For all of you midlevel supply chain managers with cross-functional expertise, there is some good news: The market can't get enough of you.
The supply chain talent shortage has been called a “perfect storm.” Few topics are shrouded in such doom and gloom. Every report cites doomsday statistics of the impending crisis when, by 2025, 60 million baby boomers will exit the workforce, leaving a gigantic gap, since there are only 40 million new bodies to take their place.
To make matters worse, the retirement exodus is only one factor contributing to the sinking ship. Future supply chain professionals need to master not only the hard analytical skills but also the soft leadership skills fueled by the transition from an industrial economy to an economy grounded in service and information. In numbers, it means only 20% of the workforce will possess the skills required of 60% of all new supply chain jobs.
At the same time, efforts to pump out new recruits are hampered by the lack of business faculty, especially in the fields of supply chain, logistics, and transportation.
But amid all the dire facts, there is opportunity. Has there ever been a better time to be, so to speak, on the other side of the table — a college graduate or a motivated professional looking for a career with upward mobility? What other field of work can offer as much promise to new recruits and current employees as the supply chain industry?
Just as all reports predict a brewing crisis, they also tout talent management as the primary remedy. An organization that can offer its current staff competitive salaries in addition to cross-functional training is much better positioned to meet the challenges of the talent shortage and the evolving nature and demands of the supply chain.
For a self-motivated individual, fresh out of college or in the midst of a corporate climb, this focus on professional development presents a smorgasbord of options. If the organization does not offer enough incentives, individuals will take their talent elsewhere. There will always be another company to welcome them.
Count on this talent pool to swiftly turn down a company that remains stuck on strict functional divisions and favors the old siloed approach to doing business. Many supply chain managers have grown up in such divided organizations themselves, so they have been slow to take appropriate action to retain and train talent, according to a SupplyChainInsights survey, leaving those better prepared with a competitive advantage.
Touting the unlimited opportunities in the supply chain field should be part of turning the tide. Sure, there is a lot of doom, but mainly for those companies that fail to manage and promote their in-house talent.
True? Please discuss.