An Obligation to Nurture Talent

In a special session, “Nurturing Supply Chain Talent,” Stanford Professor Dr. Hau Lee discussed the talent challenges facing supply management organizations. During the presentation, Lee offered several findings from a SCM World survey of nearly 800 respondents.

1) Is talent a problem for your  organization?                                                                                  

56.5% view talent as an important challenge in their company.

34.9% indicate it’s one of the top challenges they’re facing.

8.6% do not believe talent is an issue affecting their organization.

2) Is the acquisition and development of talent getting worse?

63.1% say the issue has always been a problem.

22.1% believe talent acquisition and development has become more difficult over the past three years.

14.8% think the issue has become easier to address in the past three years.

Lee and the attendees agreed that incoming college students need to be introduced to the concept of supply chain management earlier in their education.

What are the opportunities? What skills are critical to being successful in the field once you graduate? How do you play both offense and defense in the complex supply management game? It’s about generating excitement about the field — presenting the offensive side of the profession (adding value in the organization through leveraged supplier partnerships and supplier knowledge) as well as defensive responsibilities (reducing costs, inventory management, etc.).

Companies also have an obligation to offer compelling career progression. How can they challenge employees? Where are skills development opportunities? This is not only an investment in the future of the company, but the profession as a whole.

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