Supply Chain Trends and Issues: Our Weekly Feature Article on Important Trends and Developments in Supply Chain Strategy, Research, Best Practices, Technology and Other Supply Chain and Logistics Issues  
  - May 26, 2015 -  

Supply Chain Talent is Key Battleground in Increasingly Complex Supply Chain World, New Report from Deloitte Says

Few Companies Using New Age Tools, Survey Finds, as Talent Crises Looms

  by SCDigest Editorial Staff  

In an era of growing supply chain complexity, finding, developing and retaining talent will be perhaps the most important determinant of a company's supply chain performance, consulting firm Deloitte finds in its annual supply chain study.

SCDigest Says:

Even the practice firms are pursuing most actively - increasing diversity - is used extensively by only 17% of companies."



Click Here to See Reader Feedback

"Rapid changes in supply chain activities, tools, and goals call for new skills in management and leadership," the Deloitte report says, quoting Linda Topping, VP and chief procurement officer with consumer packaged goods manufacturer Colgate-Palmolive as recently saying that: "Supply chain management is getting exponentially more complex, so supply chain talent is the price of admission for the next decade."

The report is based on a recent survey of supply chain executives. For most questions, the results are segmented between a small percentage of companies deemed as "supply chain leaders" based on their answers to questions on performance relative to inventory turns and delivering on-time and in-full. Leaders were defined as those firms rated by their executives as significantly above average on both metrics compared to other companies in their industry - a group of just 8% of total respondents.

When it comes to supply chain talent, a full 87% of leader firms said they were very confident that their organizations have the competencies required today for success - versus just 34% of the other group, called the supply chain followers.

Deloitte observes that an organization that wishes for better talent should probably invest in better talent management. That is obvious on its face, but the report finds low adoption by most companies of a laundry list of leading talent practices by supply chain organizations.

Inquiring about 11 separate practices, ranging from increasing diversity to enabling new career paths, Deloitte found none of them in extensive use by more than 20% of respondent firms, as shown in the graphic below.

What's more, Deloitte found that talent practices represent the area in which the largest discrepancies exist between supply chain leaders and supply chain followers across all topics covered in the survey.


Few Adopters of Most Advanced Supply Chain Talent Management Tactics



Source: Deloitte

(Supply Chain Trends and Issues Article - Continued Below)



Download Longbow Advantage

Business Briefs



The Keys to WMS Success,

Maximizing JDA WMS

Performance and More






"Each of these practices is used by at least a third and in some cases more than half of supply chain leaders," Deloitte notes.

For example, consider the use of use of "multi-focus area competency models." As the phrase implies, this relates to the practice of competency modeling, or determining what competencies are necessary for successfully performing a given job or role. Instead of pigeonholing managers into roles with generic models associated with them, a "multi-focus area" approach allows competency models to be tailored to reflect the often idiosyncratic nature of jobs in times of disruptive change.

"Naturally this requires a greater degree of sophistication in human resources management - and a deeper conviction that talent development deserves the additional effort," Deloitte observes, noting the practice is used extensively at 47% of supply chain leaders, but only 10% of supply chain followers.

Even the practice firms are pursuing most actively - increasing diversity - is used extensively by only 17% of companies.

"As a profession, supply chain management finds itself in something of a crisis," the report concludes. "Just as it is gaining stature within enterprises, many organizations are confronting critical shortfalls of talent. Years of headcount reduction, training budget cuts, and the retirement of highly skilled individuals have hollowed out the ranks of veteran professionals."

In a decade when baby boomers will retire in droves, supply chain organizations will need to raise their game in recruiting, among other more advanced talent management practices, the report says.

Is there a loolming supply chain talent crisis - or is it all overblown? know your thoughts at the Feedback section (email) or button below.

SCDigest is Twittering!

Follow us now at


Recent Feedback


No Feedback on this article yet


a .