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BW Businessworld

Next Generation Of Supply Chain & Logistics Talent: How The Need Is Changing With Time?

The supply chain network needs to be standardized, made more stable and reliable, and operate in a highly cost-sensitive business environment.

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Supply chain performance in the near future will rely heavily on the continual improvement and up skilling of the current workforce. Alongside, attracting new talent must be the new mandate for supply chains if they have to match the dynamics and the ferocious competition in the industry. Companies worldwide are transforming the supply chains into super-fast, digitally disruptive, hyper-flexible and highly collaborative enablers of better customer service and profitable enterprise escalation. The supply chain talent pool is greatly impacted by this transformation. Different generations of workers are entering and exiting the workforce amidst a rapidly changing technological landscape. To succeed in this new environment, companies need to ensure that the right talent and culture are in place to drive effective execution of these new digital supply networks.

Technology continues to have a positive impact on human productivity, but there are some unique human qualities like opinion, empathy, partnership and influence that are and will still be critical in driving successful supply chain management. We believe that digital advances will drive major changes in the supply chain job mix over the next three years. To compete with the raging demands of the changing landscape, the workforce will need to move well beyond their traditional roles and skills from being just efficient order takers to function increasingly as intrapreneurs. This term ‘entrepreneur’ defines a dynamic innovator who can proactively identify the growth opportunities and manage the risks associated with them. The next gen supply chains anticipate that advances in analytics will enable planners to make more forward-looking strategic decisions and spend less time on reactive problem-solving. It also envisions moving into category, or segment, roles that reflect an end-to-end business focus. 

The supply chain network needs to be standardized, made more stable and reliable, and operate in a highly cost-sensitive business environment. Investment in talent and skill to handle the complexity, thus providing a seamless service to the customer, is at the heart of the deep shift in the supply chain’s operational performance. To accomplish the whole host of responsibilities and tasks associated with the current complex supply chains, industry professionals need more than just hard-hitting analytical skills. Managing and retaining the talent is critical in today’s supply chain arena. Laying out a clear path for talented, upwardly mobile individuals will separate the winners with regards to driving efficiencies and meeting customer needs. This is where a strong organizational identity, in the form work culture come into play. If a company doesn’t have a strong culture and identity based on core values, it is already heading towards losing the game. With the persistent augmentation of the supply chain industry, a qualified supply chain professional has the upper hand. In such a competitive field, the company with the best culture is where the best talent will begin their job searches.

Millennials can contribute a lot when it comes to the next generation of supply talent. The young lot with innovative ideas and technical skills can solve the current and future pain points of the organization with a fresher outlook and having a better understanding of the way generation Z thinks and functions. The largest shortfall in most supply chain companies is at the middle management level. Too often, the entry-level positions involve revolving door roles with high turnover rates, and career development energy is limited to executive-level positions. This leaves the middle management bereft of thoughtful cultivation. When it comes to addressing the mid-management talent, there are few companies that truly understand the need. Having a thoughtful and strategic talent retaining program will help the organizations to maintain a strong company culture.

Articulating the skills and strengths of the desired roles sounds dreadfully easy but is often considered as a major element in hiring. This is where a company can really set itself apart. The career development paths are one way to retain top talent. Another key element is transparency and communication. Make sure that if your team members have complaints about current processes or have suggestions for improvement, they will have someone who will take their feedback seriously. If you consider it vital to put efforts to uphold the value-driven company culture, the end result is bound to be great! Attracting and retaining the most excellent supply chain talent is the key to getting ahead and staying ahead in today’s supply chain environment; because if you don’t make sure that your company can get and keep the best talent, the next company will.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Abhishek Bansal ,,,

Co-Founder & CEO, Shadowfax

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