June 12, 2023

The advent of COVID-19 forced governments to realize how critical protecting the supply chain is. With their increased understanding of how simultaneously vital and sensitive the supply chain is, Canadians expect their government to take an active and engaged role in protecting and promoting the sector. This means protecting against threats like labour disruption and natural disasters, while taking advantage of opportunities like increased digitization and national harmonization.

 In my role as President and CEO of Supply Chain Canada, I have been working to take this heightened government awareness and turn it into real action.

 Supply chain professionals across the country recognize digitization is fundamental to the sector’s success, and our continued competitiveness on an international scale. Our world is quickly changing: the exponential rate at which technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Chat-GPT, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing are growing is astounding.

 AI is no longer relegated to the realms of data scientists but is now quickly becoming a basic skill which will differentiate between a successful and an unsuccessful supply chain. The call to action for the C-Suite is to assume centerstage and grab the opportunity.

 That is why we commissioned a research report, in partnership with the Government of Alberta and with funding from the province’s Workforce Partnership program, that consulted with supply chain leaders in the province. Many of the findings of the report will drive our strategy moving forward, and will serve as a blueprint for our approach with governments. You can find the results of that report here.

 Key takeaways include:

  • The digitization of the sector will increase productivity significantly;
  • Many businesses are unprepared for the transformative technologies, throughout the entire organization;
  • Specific technical skill training must be focused on; and
  • Micro-credentials and certifications will play an important role in upskilling professionals.

 At its core, Canada’s labour shortage is based on a skills shortage. The facts are that many workers are simply not prepared for the change that are occurring right now.

 Through our many training and skills development programs, this organization is poised to train and fill labour gaps.

 Let me give you an example: we have developed a Supply Chain Bootcamp that can be offered to people as young as those coming out of high school.

 We’re also working on programs that help employers identify challenges and opportunities. For instance, we developed a competency benchmarking tool that can help with assessing and identifying gaps in skills for those wanting to immigrate to Canada and give them the career roadmap needed to expedite their settlement and find a job.

 I have been traversing the country sharing the message wide and far. This has included presenting at the Saskatchewan Institute AGM on May. 16th, at the British Columbia Kwantlen Polytechnic University on May 18 and 19th, and our upcoming national convention.

 We all know how critical this is to our sector. There are a number of ways you can get involved, including through our government relations committee and helping us to develop further programming. If you are interested in getting involved, please email [email protected]