Six months ago when we put the calendar together for WorkForward, we decided (sort of randomly), that July would be the Supply Chain edition. It’s summer, nothing interesting will be going on, right? Totally wrong. Brexit has disrupted supply chains across Europe. More than 140,000 businesses are executing crisis plans, stockpiling everything from penicillin to pork. The trade war with China makes it increasingly likely that many U.S. companies will see delivery cycles extended, prices increased with confusing rationale, and even the failure of strategic supply partners. Even our withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear deal is disrupting the movement of freight and other materials around the world, given the interlocking complexities of the global supply chain.
The implications for talent in this space are profound. Supply chains used to be stable, durable and “locked-in”. That was the objective. Now, they still need to be reliable, but reliability comes from resiliency, flexibility and contingency strategy. Strategic thinking, diplomacy, scenario modelling and geo-political skills are built into the job at every level and finding talented professionals who can bring these skills to bear is what we love to do.
As always, we’re interested to hear your perspectives on this topic.