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Consumer Goods Logistics Blog


We Need a Bigger Boat…

Published by Alex Stark on September 13, 2012

We Need a Bigger Boat…

I just got back from another terrific conference hosted by Penn State's Center for Supply Chain Research. The 2012 Fall Forum topic – Supply Chain Talent Management. The main theme of the two day event highlighted that for the first time in our history we have four generations in the work place at once.

We Need a Bigger Boat…

How does this affect business?

There is a succession plan challenge for leadership – the Baby Boomer segment is so large that once they retire, the Gen X group cannot absorb the roles.  Add to this, Millennials are too young/inexperienced, plus they have a different concept all together on what corporate life (e.g. being in the office) looks like.

More good news…the supply chain industry is in even direr straights.  One stat that resonated – one of the presenters (representing one of the largest corporations in the world) spoke eloquently about the lack of leadership in the pipeline.  He described being involved with a dozen other Fortune 100 companies who collectively would hire more supply chain students than the top 10 universities can graduate over the next few years.  Furthermore, the U.S. government doesn't even recognize supply chain as a career.

How will this affect supply chain for CPG ?

We need to start looking outside the boat or risk disaster.  The dearth of supply chain talent sounds a lot like the driver shortage.  In order to solve these pending issues, the opportunity exists for innovative leaders to step up in the CPG sector.  In fact, the 3PL space is great place to learn and develop supply chain leadership skills because logisticians are exposed to multiple customers with different supply chain challenges and solutions.

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