There is a link missing in the global supply chain that can’t be filled with hardware or software.
Supply chain professionals – including analysts and media – have talked about it for the past five+ years. As Gartner states in a Smarter with Gartner post: “Chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) report that their talent strategy is not in alignment with their digital business strategy; attraction, retention and development of skilled talent are top obstacles to achieving digital business goals.”* This chicken and egg problem isn’t going away. If anything, it has become more acute.
Further, according to the post, “Around the globe, many companies are keen to use digital technology trends such as artificial intelligence, digital twins and blockchain to disrupt their existing supply chain operating models. However, Gartner has found that many of these organizations struggle far more with people-related issues than with the technology.”*
Earlier this year, Supply Chain Dive reported on a MHI Industry Report that stated hiring skilled workers is still the biggest challenge supply chain professionals face. Organizations are delayed in implementing digital goals because they don’t have the right team members to lead the project, while those with the skills are hesitant to work with companies that haven’t moved forward on digital strategies. So, how can companies solve this chicken and egg scenario?
At Blume Global, we believe people are a key differentiator in the digital world we live and operate in. We understand the importance of taking a holistic approach to the supply chain – bringing together people and technology to solve the problems of our customers and partners. Our team knows that to be effective, companies need to hire talent that understand the digital goals of the business, as well as purchase and begin to implement the tools and tactics necessary to reach those goals to demonstrate they are serious about their digital transformation. As more digitally-native and technologically-adept individuals join the workforce, companies need to take advantage of their unique skill sets and engage them to help advance the company.
According to Gartner, “Internship programs represent a low-cost and highly effective way to increase productivity and innovation, while also enhancing the quantity and quality of future hires. They also have a positive impact on an organization’s career brand in the supply chain community.” Companies can begin to cultivate their own talent early on, through the formation of supply chain internships which expose students to the manual and automated sides of the business, giving them insight into the current and future state of the company. The earlier individuals are introduced to the digital potential of a company – and the earlier executive leadership buys into the approach – the easier it will be for companies to get on the path to digital transformation.
*Smarter with Gartner, Strengthen the Supply Chain Talent Pool with Internships, June 13, 2019. https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/strengthen-the-supply-chain-talent-pool-with-internships/