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The many digital trends impacting the supply chain workforce mean more complexity and constant change. Digitalization means more data, more digital connections, higher expectations around customer experience, more collaboration within a supply chain ecosystem, and in all these areas, faster change.

“Supply chain leaders name talent shortage as the No. 1 external force impacting their supply chain organization, and employee skills gaps as the No. 2 internal issue,” says Gartner research vice president, Dana E. Stiffler. “There’s no magic bullet to suddenly create your ideal employee; it’s a case of leading the workforce better to evolve the skills your organization needs now and in the future.”

According to Gartner, there are three pillars for building the next-generation supply chain workforce.

Agile, collaborative leadership

When employees are organized into rigid silos led from the top, agility suffers. While each silo may perform its function well, this is not enough for an organization to succeed in the rapidly shifting sands of digital business.

Supply chain leaders should embrace an ‘enterprise leadership’ approach. This means going beyond individual, top-down relationships to build collaborative networks across the business.

Continuous workforce transformation

In the continuously changing world of digital business, the workforce needs to keep pace. It’s much better to build a workforce that can adapt, rather than a workforce that depends on leadership to dictate changes.

The key here is to create and deploy broad guidance frameworks — based on the overarching supply chain strategy — that engage with the workforce, prepare employees for continuous change and foster a more agile mindset in teams, but still, keep a coherent direction.

Innovative talent sourcing and development plans

No matter how well you lead and prepare your existing workforce for continuous change, you’ll need to hire new talent and skills.

Start by working with HR to get better at talent analytics. You’re flying blind if you can’t audit current competencies and map what you will need in the future to the abilities or potential you have in-house.

When you know what is needed and can’t be developed in-house, look outside the organization. As more organizations pursue digital business strategies, competition will intensify, so make sure your processes are fit for the digital age. Enable quicker hiring processes to grab in-demand skills from the marketplace before your competitors.

Bastian Consulting is a boutique search practise that concentrates on sourcing leaders that deliver change across the Asia Pacific, we have the expertise to source leaders that can transform your business and thrive in times of rapid change.

To know more, you can reach out to me on +61 (0) 409 090 434 or