Supply Chain Management is a growing professional business field that requires job skills not always showcased on career days. Planning, strategic procurement, logistics, inventory control, packaging and shipping processes, space planning, vendor and supplier relationships, cash flow management, business processes, quality control, and much more are all key components of the profession, and more companies are now realizing they must also hire skilled information technology professionals if they want to succeed.
1. Got IIoT Skills?
Speed and efficiency will define the competitive edge of supply chain companies in the years ahead and a fundamental challenge for supply chain leaders will be to find skilled workers trained in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). IIoT professionals will be counted on to create and control how systems and machines talk to each other, learn from each other, and reveal data that enables better decision-making.
Specialized professionals who can streamline inefficiencies, shrink costs, and uncover opportunities will quickly move up the leadership ladder, and companies will come to depend on them to bring the big picture of company efficiencies and profits into sharper focus.
Collaboration skills will be critical for success as information tied to each step – from manufacturers to distributors to customers – must flow freely in real-time to keep everyone in the loop. Skilled technology pros hold the key that unlocks it all.
2. Powering Prediction
The future of supply chains is full of big data — very big data. Software applications are expected to capture smarter data containing clues for doing business better. Professionals who know how to use the software tools that translate big data into actionable insights will be highly valued and we predict, well paid.
Predictive analytics will push efficiency to astounding new levels. Equipment failures will be flagged before they interrupt, dangerous work conditions will be detected before injuries occur, and obstacles will be removed before they have a chance to slow things down.
Understanding big data to the point where analysis leads to prediction may be the most powerful competitive skill to learn. If you can help a company identify problems and possibilities before they materialize, you set yourself up for long-term career success.
3. Developing & Using Augmented Reality (AR)
Wearable technology is the next frontier and we’ve already seen an increase in demand from supply chain companies investing in tools like wrist and finger scanners to free up hands for more important tasks.
AR technology professionals can already create training environments to put new hires directly into the shoes of workers on a warehouse floor, dramatically speeding up the onboarding process.
They can also equip wearable technology screens with real-time data overlays to give workers all the information they need to do tasks with greater accuracy. Everything from product and material specifications to inventory supplies and shipping information will eventually be readily available to guide judgment and inform decisions and those who can develop and use these types of technologies are already in high demand.
Supply Chain Apprenticeships of the Future
Technology professionals interested in the supply chain are critical assets for industrial companies scrambling to compete and demand is increasing as the supply chain grows. Some colleges are now creating supply chain degree programs but there is little focus on the technology aspect of the industry.
We predict future supply chain career training will come in some form of apprenticeship that heavily focuses on business efficiencies and building and using industrial software applications. Information technology degree programs that include supply chain business software applications will also be an important component.
Commenco is proud of our commitment to helping employees and clients understand the latest supply chain technologies. We recognize training must be ongoing as technologies change and evolve, and look forward to working with more skilled technology professionals as local supply chain companies bring them on board.