People were going about their business in different industries and sectors when a storm suddenly erupted. The storm we call the pandemic. It started when delivery trucks couldn’t reach their destinations, which meant supply couldn’t go out, and eventually, the world started shutting down.
Some supply chain professionals still get nightmares from the horrors they have had to live through during this time, like:
- Supply shortages (think toilet paper)
- Delayed deliveries
- Shortage of containers
While these were some dark times for humankind, there was a silver lining for the supply chain and procurement industry in these big clouds. People worldwide realised the importance of supply chain and procurement, and more people were interested in joining the industry. Previously, procurement was considered just a job, but with awareness, more new talent is coming in, considering it a career.
On 12th May 2022, DesignBuild Expo had a panel discussion at Melbourne Exhibition Centre about the supply chain and procurement industry and how professionals have survived the storm the pandemic brought.
The panel consisted of some brilliant minds from the industry:
- Hayley Jarick from Supply Chain Sustainability School Limited
- Sharon Morris from the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply
- Stephen Lakey from Gamma Solutions
It was a proud moment for Gamma Solutions to be represented by Stephen Lakey, a dedicated professional in the supply chain and procurement industry with decades of experience. He is currently a Technology Consultant for Supply Chain and Logistics at Gamma Solutions. In addition to that, he is a Director of the Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia.
Here are some Key takeaways from the panel discussion:
Qualifications to Work in the Industry
Just as every career needs its workers to have a skillset, so does procurement. To progress and grow in the industry, one must be well-versed in certain skills. After all, supply chain and procurement consists of strategic work and not just mere operations.
That said, new talent must acquire the following skills to be a part of this industry:
- Strategic skills
- Life skills
- Influencing skills
- Negotiation skills
Giving Way to Talent
Now that people are interested, how do we attain this talent? It is simple; we must address their concerns.
The new generation is more concerned about social issues, and procurement is an excellent way to address social issues through social procurement.
You see, for the new generation, it is not just about the money but also about being socially responsible. You can work on social procurement by addressing the following issues in the industry:
- Gender equality
- Diversity in workplaces
- Job openings for neurodiverse persons
- Modern Slavery
- Indigenous supply
This brings us to the fact that many people expect supply chain and procurement to bring massive changes to the environment for a better world in the future. Supply chain professionals manage money for the company, and it is crucial to spend it on sustainable procurement.
People, especially the new generation, want to work with responsible companies, and procurement can play a vital role in bringing change in the world.
Retaining the Talent in the Industry
It is equally important to retain the talent by providing them value for their work. Here are some ways to do it:
- Train the workers to help them develop skills required for the job to advance in their careers.
- Enable professionals with skills to help them make the right decisions to leave a significant impact on social issues.
Give your workers and professionals the skills to bring changes in different areas across the industry like indigenous supply development or modern slavery legislation. When you talk and act about such issues, people concerned about these issues will join in.
Procurement can bring many changes. It is just a matter of allowing the workers to bring the change.
Pinching Talent from Different Industries
In order to attract talent from different industries, the most crucial thing is career progression. Here are some steps that can be taken to attract talent from different industries who have a diverse skillset:
- It is necessary to show supply chain and procurement as a career. It is the responsibility of membership bodies of supply chain associations to show the good things about the industry.
- Work with public sectors to set a standard for qualifications and raise that bar.
- Local associations and networking events are an excellent source of information for people who might be interested in the industry. Supply chain professionals get together to discuss problems in the industries and exchange ideas. This is an excellent way for people to get information about the industry. The Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) is Australia’s largest and a great place to start.
To Sum it Up
The time is now to address people’s concerns and attract them to the industry. Work on issues like gender inclusion, pay parity, etc., so that more people come into the industry and there is massive growth. People are ready to take the plunge, but it is essential to set a standard before broadening the horizon for the industry. Career progression should be the number one priority for the supply chain and procurement industry.