Diversity, Education, Technology, and the Future of Supply Chain

Diversity & Supply Chain

  • "Diversity is a gift.”
  • It brings various perspectives, opinions and ideas that enrich solutions.
  • Innovation is driven by diversity and is “absolutely necessary” in supply chain.

Education & Supply Chain

  • Unlike older people working in the supply chain – many of whom fell into the sector – new entrants are learning about supply chain management in school or through certificate courses, and joining the sector by choice.

Technology & Supply Chain

  • The supply chain benefits from new tools every day.
  • The possible replacement of people by robots to do tactical work provides an opportunity to reskill and use employees in “a better way.”

The Future of Supply Chain

  • The supply chain is experiencing continuous growth and will keep needing people for years to come.
  • People with all kinds of experience and skills will be required.
Career Profiles

Managerial Roles


Logistics Manager
Meridian Manufacturing Inc.
Brad Beerling

  • Manages deliveries of oversize equipment, working with drivers, employees in administration, production and sales, and customers to ensure that deliveries go smoothly.
  • In this role, it's important to accept that problems are going to happen, and be willing to react to, learn from and grow with them.
  • "Never a day the same." 

Warehousing and Logistics

Director, Commercial Warehouses
Wills Transfer Limited
Brent Ellis

  • Responsible for planning, developing, organizing, managing and evaluating the operations of a warehouse facility.
  • Collaboration is key to this role. Must understand and respond to the needs of customers.
  • Developing and improving processes opens new business opportunities.
  • Responsibilities change as new activities become part of the company's service offerings.
  • There is a solid career path in this environment, from entry-level order picker, through lift truck operator, inventory cycle counter and other roles to warehouse supervisor and beyond.

Supply Chain Management

Director of Supply Chain Management
Patrick Etokudo

  • To be successful in a supply chain career, people require:
    • Interpersonal skills, the ability to build networks
    • Negotiation skills
    • Communications skills
  • The advantage of supply chain to the bottom line and shareholder value is "unbelievable."


Executive Director
Les entreprises Dupont 1972 inc.
Serge Faucher

  • General management responsibilities for trucking company.
  • Delivering the right amount of product to the right place at the right time is the core of this work.
  • Defining and refining customer needs is essential for accurate planning.
  • Employee training and strategic purchasing are among the primary responsibilities of this role.
  • Effective communication – with customers, suppliers and employees – is key to success. 


FFAF Cargo
Christina Forth

  • Work is fast paced and challenging, with lots to learn.
  • Important skills/attributes: organization, customer-service focus, reliability, responsibility.
  • Knowledge of other languages and cultures is an asset in this globe-spanning work.
  • There are few "normal" days.
  • Problem solving is a big part of a day's work.


Director of Programs
Jim Gillespie

  • Company provides support to the Royal Canadian Air Force on F-18 fighter jets.
  • Works with employee teams in logistics, engineering, functional support, repairs/maintenance and management.
  • Employees from varied backgrounds provide the required range of skills.
  • Career advice: Start in a role you like in the supply chain, but learn about other areas and change roles to enable progress into leadership positions.

Supply Chain Management

Senior Vice President, Operations
L’Oréal Canada
Pierre Massicotte

  • Oversees physical distribution, customer service, purchasing, demand management, transportation management, customs and more.
  • This role is exciting, with lots of different activities in lots of different areas.
  • It is essential and strategic for the company.
  • Responsibilities involve critical problem solving.
  • Works with colleagues and suppliers around the world in global operation.


Director, Contract Services
Defence Construction Canada
Melinda Nycholat

  • Procures the professional services and products required to design and build Department of National Defence buildings, marine facilities, airfields and so on.
  • Plans procurement in collaboration with all of the stakeholders involved in a project to ensure effective delivery.
  • Responsible to procure some highly unusual and difficult-to-find items; intriguing work to source such products and service providers.
  • Emerging technologies look likely to change how partners in a contract interact.
  • Makes decisions on new things and has new problems to solve every day.

Tactical Roles


Cando Rail Services Ltd.
Cody Birkett

  • Mechanical background is preferred, but not required for work in this field.
  • Qualities of good employees: physical fitness, ability to think outside the box, outgoing attitude.
  • The job allows workers to get exercise and be outside, part of a team.
  • Safety is a very important focus in this work.


Logistics Coordinator
W.A. Grain & Pulse Solutions
Stefanie Erickson

  • Started at current company as a part-time office assistant, with experience in the trucking industry.
  • Responsible for scheduling deliveries and pickups, liasing with suppliers and transportation providers.
  • Important skills: organization, effective communication, customer service.
  • Works with tracking software for real-time collaboration within supply chain.

Supply Chain

Team Lead, Supply Chain
Access Pipeline
Catherine Finnie-Wolff

  • There's "endless opportunity" in supply chain.
  • On-the-job training in "supply chain thinking" makes the supply chain a great place for anybody willing to learn.
  • It's really important to have people with different backgrounds and experiences on a team, to have a variety of perspectives that "up your game."
  • New technologies are likely to continue to create efficiencies.

Support Services

Senior Safety Consultant
Boreal Services Group Inc.
Deidra Helmig

  • Develops safety programs, including writing manuals, and policies and procedures; also provides training systems and safety engineering services.
  • Involves a lot of interaction with customers.
  • Important attributes: adaptability, relationship building, listening and learning.
  • Keeping people safe means the work is "making a difference."


Operations Supervisor
DHL Supply Chain
Meagan Jonsson

  • Monitors operations within the warehouse.
  • Technology is a huge part of the work.
  • There's a real sense of accomplishment in meeting daily goals.
  • Being a people person is important in this role.
  • There's lots of opportunity for career advancement.

Operational Roles


Shipper/Receiver, Total-R Inc.
Jamie Montesano

  • Coordinates orders: gets freight rates, books trucks, gets orders ready to ship, loads and unloads trucks.
  • "Honest day's work for honest day's pay."
  • Always busy, always different; fast-paced environment.
  • Satisfaction in always seeing the end of your work.
  • Little overtime, good work/life balance.

See the Canadian Transportation & Logistics video about the value and uses of the Council's job-profile videos 

Recruitment and Retention Video

The recruitment and retention video of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council emphasizes the pride and passion that real people feel for their roles in the supply chain. It illustrates the wide and growing range of career options in the sector, and the critical importance of well-run supply chains. Its fast pace mirrors the speed of the supply chain for some of its practitioners, who face new situations on a daily basis and revel in the challenge.

If you plan to include this video in a presentation at a meeting or event, you might want to make use of the Council's speaking notes. These notes could be adapted to address various audiences. 

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