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Supply Chain Companies Need Strategies to Attract and Keep Valuable Employees

Analyst Insight: Challenges such as an aging population and outsourcing affect human resources management in any industry, but the supply chain sector faces specific HR issues that require special measures in order for the industry to keep up with growing and constantly changing parameters for success.

-Gabriel Gheorghiu, research analyst at Technology Evaluation Centers

The increasing number of people involved in the supply chain sector, as well as the growing complexity of operations and activities, leads to some HR challenges specific to supply chain management:

• Industry-specific education is a relatively recent phenomenon. Indeed, many employees have acquired SCM knowledge simply by working in the field. This has created supply chain "generalists," or else specialists in very narrow niches, who are not necessarily flexible or knowledgeable enough to adapt to a changing environment. Solutions: the creation of university or trade college programs specific to the supply chain industry, as well as deeper integration of learning and training programs in employee development strategies.

• Workforce analytics is essential in the supply chain sector, due to the current lack of strong HR strategies, which often causes high turnover, and makes it difficult to determine which resources are required, or understand the impact of major decisions on overall productivity. One solution to this challenge lies in workforce analytics software, which is specifically designed by business intelligence and HR software vendors to address this issue.

• The necessity to maintain a simultaneously global and local presence translates into a need for more flexible employees, who have diversified skills that can help them deal effectively with partners from different cultures and with different backgrounds. While education does help, organizations should incorporate strategies to motivate employees to reach beyond daily tasks and develop their skills and aptitudes.

The Outlook

The supply chain sector is undergoing major transformations similar to those that occurred in the manufacturing sector years ago, when companies finally understood that employees are more than just an expense, and that human capital management is more than a buzzword. Supply chain companies need to create strong strategies to attract and keep valuable employees - their success depends on it.

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