CSCSC e-Newsletter

December 20, 2011

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Council News

Happy Holidays!

To all of our friends and colleagues, best wishes for the holidays!

New Video Profiles
The Council has created four video profiles that showcase roles in different areas of the supply chain. The videos feature individuals who are passionate about their work in the supply chain. Their stories reveal not only their career paths and job responsibilities, but also the enthusiasm each feels for the work they do.
The videos, available to view or download at, focus on four key areas of the supply chain, as follows:
  • Supply chain management: Pierre Massicotte, Senior Vice President, Operations, L'Oréal Canada
  • Sourcing/procurement: Melinda Nycholat, Director, Contract Services, Defence Construction Canada
  • Transportation and logistics: Serge Faucher, Executive Director, Les entreprises Dupont 1972 inc.
  • Warehousing and distribution: Brent Ellis, Director, Commercial Warehouses, Wills Transfer Limited
Despite the different roles they highlight, the profiles bring to light similarities in supply chain work: it’s clearly interesting, exciting, challenging, essential, strategic work that requires innovative problem-solving. The picture of the supply chain that the profiles collectively draw is obvious: this is a good place to work. That message will be promoted by the Council and its partners in the sector through use of the video profiles in career-awareness efforts.
Don't miss the CT&L video about the videos:

Outreach Project Completed
The Council's two-year Outreach Project ended on November 30th. Through the project, the Council was able to create the video profiles described above, along with other products, including:
  • A Council YouTube page
  • A corporate brochure
  • New signage (which is available to anyone hosting a supply chain event)
  • USB keys with the Council's logo (loaded with Council products, including all of the videos)
  • Numerous print and online ads about Council initiatives and products
  • Booth handouts and accessories for use at career fairs and other events
In addition, project funds enabled the Council to participate in several career fairs across Canada. Most importantly, they also allowed for the hiring of Outreach Coordinator Lorraine Chambers for the duration of the project. Lorraine met with or presented to about 2,400 people working in the supply chain or with associations, settlement agencies or other groups to provide information about using Council products to deal with day-to-day HR-related requirements.
What surprised Lorraine most about her work with the Council? It turns out that large organizations can make very good use of the tools and resources developed by the Council. While we've long known that Council products are a boon for small and medium-sized employers, it's been interesting to see even some very large employers have "light-bulb moments" (as Lorraine would say) upon discovering the range of Council tools.

The National Accreditation Program: What’s In It for You?
By Kevin A. Maynard
The 2005 human resources study of the supply chain sector identified clarity around education and training as a priority need to be addressed. In response, the Council took a three-pronged approach to assisting individuals and firms in accessing and effectively using education and training for skills-development and upgrading purposes. That approach has comprised:
  1. The establishment of a Supply Chain Affinity Group, to create a forum for communication between learning-system providers and employers;
  2. The development of an online catalogue, the Education and Training Compendium, which enables users to access information about supply chain offerings using a searchable database; and,
  3. The establishment of the National Accreditation Program (NAP), through which the Council assesses programs and courses offered by learning-system providers (colleges, universities, the private sector and professional associations offering designations) against national standards for the supply chain.
To date, 41 programs and courses have been accredited through the NAP. This means that the courses/programs have complied with the standards for the sector around such key areas as program needs assessment, design, delivery, and student evaluation. But what does that mean for you?
  • Employers – Programs/courses that have been accredited through the NAP are ideal for your employee-development programs. The Council's recent research indicates that the sector has a higher proportion of employer-sponsored education and training offerings than other sectors. By choosing an NAP-accredited program or course, you can be sure that your training budgets are directed to offerings that meet a national standard, as defined by employers in the supply chain sector. Make it a matter of HR policy to invest in training with those institutions or organizations whose offerings are accredited, AND include graduation from an accredited program or course among the desired criteria for new hires or promotions. In the case of accreditation of material-handling training, one employer has made accreditation through the NAP mandatory. Consequently, any provider of forklift training must be accredited by the Council if it is to offer services in the employer's warehouse facility.
  • Individuals – The Council's review of program offerings in 2010-2011 indicated that there has been an increase in the number and variety of training programs and educational offerings since 2005, and this increase has made it more difficult to choose an offering right for you. Depending on your career aspirations and your current situation, you may be looking for a post-graduate degree or a simple certificate of completion.  Accredited offerings are increasingly being recognized by employers as a factor in determining choice for hiring or promotion.
  • Learning-System Providers – Accreditation gives you an edge in marketing over organizations with similar offerings. The Council can help support your accredited offerings with branding enhancements that recognize your distinction and set you apart from other providers.
For more details on the NAP and how it can help you, contact Beverly Myers or Robert Rivard at the Council.

More on the NAP: New Accreditations
Two supply chain offerings have been accredited this month, bringing the number of Council-accredited programs and courses to 41. The newest accredited offerings are:
  • École de technologie supérieure, Baccalauréat en génie des opérations et de la logistique (program)
  • National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Contract Administration Online (course)

See the full list of accredited education and training offerings at

Problems and Solutions, Like Hammers and Nails

By Chris Irwin, MBA
“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
Abraham Maslow, paraphrased
In the past month or so, I've had the good fortune to deal with a vet, an auto mechanic and a dentist. I got thinking about the relationship of specialist (and their services) to the customers they serve. Some of my lingering questions were:
  1. Does my dog really need a third bandage change in seven days (at $60 a pop)?
  2. Does a Toronto-centric car really need snow tires?
  3. In terms of overall total cost of ownership for teeth, how does a four-month check-up schedule compare to the six- or nine-month option?

Obviously, the respective experts have a vested interest in helping me, which is why I often feel over a barrel with these particular specialists.

A recent conversation with a client twigged similar thoughts in the B2B organizational world. My client, who leads a large health-care organization, recollected the uncanny ability of consultants from wide-ranging backgrounds to make compelling arguments on how their solutions would fix his problem.
  • IT consultants offered productivity tools
  • Process engineers would re-engineer processes
  • Management consultants would launch and manage change projects
  • HR consultants would address problems through equitable compensation
  • Soft-skills trainers would create a culture of appreciative inquiry
  • Et cetera, et cetera

All of the above might be very effective practitioners who are specialists with particular sets of hammers and of vested interests.

Even outside the paid-expert role, I have observed, in several workshop and classroom settings, the human condition to want to solve problems. To maximize learning from different contexts, I routinely provide opportunities to share experiences and challenges in small groups. Undoubtedly, in such conversations, some cannot resist the temptation to deploy a particular “hammer” (or other “tool”) in the face of another’s problem.
Letting problems unfold without interruption by knee-jerk solutions can encourage more information sharing as cross-functional teams get together to discuss issues and determine ways to improve supply chain processes and practices. My partner Jennifer LaTrobe and I often position Creative Connection as “general practitioners” in the face of an ailing organization. Through diagnosis, we pride ourselves in helping people select problems that are worth solving, and are happy to refer to and work with specialists (often internally) on solutions.
There are very likely forums that would benefit from this kind of “general practitioner” in your work. To do it yourself, all you need is to be attentive to hammers looking for nails. One caution: this can be particularly tricky when dealing with your own set of hammers.

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 this website

Website Links


Can You Help?

Seeking Opportunities for One-Day Job Shadowing
Do you have some influence on the acquisition, deployment or use of transportation and/or facilities resources to support your organization's supply chain operations? If so, Wilfrid Laurier University is looking for you!
Students in the fourth-year transportation and facilities course in Laurier's supply chain management program are looking for opportunities to spend a day observing a practitioner at work. Through this experience, it is expected that the students will gain valuable insights to enhance their professional success after moving on from university into the work world.
If you could be a job-shadow host for four to six hours one day during the winter term (from January to March), contact Michael Haughton, Professor of Operations and Decision Sciences Director at the Centre for Supply Chain Management, School of Business & Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. He can be reached at 519-884-1970, ext. 6205 or

Essential Skills Tools and Resources

Research has demonstrated significant workplace advantages to developing the Essential Skills of employees, including:
  • Workplace health and safety improved through better understanding of labels and instructions;
  • Increased ability to communicate in writing and verbally, resulting in increased efficiency;
  • Improved accuracy in performing work duties; and,
  • Increased workforce morale.
To help employers identify potential Essential Skills gaps and implement Essential Skills activities and programs, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum has created four webinars that provide valuable information and tools.
This information comes from the November 2011 e-newsletter of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum.

Coming Events

International Warehouse Logistics Association, Costs, Rates, & RFP Responses Course, February 2 and 3, Orlando, Florida
APICS The Association for Operations Management – Ontario Grand Valley Chapter, Innovation – 3rd annual regional conference, February 3, Cambridge, Ont.
The Workplace Institute, Summit on the Mature Workforce, February 6 to 8, Calgary, Alta.
Transport Institute, University of Manitoba, 7th Supply Chain Connections – The Mid-Continent Cold Chain: Opportunities & Challenges, February 9 and 10, Winnipeg, Man.
Raven Events, Aboriginal Business Match 2012, February 13 to 16, Prince George, B.C.
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association – Central Region, Night at the Races, February 16, Toronto, Ont.

International Quality & Productivity Center, Cold Chain & Temperature Management Summit, February 22 to 24, Toronto, Ont.
International Warehouse Logistics Association, 121st Annual Convention: Bridging Generations for Success, March 18 to 20, San Francisco, California
Canadian Commission for UNESCO,  International Adult Learners' Week, March 24 to April 1, Canada-wide
The Conference Board of Canada, Workforce One-Stop 2012: Connecting the Skilled Workforce with Workplaces and Marketplaces, April 23 to 25, Toronto, Ont.
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada and Canadian Industrial Transportation Association, Supply Chain Canada conference, May 8 and 9, Toronto, Ont.
Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers, Annual Conference: Transportation: At the Heart of It All, May 27 to 30, Winnipeg, Man.
Purchasing Management Association of Canada, Annual Conference: Rising Tides, June 6 to 8, Moncton, N.B.

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