Don't Get Out Of The Pool!
We are, on balance, facing talent and resource shortages throughout the supply chain sector. Driver shortages? Everybody gets that. Distribution center associates? Short now in logistics hot spots, and woefully short of future needs when recovery and growth kick in. Capable visionary leaders? Everyone's looking for some of those. Brilliant young superstars? In very short supply, considering the overall need for new thinking, innovative design, and rigorous analytics. And, aggravated by our national failure to retain talent from other lands who have been educated in supply chain management at our finest universities.
The response in the industry has been generally either despair, accepting the inevitable, or enlightened comprehensive programs to attract, retain, and develop supply chain talent. In short, to capture a larger slice of a resource pie that is either getting smaller, or not growing fast enough. The approach has benefits, to be sure, in building more responsible and attractive workplaces. But, it does not begin to get at the core challenge.
How can we build a bigger talent pool for our profession? It would take a book to cover that topic, but some tactics might include:
- focused supply chain/logistics training/education, beginning in high school,
- aggressive programs (with government support) to retain foreign graduates,
- changes in driver qualification and experience criteria, and
- targeted integration of immigrants into the supply chain talent pool.
There is undoubtedly more, but this is a challenge we must step up to. Trying to stay healthier by eating from a competitor's plate is not a national success strategy.