One of the key ways that supply chain companies can better compete in the marketplace is by automating and digitalizing their operations and processes as much as possible. This not only improves the overall workflow, but it frees up employees to focus on more demanding and critical tasks. Despite this, a recent report from B2B integration software company Cleo found that supply chain jobs are failing to keep up with the latest efforts toward digitalization.
For its new report “What Supply Chain Recruiting Tells Us About Agility & IT Innovation in 2023,” Cleo examined 182 open supply chain-oriented positions from the job site Indeed in September 2022. After analyzing the data, Cleo determined that these types of jobs are still extremely manual at a time when roles and tasks should be more automated.
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- What is the impact of this deficit in supply chain automation?
- Is ERP and software experience required for these supply chain jobs?
- Recommended applications for supply chain companies to adopt
What is the impact of this deficit in supply chain automation?
The repercussions of this lack of supply chain automation are twofold: First, companies that fail to keep up with digitalization risk being thwarted by more technology-savvy competitors; second, job seekers with the necessary technology skills are more likely to look elsewhere for the right opportunities.
“These findings clearly point to a deep deficit in supply chain automation at a time when companies can least afford it,” Tushar Patel, chief marketing officer at Cleo, said in a statement. “Software technology, people and processes have not come together in a transformational way that has truly permeated supply chain organizations. The lack of recruiting for people skilled in modern software will result in organizations struggling to keep up with operational efficiencies — which are desperately needed in an increasingly fierce supply chain market.”
Is ERP and software experience required for these supply chain jobs?
For example, only 30% of the jobs posted require experience with enterprise resource planning. Designed to help organizations manage and integrate different aspects of their business, ERP software is an important factor in reducing the reliance on manual processes.
As another example, 42% of the managerial jobs posted by supply chain companies required no software experience. A lack of this skill poses challenges for managers not just in their own work but in dealing with the employees under their watch.
How these survey findings differed by region
Some 40% of the jobs listed were for companies in the South, with 20% of them located in Florida or Georgia. In the Northeast, only one in three managerial jobs mentioned supply chain software in the description. In the South and Midwest regions, more than half of the managerial jobs listed software experience. But in the West, managers were required to show expertise with at least one software application on average (Figure A).
Recommended applications for supply chain companies to adopt
To help supply chain companies reduce their reliance on outdated manual processes, Cleo advises them to adopt certain applications, starting with ERP but then potentially including supply chain planning, transportation management systems and manufacturing execution systems when and where appropriate.
“By integrating and automating business processes between an organization’s ecosystem (customers, partners, suppliers and marketplaces) and these core back-end systems, organizations can track and analyze data across the enterprise to produce insights that power business decisions in real-time — removing the need for overly-manual activities to optimize the business,” Cleo said in its report.
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