Mark Baxa, president and chief executive officer of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, talks about the organization's priorities and goals for promoting the industry.
CSCMP recently wrapped up its EDGE 2021 conference and exhibition in Atlanta, at a time when supply chains are in crisis and global industries are still struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. “There’s quite a story here to be told,” says Baxa, noting that the organization is providing a forum for industry professionals to network, learn and share insights about the current state of the marketplace. “People want new ideas,” he says. “They’re looking for a glimmer of opportunity to help solve problems.”
Supply chain professionals, whose discipline and role in the economy were previously opaque to the general public, now find themselves “at the center of everything,” Baxa says. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting disruptions in supply have made headlines well beyond the industry press. But the challenge now, he says, is to translate that new level of public awareness into interest in a career in supply chain among high-school and college students. There’s no lack of university programs teaching the discipline, he says. The problem lies in finding the people to participate, at a time when virtually all businesses are experiencing serious labor shortages. “We have a tremendous opportunity now to tell the story,” says Baxa.
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