CSCSC e-Newsletter

January 29, 2013

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Council News

New Accreditations of Supply Chain Programs through National Accreditation Program
On December 19, the Council approved one new accreditation and renewed three others through the National Accreditation Program. Forty-eight education and training courses and programs are now accredited.
Accreditation was granted as follows:
Provider Name
 Offering Title
Course/ Program
New/ Renewal
Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
Bachelor of Commerce – Supply Chain Management
Graduate Certificate – Supply Chain Management
Wilfrid Laurier University
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Program - Supply Chain Management Option
Master of Business Administration (MBA) Program - Supply Chain Management Option

A full list of accredited offerings is on the CSCSC website, at

Coming Changes at The Alliance of Sector Councils
Like the sector councils that it serves and represents, The Alliance of Sector Councils is undergoing changes in response to the Government of Canada's decision to phase out core funding for the Sector Council Program. As of March 1, 2013, TASC will be renamed the Canadian Skills Alliance and will operate through project funding.

Website Launch: Women in Supply Chain

The new Women in Supply Chain website addresses the current and growing supply chain labour shortage, focusing on women as an untapped human resource within the sector.
Exploring the reasons to consider work in the supply chain, the site provides job-vacancy information – including the estimate from the Council's 2012 HR Study Update report that more than 350,000 positions will open up in the supply chain over the next five years – and concludes that "attracting and retaining women within the supply chain sector is a realistic, common-sense solution" to the challenge.
From videos shot at Women in Supply Chain events held in the fall of 2012, hear "what's cool about supply chain," advice for women entering the sector, how women get in their own way as they develop their careers, and so on.
Women in Supply Chain is supported by the Van Horne Institute, in partnership with ELLE and Associates Inc. and the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council.

Role for Employers in Canada's Immigration Program

Development of Expression of Interest System
A major next step in the development of Canada's immigration system will be the creation of a pool of skilled workers ready to begin employment in Canada. The Government of Canada plans to use an Expression of Interest (EOI) application system to create this pool of skilled workers.
Under this system, prospective immigrants will complete an online form indicating their interest in coming to Canada as permanent residents. The form will include information related to, for example, language proficiency, work experience and assessed education credentials. Assigned a points score and ranked, these expressions of interest will then be entered into a pool from which candidates that best match national and regional skills needs can be drawn and invited to submit an immigration application, subject to priority processing. (The EOI form submitted by a prospective immigrant is not an application, but only a first stage in the assessment of a potential candidate. Not all candidates who file an expression of interest are invited to apply for a permanent resident visa.)
Consultations with provinces, territories and stakeholders on the development of an EOI system for Canada are underway. As part of these consultations, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has held roundtables with employers in a number of cities to discuss how such a system could help meet employer needs.
With the elimination of the Federal Skilled Worker backlog, CIC anticipates being able to move to an EOI system that will make the immigration system more responsive to labour market needs and increase the likelihood of skilled immigrants’ success.

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

A new interactive online diversity course, "Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace," has been created by Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education’s (EAE) Foreign Qualifications Recognition Unit to help employers understand diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 
This tool uses questions and practical examples to help employers understand the concepts of diversity and inclusion and how to apply the concepts in their organizations. It aims to raise awareness about the value immigrants bring to the workplace, and the benefits of a diverse workforce in improving business opportunities.

The Role of Rules

By Chris Irwin, MBA

Last fall at a Business Ethics Speaker Series event, I listened to Daniel Weinstock from McGill University deliver a talk on rules and ethics in sport. It was a fascinating collision of philosophy’s deep thought and a man’s passion for the game of hockey. What emerged to me was the relevance of rules in business and collaboration.

Two of the concepts that Prof. Weinstock examined were, to paraphrase, “rules that no one argues with” and loopholes. As champions of following procedures and sticking to contracts, supply chain professionals should be familiar with both. They may also share the frustration of not being able to enforce rules with the internal rule-breakers and the unintended consequences of new rules.

The Rule is the Rule

In sport, the “rules no one argues with” pertain to safety and to fair play. Although some purists in hockey will fondly recall the flowing locks of Ron Duguay or Guy Lafleur, few could make the case to repeal the helmet rule. Similarly, to stick with hockey, no one argues with the “too many players on the ice” penalty. Both safety and fairness appear to provide a solid base for the presence of a restriction on actions in the form of a rule. No rule, however, is completely bullet proof:
If safety and fairness work most of the time for sports, what constitutes these solid planks in business?
Cost savings?
Customer satisfaction?
Doing the right thing?

There is promise here for a 2x2 matrix that plots “ability to quantify” vs. “importance to long-term business success.” Even with such a tool, there are no clear winners. An organization can try to be clear about its stance on what is important. Johnson & Johnson’s credo is one attempt at this clarity.

The wording will never be perfect, but such proclamations can reflect the organizational direction and the industry context. For example, a logistics outsourcing operation could logically place “cost savings” or some form of efficiency within the rules that no one expects to argue with. The goal, I think, should be to have statements that are somewhat clearer than “we value integrity and honesty,” but not as prescriptive as “never ever spend more than you absolutely have to.”

The Rule isn’t Really the Rule

Loopholes are fuzzy in a different way. The shared understanding of these is that such rules enable someone to operate “within the rules” while clearly operating outside the spirit of the game. In an organizational setting, these are called “workarounds.” Your view of the effectiveness of the rule is the thing that separates a “workaround” from a “loophole.” In either case, everyone knows they are happening… and some may be very aligned with the long-term success of the business.

The presence of a workaround may provide an area of opportunity to be clearer. Acknowledging the workaround can identify a rule that could change. In some instances, the threat of “reopening the constitution” may be too great or too troublesome. It may simply provide an opportunity to revisit the “spirit” of our activity. This should be a health discussion that could help mutual understanding.

The Rule for Rules?

Understanding the role of rules is important. We don’t want to prescribe unless something very important (e.g., personal safety) is at risk. For many cases, guidelines can provide people with the freedom to act and use judgment in performing their function. And, no, there is no clear rule for rules.

Chris Irwin is the Managing Partner for the Canadian practice of Creative Connection Consultants ( – NEWLY UPDATED!), who work with companies to release superior performance by understanding the organizational narrative. He is on faculty at the Schulich School of Business. He also teaches in PMAC’s Strategic Supply Chain Management Leadership Program. He can be reached at


Website Links


Coming Events

Event in the Spotlight
Innovation Conference
APICS The Association for Operations Management – Ontario Grand Valley Chapter
February 21 to 23, Cambridge, Ont.
Conference sessions will be presented in three learning tracks:
  • Supply Chain Management, with presentations on material requirements planning, inventory and project management, production efficiency, KPI measurement and customer service
  • Professional Development, focused on such topics as leadership, workplace coaching, public speaking, interpersonal communications, and the ROI of golf
  • Panels of Experts, looking at the job market, global procurement and the future of transportation. A fourth panel, "Ask the CEO," is an open forum that provides the CEO perspective.
Innovation Showcase, on Feb. 23, is both a half-day workshop on material planning and a supply chain case competition. The workshop, "Material Planning in a Demand Driven World: Solution Overview," will be presented by conference keynote speaker Carol Ptak, a practitioner, consultant and educator in manufacturing operations, and author of numerous articles and books. The competition, for teams of four students or young professionals, is a qualifying round in ISCEA's Ptak Prize Global Case Competition.

Free Passes Available
IQPC is offering five complimentary conference passes to its 11th Annual Cold Chain & Temperature Management Summit – Canada, taking place February 25 to 28 at the Hyatt Regency in Toronto. These passes are available only to end users, life-science manufacturers, on a first-come, first-served basis. To take advantage of this offer, contact Taryn Soltysiak at

Other Coming Events
Aboriginal Human Resource Council, Webinar: National Aboriginal Virtual Recruitment Fair, January 31
The Van Horne Institute, in partnership with ELLE and Associates, and the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council, Engage! Women in Supply Chain Conference, January 31 and February 1, Calgary, Alta.

CITT – Manitoba Area Council, Social Media – Risks, Rewards & Challenges, February 5, Winnipeg, Man.

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, eManifest Strategic Business Planning
February 5: Vancouver
April 16: Edmonton
April 17: Calgary
June 5: Toronto
June 12: Montreal

Partners in Project Green with Natural Resources Canada, Dollars to $ense Workshop: Energy Re-Commissioning & Benchmarking – Logistics/Warehouses, February 7, Vaughan, Ont.

Loyalist Training & Knowledge Centre, The Lean Supply Chain – Optimizing Performance, February 19, Belleville, Ont.
International Warehouse Logistics Association – Canadian Council, Mark the date: Spring Conference, April 16, Vaughan, Ont.

The Conference Board of Canada, Workforce One-Stop 2013: Developing People for a Cutting-Edge Workforce, April 23 and 24, Toronto, Ont.

Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada and Canadian Industrial Transportation Association, Supply Chain Canada, May 14 and 15, Mississauga, Ont.
Purchasing Management Association of Canada, 88th Annual National Conference: Capitalizing on Supply Chain Solutions, June 12 to 14, Ottawa, Ont.

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