With the current dearth of supply chain talent, companies are scrambling to hire candidates and train employees with the focus on technical skills.
However, simply making sure someone knows his or her way around an ERP system can be short-sighted. With the expanding scope of modern supply chains and the increasing part a supply chain plays in a company’s value proposition – supply chain personnel need more than just technical skills.
To effectively carry out the intricate supply chain methods of today, workers must have a very strong comprehension of how supply chain management meets other business functions and operations to generate value. One goal of talent development should be to make sure that supply chain teams are able to collaborate with accounting, marketing, and other departments to achieve shared goals.
While this may sound like focusing on “soft skills” that would be nice for employees to have, the modern realities of the supply chain means these skills are more essential than ever.
Leadership is more than just the ability to allocate labor and responsibilities. Real leaders are also both innovators and teachers. Your company should strive to hire candidates with a history of increasing productivity and training employees in new procedures. These types of people are well suited to the fast pace of change the supply chain field is currently experiencing.
Ideally, a leader should also be able to build consensus after drawing on a diverse range of ideas. A company should take particular interest in employees or job candidates with a background of successful collaborations.
A Holistic Approach
The job of a supply chain manager can be highly technical in nature, and the demands of a technical job can cause someone to take a tunnel-vision approach to their work. Unfortunately, a supply chain affects almost every other part of a business, and managers need to shed any trace of a one-track mindset.
A good supply chain manager can think like a CEO or a CFO. He or she should be familiar with concepts like Return on Equity (ROE), Gross Margin, and Earnings Before Taxes and Depreciation (EBITD).
Open to Diversity
An organization should be able to draw strength from its diversity, and that can only happen if management is willing to listen to its minority voices.
In addition to sourcing contributions from racial minorities and women, managers should also be inviting contributions from those with differing sexual or gender identities. With supply chains now having global reach, it is more important than ever for organizations to leverage a diverse workforce.
Companies should want their supply chain managers to have experience working with many different kinds of people. That experience may be from the classroom or through a previous work environment.