30 April 2012
The Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council (CSCSC), of which PMAC is a founding pillar member, recently released its final 2012 HR Study Update. The study was undertaken to update the findings of the Council’s 2005 study on human resource challenges facing the supply chain sector.
Several important issues emerged out of this latest study. Most prominently, the study reinforced a great concern that is facing most professions, that of an impending shortage of available talent, primarily due to an aging workforce.
Supply chain will also likely have more difficulties with recruitment than other professions. Historically, we have not had as many people focused on Supply Chain as a profession or as a viable career option. This is reflected in the study as it found a low awareness and understanding of the opportunities available in the sector, recruitment methods with a limited reach, and poaching of talent by other fields, as some of the challenges facing supply chain recruiters that may not face other more established professions.
According to the study, demand for supply chain labour will grow in the next five years between 8.4 % and 14.9 % depending on the area of expertise. That translates to almost 66,000 new and vacant positions that will need to be filled.
Compounding the problem, the supply chain profession also faces a lack of skilled labour amongst new recruits, especially in the area of leadership skills. This is a concern that PMAC had identified a few years back and one of the factors that drove the decision to restructure the previous principles-based accreditation program to a new program with greater emphasis on strategic supply chain leadership. I highly recommend that those in SCM who have not already taken the program, or who know of someone who is considering a career in supply chain, to strongly consider pursuing the SCMP designation as part of a successful career plan.
Supply chain employers should also take note of another important obstacle facing them; ensuring adequate attention is paid to succession planning. The study found that employers should provide employees with clarity in terms of their career paths, career-development opportunities, flexible working arrangements, etc., as it found SCM professionals are not primarily motivated by salary. This is consistent with the findings of our yearly salary survey, that factors beyond compensation are often stronger influencers of employee satisfaction.
Challenges aside, this is the ideal time for those in, or considering, supply chain as a profession to start down the path of education with PMAC to position themselves to take advantage of upcoming opportunities in the field. If you want to be in a position to take advantage of opportunities that may present themselves in the future, you need to prepare now before they arrive.