supply chain labor pool issues 2015

The supply chain has increased in complexity and size in recent years which is affecting who and how the industry hires and how they train their employees during the onboarding process. These changes are due, in large part, to the adoption of omni-channel retailing, direct to store delivery, changing customer expectations and much more.

Supply chain service providers are all experiencing one significant issue across the board – talent shortages. This is because supply chain growth is expected to outpace all other industries by nearly one hundred percent between 2010 and 2020. As the supply chain industry grows so does the need for qualified candidates. This is root of the problem. Supply chain labor demand will exceed the supply of labor six to one. This could mean that a large proportion of jobs will go unfilled or will be merged to lower the labor demand. Because these merges will only make supply chain management positions more complex, now only 20% of the labor pool will require the skills necessary to fill these technical positions. This issue will only further be exacerbated by regular seasonal fluctuations typically experienced by businesses such as 3PLs, warehouses, distribution centers and manufacturers where more staff is required to meet changing demand.

Another aspect of the hiring environment affecting the available labor pool is the pending retirement age for many “Baby Boomers”. It is estimated that by 2025 approximately 60 million Baby Boomers will have exited the workforce and a mere 45 million, less experienced, GenXers will replace them. In many instances these GenXers will be less educated in how the supply chain operates due to the shortfall of supply chain management educators available. This has created a “talent gap”. Of supply chain CEOs surveyed 82% believe the talent gap will affect their business’ ability to meet customer demand and 69% believe it will impact their ability to provide exceptional customer service.

To help solve these issues many executives in the SCM environment are investing above average dollars in talent development areas. This is just one of the many ways businesses are trying to adapt to labor pool shortages and talent gaps. To learn more about labor issues affecting the supply chain or labor management technology contact Datex experts today at 800.922.2839 or

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