PMAC National Conference heads to Whistler

From June 8 to 10, 2011, hundreds of supply chain management professionals from across Canada will be gathering in Whistler, BC for the 86th Annual PMAC National Conference.

March 18, 2011
by Cheryl Paradowski


From June 8 to 10, 2011, hundreds of supply chain management professionals from across Canada will be gathering in Whistler, BC for the 86th Annual PMAC National Conference. I am very much looking forward to my first PMAC Conference.

Our theme is “Reaching New Peaks”. While an obvious nod to the mountain-top location, it also reflects the growing recognition for supply chain management professionals and the value they add to their employers.
Breaking from tradition, we have chosen a resort destination for this year’s event. I think this will be a nice change of pace for our returning attendees and will only enhance the conference for all our delegates.

The buying power of the Olympics
I have had the pleasure of hearing our first keynote presenter, Ray Zahab, speak at a previous conference. I found his story of converting from a pack-a-day smoker to running 7,500 km across the Sahara desert very inspirational. The most striking aspect for me was that he made this decision to change his life not as a 20-year-old, but as a mature adult. It’s powerful because it shows us that no matter how old you are, you can accomplish any goal if you set your mind to it.

Amanda Lang is a speaker whom I’m particularly interested in hearing, and who fits in perfectly with the business context of our conference. We consistently talk about the importance of positioning supply chain management as a strategic contributor to an organization and bringing a leading business commentator to our conference reinforces this.

The opportunity to have Maureen Douglas speaking about the buying power of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Whistler is a happy coincidence. But, the real value that our members will derive from her is an understanding of the complex interpersonal skills she used to manage professional relationships during her work with VANOC. Our annual salary surveys regularly identify people skills to be among the most in-demand skills and I am sure this presentation will provide insight into that critical area of professional development.

PMAC’s core mission is to build leadership in supply chain management, so it makes sense that we have an expert in leadership as one of our keynote speakers. As chairman and CEO of Canada Wide Media, the largest independently owned magazine publisher in Western Canada, Peter Legge has a proven track record as a business leader. In addition, he leads by example outside of business. His humanitarian efforts have garnered him honours that include the Order of the Red Cross and the Order of British Columbia.

Nearshoring, innovation and cloud computing

Delegates will find that a full program awaits them in Whistler. A total of 25 educational sessions, four facilitated discussions and two pre-conference seminars will bring them up-to-speed on emerging issues. Highlights include:

  • New research from Dr. Fraser Johnson at the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey School of Business will help supply chain management professionals to more effectively create, measure and report supply savings.
  • The latest on Incoterms 2010, which came into effect January 2011. The new terms reflect changes in transport practices, heightened concerns regarding cargo security, and consolidation in the “delivered” rules.
  • How software-as-a-service (SAAS) and cloud computing are affecting the supply chain and the differences in procuring cloud-based vs. traditional technologies.
  • Sourcing and procurement groups need to find innovative opportunities as supply chain takes its rightful place in the innovation spotlight.
  • Rethinking offshoring from places like China as the business environment continues to change and a trend towards nearshoring emerges, resulting in lower total landed cost.

Other sessions will address procurement law, sustainability, supplier performance measurement, sole sourcing, the economy and more. Sessions will also be presented on negotiation, personal branding and intergenerational communications.

Networking atop Whistler mountain
While the rise of Web 2.0 tools, such as social media, have made it easier for people to network online, face-to-face contact is still crucial to developing trust and long-lasting connections. That is why we have planned three networking events to help you connect with your peers and grow your professional networks.

The conference kicks off with an event at the Roundhouse Lodge. Prepare to be amazed by the jaw-dropping views from atop Whistler Mountain. On the second night, delegates will enjoy a wine and cheese reception followed by a chance to explore Whistler and engage in some of the many exciting outdoor adventures available. We conclude with the Board Chair Gala in the Sea-to-Sky Ballroom at the Whistler Conference Centre.

Another first, PMAC will also be hosting a golf day at the spectacular Whistler Golf Club, designed by Arnold Palmer. I hope to meet many of you at the conference and on the breathtaking greens!

For more information please visit our conference website: