CSCSC e-Newsletter

May 30, 2012

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Council News

Annual General Meeting: June 5
The Council's AGM will take place at 9:00 am Eastern time on Tuesday, June 5 in Mississauga, Ont. Full members of the Council are encouraged to participate, and can do so in person, by teleconference or by proxy. Contact Flora Salema, at 905-897-6700, 1-866-616-3468 or, to get meeting information and to register to attend.

Recruitment and Retention Tips for Employers

Keep an eye on employment- and supply chain-related news for a while and it soon becomes clear that recruitment and retention of good employees is increasingly necessary as the economy gains strength. It is widely expected that the pool of skilled workers available to supply chain employers will diminish over the next few years relative to needs in the sector, making it all the more essential to employers that they adopt best-possible practices in the management of their human resources.
This topic was a feature of the HR track at the recent SCL/CITA annual conference. In order, presenters spoke of the growing gap between demand and supply in the supply chain labour force, attracting and keeping talent, and developing the skills of employees to improve performance. Together, they created a picture of a sector facing an enormous challenge.
As you will have no doubt heard many times already, much of the answer to this challenge – according to conference presenters and audience members alike – is in reaching youth and their career influencers with information about supply chain careers. Here is a roundup of ideas from the conference:
  • Charles Minken, Professor and Program Coordinator at Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, encouraged employers to offer internships, summer jobs and co-op opportunities to students to help them gain experience and keep them in the sector. He also suggested that employers get more engaged with educators to have an impact on curriculum, and that industry get involved in a coordinated effort to reach out to students.
  • Ruth Snowden, Executive Director of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, emphasized the need to reach high-school guidance counsellors, through whom information about the supply chain could reach students.
  • Supply chain practitioners should be volunteering in their local schools to present information to guidance classes about work in their field.
  • Graduates having a tough time landing a first job in the sector should consider applying for tactical work at entry level to gain experience and put themselves in position to be promoted within.
  • Andrew Jordan, Managing Director of Triskell Consulting Inc., thinks employers should see their relationships with summer students and interns as investments, through which young people gain familiarity with supply chain work and the specific companies for which they're working. He also noted that young workers as a group, motivated, it's said, less by money than their older colleagues are, may find the supply chain a good fit.
  • The graduate program at Loblaw Companies, described by Maria Atkins, VP, HR, Central Retail Operations, gives new employees – recent graduates – experience working in cross-functional teams in numerous different areas of the company. The employees acquire a good grasp of the career paths open to them, a big-picture understanding of the company and experience in different roles. Loblaw also promotes retention by creating individual development plans for employees that serve to not only give employees reason to stay, but also groom them to meet the company's anticipated needs. Similarly, the company tries to cater to individual needs, which change over time, by providing various options in terms of work/life integration.
  • Chris Hoban, Senior Manager at Accenture, reported that workers who receive training generally have a much higher level of job satisfaction than those who don't, dispelling the idea that training is a poor investment because it encourages employees who've acquired new skills to look for work elsewhere.
Another Event, Same Topic: TalentEgg Campus Recruitment Conference
Several large companies shared their strategies for recruiting and retaining students at this May 14 event in Toronto. While some of them have quite large budgets to work with in their recruiting efforts, the ideas they discussed are usable, on a smaller scale, by just about any employer.
  • Research In Motion: Co-op students learn about the company as a whole in order to understand their role within it. The company retains the best students for subsequent co-op terms by providing them with opportunities to work in other areas and gain different experiences.
  • CGI: "Ask them what they want." Students given flexibility and growth opportunities, with a path and the tools to follow it, will generally stay on as employees after a co-op term. Training, feedback, mentoring and work culture are important to young workers.
  • MasterCard Canada: Scannable posters on campuses around Toronto drove students to Facebook, where they could access information about applying through social media for summer work with the company.
  • PwC: With a pretty hefty budget, PwC developed a campus career website,, which won TalentEgg's Best Campus Career Website Award. The company put a lot of effort into understanding its audience to ensure that it was communicating effectively. It uses metrics to constantly determine what students are looking at on the site and then adapt the site based on that information.
  • Procter & Gamble: P&G uses Facebook to recruit students. The company is committed to conversation there, and notes the importance of always-prompt responses.

Reaching students nowadays is a very different exercise than in the past. As the presenter from P&G remarked, 85 percent of Internet users have Facebook accounts. It makes sense to try to connect with young people where they spend their time.

For Employers: Do You Know You Can Issue Records of Employment Electronically?

Filling out a Record of Employment (ROE) form on paper is time consuming. That’s one of the reasons why Service Canada launched the Record of Employment on the Web service in 2003. ROE Web is a secure, Web-based application that allows employers to create, submit and print ROEs online.

ROE Web makes it easier for employers to fill out ROEs and simplifies the processing of workers’ Employment Insurance claims. Each year, Canadian businesses issue more than 8 million ROEs. Today, more than 60 percent of these ROEs are submitted electronically, but still more than 3 million paper ROEs are filed each year. That's a lot of paper, and a lot of time and expense to employers. Whether your business issues only a handful or hundreds of ROEs, this application can help save you time and improve the way you work.
ROE Web benefits for businesses:
  • Increases productivity and saves time – With ROE Web, employers can create, retrieve and amend ROEs easily. ROE Web also allows for up to 1,200 electronic ROEs to be submitted at once.
  • Reduces paper burden and saves money in administration, storage, and postage – Employers no longer need to order or store paper ROE forms, keep paper copies on file or send copies to Service Canada, and they are not required to print paper copies for their employees. It is all done online!
  • Filing flexibility – Using ROE Web allows employers to align ROE issuance with their pay cycle for easier submission.
  • Improves ROE quality and accuracy – ROEs are instantly validated, which means more-accurate data and fewer follow-up phone calls and requests for payroll information from Service Canada.
  • Ease of use – An online training module is available to let users practice creating ROEs before submitting them to Service Canada.
  • Security – Businesses use the secure channel and epass to access the ROE Web service. Information is encrypted to ensure that the risk of unauthorized access is minimal.
If you use a payroll service provider – Contact your provider to determine which electronic ROE service can work for you.

If you use payroll software – Contact your software vendor to check if the version you are using is compatible with ROE Web.

If you issue a large number of ROEs – Enquire about the customized solution to transfer ROEs electronically.

To learn more about ROE Web and how to register, or to get answers to frequently asked questions, visit ROE Web or call the Employer Contact Centre at 1-800-367-5693 (TTY: 1-855-881-9874).

How Are We Scoring This?

By Chris Irwin, MBA
To a greater or lesser degree, people like to get feedback on performance. The specific need this information sates could range from positive reinforcement to competitive positioning and anything on either side of that. The supply chain domain is rich with such metrics as we quantify reductions in time, money and risk.
It can look relatively straightforward:
  • Quicker inventory turns are better;
  • Cost reductions in inputs are good;
  • Less dependence on a particular supplier reduces our risk (and their bargaining power).

The interplay between these elements makes it interesting.

Because people inherently seek to shine and perform, we pay attention to what is being monitored and succumb to the temptation to sacrifice wider value to meet our short-term scoring system. The rationalization would come from “I’m just doing what I’m told.” For example, if I am measured and rewarded on cost reductions, I may source more from a particular client in order to bring down price, while fully understanding the risks that I may be creating. (“But you said to reduce costs!”)
Occasionally, I will have the conversation with my MBAs about how they are being evaluated through the program. The discussion is always rich, as it would be in the workplace if you asked for input on performance evaluations. What routinely surfaces is difficulty in aligning performance metrics with desired classroom (or workplace) behaviour. Something always seems to have to give:
  • Recognizing contribution in class can encourage students to “fill the air” in order to get the check for “contributing” in class. (Word limits can produce a similar “fill the page” effort.)
  • Trying to reward effort would be impractical: Would you have students record the number of hours they spent on the assignment? If two submissions are of similar quality and one took two hours and the other six, who gets the higher grade? (Clarifying this would certainly affect over/understating fudging of the hours.)
The measures in place for individuals and teams have a direct effect on behaviours. Altering the storyline away from “compliance to the rules” can help avoid unproductive gaming of the system. With a clear direction to pursue, people tend to focus on what they are trying to accomplish, and don't pay so much attention to how they are going about it.
Picture the Olympic figure skater designing a routine with the aim of “showcasing his/her abilities to the judges and the world” versus designing a routine that “has all six core elements and includes two quads because the points for them are higher even if you don’t land the jump.” I think that I would rather be on the ice (and in the audience) for the former. I would, however, much rather be on the judges’ bench for the latter.
What we measure and celebrate is so important to the narrative that we are creating in the workplace. I will suggest that many people can take responsibility for giving these elements attention. Some frank discussions can help get closer, even if you can’t ever “nail it.”
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

British Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Transportation Summit 2012: Corridors to BC’s Economic Future, June 4 and 5, Vancouver, B.C.
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada – Toronto Chapter, 10th Annual Golf Classic, June 5, Richmond Hill, Ont. and affiliated trade magazines, Carbon Economy Summit 2012, June 6, Toronto, Ont.

Purchasing Management Association of Canada, Annual Conference: Rising Tides, June 6 to 8, Moncton, N.B.
Médecins sans frontières / Doctors Without Borders – Canada, Recruitment Information Sessions, June 7, Ottawa, Ont.

The Logistics Institute and I.E.Canada, Executive Leadership Program, June 10 to 15, British Columbia

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Challenges and Solutions in Transportation Workshop, June 11 and 12, Lombard, Illinois
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, eManifest Seminar, June 12, Toronto, Ont.
Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd, 8th Annual Innovations in Trade & Export Finance Conference, June 12, New York, N.Y.

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Air Dangerous Goods Training
Montreal (English)
Initial: June 12 to 14
Recurrent: June 13 and 14
Radioactive: June 14
Initial: June 12 to 14
Recurrent: June 13 and 14
Radioactive: June 14
Initial: June 19 to 21
Recurrent: June 20 and 21
Radioactive: June 21

I.E.Canada (Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters), Transfer Pricing & International Tax Conference, June 14, Toronto, Ont.

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association – Central Region, Boat Cruise, June 14, Toronto, Ont.

Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd, 9th Annual Europe Trade & Supply Chain Finance Conference, June 18 and 19, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

eyefortransport, 10th Annual North American 3PL Summit, June 18 to 20, Chicago, Illinois
Canadian Materials Handling & Distribution Society, Charity Classic Golf Tournament and Dinner, June 19, Surrey, B.C.

American Project Management, Project Management Masters Certification Program, June 19 to 22, Calgary, Alta.

APICS The Association for Operations Management – Ontario Grand Valley Chapter, Supply Chain Risk Management: Identify, Assess, Mitigate, and Manage Risk, June 21, Cambridge, Ont.

International Warehouse Logistics Association – Canadian Council, Annual golf tournament, June 22, Milton, Ont.
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Growing Your Business with Supply Chain Management Workshop, June 23 and 24, Lombard, Illinois

SMC3, Connections 2012: Transportation Meets Innovation, June 26 to 29, Chicago, Illinois

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association – Western Region, Golf Tournament, July 5, Richmond, B.C.

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Distribution Center Planning and Operations, August 6 and 7, Lombard, Illinois
Association of Canadian Port Authorities, 54th Annual General Meeting and Conference, August 19 to 22, Hamilton, Ont.

Calgary Logistics Council and the Van Horne Institute, Logistics Education Award Program Golf Tournament (proceeds go toward scholarships for students in supply chain programs in the Calgary area), September 10, Calgary, Alta.

Schulich Executive Education Centre, Logistics Management Course, September 10 to 12, Toronto, Ont.

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association – Central Region, Golf Tournament, September 13, Newmarket, Ont.

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association – Eastern Region, Golf Tournament, September 21

The Logistics Institute, Leading & Managing Change
September 26 to 28: Toronto, Ont.
November 7 to 9: Vancouver, B.C.

Purchasing Management Association of Canada, International Symposium on Supply Chain Management – Exploring the Leading Edge in SCM: Complexity, Responsiveness, Governance, September 30 to October 2, Toronto, Ont.
Always up-to-date in our online event listing.

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