How To Excel in Supply Chain in Canada

The first Canadian newcomer I coached was in the supply chain field.

His name was Arun, and I remembered how he described the vast differences in the supply chain field between Indian and Canada.

He mentioned in India, you needed to be a jack of all trades. You needed to manage vendors, demand planning, logistics, forecasting, procurement, finance management.

You did it all.

But here in Canada, he discovered that especially when applying for roles with larger enterprise organizations, your role had to be very specialized.

When he first arrived in Canada, he started with a survival job.

But after upgrading his networking strategy, he quickly found a job as a demand planner with Honeywell.

He mentioned that all the formal certifications in the world did not matter. In the end, it was about connecting with the right people, and being able to clearly articulate the value you brought into the field.

How to discover the scope

Go to “indeed.ca” and search for “supply chain”.

Below are the results I found today.

Even though we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic as I write this answer, the supply chain industry is still booming.

These jobs were posted in just the last 14 days:

It would seem that Ontario is leading the provinces in this industry, so if you’re a newcomer planning to make the big move, it would be worth considering Ontario as your choice of destination.

You know the scope, what about the requirements?

If there is one lesson I’ve always told my clients, it’s this:

Never assume you know the market – do the research!

Don’t assume that the skills and responsibilities you had at your old job and your old company, is what Canada’s employers are looking for.

Select one target job title in the supply chain field:

  • Supply Chain Analyst
  • Demand Planner
  • Supply Chain Coordinator
  • Procurement Specialist
  • Supply Chain Manager
  • Logistics Coordinator

Do the research in the responsibilities shown in the job descriptions for your choice, and decide which specializing you want to focus your resumé on.

Analysts and demand planners will require more data management skills.

Coordinators would require more project management skills.

Procurement would require vendor management skills.

Research your target job title, and focus your resumé.

Find the right recruiter

It’s important to find a recruiter that specializes in Supply Chain Management.

You can always Google for “Supply Chain recruiters in [Your Province/City], and approach them.

Argentus Supply Chain Recruiting is one example.

But recruiters get bombarded with emails and requests from job seekers all the time?

If you want to stand out from the crown, read this article on how you can grab a Canadian recruiter’s attention.

What About Education?

It can help, especially if you’re a newcomer. I’m referring to the Certified Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) designation.

It does tackle the “Canadian Experience” to a certain extent.

However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that more education = better job.

This may be the cultural norm in Asia or Europe, but in North America, education is far less valued than personality and experience.

Most supply chain job descriptions I’ve personally seen never state that SCMP is a requirements. It’s a nice-to-have at best.

Pursue further education only if you believe it will expand your knowledge. If your goal is to improve your candidacy in the Canadian Supply Chain job market, then use your education as a networking opportunity.

Pursuing further education will undoubtedly put you in contact with other students, teachers and mentors. Developing relationships with these people is what will get you your next supply chain job sooner.

And speaking of networking…

Become a member of a Canadian supply chain association.

Google for it, and take your pick:

  • Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada
  • Supply Chain Canada
  • Supply Chain Management Association Canada

You will surround yourself with people who have the power and authority to hire you.

Yes, membership is not free. But the connections you make here could be the difference of getting that job that pays you C$10–20K higher.

If you play your cards right, wouldn’t it be worth it?

Learn from others

Arun was one of my greatest success stories as a career coach.

His first job in Canada was inventory management in a cold storage company.

With effective networking, he went from freezing in a fridge to a warm, cushy job with Honeywell.

And if he can do it, so can you!

Click here to listen to my interview with him.

To your success in supply chain in Canada!

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