CSCSC e-Newsletter

May 27, 2011

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Council News

Council Survey Examines Supply Chain HR Challenges and Practices
As part of its HR Study Update Project, the Council is conducting surveys of employers, employees and education providers in the supply chain sector. The employer/employee survey is now available online, at
The employer survey, for example, will collect information related to employers’:
  • HR challenges, in recruitment, retention, education and training, keeping pace with technological change, succession planning and more
  • use of contractors
  • employee skills-development efforts
  • recruitment sources
  • recruitment and retention strategies
  • turnover rates
  • locations, industry, revenue, workforce size and services
In addition to the surveys, the study’s key-informant interviews and focus groups will gather information required to develop an updated forecast of labour supply and demand, and report on training and recruitment efforts needed to address the supply chain sector’s human resources challenges.

The results of the study will have an impact on the sector's stakeholders for years to come. Along with providing much-needed data and information, the study will set out recommendations for action to be undertaken by industry through the Council. By participating in the study survey, you will have input in determining where we go next, and you'll be eligible to win one of 6 iPads!

CSCSC Partner in Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor Workforce Productivity and Innovation Project
The Calgary Logistics Council has received funding from Alberta Employment and Immigration to develop and implement a 12-month project designed to improve workforce productivity and innovation along the Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor (APGC). Partners in the project are the Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table and the CSCSC.
Dubbed ‘The Accelerator Project,’ this project will identify key occupations in Alberta and B.C. within the supply chain, logistics, warehousing and transportation labour forces that are, or will be, essential supports to the APGC initiative. The human resources strategy that is to be developed through the project will be adaptable and customizable by other Canadian gateways and corridors. The Accelerator Project will also establish a model and methodology for subsequent workforce-productivity improvements targeted at the northern and inland corridor of the Asia Pacific Gateway.
The Accelerator Project will be launched on June 21 through a roundtable that will bring together approximately 150 industry, government and education participants in Calgary and Vancouver via video conference. Representatives from Alberta Employment and Immigration, Transport Canada, Industry Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada will set the context for the project. In addition to reviewing and validating the findings of the CSCSC’s HR Study Update project, roundtable participants will be invited to hear from industry representatives regarding the key occupations, skill sets and technology abilities that their industry will require in the next five to ten years.
The roundtable is being organized by The Van Horne Institute, a member of the Calgary Logistics Council. Please contact Julia Stickel, at, if you wish to attend.

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
Sheridan Nurseries Limited
Sheridan Nurseries has over 900 acres of land, and produces over 600 perennial varieties and more than 600 hardy nursery stock varieties. The company serves central and eastern Canada, the northeastern and central U.S. and its own nine retail garden centres.
Through the Council's Career Focus Program, Sheridan hired an industrial engineer (National Occupational Classification code 2233), Rob Jager.
Sheridan: "The CFP allowed us to hire an industrial engineer with the knowledge, skills and abilities we were looking for."

Rob Jager: "The Career Focus internship has allowed me to enjoy a job that is directly related to my previous field of study, enabling me to apply what I have learned and continue to expand my knowledge and skill set, while working with great people."
To get information about the Career Focus Program, visit or contact

The Growing Importance of Inland Ports in Enabling Canada's Supply Chains

Part 2 in a series
CentrePort Canada: Open For Business
CentrePort Canada is no ordinary greenfield of dreams: at 20,000 acres, Winnipeg’s inland port and foreign trade zone (FTZ) is one of the largest in North America, offering investors high-quality, affordable industrial land with easy access to tri-modal transportation, including road, rail and air.
Located in the heart of Canada and North America, CentrePort Canada is only an hour from the Canada/United States border, and is the only inland port in the country offering access to tri-modal transportation. CentrePort’s footprint includes Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport and the highest number of dedicated cargo freighter flights in Canada; three Class 1 railways (CN, CP and BNSF); and more than 1,000 trucking companies and major north-south and east-west highway routes that support national and international trade.
CentrePort Canada is already home to more than 130 businesses, many of them in the transportation, logistics and manufacturing sectors, and there’s a flurry of construction activity on site. Strong investor interest has resulted in companies unveiling expansion plans for the inland port’s two Brookside Boulevard industrial parks, and new warehouses and manufacturing facilities are taking shape daily. These investments are the result of a partnership between CentrePort and several global real estate firms to jointly promote the strategic advantages of locating on acreage that is ready for development today.
One of the advantages of locating at CentrePort Canada is the commitment by governments to modernize area infrastructure to support inland port development. The construction of a $212.5-million highway, CentrePort Canada Way, is now well underway and the new, four-lane divided expressway will offer companies even more direct, quicker access to road, rail and air transportation assets. The project is funded by the federal and provincial governments.
CentrePort Canada also has the distinction of becoming the first inland port in Canada to offer business single-window access to foreign trade zone (FTZ) benefits. This one-stop-shop approach allows CentrePort Canada to help global investors effectively navigate the program-approvals process and explore the use of cost-savings programs, such as customs bonded warehouse and duty and sales tax deferrals.
For more information, visit

This is the second in a series looking at Canada's inland ports. The Council's April newsletter provided information on Hamilton's TransHub Ontario.

Carefully Picking Your Problems

By Chris Irwin, MBA
In the 1992 movie Singles, Campbell Scott’s character, Scott Dunne (thank you IMDB), is working on big public-transit initiative for the city of Seattle. The new super train will replace thousands of vehicles on the street, and he believes that the underpinning of the project’s success is to “give people good coffee and great music.” In the film’s darkest moment (relatively speaking... it is a very light RomCom), the funding runs out for the project (I am going from memory; IMDB is good, but not THAT good). His boss splashes cold water on his Starbucks-and-grunge-fueled commuter heaven by stating the obvious: “People love their cars.”

This little snippet illustrates very clearly the confusion that arises from trying to separate “potential solutions to unarticulated problems” from a “solvable problem” or, at the very least, a current state that others wish could be improved upon. It is, however, extremely easy to get behind a solution because it will start to make more and more sense. With our solution in mind, we start hearing and seeing more evidence that we are right. In our friend Scott Dunne’s case, he would start noticing people being more passionate about coffee and music, and being less tolerant of gridlock traffic. “See,” he would say, “This train is the answer!” (For those in Toronto, swap in “Rob Ford” and “subways” and you will see this in action.)

Earlier this spring, I had the pleasure of hearing David Smith from Sobeys speak at the Schulich School of Business about sustainability through his company’s supply chain. Rather than movie references, he invoked the Hugh MacLennan classic Two Solitudes to illustrate the divide between the management of an organization and those executing on an operational level. Each “solitude” will have its own view of the problem and/or of a solution. We like to call these the stories that make up the narrative.

There are a couple of things that you can try to break out of your story:
  1. Explore your “solutions” as to what needs to be done. For example: “We need to create a database of our current suppliers to show how ‘green’ they are,” might be the first idea. A database is a solution, but what is the problem? Incomplete/absent metrics to evaluate vendors? Vulnerability to an external audit?

    Somewhere in there, you will find a problem. If it is a problem for enough people, the “solitudes” can melt away.
  2. Ask and listen to what others want to (or adamantly don’t want to) do. Try to construct the mindset (or story) under which that makes sense. My colleague Jennifer states that very few people come to work to deliberately cause chaos and hardship. Their “solution,” in their mind, makes perfect sense… just like the “good coffee and great music.”

Human beings like doing things, and often our work cultures reward an action and solution orientation. Because we are so good at this action orientation, it makes sense to be really clear on what you are doing before you start.

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


How to Beat Attrition in Your Organization

With a looming workforce crisis, it's a bad time to lose senior employees to retirement and younger employees to competitors.
Stemming the Tide of Attrition through Mentoring, a white paper available from the Workplace Institute, creates a business case for mentoring as a solution and outlines crucial steps to develop your own program.
Mentoring is an effective solution for workplace issues ranging from lack of engagement and interpersonal issues to lack of internal development. A robust mentoring program leverages resources already held by the organization – its people. It requires little investment outside of time and a bit of management, so it’s a useful tactic for organizations of every size.
For more information on developing your own mentoring program, contact the Workplace Institute at 416-479-0069 or 1-877-610-0109, and ask for Barbara Jaworski.

Co-op Students Available from Centennial College

Centennial College makes it simple to hire a co-op student. The college has more than 25 co-op programs offered in different disciplines, and offers access to a $3,000 refundable tax credit. Co-op students can be engaged to work on special projects, to cover a maternity leave or staff vacations, or to meet other needs.

Centennial will:
  • advertise your job postings;
  • provide you with résumés of qualified candidates;
  • arrange interviews; and
  • extend offers of employment on your behalf.
To learn more, contact Cooperative Education and Employment Resources, at or 416-289-5209, or visit

Coming Events

Events in the Spotlight
July 14, The Toronto Board of Trade Country Club
This symposium will examine sustainability from economic, environmental and social perspectives to facilitate enhanced business and global supply chain sustainability. The agenda includes case studies and panel discussions on "The Greening of Global Supply Chains," "Growing and Developing Supply Chain Talent Across Borders" and "Fostering Innovation in Customer-3PL Relationships in an Expanding Economy." There will also be several opportunities for "Executive Exchange" of ideas, discussion-based sessions.
Calgary Logistics Council and the Van Horne Institute – Logistics Education Award Program Golf Tournament
June 6, D’Arcy Ranch Golf Club, Calgary

All proceeds from this tournament will go towards scholarships to support students enrolled in logistics, transportation and supply chain programs in the Calgary area.

Other Coming Events
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada, 9th Annual Golf Classic, June 6, Brampton, Ont.
I.E.Canada, Cross Canada Seminar Series – CBSA Border Clearance Processes: "The New Normal" – A Step by Step Workshop
June 6: Winnipeg, Man.
June 7: Saskatoon, Sask.
June 8: Calgary, Alta.
June 10: Vancouver, B.C.
Health Canada, Information Session for Industry on the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act
June 7: Montreal, Que. (French)
June 8: Quebec, Que. (French)
June 9: Moncton, N.B. (AM: French, PM: English)
June 14: Charlottetown, PEI
June 15: Halifax, N.S.
June 16: St. John's, Nfld.
Forum for International Trade Training, 14th National Conference: The Road to Trade Success, June 7 and 8, Gatineau, Que.
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Air Dangerous Goods Training
Montreal (English)
Initial: June 7 to 9
Recurrent: June 8 and 9
Radioactive: June 9
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.
Purchasing Management Association of Canada, Webinar: Managing Hidden Costs and Risks in Global Sourcing, June 16, 12:00 pm ET
Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table and partners, HR Essentials Workshop – Trucking
June 22: Nanaimo, B.C.
June 29: Fort St. John, B.C.
Association of International Customs and Border Agencies, 11th Annual Convention, June 26 to 28, Windsor, Ont.

Ontario Institute of the Purchasing Management Association of Canada, 14th Annual Conference: Rising To The Challenge, October 14 and 15, Toronto, Ont.
CITT, Reposition 2011, October 26 to 28, Montreal, Que.
Canadian Public Procurement Council, The Future is Now: Emerging Trends for Public Procurement, November 7 to 9, Quebec City, 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