The supply chain industry is seeing a gap in the available candidates to take over leadership positions, and this means companies may be forced to develop their own supply chain decision makers through in-house training.
As is so often the case, educational institutions have not kept pace with the corporate demand for supply chain talent. Only a handful of schools have programs specifically designed to train an individual for a career in the supply chain field. This leaves the burden of training employees and management largely on companies, who must do so with an ad hoc program of academic classes and certifications.
Training Up Supply Chain Executives
To get executives up-to-speed or groom employees for a supply chain management position, many companies are sending people back to school. This strategy works best for recent graduates who are still familiar with the rhythms of today’s classroom.
Sending employees to a local college or university is also a commitment on both the part of the employer and the individual. It may require 12 or even 24 months to get the proper education necessary and that means long days for the person enrolling and a delayed return-on-investment for the company. If local schools do not have a program, the company should consider consulting with nearby schools to develop a program that trains students in the supply chain skills today’s companies are looking for.
Executives looking to learn supply chain skills can also participate in an in-house cross-training program. These kinds of programs teach the real-world skills that no classroom can. Cross-training along different parts of the supply chain can also give executives different perspectives and lead to a holistic approach to solving supply chain problems in the future.
Getting Supply Chain Employees Up-to-Speed
Educated supply chain employees will not only be able to perform their job better, they will also be groomed for a potential promotion into a managerial role. Employees can typically receive the appropriate training through any number of professional certification programs, such as the certifications offered by The Association for Operations Management (APICS).
Certification programs allow for organizations to fill in supply chain knowledge gaps that are relatively new, like processes involving data analytics. Programs are also tailor so that can be successfully completed by a range of people in the workforce, from entry-level employees to department managers.
Companies can also update employees’ supply chain skills through the use of mentorship programs. Experienced employees at a company typically have a wealth of real-world knowledge and experience. Mentorship programs leverage this asset to the advantage of both other employees and the company itself. As an added benefit, mentors have the opportunity to pick up a fresh perspective or new skills for the employees they assist.
At ZDA, we understand companies are having a difficult time locating quality supply chain talent. We have access to a range of talented individuals in the supply chain industry. Contact us today, and we can get started on finding top quality talent for your organization.