4 Way Logistics, Inc. | Are You Prepared for the Shortage in Supply Chain Talent?

Are You Prepared for the Shortage in Supply Chain Talent?

11 May 2015, by Mike Rogers in Blog, Logistics Outsourcing, News

Talent Needed written on the road


The area that has been affected the most has been middle-management, and the depth of the crisis has been illuminated by recent research.

For example, 60 per cent of companies have vacancies they’re having trouble filling. Another 15 per cent of planning positions are left unfilled and the time frame between finding quality hires for those positions is widening.

According to an IBM report, companies are witnessing a 51 per cent increase in the turnover rate among supply chain leaders.

If these statistics seem troubling, you have every right to be worried.

There’s still hope, of course, but it does not lie in recruiting more talent from the college ranks.

First off, there is already a 9-1 ratio for demand to supply chain candidates coming straight out of college; and the skill sets of these new hires cannot be adapted to fill the shortage of middle managers.

The answer lies in leadership.

Surprisingly, most companies have yet to view the shortage in supply chain talent as a crisis. Consequently, aggressively addressing the problem isn’t in their immediate plans.

Somehow, they seemed to have missed the fast-moving changes that have transpired in the business world in recent years. Not so long ago talent was plentiful and recruiting supply chain planners was easy.

Companies that have gotten the message have put in place a system designed to build sustainable talent pool from within. Under his structure, employees are encouraged to take enrichment programs to broaden the scope of their capabilities. This way, you’ll have a steady stream of qualified people ready to move up the ranks of the supply chain.

What should be your next course of action? Here are 5 suggestions to help you get started:

1.Recruit from engineering programs: most companies choose to compete for the dwindling talent pool that business schools have to offer. But there is an even more valuable and untapped resource to be found in the nations engineering schools.

2.Focus on retaining your planning team: fostering an atmosphere of loyalty among team planners mean that they are likely to stay with the company longer. Most vacancies occur in the planning team itself, so it makes sense to start with them when devising a strategy to head-off a talent shortfall.

3.Train employees to fill multiple roles: assigning employees to different jobs for short periods of time will enable them to master multiple tasks. This way you have an ever increasing number of employees among the ranks who can fill hard-to-fill positions in departments like strategy and finance.

4.Invest in training programs: training programs are amongst the first things to be cut when the budgetary axe falls. Yet training programs are essential for recruiting and maintaining quality talent.

5.Make middle management a part of your overall strategy: most companies tend to focus on mid-level and entry-level talent, but ignore those very important middle management positions. This is a big mistake. Instead, you should institute strong middle management training programs that helps strengthen your middle management team.

Another solution may be to outsource. If you want more information on how outsourcing may help your business, grab your free copy of “Return on Logistics – Turning Your Supply Chain Logistics into a Competitive Advantage and Bottom Line Profits” at www.returnonlogistics.com