Supply chain management: Talent is the Real Bottleneck

Everyone has their eyes on the core functions of their logistics department, but there is something more important supply chain solutionsthat customer service level and price metrics. The real thing that is holding supply chain, distribution and transportation suppliers back is a lack of talented recruits.

The fact is that you can have a perfect corporate philosophy and mission statement. You can have ISO 9001 certified processes. You can have the best employees on the planet, and still fall short of your business goals without mid- and lower-level managers who have a real talent for logistics.

The bad news is that talented individuals are pretty scarce on the ground. Savvy HR departments seem to have snatched up all of the really good finds when the market was stagnant and unemployment was rising. Now that demand has started to pick up, there are still a lot of qualified applicants, but few of them really shine.

So what's the good news for supply chain management?

But good news is on the horizon. In a lot of highly developed countries, especially the UK and the US, MBAs in logistics and supply chain management are the new program of choice at the better universities. Now, this could play out one of two ways.

First, this could be a flash in the pan. The perception of a market for these degrees could fade before the first new batch of graduates makes it onto the market. These programs could shrink, or even not be offered at some universities. If that is the case, then there will be a brief window when these new graduates flood the market, and the best and brightest will be snatched up competitively, and the sheer number of applicants may drive wages down for a brief time. After that it will pretty much be business as usual, in terms of recruiting.

Alternatively, this might be the market changing tend that the Unis hope it will be. The number of highly talented, educated graduates looking for placement in the logistics and supply chain management field could grow slowly each year for the foreseeable future. If so, we will need to respond by getting picky about our new hires, and taking on only the best.

Let’s hope for the second option, of course. Still, keep an eye out for the future.

 

 


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