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almost 4 years ago by Luke Davis

The Need For Talented Supply Chain Candidates

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Talented supply chain candidates are in high demand as management sectors have undergone quite a metamorphosis in recent years.

As margins continue to be squeezed and new channels of order and delivery come online, the responsibilities attached to senior management roles are constantly evolving and employers are seeking out talented supply chain candidates that have “something extra”.

TALENTED SUPPLY CHAIN CANDIDATES

Today, clients recruiting senior supply chain managers are not simply seeking experienced professionals “ it is no longer enough to tick the right boxes. Instead, more and more organisations operating supply chain functions are hunting for exceptionally talented supply chain candidates; individuals who can add significant value and benefit to the supply chain department or role. Those with a background in lean or six sigma practices are particularly coveted, while candidates who have proven experience in developing and maintaining relationships with outsource partners are highly sought after too.

THE BAR HAS BEEN RAISED ACROSS THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY

Today, according to an industry focused report from PwC, business leaders outsource roughly 60% of logistics and warehousing activities, while almost half of assembly and manufacturing processes are handed over to third party suppliers. The report also notes, however, that core strategic functions such as R&D, procurement, sales and operations planning are typically being kept in-house, meaning that the requirement for individuals with experience in these functions continues on an upward curve.

Throughout the selection process for roles at this level, it is the responsibility of the candidate to demonstrate not just their experience and background in similar positions, but also their flexibility and capability of learning new skills, as well as showcasing their own talents in a new environment. Finding and implementing cost efficiencies, both internally and externally, is key but more and more, a trend is developing where client companies demand individuals to cope with more challenges than perhaps were attached to similar roles in the past. No longer are supply chain positions at senior level simply about managing the logistics and distribution functions of a firm “ today’s executives need to be acutely aware of profitability and cost management, how their role and department affects both across an entire organisation, essentially talented supply chain candidates!

TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE ARE ESSENTIAL

For new entrants or graduates who wish to start a career in supply chain management, training and experience are essential. It can be extremely difficult to secure a junior role in the supply chain department of a global leader, so those at entry level are advised to seek experience in medium or large indigenous companies initially. Some of the larger multinationals, and indeed some home grown firms, offer graduate programmes that are the ideal foundation to a career in the sector.

As the supply chain management industry restructures itself (not just in Ireland, but globally too), individuals hoping to secure new roles or promotions within it have an obligation to realign their skillsets in accordance with market demands and requirements. Ideas and skills around process automation and efficiency, as well as a knowledge and capability of digital programmes and decision technology will help certain individuals to promote themselves as an attractive acquisition for companies who continue to seek a cutting edge.