CSCSC e-Newsletter

June 27, 2011

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Council News

Twelve New Occupational Standards Ready For Use
Through its Phase II Occupational Standards Project, the Council has finalized 12 occupational standards, bringing to 32 the total number of the Council's occupational standards for supply chain positions.
Occupational standards provide a framework for the development of good practice, whether it is in the area of human-resource management, curriculum development or career planning. They are consequently useful to employers, education and training providers, and job seekers.
Learn how occupational standards can be used in your workplace or job search, and access all of the Council's standards: go to

2010 Labour Force Data Now Available
The historical picture of employment trends in Canada's supply chain sector is now a year longer. The Council's labour-market tool that allows for dissection of data by industry, job function or geographic location has been updated with 2010 Statistics Canada labour-force figures.
Aggregate data shows steady growth in the number of supply chain employees in Canada, from 629,108 in 2001 to 767,225 last year (exclusive of truck drivers). Refining the search provides the following details, for example:
  • The number of supply chain employees in the oil and gas extraction industry in Alberta continued to grow through the recent recession, from 3,157 in 2008 to 3,726 in 2010.
  • Supply chain employees in Ontario's manufacturing industry haven't been as hard hit as you might think: Starting at 98,300 in 2001, they reached a peak of 99,469 in 2006, dropped to 97,096 in 2009 and rose in 2010 to 97,756.
  • Interestingly, in 2001, only one person was identified as being a supply chain employee in the fishing industry in the four Atlantic provinces. As of 2010, that number had grown to 655. This may be at least partially explained by a change in perception, as people increasingly recognize that they work in supply chain roles, regardless of the industry in which they work. 
The labour-market data tool is part of the Council's LMI Toolkit, and can be found in the LMI Portal at

HR Study: Employer/Employee Surveys Completed
An important step in the Council's HR Study Update Project was recently completed with the close on June 17th of employer and employee surveys. With 797 responses from employers and 610 from employees, the Council is positioned to provide granularized reports of results, related, for example, to geographic location and job function.
The 2005 study, which has largely directed the Council's activities to date, was based on survey responses from 160 employers and 753 employees. The much-bigger pool of employer responses to this year's update survey will provide the Council with a more-comprehensive look at the sector from the perspective of employers.
A third survey, of supply chain education providers, will also have closed by the time of publication of this newsletter.
As trends become apparent through the analysis of survey results, the Council will share interesting tidbits ahead of the release of the study report early in 2012.

Connecting Mentors and Mentees
Mentors can be invaluable guides to people who are new to the supply chain or who are hoping to – or have been – promoted to roles with new responsibilities. A mentor works to challenge and inspire his or her mentee, by helping to clarify career goals and build a plan to reach those goals. Mentors help by:
  • Identifying problems and solutions
  • Assessing strengths and areas for development
  • Sharing stories
  • Offering constructive feedback
  • Linking mentees to resources and networks
The Council is pleased to launch an initiative to link mentors and mentees: see If you are interested in being a mentor, or having a mentor, contact

Speaking Notes Available for Video Presentation
If you plan to show the Council's supply chain video as part of a presentation you're making, you might find these speaking notes helpful. Feel free to adapt the notes for your audience.

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
W.R. Davis Engineering Limited
Aerospace manufacturer W.R. Davis Engineering needed a buyer, and hired an intern through the Council's Career Focus Program. Here's how the program helped the company and its new employee:
David Anderson, W.R. Davis: [The Career Focus Program] provided the opportunity to bring in a recent graduate and provide on-the-job training in a manufacturing setting.
Angad Sandhu, Intern: My work as an intern at W.R. Davis Engineering Limited in Ottawa has really been a great experience, and I can't believe that I am already five months into it.
Prior to embarking on this adventure, I studied business administration (material and operations management) for three years at Algonquin College in Ottawa. My main aim after graduation was to get a feel for various branches of supply chain management. Working at Davis has given me a chance to explore the purchasing side of things, along with some data analysis and reporting. Work at Davis has been a perfect mix of urgency requested of me and patience granted to me. My colleagues have been really supportive and friendly.
Over the last five months, I have worked on a variety of assignments, such as process improvement, data analysis and, of course, sourcing new suppliers for better costing. I may not have been a driver for all of the above-mentioned projects, but being part of the team and having a role in the process did give me a chance to gradually learn and understand the process more efficiently. Along the way, I have learned a lot about another department integral to supply chain, i.e. shipping. Knowing various costs associated with shipping, the 'dos' and 'don'ts', will certainly help in my career as purchaser with Davis after my internship.
I feel lucky being part of Davis Engineering, and look forward to working for the company as long as possible.

Members – Your Input is Requested: The CSCSC's Junior Achievement Pool of Funds Needs a Name
The Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council's partnership with Junior Achievement of Canada will soon be relaunched...with a new spin.
The Council wants to help get supply chain enthusiasts into Canadian classrooms to share their stories of – and passion for – working in the supply chain. To make that happen, we've partnered with Junior Achievement of Canada, a well-known organization with reach into schools across the country.
With the relaunch of our partnership in late summer, we'll announce the establishment of a pool of funds that is to be used to cover the expenses related to placing volunteers in classrooms through JA. (Expenses include teacher and student handbooks and volunteer-training costs.) Anyone will be able to donate to the fund in any amount. People who think it's important that we connect with young people to make them aware of careers in the supply chain, but can't commit time to this effort, will still be able to help by contributing to the Council's pool of funds for this purpose.
We hope to name the fund to honour a Council member who has been active in the Council's work. To nominate someone for this honour, please complete a nomination form and return it to before 5:00 pm EDT on July 15. The Council's Marketing and Communications Committee will review all nominations and select a winner by July 31.

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

Part 3 in a series
Port Alberta: Linking Alberta Together
By Shane Kermode
The Edmonton Region has established itself as a significant player in the global economy. Being centred in a resource-rich province with years of vigorous economic growth has positioned this region as a significant trading force on the national and international stage. There is tremendous opportunity to capitalize on that growth, to become a key transportation, logistics and supply hub in North America. Aligning this opportunity with provincial and industrial initiatives to diversify and expand our economy offers Port Alberta the capability to develop into a bold, ambitious transportation and economic-development initiative.
Port Alberta connects Alberta together, modeling its inland port structure to address the needs of its members in promoting economic diversity and value added for Alberta through increased productivity, efficiency and competitiveness. A not-for-profit corporation, Port Alberta is an industry-led association working diligently towards fostering transportation and logistics linkages contributing to the economic health of the Alberta region. Rising out of a partnership between the Edmonton International Airport (EIA), Chamber of Commerce, and Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), Port Alberta is now a private-sector organization led by industry working together to improve the economic environment for all of Alberta and its membership.

The development of Port Alberta came out of various studies completed in 2008 and 2009, establishing the viability and need for such an organization. These studies concluded that industry leadership was critical, and the establishment of the organization should be immediate. The lion’s share of the seed funding for the research was contributed by Western Economic Diversification, as well as the Province of Alberta, City of Edmonton and Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.

Port Alberta was incorporated on December 2, 2010. Wendy Cooper was hired as the first President and CEO in March 2011. Leading Port Alberta through its initial growth, Cooper continues to collect interest from diverse industries and from various levels and agencies of government. Her innovative style and focus on collaborative business practices for one unified Alberta will pioneer the Port Alberta concept and realize the vision of creating a critical logistics service centre and energy super hub for the region and the continent. Port Alberta will be the catalyst through which Edmonton will support the province, assisting to refine and expand the efficiency of its transportation logistics and supply chain, establishing Edmonton as a gateway city.

The vision of Port Alberta is, “connecting world class transportation, logistics and supply chain intelligence to link the Alberta economy to the world.”  As a member-based organization, Port Alberta brings together private- and public-sector organizations to simplify the supply chain, support and add value for the transportation sector of Alberta. Bringing together the diverse trans-modal industries, it is the goal of Port Alberta’s CEO to bring a collaborative culture for creating the best transportation and logistics for the entire sector.

“It’s time to take the blinders off,” says Cooper. “We are operating like we are each working in a silo, when really we are all interconnected. By collaborating, we will be able to promote the transportation of goods and create value added for all of Alberta. Port Alberta is positioned as the entity for us to collaborate, listen and communicate. Port Alberta is planning an information session for prospective members in early September.”

To learn more about or participate in Port Alberta, see or contact Shane Kermode, at 780-497-7694 or

Training Your Sights On...TRAINING

By Chris Irwin, MBA
Seasonality plays an important part in our lives, which is interesting, given that many of us work in industries where the weather outside has little bearing at all. Throwbacks to our agricultural roots include the two-month hiatus that school-age children (or all ages) enjoy from their studies. This in itself creates a summertime vibe in many companies over these next two months.
Summer can be “retreat season,” when organizations pause to consider how they can be better. I suggest that this is the time when some will be able to step back and look at the forest, even though it is so satisfying to work on one or two trees. Training can be among the topics that bubble up in these discussions, whether they be longer-than-usual lunch conversations or held at a “retreat” specifically designed to remove thinking from the box.
The natural question: what do we want people to do differently?
For me, and for Creative Connection Consultants, the summer is fairly active, and two of our projects reflect attempts to address the preceding question.
Selling for non-sales people 101
We were approached by an academic research organization and asked if we could train their researchers to sell. (Yes, you read that correctly.) The thinking (and there had been a lot of it) was that in academic fields the tendency is to “give stuff away” that could and should be monetized. Skills in identifying opportunities to share value would help the group to become more of a profit centre, which was part of this division's mandate.
With another client, we actually suggested that they not do “sales training for non-sales people” because they had not done the required thinking up front. Given the target for this training initiative, we suspected that the unintended negative consequences of such a program would be significant. We are working with them to clear up “the problem” to see whether or not sales training is the right “solution.”
For training to work, it has to fit within the current narrative of the organization, which includes the strategy (e.g., become a profit centre), as well as the formal policies and informal norms that have developed. Any attempt to alter behaviour without taking into account the organizational context will be, at best, a waste of time and money and, at worst, a further indication that management “doesn’t get it,” which can be very detrimental.
To get the most from the investment, it is necessary to look at how behaviours (actual and desired) line up with the strategic direction and the current culture.
That is a lot to think about. Good thing that summer lasts for two months!

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 Collaboration Can Effectively Counter the Core Reasons for Project and Strategy Failure

By Jonathan Wilson, Soul Systems
As your business embarks on a new project, it can’t be too thrilling to know that, statistically, it is likely to fail. But that’s the truth of the matter. Study after study by the Harvard Business Schools and McKinsey Institutes of this world consistently find failure rates of 70% or higher in the execution of any business strategy.
Rightly, many companies (especially large, matrixed organizations) are focusing on collaboration as a means to increase successful execution of strategy. This is the case in both macro-strategy (where are we going in the next 5-10 years) and micro-strategy (developing a new product or platform). There is increasing recognition that collaboration enhances organizational capacity in two areas that significantly improve a company’s chances of executing strategy successfully.
To read the rest of this article, first published in March 2010 in the Leadership by Soul e-letter, go to Soul Systems' website. Republished here with permission.

Your Input Requested: Immigration Levels-Planning Consultation

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is seeking input on immigration levels for 2012 through an online consultation process with stakeholders. This is an opportunity to explore current and future issues related to immigration levels; results will inform the levels-planning exercise for 2012.
The online consultation comprises a series of questions on immigration objectives, considerations and factors that may affect levels planning.
The background document entitled Immigration Levels Planning: Balancing Priorities to Meet Canada’s Immigration Objectives is intended to assist you in responding to the questions. This document sets out the purpose of the consultation process and provides an overview of levels-planning considerations. A thematic report of stakeholder input will be prepared once the consultation process has ended. The summary will be available on the CIC website.
The online consultation will be available until 5:00 pm EDT on July 15.

Fundraising Golf Tournament to Benefit VanAsep Training Society

The Vancouver Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (VanAsep) is a non-profit partnership project dedicated to increasing Aboriginal employment in strategic markets. The society collaborates with First Nation communities, Métis Nation British Columbia, and industry and training institutions. VanAsep trains and qualifies Aboriginal peoples for careers in several sectors, including the supply chain.
VanAsep’s Talking Stick fundraiser golf tournament will take place this year on August 5th at Kings Links by the Sea in Delta, B.C. The society is seeking sponsors for the event. If you'd like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Cole Rheaume, at 604-253-2395 or

Coming Events

Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table and partners, HR Essentials Workshop – Trucking, June 29, Fort St. John, B.C.
The Conference Board of Canada, Webinar: 6 Ways to Engage and Retain Tomorrow's Leaders, June 29
Canada Border Services Agency and Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, CBSA and CIFFA Present the Future: eManifest Seminar, June 29, Toronto, Ont.
July 5: Toronto, Ont.
July 7: Montréal, Qué. (morning: French; afternoon: English)
July 11: Vancouver, B.C.
July 14: Winnipeg, Man.
July 15: Ottawa, Ont.

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association – Western Region, Annual Golf Tournament, July 7, Richmond, B.C.

The Canadian Institute, Developing and Drafting Solid Procurement Documents and Evaluating Bids, July 13 and 14, Toronto, Ont.

Logistics Quarterly magazine, Symposium/Executive Exchange, July 14, Woodbridge, Ont. (Toronto)

National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc., Webinar: Budgeting – The Foundation for a Successful Procurement Organization, July 19
APICS The Association for Operations Management, Webinar: The People Factor in Supply Chain Excellence, August 11
CITT – Toronto Area Council, 1st Annual Golf Tournament, August 15, Caledon, Ont.
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Webinar: Women in Supply Chain, August 17
Infrastructure Health & Safety Association, Introduction to the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act
September 13: Toronto, Ont.
November 15: Ottawa, Ont.
Canadian Society of Customs Brokers, Annual Conference, September 18 to 20, Gatineau, Que.

Purchasing Management Association of Canada, International Symposium on Supply Chain Management: Exploring the Leading Edge in SCM, September 18 to 20, Toronto, Ont.

Aboriginal Human Resource Council, Mastering Aboriginal Inclusion Workshop
September 20: Winnipeg, Man.
November 8: Vancouver, B.C.

Infrastructure Health & Safety Association, NEER and the WSIB Account
September 20: Toronto, Ont.
November 22: Ottawa, Ont.

Infrastructure Health & Safety Association, CAD-7 and the WSIB Account
September 20: Toronto, Ont.
November 22: Ottawa, Ont.
Infrastructure Health & Safety Association, Work Reintegration and WSIB Claims Management
September 27: Ottawa, Ont.
October 4: Toronto, Ont.
November 8: Guelph, Ont.
December 13: Toronto, Ont.

Ontario Institute of the Purchasing Management Association of Canada, 14th Annual Conference: Rising To The Challenge, October 14 and 15, Toronto, Ont.
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters – Business Takes Action, 4th Annual Conference: Accommodating Mental Health in the Workplace, October 19, Mississauga, Ont.
Canadian Public Procurement Council, The Future is Now: Emerging Trends for Public Procurement, November 7 to 9, Quebec City, Que.
Transport Institute, University of Manitoba, 7th Supply Chain Connections – The Mid-Continent Cold Chain: Opportunities & Challenges, February 9 and 10, Winnipeg, Man.

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