What’s a great way to ensure that your supply chain company will remain competitive in the coming years? Start training the next generation now! More and more supply chain organizations are learning the importance of attracting young, new logistics talent to the supply chain profession. Why?
The baby boomers and Generation Xers were on the job when the term “supply chain” was coined in the 1980s to describe the complex process by which organizations, people, activities, information, and resources came together to move a product or service from supplier to customer.
In the late 90s, the economy became much more global and more sophisticated. Today’s supply chain environment is vast, competitive and being constantly challenged by increased government regulation, changing technology, shifting financial markets, and increasingly niche-specific customer requirements.
Before those industry builders retire, it’s crucial to companies that they pass on their knowledge and experience to Generation Y.
One state that has a firm grasp of this concept is Georgia, where some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing distribution networks and transportation hubs are located. Many of the area’s best universities are feeding these giants of the local economy by offering majors in supply chain management and global business—with minors including logistics and transportation.
So Who‘s Doing What to Prep Gen Y?
To further Georgia’s position as one of the best places to do business, the Transportation Club of Atlanta (TCA) started an internship program connecting Georgia-based universities and supply chain companies. TCA’s goal is to promote a greater knowledge of supply chain, logistics, and transportation to the younger generation, so they help connect businesses with the best students in the state.
With the involvement of several universities and major employers such as The Home Depot, students are getting first-class experience and building their resumes. The companies have a pipeline of interns, who often become supply chain professionals ready to start immediately after graduation.
Unisource, one the largest distributors of national and private-label products in North America, has been using supply chain, logistics, and transportation interns for more than 15 years from universities in Georgia and Tennessee and are looking to expand their program. They see the benefits of connecting with the best students, who can immediately provide a beneficial impact to their supply chain operations.
How Can You Get Involved?
If you’re not lucky enough to live in an area with these types of programs and partnerships, you can still look into hiring Generation Y. Even if they haven’t had the practical experience of the Georgia students, their lower salaries can accommodate the price of their training—and what they can learn from your older employees is priceless.