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Closing The Skill-Gap For Future Logisticians

The future is promising for those choosing to pursue a career in supply chain and logistics. The field is projected to grow by 22% by 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s compared to an average of 11 percent for all other occupations. With such staggering growth predictions and demand in the field, it comes as no surprise that colleges and universities are taking additional steps to ensure their graduates are the best and brightest. Organizations, in turn, are positioning themselves to secure not only degreed employees but future team players, who must possess the skills necessary to perform the job.

This growth prediction should come as no surprise to anyone. Globalization is forcing us to be interconnected as businesses seek to support and service customers all over the world. Further, as cultures quickly merge, and new ones are formed, organizations will need to rise even further to take on the challenges of meeting ever-evolving consumer demands. This opens the marketplace even further and fuels more aggressive competition amongst suppliers and servicers. The “it” in the pipeline becomes the primary focus. Who can get it there faster, safer and, most importantly, cheaper? How do we streamline the process while improving the quality to ensure that consumers are not only satisfied but happy enough to repeat business? Sure, there are such things as loyalty rewards and whatever else organizations can conjure up to entice their customers. But, the truth is, if the products are not delivered on time, and if they are not cost effective, the loyalty program means nothing.

In most organizations, and especially in the supply chain industry, things such as capacity, efficiency, quality, and cost are at the forefront. Given these variables, how then do organizations compete?  Well, one can certainly start with hiring the right individuals for the job and investing in technology to do the job. Highly skilled workers and technology go hand- in- hand. By understanding the customers’ needs (highly skilled) and taking steps to meet the customers’ needs (technology), businesses will be positioned to win. Winning starts with finding talented workers who possess specific skills, who can see the bigger picture, and who are trained to embrace and leverage technology to meet those demands.

Let’s face it, the hours in the day haven’t change- yet consumers’ demands have increased and will only continue to do so as we become even more interconnected through International exchange. Therefore, we need smarter, quicker way of doing things without compromising quality.

The following are some of the skills necessary to be successful in the logistics field

  • Analytical: Ability to understand and interpret data using technology. Determine most cost effective ways to move a load
  • Communication: Client and vendor relationship
  • Conflict Resolution: Handling exceptions, client/vendor management
  • Negotiation: Product knowledge, market demands, cost management
  • Procurement: Finding the right carrier for the move
  • Quality Control: Minimizing/eliminating errors
  • Time Management: Process planning. Removing variables from activities to increase speed.

In essence, just having a higher education is not sufficient to compete. One has to ensure that the worker is equipped with the skills vital for longevity in the industry. Gaining market share should be the goal of every organization. Leveraging technology is one such way of doing so. Employees armed with the logical thinking, problem solving, technical and customer-centric skills will get the job done. Educators know this and are challenging the future workforce by creating hands-on environment where these skills can be harnessed and developed, making sure that future logisticians are prepared and ready to take on the challenges of a demanding world and a fickle economy. This is where the MercuryGate University program comes in. The opportunity given to the future workforce to access the latest and best technology in the supply chain will only help to enhance these skill-sets. Organizations also are challenged to create a shared and engaging environment, where fresh eyes are able to blossom and seasoned workers are able to transfer knowledge. It’s a recipe for winning!

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