CSCSC e-Newsletter

March 30, 2011

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Council News

Making Connections to Create a Supply Chain Day
Bringing people in the supply chain together is the core reason for the Council's being. Creating a forum for discussion about the HR-related challenges in the sector and ways to deal with those challenges is what we do.
It was with that in mind that Council board member Steven Levson, who is based in London, Ont., developed a plan to involve Outreach Coordinator Lorraine Chambers in a "Supply Chain Day" in his city. Both Fanshawe College and the University of Western Ontario were lined up to host Council presentations and networking events on March 24, one during the day, the other in the evening. Local supply chain employers, practitioners and educators were invited to attend, along with students in the schools' supply chain programs.
Steven notes that, "What transpired was a wonderful synergy." He gives the following story as an example: "One of my contacts, who was looking for 14 new employees, attended both presentations and spoke briefly afterwards to the groups. He described his organization and the job openings. Needless to say, people were listening!"
After each presentation, there was time for networking. According to Steven, "There were good conversations and connections were made."
"March 24 was a great day for the supply chain in London," says Steven, who had a number of people ask after the event when a next one would be held.
If you want to draw your community together in this way to strengthen ties and promote supply chain awareness, the Council would be pleased to help. Contact Lorraine Chambers, at 905-897-6700, 1-866-616-3468 or, to start the discussion.

Spreading the Word about Supply Chain Careers
The Council now has a YouTube site, through which we aim to build awareness of the importance and diversity of supply chain careers. The Council's own "Join Us in the Supply Chain" video is the first item available on the site, but plans for additions are brewing!

Career Focus Program: Case Study

The Council's Career Focus Program provides wage subsidies to employers to enable them to hire new employees in supply chain roles. The employees must be 30 years old or younger and have graduated with some type of post-secondary education: a university or college degree, a professional designation or supply chain-related training.
Participation is simple: an employer enrols in the program, selects a candidate, completes an application form and, if approved, submits proof of wages paid in each pay period. Approval of applications takes just one or two days.
More information about the program is available at
AbbyShot Clothiers Limited 

AbbyShot, a producer of movie replica clothing, needed someone to fill a role as a shipper/shop keeper. The company hired a new employee, making use of the CSCSC's wage subsidy. 
Bonnie Cook of AbbyShot: "This position has worked out even better than we had anticipated. The employee, Adam Martin, has taken on the responsibilities with gusto, and is committed to continuous improvement in his area. He has also brought graphics skills to the table, and has used these skills to improve his processes in the shipping area plus many other portions of our business model. We see a bright future here for him, and are very pleased to have had the opportunity to hire him in this position!"
Adam Martin: "The Career Focus internship has provided the opportunity to work with a company that appears to have a strong future for me. It is allowing me to practise skills I learned through education and to obtain new skills along the way."

So the Wave Begins!

By Kevin A. Maynard, CAE
Executive Director
Since 2008, the demands on Canada’s labour market have shifted, from a concentration on meeting shortages to issues related to survival during the recession. The economic recovery, although fragile, appears to be sustained, as evidenced by a renewed focus on supply and demand issues and an emerging pattern of shortages that are specific in terms of industry, occupation and region. Canada’s supply chain sector, by its very nature, has seen some significant impact in particular regions and industries. Recently, the Council has shifted some of its focus to challenges in Western Canada, specifically in relation to the needs around supply chains for petroleum and gas in Alberta, and mining and agriculture in Saskatchewan. Expect to see more on these activities in upcoming issues.
The Information and Communications Technology Council, in partnership with the Information Technology Association of Canada, recently published a report on the impacts of a dynamic environment in Canada’s digital economy, which have ramifications for the supply chain as well. Whether it be global or strategic sourcing issues, logistics challenges around component parts or finished goods, or operations and inventory management in a high-tech manufacturing setting, information and communications technology firms are experiencing challenges. Is this the first tsunami, or merely a warning of what is to come?
Read the report, Outlook for Human Resources in the ICT Labour Market, 2011–2016, on ICTC's website, at

Association News

Upcoming CITT webinars and events:
  • April 27 – eManifests Webinar
  • May 11 – Intergenerational Communications Webinar
  • October 26 to 28 – Reposition 2011 in Montreal

Visit to get information on these and other coming CITT events.

Canada's Workforce is Headed Towards a Perfect Storm

As labour shortages collide with high retirement rates, many organizations will struggle to stay competitive. Studies show that it takes three Generation Y'ers to replace every departing Boomer, so companies that simply try to replace retiring workers will fall behind.
The Workplace Institute recently published a whitepaper for HR managers called Strategic Readiness: What Every HR Manager Should Know About the Workforce Crisis. This paper provides managers with strategies they can use to weather the storm and is available for free download.

Mixing and Matching

By Chris Irwin, MBA

Earlier this month, within the space of about 48 hours, I felt like a potential matchmaker between an MBA student and a Director of Client Services. The former wanted to be “told what to do”; the latter wanted people to “do what they were told.” I resisted making this match because I questioned the validity of the desires.

Just tell me what to do
My firm belief is that education (especially an MBA) prepares you to make better decisions. With this in mind, I provided my class with a somewhat-straightforward exercise that included a degree of ambiguity as to how out-of-the-box thinking applied. Though light on the “entertaining” aspect, student feedback indicated that there is educational merit in looking beyond the surface of a problem to engage in higher-value-add solutions.

In a follow-up reflection on the assignment, one of my students listed highlights and lowlights of the experience. Among the lowlights was a statement that this student operates best with clear and detailed instructions. I take criticism provided by my students and deliberately work to improve the set-up for future activities, but I suggest that, for the leadership and manager positions for which MBAs should be qualified, “just tell me what to do” may not cut it… and it likely doesn’t cut it for any level of the organization (or supply chain).

Just do what I say
A client of mine who works in a service environment is tasked with delivering excellent client experiences and, in so doing, relies on a team of people who are in direct contact with the clients. In such situations, often a list of procedures (e.g., address clients using “Mr.” or “Ms.” with the client’s surname) itemizes behaviours that create the desired impression. Logic dictates that if people just follow the list of behaviours—and do what they are told—we will get the desired result: excellent client service all the time.

But what about Mr. “Please-call-me-Bob” Anderson?!

In the service world, where arguably anyone working in a knowledge function resides, clarity on “desired outcome” is more effective than detailing “how to do it.” The "expertise” (of the director) to make the decision gets separated from the “situational information” (of the staff member) that is required to act effectively.

Experts don’t have time to get the information, so have to share their expertise in a way to enable action and trust others to act in service to the desired outcome. This can be very important in ensuring that decisions throughout a supply chain remain consistent with the overriding objectives. The balance lies somewhere between “tell me” and “just do this.” The match is there, just a little different than originally verbalized.

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


Attracting, Retaining and Integrating Skilled Immigrants: An Analysis of Canada's Leading Employers

Organizations across Canada have developed and implemented practices to attract, retain and integrate skilled immigrants into their workforce. In January of this year, ALLIES (Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Strategies) released a report that examines the practices in this area of winners and shortlisted candidates in the Best Employers for New Canadians competition. Access the report on ALLIES' website.

Coming Events

Canadian Materials Handling & Distribution Society, CSA Standards Racking Management Course, April 5 and 6 (one-day course offered on two days), Langley, B.C.
The National Job Fair & Training Expo Inc., National Job Fair and Training Expo, April 6 and 7, Toronto, Ont.
Visit the CSCSC in booth 1107
U.S. Commerce Department, Webinar: Cashing in with Free Trade Agreements, April 13, 2:00 pm ET
APICS The Association for Operations Management – Calgary Chapter, Professional Development Meeting: Cycle Counting – The Direct Benefit to Operations "Bottom Line," April 14, Calgary, Alta.
Partners in Project Green and the Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada – Toronto Chapter, The Logistics of Sustainability: Turning Green in to Bottom-Line Results in the Transportation Sector, April 14, Mississauga, Ont.
The Centre for Supply Chain Management, School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2010-2011 Distinguished Speaker Series, Speaker: Elena Katok – Calvin E. and Pamala T. Zimmerman University Endowed Fellow and Professor of Supply Chain Management, Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University, April 15, Waterloo, Ont.
Canadian Professional Logistics Institute and BSI Canada Supply Chain Solutions, How to Assess Security Risk in Your Supply Chain, April 19, Mississauga, Ont.

Canadian Clean Energy Conferences, Ontario Feed-in Tariff Supply Chain Forum 2011, April 19 and 20, Toronto, Ont.
International Warehouse Logistics Association – Canadian Council, 3PL Growth: Full Steam Ahead!, April 20, Woodbridge, Ont.
U.S. Commerce Department, Webinar: Export Filing Requirements, April 27, 2:00 pm ET

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Export Controls Division, Domestic and Export Controls Seminar, April 28, Toronto, Ont.
The Centre for Supply Chain Management, School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2010-2011 Distinguished Speaker Series, Speaker: Arnold Maltz – Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management, W P Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, April 29, Waterloo, Ont.
Aboriginal Human Resource Council, Inclusion Works ‘11, May 3 to 5, Montreal, Que.
Canada's biggest Indigenous inclusion event and recruitment fair
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, International Trade Workshops, May 4, Vancouver, B.C.
AM: Incoterms
PM: Letters of Credit

Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport – North America, 10th Annual Transportation Situation and Outlook Conference: All Together as Partners in the Supply Chain, May 9, Ottawa, Ont.
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada and Canadian Industrial Transportation Association, Supply Chain Canada Conference and Expo, May 10 and 11, Toronto, Ont.
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Webinar: Incoterms 2010 Workshop
Part 1
May 17, 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET
Part 2
May 18, 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET
APICS The Association for Operations Management – Calgary Chapter, Plant Tour: Net Safety Monitoring Inc., May 26, Calgary, Alta.

Purchasing Management Association of Canada, 86th Annual National Conference, June 8 to 10, Whistler, B.C.
McMaster Institute for Transportation and Logistics and Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada, TRANSLOG 2011 Conference – Efficient Movement of Goods and People: Are We There Yet?, June 15 and 16, Hamilton, Ont.
CITT, Reposition 2011, October 26 to 28, Montreal, Que.
Always up-to-date in our online event listing. See events outside of Canada.

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