As supply chain operations continue to evolve, so does the workforce tasked with driving them. At the end of the day, it’s much harder for companies to get applicants in the door than in days past.
The reality is, there is tremendous opportunity for supply chain leaders and warehouse workers alike— but not everyone realizes it. Regardless of how many applications are submitted when filling open positions, it is important that hires are made with the future in mind. Identifying your workforce needs and hiring accordingly can be one of the biggest contributors to overall success in the long run.
As leaders in the 3PL space, we at Sequoia Group know what is required of workers presently carving out their path in supply chain logistics and management. Here are some notable skill sets you should be on the lookout for.
An Ability to Adapt
In an evolving industry, there is need for a workforce that can change with the tides. In just the last few years, most supply chain management personnel have confronted software shifts, consolidation of 3PL markets, and significant logistics changes— not to mention the boom of eCommerce that has swept the globe. Although most changes have been positive, they can have negative impacts if the employees within an organization don’t possess the critical skills needed to adapt. A modern-day supply chain workforce should anticipate change and embrace the responsibilities that accompany it.
Technology has found itself deeply integrated into almost every supply chain logistics equation. Workers are now expected to interact with technology regularly to fulfill their specific duties. While this aims to execute the phrase “work smarter not harder” there can be disconnects between individuals and modern supply chain technology. Of course, what isn’t known can be taught. Just know that technological aptitude will be a necessary skill for a productive future workforce.
Communication and Collaboration
We live and work in an interesting time where humans are expected to communicate and collaborate with each other as well as integrated technologies. Both are necessary for productivity and efficiency. It is important to seek employees who have good communication skills and who can leverage technology to better interface with the people and systems they engage with. While these are fundamental skills for modern warehouse managers, they are becoming increasingly valuable on the warehouse floor.
A Willingness to Learn
Tying together the first three skill sets mentioned, a willingness to learn is a crucial, yet often overlooked requirement for a stable workforce moving into the future. Part of this falls on the workers themselves— displaying initiative and drive in the workplace. However, it is also the job of team leaders, warehouse managers, and executives to set an expectation of change and future responsibility for all workers.
As anyone in the industry knows, problems arise. Sometimes they are small and easily remedied, other times they are rather large. At times, these problems are noticed on paper and addressed behind the scenes. In many instances, however, these problems bubble to the surface in the trenches and require immediate attention and action from workers on the floor. An ability to identify problems and execute solutions in the least disruptive manner possible is a necessary skill for anyone working in a warehouse whether in management or not. When building a winning workforce, it is important to find ways of gauging this problem-solving ability before making a hire.
Of course, every organization wants a workforce that has a wealth of expertise both collectively and individually. However, this expertise is gained with time, meaning workers have to stick around long enough to acquire it. Such a thing is most certainly a two-way street. Winning workforces are a product of the investment an organization is willing to make in their people as well as the loyalty and attitude of their employees. When both exist, workforces grow strong, gain expertise, and fuel an engine of tremendous growth.
While technology may be the future of business, people are ultimately the ones who drive it. For growth and stability in the long run, both must be rock solid. At Sequoia Group, we deliver powerful technology, to people. Over the years we have come to know people, processes, and technologies very well, seeking to help organizations grow. If you have additional questions about how you can enhance and improve your organization’s supply chain operations, give us a call at 801.571.2300 today.