Does Canada Need a Chief Logistics Officer?

A few years back the Government of Canada introduced the role of Chief Technology Officer or CTO, which ultimately resulted in the formation of Shared Services Canada.

Since that time progress has been made on the elimination of redundancy and standardization across the government which process continues to roll out.

IT services, applications and servers are of course a very significant cost to the government and ultimately the people of Canada. Likewise, logistics the physical handling, storage and transportation of any materiels or related services needed for the Government of Canada to serve citizens costs 10’s if not 100’s of millions of dollars annually.

So what are some of the specific services which might be more effectively managed if under the purvey of a CLO or Chief Logistics Officer?

• Mail Sort/Screen/Delivery Services
• Library Services
• Museum Services
• Storage Services
• Fulfillment / E-Commerce Services Internal
• Fulfillment / E-Commerce Services External
• Courier / Express Delivery Services
• Transportation – Less Than Truckload & Truckload
• Other materiels and services

All of the above types of services could also benefit from closer scrutiny and elimination of redundancy, standardization and joint procurement activities and practices.

The above represent a number of specific logistics functions that are performed across most Departments and of course the application of best practices both internal and external to the Government of Canada can lead to marked improvements in both the dollars spent and service levels delivered.

Clearly, due to the nature and specialization of logistics there are also synergies available through combined logistics services which can expand the opportunity for savings even further beyond best practices. One best practice from the Private Sector is the practice of Fourth Party Logistics (4PL) also known as Lead Logistics Provider (LLP) which based on developing a management and integration role for these services allows these related best practices and synergies to be identified, expanded, jointly planned, implemented, measured and ultimately captured. These are the types of

Additionally as the 4PL or LLP role is for the most part data collection, analysis, planning and co-ordination, post analysis it does not preclude normal procurement methods being utilized preserving marketplace competition. In order to advance a Logistics Best Practices program the first step is of course to identify all of the potential Areas of Opportunity and then create a Logistics Operation Inventory across all applicable Departments.

Going beyond the direct application of Logistics Excellence within the Government of Canada, a Chief Logistics Officer could also act as an evangelist to the wider private sector on logistics providing leadership through both thought and action.

Some specific examples where this approach might be effective include:

• Supply Chain Data Collection
• Unitization & Returnables
• Electronic Commerce for Logistics
• Connective & Tracking Technologies (RFID & GPS)
• Supply Chain Standards (Education & Rollout)
(No or low cost ISO standards & training)
• Environmental Leadership in Logistics
Supply Chain represents 75% of most companies carbon footprint)
• Logistics Collaboration Initiatives
(Estimated $15 billion in collaboration savings potential)
• Emerging transport modes (Airships & Drones)
• International Logistics & Gateways

A new leadership role within the Government of Canada focused on Logistics holds much promise for both the public and private sector advancement of logistics leading to massive potential benefits for Canada in both costs to serve as well as the environmental impact and overall productivity of Canada’s private sector.

So in this case only one question remains to be answered, is it time for Canada to appoint a Chief Logistics Officer?

Jeff Ashcroft

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