The Top 5 Skills of the Future Supply Chain Manager

The world of work is changing, driven by consumer expectation, new working patterns and behaviours and the increased deployment of technology and real-time information.

The new generation of consumers cares more than any other care about our company behaviour and ethics, and at the same time, they increasingly appear to want products and services on demand. Technology gives them constant access to real-time information and an ability to place immediate orders.

At the same time, how we work has changed. The supply chain shocks of Brexit and Covid has led to an increase in adaptable working practices such as working from home and the four-day week. Supply chain teams have had to adapt to new ways of working as well as focussing more attention on risk and resilience, which have significantly risen up the supply chain strategy agenda.

All of the above is having an impact on supply chain activity and supply chain talent. Our future supply chain leaders and managers need new core skills.

There are a lot of people working in supply chain. The supply chain is made up of the things you buy, the things you make and how you put them together for your customer to buy. What skills do we need our current and future supply chain managers and leaders to have?

1- They need to be analytical, embracing technology and understanding data. Supply Chain leaders will push for productive data systems and processes. They have their finger on the pulse of real-time data, recognising the importance of decision-making speed, and understand the impact on the organisation, the supply chain and the customer.

2 – Supply Chain managers need to be great communicators, sharing their analysis across the supply chain and the organisation to seek a common plan. In organisations with complex supply chains, clarity of message is key. They simultaneously simplify the problem, its causes and identify the proposed solutions. As such, they become a trusted partner within the organisation.

3 – They are an integral part of the wider company team, always seeking to align on a common plan and helping others do the same. They work with their colleagues and partners to ensure that output meets customer expectation.

4 – Supply Chain leaders accept that change is inevitable, indeed the very best thrive on this. They find the time to mitigate risk, increase resilience and to anticipate ‘what if?’ in this way they actively seek solutions to problems that they do not yet have, and have the strength and resolve to keep going in periods of adversity.

5 – They share the organisation’s passion for both value and values, striving to meet profit goals and promote the company’s ESG agenda. They care not only about cost, but also about diversity, environment, inclusion, fairness and sustainability. They are driven by both value and values when designing the supply chain.

How does you supply chain team perform against these skills and behaviours?

Our parent company Slater Austin, can help answer that question. Slater Austin offers a free talent review, which assesses the skills and behaviours of your supply chain teams. This is a great opportunity to benchmark your company. They also have a placement division which delivers great supply chain talent, on a permanent, interim or project management basis. Not forgetting, at Aspire, our apprenticeships and training packages can develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours for your whole team.

Looking to build the development plan of your supply chain teams? Contact us today.

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