Empowering excellence in supply chain talent

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Comedian Steve Martin once said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” Today, skilled supply chain practitioners are certainly in that sweet spot. 

Once the Covid-19 pandemic hit, global companies immediately recognized the need for supply chain practitioners skilled in nuanced, end-to-end supply chain management to manage disruptions and mitigate risks. It was the supply chain experts who navigated global businesses through crisis and even found bright spots of competitive opportunity during the pandemic storm. Truly, these talented practitioners have been so good at what they do that the global corporate world cannot ignore them. 

Overnight, more CEOs, CFOs and Boards of Directors gave supply chain planning critical prominence in their executive-level strategies. Having a responsive, agile supply chain is a true competitive advantage. That means the skilled people behind supply chains are in more demand than ever before. 

Ironically—that high demand has another side to it. It’s never been harder to find and retain the best talent. According to Gartner, supply chain organizations experience 33% more turnover today than prior to the pandemic. So, what can companies do to attract, keep and nurture its brightest supply chain talent?

Our new eBook Empowering excellence in supply chain talent breaks down this challenge. With supporting facts from industry surveys, Kinaxis thought leaders Dr. Anne Robinson, Polly Mitchell-Guthrie and Mindi Levinson discuss areas such as:  

  • How AI/ML will impact and even elevate the supply chain practitioner role
  • The elements that matter most to today’s supply chain talent and what’s likely to keep them with your company
  • Why professional development and ongoing career growth is critical for talent empowerment

Here are some highlights of what you’ll discover this insightful new resource. 

AI and its benefits for supply chain planning 

It’s hard to escape the presence of artificial intelligence and machine learning in nearly all aspects of business today. In a recent Accenture report, 86% of C-level executives say they plan to make moderate to significant investments in AI. According to Polly Mitchell-Guthrie, VP, Industry Outreach and Thought Leadership at Kinaxis, today’s supply chain practitioner still needs traditional, tactical expertise but should also have the business acumen and skills to leverage AI/ML to augment to arrive at better planning decisions.

Worried that AI/ML will replace human jobs? Ben-Marvin Egel, Director of Supply Chain Planning at Lippert Components says not to panic, because modern technology still can’t replace domain expertise. “It takes an incredible amount of understanding of the inputs and outputs, as well as a basic understanding of what is happening within that technology, to really understand what data is telling us.”

In fact, AI and other digital tools will make it easier for planners to collaborate thanks to better integration and the ability to visualize different solution scenarios faster than ever. 

How to stop the supply chain job-hop

Let’s talk about what really matters to today’s best supply chain practitioners: the right tools, the right leadership and the right opportunities. 

That’s a big simplification of the points Polly covers based on insights from a boom! Global Network survey, but the important thing is that to attract the best talent, companies must take employees’ needs seriously. 

Supply chain professionals tend to love being challenged, and in this competitive job market they’ll gravitate to the positions that will match their ambitions. In the boom! survey, 28% of supply chain professionals plan to find new jobs in the coming year. The main two reasons for moving on? Feeling like they cannot achieve career goals (31%) and seeking to put their abilities and skills to better use (20%). 

The best ways to keep your most knowledgeable and experienced supply chain talent is to invest in professional development with clear paths for career direction and learning opportunities; access to the latest digital, integrated tools; and clear, well-communicated strategies from leaders serious about implementing change for constant improvement. 

Engaging the next talent generation 

Any company seeking the best supply chain talent should find ways to become an employer of choice. Of course, this can happen organically over time with experienced professionals by having an attractive corporate culture, investing back into employees with the right tools and development, and clear career growth pathways. It’s also just as important to proactively attract the talent pool of tomorrow. 

One way to do that: Develop close relationships with universities to connect early with the next generation of supply chain leaders, writes Mindi Levinson, Senior Manager, Academic Alliances & Industry Thought Leadership at Kinaxis. This might mean sponsoring supply chain case competitions, like our annual Kinaxis Academic Program at Texas Christian University. 

Opportunities like this are mutually beneficial, as students get a chance to work on real-world supply chain challenges, and companies can build brand awareness and credibility while possibly identifying future employees. 

If you’re prepared to become a company so good to work for that valuable supply chain talent simply cannot ignore you, don’t wait to download our eBook today. Shape the future of your company, people first. 

Navy blue graphic with text that says "Empowering excellence in supply chain talent" and a red hyperlinked block that reads "read the eBook"

For more on supply chain talent, check out these links:

Survey says leadership and talent development are important to supply chain professionals

How to find and keep top supply chain talent

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