Overcoming the Supply Chain Talent Gap
The supply chain industry has evolved over the last 30 years, especially in segments like
retail, consumer goods and technology, where consumers’ demands have driven us to the
brink of free, same day, omni-channel delivery. Supply chain is now a primary marketplace
di;erentiator - businesses who meet the time, place & price requirements of consumers
succeed, and the rest fail.
Meanwhile, as supply chain leaders we are challenged to keep up from a talent perspective.
Our driver pool has diminished as millions of baby boomers move into retirement. Increasing
supply chain complexity requires a once operationally-focused labor force to develop a
deeper blend of “hard” technical skills and “soft” leadership skills. As we look at our own talent
roadmaps, we are aware of the current imbalance of supply chain jobs vs. quali;ed individuals
to ;ll them. With rapid growth projections for our industry, we as supply chain leaders must
address the talent gap.
Attracting, Developing, & Retaining Supply Chain Leaders
Overcoming the talent gap requires macro-level industry focus, as well as at the micro-level within our own companies.
To Attract Supply Chain Leaders we start with awareness. By creating awareness of the career
opportunities in our industry, we gain the attention of talented pools of people with the skills needed to run the supply chain.
I’m extremely proud of a program LEGACY founded this year called VETS to WERC - an awareness program focused on
aligning returning veterans who have practical supply chain & logistics experience with companies in need of well-quali;ed people. We’ve seen tremendous response from the program as an innovative way to develop a pipeline of talent
for the industry.
To Develop Supply Chain Leaders we must focus on education. In order to keep up with the demands
placed on supply chain, we have to develop leaders with a broad blend of technical, business & leadership skills.
I recently noticed something within the technology sector in one of LEGACY’s strategic North American markets. Tech
companies have inserted custom curriculum within the state’s university system to develop a workforce-ready pipeline of
talent, while the state incents businesses based on job development and training. This example could serve as a model for
our own industry to develop future supply chain-ready talent.
To Retain Supply Chain Leaders we have to build strong company cultures. Too often our industry
su;ers from high turnover and low employee engagement - impacting productivity, safety & supply chain costs.
A strong company culture is the answer to engaging & retaining talented people. Culture can be measured- in fact, across
LEGACY’s network we measure facility performance not only on operational metrics, but also on cultural metrics. By taking
a systematic approach to understanding what impacts culture, and engaging employees in plans to continuously develop
it – you develop committed leaders within your organization.
Overcoming the supply chain talent gap is a challenge we are all faced with. We must look to position our industry as one
of excitement and opportunity, and seek to develop innovative ways to tap new sources of talented future leaders.
President & CEO, LEGACY Supply Chain Services
President & CEO,
LEGACY Supply Chain Services
1941 Citrona Dr., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034