississauga, Ont.
Canadian Materials Handling & Distribution Society, Logistics For Breakfast – Rack'em Up: Your Racking Management Plan, December 9, Surrey, B.C.
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Western Region Christmas Lunch, December 9, Richmond, B.C.

The Centre for Supply Chain Management, School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2010-2011 Distinguished Speaker Series
Speaker: Mark Daskin – Clyde W. Johnson Collegiate Professor and Chair, Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan, December 10, Waterloo, Ont.

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Updates to 2011 IATA DGR – Webinar
December 14 – 3:00 pm ET
December 16 – 10:00 am ET
International Warehouse Logistics Association – Canadian Council, Holiday get-together, December 15, Vaughan, 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