CSCSC e-Newsletter

February 27, 2012

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Council News

Career Focus Program Update
The Council has applied to HRSDC for an extension of funding for the Career Focus wage-subsidy program. If the application is approved, funds will again be available to help employers across Canada hire new employees in supply chain roles. (Supply chain roles are defined on page 2 of the Council's Supply Chain Sector Facts and Figures document.) The employees must be post-secondary graduates, of university, college, association or private-sector programs, and aged 30 or under.
If your company is planning to make a hire soon for someone in a supply chain position, you might want to hold off, if possible, until the Council gets word about its funding application. To get on a waiting list for the Career Focus Program, to learn more about it or to be notified when a decision has been made about the program's future, contact Sheryl Keenan, at 905-897-6700, 1-866-616-3468 or

Mentoring: Paying It Forward in the Supply Chain

Mentors can be invaluable guides to people who are new to the supply chain or who are hoping to be or have been promoted to roles with new responsibilities. A mentor challenges and inspires 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
  • Keeping mentees on track and focused
  • Providing encouragement to reach goals and objectives
It’s fairly easy to imagine why someone would want a mentor. But what motivates mentors to give their time to help others as they navigate their career paths?
Mentoring relationships that are formed between co-workers within a workplace are relatively easy to maintain, but nonetheless valuable. Gerald Ford, President of Cambridge Solutions Inc., was “very fortunate in the people he reported to” during the early years of his career. While the mentoring they provided often took the form of “parking-lot conversations” at the end of the day, they served him as sounding boards, provided advice and looked out for his best interests. It is thanks to those mentors that Gerald now mentors others; he is “paying it forward,” to the benefit of numerous young people.
Ken Babich, Director of Purchasing Services at University of Victoria, also had mentors, two significant ones, who helped him as his career was developing. Because of their profound impact on his career – and because, as a public employee, he was lucky enough to have his continuing education paid for by his employer – Ken sees it as his moral duty to give back, a lot. He will “help anyone, anywhere to get ahead.” Ken teaches public procurement courses throughout North America for NIGP’s LEAP Program, which prepares students to challenge the UPPCC certification exams. He has, like Gerald, made a habit of mentoring.
Carlo Malaguti, Principal Partner at Montreal-based Synchron Logistics, lists himself on LinkedIn first as “Mentor at Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council.” Among his several current roles – which also include being a course instructor at McGill University School of Continuing Studies and at HEC Montreal – it is interesting to see the importance that Carlo places on his work as a mentor in the supply chain. Having sought out mentors to help him in his career, Carlo says that, without their guidance, his career would have taken a different focus. Now he wants to “give back,” to provide to others the kind of guidance that he received.
While giving back is the major motivation to mentor for Carlo, Ken and Gerald, those who never had mentors can find motivation in the outcomes of mentoring. As Gerald points out, mentors are rewarded with “bragging rights” in the success of their mentees. He “gets a kick out of seeing the progress” that he has helped to bring about. And it’s fun: As a mentor, Gerald is reminded of things he might have forgotten, he gains new viewpoints and he enjoys the interaction with engaged mentees.
Carlo’s mentors helped him choose a direction for his career and, after his arrival in Canada from Europe, provided insights on the business culture in North America. Carlo now helps other newcomers to Canada, sharing what he has learned on his path as they seek out opportunities for continuing education and career development.
Ken works long hours at his job, partly to enable him to be available to his mentees, who are both co-workers at UVic and individuals who have sought him out for his expertise. Over the years, he figures he has mentored in the range of 20 to 30 people.
Ken, Carlo and Gerald agree that the people they will mentor must be motivated. They may be adrift, unsure where to head on their career paths and in need of help to refocus, but they must have the initiative to follow up on suggestions, reach out to provided contacts and be open to change. As Ken notes, he can help a person find the resources they need to progress, but it’s up to the individual to make use of those resources. Likewise, Carlo will gladly help a mentee who is active and determined.
The help Gerald, Carlo and Ken provide to their mentees has included reviewing and revamping résumés, helping to create marketing plans, suggesting social-media groups to join, providing contacts, recommending education options, encouraging a focus on goals, and more. For some mentees, it suits to simply be able to phone now and then when they face a challenging situation in their jobs and need some advice from a seasoned practitioner. Others require more frequent and sustained help as they try to overhaul their careers. A mentor and a potential mentee must decide as a first step if there is a good fit between them in terms of expectations.
Carlo, Gerald and Ken are all mentoring models; each gives several hours a week to their mentoring efforts. You may not want to, or be able to, provide that degree of help, but could do a lot less and still have a truly positive impact on a younger person working in the supply chain. If you’d like to give mentoring a try, we’ll add you to the Council’s online list of mentors, at Send information for your listing to

The Global Transportation Hub: Saskatchewan's Exciting New Development

Background: The Global Transportation Hub (GTH) project has been led, from the onset, by the Government of Saskatchewan. It was managed from within the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure until the GTH Authority was created to manage the development. The project began with a plan to build and relocate the Canadian Pacific (CP) intermodal facility, but ultimately took the form of a tri-partite funding agreement between CP, the Government of Saskatchewan and the Government of Canada.

The impetus for the development of the GTH was a desire to build a transportation and logistics hub that connected Saskatchewan to the rest of the world and the rest of the world to Saskatchewan. In fact, the GTH is rapidly becoming ‘Saskatchewan’s gateway to the world.’

Saskatchewan Premier the Hon. Brad Wall says, “The Global Transportation Hub is one of the most important economic-development initiatives in Saskatchewan.” Already five major players in the transportation and logistics industry are to be located at the GTH: CP, Canadian Logistics Services, Loblaw Group of Companies, Yanke and Alliance Grain Traders Inc.

GTH President and CEO John Law says that, in every case, project size and scope for all of these clients have grown far beyond what was originally planned. “The pace of development and activity has jumped well ahead of schedule,” he says.

“Loblaw, for example, will be a flagship distribution centre in Canada. Well ahead of schedule in its own growth, it is now testing new protocols to optimize the use of its facility.  The CLS/Loblaw one-million-square-foot warehouse and distribution centre was not originally scheduled to be completed until 2017. Instead, Phase II will open in the spring of 2012, doubling employment to over 800,” Law says.

Directly and indirectly, benefits are accruing to Saskatchewan from the GTH initiative. New incremental investment from the private sector, coupled with public infrastructure investment, totals over $600 million. In addition, over 3,200 person years of construction employment have already been created.
The GTH is also helping to create new career opportunities for Saskatchewan people. Hundreds of new jobs and career opportunities will unfold in global supply chain management. In addition to new job opportunities in manufacturing, transportation and distribution, new professional careers will unfold in logistics, information-technology management and quality assurance.
“The GTH is based on a solid foundation,” Law says. “To quote Russell Marcoux, President and CEO of the Yanke Group: It just makes a lot of good, strategic business sense to be located here and to grow with the GTH.”

See stories on other Canadian transportation hubs in 2011 issues of the Council's newsletter:

Tangled Roots of Problems

By Chris Irwin, MBA
I hate to be so Toronto-centric, but the recent discussions in this city regarding the future of public transit are a great example of well-intentioned people grappling with “what problem are we solving?” One temptation from the engineering-minded folk (a lot of these whom, I have learned, have found a home in supply chain), is to do a root-cause analysis. (Cue the knowing nods. “Finally, we can get to what’s really wrong here.”)
So, what is the root cause in this case? A stubborn mayor? An equally stubborn majority of Council? A lack of political will to impose a decision? The necessary charade of consensus-building? The housing prices in areas served by subways? Suburban expansion? Inequality?
On a much smaller scale, the “five whys” conversation that stems from a root-cause approach could look like this:
Why was the train late arriving at this station?
It was late leaving the previous station.
The doors took too long to close.
- The car was crowded and someone’s bag got stuck.
Why was the train so crowded?
The bus entrance and the transfer line feed into one part of the platform.
Why do both entrances feed into that part of the platform?
Good question. Maybe we need to steer bus traffic through the south-end entrance.
- Good question. Maybe we can alter the bus schedule to arrive between trains
System thinking is very attractive, and works extremely well within such process-outcome environments (e.g., we have some infrastructure to move a lot of people reasonably comfortably in a timely manner; how can we do it best?). Not all systems are as self-contained.
Consider the following situation and the “system” that it involves:
We want to be able to select suppliers based on the carbon footprint generated, but we aren’t able to. Why is that?
There is no clear way to evaluate it.
There is no standard way to measure it.
No one's done it.
Because nobody cares enough to invest in it. And, by the way, who would do it? The government?
Listen, I’m asking the questions here. Why won’t they invest in it?
The same reason that we don’t invest in it. There is no clear incentive.
Pursuing this (or a similar) initiative crosses organizational boundaries, but also forces organizations to look at their internal practices and wade into the politics of how things really happen. The root cause of these can be best left alone! From a communication perspective, there is a balance between (1) presenting “what” we’d like to happen, with appropriate answers to “why?”; and (2) understanding the source of resistance or apathy. The latter can be rooted in messy personal agendas, which only get messier under a root-cause analysis.
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


Coming Events

PMAC Partnership, Webinar: Maximizing Teamwork, February 29
Doctors Without Borders, Recruitment Information Session, February 29, Quebec, Que.

The Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table, Creating a Blueprint for Supervisory Skill Development Workshop
March 1: Nanaimo
March 2: Burnaby
March 6: Prince George
Schulich Executive Education Centre, Logistics Management Course, March 5 to 7, Toronto, Ont.

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Webinars: International Trade Workshops (each workshop is presented in two parts)
March 6 and 7: Essentials of Exporting
April 25 and 26: Protecting your Business with the CIFFA STCs
May 15 and 16: Essentials of Exporting
May 23 and 24: Incoterms 2010
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Air Dangerous Goods Training
Initial: March 6 to 8
Recurrent: March 7 and 8
Radioactive: March 8
Initial: March 27 to 29
Recurrent: March 28 and 29
Radioactive: March 29
Montreal (English)
Initial: April 10 to 12, June 12 to 14
Recurrent: April 11 and 12, June 13 and 14
Radioactive: April 12, June 14
Initial: April 10 to 12, June 12 to 14
Recurrent: April 11 and 12, June 13 and 14
Radioactive: April 12, June 14
Initial: June 19 to 21
Recurrent: June 20 and 21
Radioactive: June 21
The Logistics Institute, Leading & Managing Change, March 7 to 9, Toronto, Ont.

International Warehouse Logistics Association, 121st Annual Convention: Bridging Generations for Success, March 18 to 20, San Francisco, California
I.E.Canada (Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters), CBSA Border Clearance Processes: The New Normal – A Step by Step Workshop
March 19: Vancouver
March 20: Edmonton
March 21: Winnipeg
March 26: Toronto
March 28: Montreal
I.E.Canada (Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters) and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, Customs Duty and International Trade Course, March 19 to 21, Montreal, Que.
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada – Toronto Chapter, Tour: Shoppers Drug Mart Automated Pharmaceutical DC, March 20, Mississauga, Ont.
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada – Calgary Chapter, Breakthrough Distribution & Material Handling Technologies 2012, March 21, Calgary, Alta.
CAL-Québec, Tour: Défense Nationale, 202e Dépôt d’ateliers, March 21, Montreal, Que.
Métis National Council, Métis Procurement Conference 2012, March 21 and 22, Winnipeg, Man.
The Logistics Institute, Professional Ethics, March 21 to 23, Vancouver, B.C.
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada – B.C. Chapter, Breakthrough Distribution & Material Handling Technologies 2012, March 22, Burnaby, B.C.

Canadian Commission for UNESCO,  International Adult Learners' Week, March 24 to April 1, Canada-wide
Halton Industry Education Council, Women as Career Coaches, March 29, Burlington, Ont.
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada – Toronto Chapter, A Holistic Approach to Supply Chain Risk Management: Exposing Vulnerabilities and Prioritizing Action, April 2, Woodbridge, Ont.
Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council, 2012 Diversity Procurement Fair – Diversity: The Key to Unlocking Opportunity, April 10 and 11, Toronto, Ont.
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada – Toronto Chapter, 2012 Supply Chain Case Competition, April 14, Toronto, Ont.
Wilfrid Laurier University and LeanCor, Lean Supply Chain Practitioner Course, April 16 to 19, Waterloo, Ont.

The Conference Board of Canada, Workforce One-Stop 2012: Connecting the Skilled Workforce with Workplaces and Marketplaces, April 23 to 25, Toronto, Ont.
Hear Kevin Maynard, Executive Director of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council speak on "The Tsunami Comes Ashore: Workforce Issues About to Swamp The Canadian Supply Chain"
Aboriginal Human Resource Council, Inclusion Works ‘12: U and iSharing Solutions – Canada’s Biggest Indigenous Inclusion Event and Recruitment Fair, May 1 to 3, Edmonton, Alta.
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada and Canadian Industrial Transportation Association, Supply Chain Canada conference, May 8 and 9, Toronto, Ont.
International Warehouse Logistics Association – Canadian Council, Mark the date: Spring conference, May 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