SkillsInDemand.jpgThe ever-changing and sometimes unstable working environment in which companies find themselves is increasing the demand for supply chain professionals that can conduct data analysis; manage business and continuous improvement; implement best practice methodologies and effectively manage change.

In this month’s SmartProcurement, Greeff Moolman of supply chain recruiter TechPro Personnel discusses the facets that are making supply chain more specialised and increasing the demand for qualified supply chain professionals (on a monthly basis).

“The emphasis of supply chain sourcing strategies’ is shifting from low-cost country sourcing to a focus on value creation; total cost of ownership (TCO); and risk assessment and management. According to Mary Siegfried, a senior writer for the Inside Supply Management Journal, companies are recognising the hidden costs of sourcing globally.”

Sourcing internationally where labour is cheap is no longer the only method to reduce costs. Companies, together with their supply chain specialists, are developing new sourcing strategies known as ‘best sourcing’ in order to reduce costs and optimise operations.

Best sourcing initiatives are based on the following key principles:

*  Organisations should ensure that they adapt well to unexpected changes – they should be flexible and dynamic.
*  Supply chain management should be a core function.
*  A focus on low costs shifts to value-add.
*  Best sourcing is rooted in TCO, cost analysis and risk management.
*  Best sourcing is a continuous process that will grow and change on a daily basis.

“Thomas L. Tanel, the CEO of an international supply chain and logistics optimisation company, underlines the importance of understanding your supply chain and planning for unexpected changes: “supply management professionals must understand the costs and impacts of risk in their supply chain. It involves sitting down and going through scenarios by questioning, ‘If X happens, what do we do and how can we handle it?’”

Furthermore, considering that a company’s supply chain division can now be linked to the overall business strategy to optimise all business operations, create operational excellence in various divisions, improve efficiency, reduce costs and increase profits, it is critically important that they get the right skills on board to manage their supply chain processes and changes.

It has resulted in consulting companies like Accenture, Barloworld, PWC and Deloitte securing major contracts with international clients, where they optimise and improve supply chain, planning, procurement and sourcing strategies. This amounts to significant savings for their clients, which directly increases profits.

There is no doubt that now more than ever, supply chain is the industry to be in. Don’t get left behind…