If you work in supply chain and logistics, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about the growing talent gap. While the trucker shortage has been a hot topic of conversation during this last year, the industry is starting to realize that the talent gap extends far past just trucking. In fact, it’s becoming a pressing issue in just about every facet of supply chain management.

As per Elementum, supply chain is a $26 trillion per year industry, making it one of the largest on earth. This means that in order to get goods from point A to point B, thousands and thousands of individuals are required at each and every step of the way. The driving force behind the talent gap in supply chain management is that as demand increases (and it has been, exponentially), supply chains are becoming more complex to manage. 

The need for top-tier talent is soaring as people realize the profound implications that a properly managed supply chain can have for a company’s overall success. Businesses can turn to new technologies like blockchain and automation to enhance the efficiency of their supply chains, but without enough skilled employees to execute business operations, these initiatives risk going to waste.

Demand in the supply chain industry, and therefore, the talent gap is steadily increasing for the following reasons:

  1. Globalization has allowed for business operations to take place across borders. A corporation could have manufacturing occurring in a completely different place from headquarters, which could be in a different place from the final customer, and so on. This dramatically increases the complexity of any given supply chain, as raw materials or goods are moving between countries and, therefore, are subject to different regulations along the way.
  2. Retailers like Amazon that offer free two-day shipping are raising the bar and conditioning consumers to expect that kind of near-instant gratification. In order to compete, other retailers need to go above and beyond to speed up last mile delivery, which makes supply chain management all the more complex.
  3. The industry is ever-changing, and new technologies are continually being thrown into the mix. For example, automation is becoming a standard in supply chain management with robots and A.I. helping companies become more efficient and profitable. That said, for automation to be truly effective, people that are knowledgeable in how to implement and manage these technologies are still necessary. That means that businesses will either need to train their current employees in these emerging technologies or must recruit new talent to fill this void. 

So how can the industry adapt and combat the talent gap?

Companies can try to overcome the looming talent gap in supply chain management by building from within their existing organizations. Provide your current team with the resources that they need to excel. Implement training programs to get everyone up to speed with emerging technologies. Provide educational resources for anyone interested in stepping up to the challenge and taking on new responsibilities. The industry might be evolving rapidly, but the best way to keep up is to reward those that want to learn and grow so that your team is ready for whatever comes its way. 

The talent gap in supply chain management might not be going anywhere anytime soon, but you can be better equipped to handle it if you prioritize your employees and provide them with the support that they need to get to where you’d like them to be.

To learn more about how to make your supply chain more efficient, profitable, and transparent, get in touch with us!