"The ability to lead people through change is a critical component of any supply chain improvement project," Seliger says. As a third-party logistics provider, R.R. Donnelly Logistics Services has helped companies of every stripe implement changes to their supply chain. "Much of our work is project based, so we take clients from the very beginning of a project all the way through to its close," he says. "Project management skills and change management skills are critical to success."
These skills are not easily acquired, however, and Seliger says companies need to provide their employees with more effective training and with opportunities to work in different functional areas. "Improving skills and making sure you are on the top of your game is an ongoing and never-ending process, but it is essential to effective supply chain management, he says.
Seliger also encourages companies to expose their employees to new technology tools, such as open-source tools in the data visualization and geographic information fields. "Companies can use open source tools without making a tremendous investment to do mapping and network optimization," Seliger says. "These are great skills for a novice supply chain manager to acquire."
Using social media to conduct surveys also offers a lot of promise for the supply chain and young people are very comfortable using these technologies, he says. "Such surveys can be a great way to measure trust and to determine which individuals have influence in other spheres -- knowledge can be very helpful when putting together cross-functional teams," he says.
Few companies put enough emphasis on change management skills and training, says Seliger. "When there is pressure on cost, training is one of the first things to get cut. This has a negative impact across the organization because it impacts the ability to effectively deliver projects and improvements."
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Keywords: Aberdeen Group, Third-Party Logistics, Global Logistics, Business Strategy Alignment, Education & Professional Development, HR & Labor Management, Global Supply Chain Management, Cloud, SaaS & On-Demand Systems, Software Architecture & SOA, management and leadership training
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