Supply Chain Talent: How to Bridge the Gap

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Supply chain talent gap

Supply chain organizations—overseeing the full span of activities from sourcing to production planning to delivery and service—are facing complex talent issues. 

Still, the largest difference between the expectations of supply chain leaders and followers is something of a concession to reality. By a margin of 25 percent, leaders are more likely to believe their supply chain organization will make increased use of external expertise and staffing (67 percent of leaders versus 42 percent of followers). This external staffing will come from organizations where managing the supply chain is prioritized as a leading function versus a support function.

Organizations in which supply chain management is simply considered a support function are perceived as not developing sustainable supply chain leader candidates. Enterprises where supply chain management is viewed as vital to the business tend to do better with developing their talent.

This suggests that supply chain talent may flourish when it lives outside the walls of organizations where it can be a support function and lives inside companies where supply chain excellence is “the business of the business.” As outlined in an article titled “Supply Chains and Value Webs” from Deloitte’s Business Trends series, supply chain excellence is not limited to the company’s employees.

Deloitte found that developing the talent of partners is also rising in importance for many firms such as Nike, which are increasingly providing shared training programs for suppliers’ employees.

Supply chains are becoming complex systems to manage. While this may present a challenge for many businesses, it can also be a potential source of advantage. When something becomes harder to manage, the rewards for managing it could increase.

In the midst of a shifting landscape, some businesses are emerging as supply chain leaders, while others are followers. Deloitte’s 2015 Supply Chain survey has found that the difference comes down to talent and poses the question: Which type of supply chain organization are you building?

Kelly Marchese is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and leader of its Supply Chain Strategy practice. She has more than 20 years of experience leading projects in complex manufacturing industry sectors and is a Master Black Belt in Lean/Six Sigma. Marchese is also a thought leader in supply chain transformation, supply chain risk and process excellence, and is involved in the recruitment and advancement of woman in the supply chain.

Note: As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.


This article was originally published on 2015-08-04
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