One of the most pressing challenges facing supply chain management professionals is not a matter of shipping, receiving or storing goods. Rather, managers may find themselves lacking talented employees to carry out directives and keep the organization functioning. Channel News Asia recently highlighted the logistics situation in Singapore, where many firms find themselves falling behind.
Bringing in new blood
The supply chain is typically a heavily automated part of a company's infrastructure. However, there is a constant need for new employees to keep it running at full efficiency. The news source reported that recruiting is sometimes a significant challenge for supply leaders, with demand outstripping supply. Hiring and retaining top talent has become a challenge, with young workers not typically groomed for supply chain roles in school and hard to keep on staff when demand is driving the market higher.
"The only way we see is really to attract and retain and also groom talent very systematically. The idea is to increase the visibility of the industry so that young people who have never heard of what supply chain management is about can get excited and interested so that they will have the desire to want to know more about the industry, and hopefully we can then attract them in," Robert Yap, CEO of the YCH group, told the source.
Yap also mentioned that promising a strong framework for advancement is one way to reach out to top talent. If there is no ambiguity and a clear path to success, employees may be more likely to choose and stay in the field.
Supply chain employee management may be a serious problem, but help could come from other sections of a company. Biztech2 recently interviewed Vikas Sarangdhar of Gartner, and he explained the increasing role of technology systems and personnel in the supply chain. He stated that the entire function of the supply chain within companies is evolving, from a manufacturing process to an all-encompassing production oversight method.
Sarangdhar suggested that chief information officers could make a significant difference in supply chain management. He stated that a supply chain-friendly CIO will purchase and support technology investments heavily conducive to to productivity increases. The ideal options, he stressed, will not be too complicated for small companies nor too rudimentary for large firms. A keen understanding of organizational needs is, therefore, the most important trait for such an officer.
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