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Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Hub75-Day Plan: September 1 – November 14, 2011Business Case Development and TDL Workforce Hub DevelopmentBusiness Case DevelopmentIn order to capitalize on the strong work by all parties that has provided the foundation for this project, the DetroitRegional Chamber’s 75-day work plan aims to develop and complete a written value proposition and business casefor the increase of freight activity and related investment in the region encompassing Southwest Ontario, SoutheastMichigan and Northwest Ohio. This written work product, developed in conjunction primarily with the private sectorbut also with substantial input from the Chamber’s government and non-profit stakeholders, is a foundation on whichto develop subsequent supply chain development activities (infrastructure planning, marketing, business attraction,etc.). The Chamber plans to circulate for comment and improve this work continuously throughout its developmentand will share it with all partners upon its completion. The Chamber will build the value proposition/business casefor supply chain throughout the region on three key pillars:1. Private Sector EngagementValue PropositionThrough an extensive series of face-to-face interviews, the Chamber and its partners will pose four core questions(along with many more) to the key private sector players in supply chain throughout the region: • What are the necessary preconditions to increase freight activity and freight-related investment throughout the region? • Once those preconditions are identified, what actions are needed to fulfill them? • Which regional sectors show the most promise for increasing their level of freight activity and investment? • Do you believe that the U.S.-Canada border provides this region an unparalleled competitive and comparative advantage for supply chain development? If so, what do you think can and should be done to maximize the advantage of and benefit from the border?Private sector meetings will occur with the following groups: • Freight forwarders – Our preliminary conversations with cargo owners and others in the field indicate that freight forwarders are overwhelmingly important -- if not determinant -- in 90% of freight decisions. The Chamber will therefore meet with the ten top freight forwarders in the region. In addition to the questions above, the purpose of each meeting will be to better understand the needs and role of the freight forwarder as well as their view of the regional supply chain system and market. The findings from these meetings will highlight the region’s competitive and comparative advantages and disadvantages, and will constitute a core database of the value proposition and business case. • Major shippers and carriers– The Chamber will meet with at least five major shippers and carriers. An important outcome of these meetings will be the information needed to ensure that a regional logistics plan 1
addresses the needs of key supply chain stakeholders. Major value-add to this effort will be, in addition to those identified above, to identify sectors of opportunity for increased freight and investment. • Trade association contacts – Trade associations allow the Chamber to communicate and coordinate with many stakeholders with common interests simultaneously. These meetings will complement the findings from the freight forwarder, shipper, and carrier meetings. The trade associations include the Michigan Agri- Business Association, the Michigan Rail Association, the Michigan Trucking Association, and the Automotive Industry Action Group.Workforce DevelopmentIn addition to engaging the private sector for value proposition development, the Chamber will engage the privatesector by soliciting TDL workforce input from company human resources executives. The Chamber will recruit HRrepresentatives to a workforce advisory committee from companies such as Chrysler, Dow, PVS Chemicals, UnitedRoad Services, Penske Logistics, W.F. Whalen, CVS, UPS, and Ceva Logistics.An RFP for development of the TDL Workforce Hub was released September 15, with proposals due October 1, 2011.The Chamber’s requested services include development and execution of an in-person interview process that wouldinclude 35-50 top employers in the TDL sector. The interviews will result in a report that will help the Chamberfacilitate coordination and the exchange of information among TDL employers, TDL educators and training programs,and workers. The report will include analysis of current and projected future workforce needs, information on hard-to-fill positions, a description of current recruitment processes, identification of possible skill/training needs of theincumbent workforce, identification of best practices in recruitment/retention and possible development of careerladders within companies, and a summary of the gaps between demand and supply of labor in the TDL industry,including low, medium, and high skill levels. Execution of the proposal will begin November 1, 2011. The next stepswill be creation of a virtual TDL Workforce Hub, a central resource connecting employers, training organizations,employees and entrepreneurs through a talent portal.2. Freight Study CompletionThe regional freight study will provide a data-based analysis of how the supply chain market is working nowthroughout the region, by identifying freight corridors and patterns by origin/destination, mode, and cargo sector andforecast future freight flows. The analysis will outline a roadmap of what is currently working well in the region, andequally important, identify legitimate opportunities for increased freight movement and investment. The analysis willidentify specific industries and shippers who will benefit. It will highlight value-added services, the companiesproviding them, and how the region can fit into this system. Cost and timing of freight movements will be comparedbetween the region and other alternative regional hubs. These outcomes will serve as the catalyst for engagingother private sector firms.3. External Outreach for Input on Value Proposition DevelopmentThe region already moves a tremendous amount of freight and includes an impressive array of assets. As theChamber develops the value proposition and business case, the Chamber will work to raise awareness of the region’spotential and reach out to stakeholders for input. To this end, the Chamber will be attending or presenting at anumber of important gatherings to increase recognition of the region’s supply chain value proposition. • Halifax Port Days • Eastern Border Transportation Coalition Workshop • TMACOG Ohio Conference on Freight • AIAG Customs Town Hall • AASHTO Annual Meeting 2
• Great Lakes Global Freight Gateway Conference • Great Lakes International Trade and Transportation Hub Summit • Contacts will be developed and articles pursued at logistics publications such as Transport Topics, Inbound Logistics, and Railway Age.Other, Continuing ActivitiesRegional CollaborationThere is a need to develop a mechanism for regional collaboration that allows organizations to share information inorder to create synergies and avoid duplication of efforts while advancing toward the common goal of job creationand investment. The Chamber will put in place concrete products to facilitate this activity. • Common calendar – Based on the Detroit Regional Chamber’s successful business attraction common calendar, a shared TDL calendar will reflect all key events, workshops, and meetings occurring both in and out of the trade region. A common calendar will allow organizations to find opportunities to collaborate and make events more impactful. • Data sharing site – Much good work has been done, and continues to be done, in the area of TDL within the region. A password-protected site such as a wiki will allow this work to be leveraged instead of duplicated. Future studies will be able to be better informed by including work that has already been done. Regional marketing efforts can build upon a commonly agreed upon set of data thereby creating a consistent face to external customers. • Economic development toolkit – Economic development professionals at the city, county, state, and provincial level provide the most interaction with the private sector through their business attraction and retention efforts. Businesses are concerned with the total landed cost of their freight. Access to a site containing customizable, co-branded supply chain fact sheets and collateral will give economic developers an important asset when working with their clients. • Collaboration meetings – In order to improve communications and share ideas, the Chamber will coordinate monthly meetings with representatives of the Great Lakes Global Freight Gateway, the Great Lakes International Trade and Transportation Hub, and other regional logistics initiatives.Benchmarking and Fact FindingTo move forward with the creation of the TDL Workforce virtual hub, the Chamber will continue with TDL Workforcebenchmarking and fact finding. • Employer Best Practices – The Chamber will continue to research HR best practices for staff retention and success by identifying and recording best practices in workforce recruitment, training and retention. • Labor Market Trends – The Chamber will continue analyzing labor market trends using data from EmployOn Labor Market Information and SEMCA. • Benchmarking Other Regions – The Chamber will continue research into other regions’ TDL workforce programs and report on best practices. • TDL Hub Site Visits – The Chamber will evaluate the site visit potential of the following communities: Atlanta, Cleveland, Columbus, Kansas City, Toledo and Louisville. • Regional Education and Training Programs: The Chamber will conduct site visits to all 15 TDL education and training programs to develop an education and training program inventory. 3