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  May 18th, 2015 | Written by

Global Companies Must Attract Supply-Chain Talent

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  • Less than half of logistics executives at U.S. global companies are confident in their firm’s logistics capabilities.
  • Two-thirds of executives say these competencies will become more important to their supply chain in the next five years.
  • Recruiting new supply-chain talent is seen as a greater challenge than retaining existing talent.

Less than half of logistics executives at U.S.-based global companies are “confident or extremely confident” in their firm’s internal logistics capabilities and competencies, according to a new report released by business consultancy Deloitte.

According to the company’s “2015 Supply Chain Survey,” on average, less than half (45 percent) of all supply-chain executives rate their employees as “excellent” or “very good” in seven leadership and professional competencies, such as strategic thinking and problem solving, the ability to manage global or virtual teams, and the ability to effectively persuade and communicate.

At the same time, an average of about two-thirds of executives say these competencies will become more important to their supply chain during the next five years, creating a talent gap that could have serious implications for companies and their customers. The survey also found wide disparities between these supply-chain executives and top company leadership when it comes to assessing their supply chain’s talent.

In sharp contrast with the supply-chain and procurement executives, more than three-fourths (77 percent) of CEOs and presidents say they are “extremely confident” or “very confident” their supply-chain organizations have the required competencies needed for today.



“Today’s global economy demands a networked and efficient supply chain,” says Kelly Marchese, principal and supply-chain strategy leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP.

The disparities in viewpoints that exist between company leaders and supply-chain professionals, she says, “could materialize into actual barriers to success, particularly as companies try to evolve their supply chains through new technologies and operating model changes. That can only occur if executives at every level are informed and in agreement when it comes to their talent needs,” she says.

The survey also found recruiting new talent is seen as a greater challenge than retaining existing talent, especially at higher levels, suggesting that building skills internally is becoming increasingly important. About two-thirds of executives say recruiting senior leadership for the director and senior director level is difficult, while less than half say retention is difficult.

“Companies increasingly must extend their supply chain’s talent base beyond technical skills to bring more leadership and professional skills into more levels,” says Marchese.

“This has the potential to empower and inspire employees at all levels to support constant innovation in fast-moving industries, and to generate new forms of leadership that can help create more engaged and effective supply chains.”