Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD May-Jun 2016 Contents It’s clear that higher education has
responded to the evolving dynamics of the
supply chain and that educational programs
are continuously mapped to new industry
requirements. As students embrace supply
chain programs, it’s imperative for industry to
invest in their future leaders by collaborating
with industry to create more internships —
especially at the undergraduate level — to
ensure a strong pipeline of recruits have both
the technical and practical experience to
make immediate contributions upon entering
Developing and retaining talent
Education is crucial, but nothing compares
to on-the-job learning and experiences.
Companies are responding to this by defining
specific career paths designed to continue
the development of supply chain talent.
Modernisation of career path road maps will
help supply chain leaders to not only attract top
talent, but retain existing staff and develop a
more cross-functional supply chain organisation.
Although much progress has been made,
many supply chain organisations lag behind
other functions when it comes to attracting
and retaining talent. Despite the increased
salaries earned by some supply chain
professionals, many companies in supply
chain-intensive industries are not re-evaluating
work environments and are still reluctant to
pay top salaries.
Supply chain leaders who do not take action
risk a costly exodus of staff, and will find it
increasingly difficult to attract new talent.
The entry of millennials (those born
between 1982 and 2000) into the workforce
makes the situation more challenging still.
Traditional linear career paths span 15 to 20
years, starting at the tactical level and moving
through standard managerial progressions
along a narrow path. Candidates collect
broader experiences and increasingly senior
titles, culminating with a CSCO position.
The challenge is that these progression
ladders are limiting. In many cases, each of
these steps took multiple years to achieve,
with employees 'waiting their turn' for the next
position or challenge.
However, millennials are unlikely to have the
same patience or trust in a company, to wait
years for new challenges or to follow a linear
path. If they don't see alternate or quicker paths
and are not constantly engaged and challenged,
they will leave and seek out a company where
they can obtain those needs. CSCO and their
leadership teams must build career paths that
promote engagement and movement through
Attracting women into
Targeted attraction and retention of women
could be one response to the talent shortage.
Judging by university enrolment and graduate
placement rates at virtually 100 per cent,
attraction is being addressed, but data shows
that there is high attrition for women as they
progress in their supply chain careers.
Companies that attract and retain women
tend to adopt leading practices, such as setting
targets for diversity head count, providing
interviewers and management with diversity bias
training, offering attractive family leave benefits
and, where possible, flexible work opportunities.
At the same time, more women need to
step up and look for rotational opportunities,
even where they may not have deep expertise.
Gartner’s advice for women looking to advance
their career in supply chain is to not only find
a good mentor, but also a sponsor. This person
should ideally be two levels higher, have broad
organisational credibility within the company,
and have a strong interest in helping women
navigate the political waters of an organisation.
Gartner predicts that women will comprise 40
per cent of leadership positions in leading global
supply chain organisations by 2019, up from 20
percent in 2015.
Expanding industry associations
Almost every profession has at least one
industry organisation to help bolster its stature.
Supply chain is no different. The Supply
Chain and Logistics Association of Australia
(SCLAA) is Australia’s largest association for
supply chain and logistics professionals. The
SCLAA also has a strategic alliance with the
CSCMP, the pre-eminent worldwide professional
association dedicated to the advancement and
dissemination of research and knowledge on
supply chain management.
These prominent associations exist to elevate
the supply chain profession and advance
members. The strength of these communities
is that they bring together practitioners at all
levels and across sectors; student involvement
is also encouraged and often subsidised by the
organisations or sponsoring companies.
Supply chain is worth more
Armed with supply chain degrees from top
universities and invaluable internships, new
graduates are commanding top-notch salaries,
while often earning more than many other
Executive-level salaries for those reporting to
the CEO are up, reflecting increased span of
control and expectations. Leading companies,
and those that are committed to long-term
transformation, are willing to shell out these
higher salaries, knowing that recruiting the
best supply chain talent will have a positive
result on company investments, customer
service and profitability.
The challenge in many supply chain
organisations, however, is that the willingness
to invest in bright, young millennials and
seasoned executives is not translating into a
re-examination of supply chain salaries across
the board. With job prospects in many countries
improving, this is having an adverse impact
where manufacturers and retailers can least
afford it: middle management.
Those who are not willing to assess talent
and compensation across their supply chain
organisation face a revolving door of talent
and risk endangering overall operational and
Gartner’s research indicates that leading supply
chain organisations pay top salaries as table
stakes. Those that cannot or will not pay top dollar
make up the difference with better opportunities,
more flexibility and other sweeteners.
Dana Stiffler is a research vice president
at Gartner, focused on supply chain talent
strategies, as well as the chief supply chain
officer role and individual influence and
effectiveness in supply chain leadership.
For more information visit www.gartner.com/
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS — MAY / JUNE 2016
SUPPLY CHAIN 49
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