Will the lack of skilled people derail retail’s digital supply chain transformation?
A new study finds that more companies than ever are engaged in efforts to digitally transform their supply chains. It also finds that many do not have enough of the right people on staff to achieve that goal at a time when external factors such as supply chain disruptions and inflation are complicating the planning process.
Ninety-three percent of supply chain professionals surveyed by ToolsGroup and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) said their companies are actively engaged in digitally transforming their operations.
“The past two years have put a spotlight on the need for digitizing supply chain planning, and fortunately, more companies than ever are responding by stepping up efforts to transform their operations,” Caroline Proctor, chief marketing officer, ToolsGroup, said in a statement. “The percentage of companies that are not pursuing a digital transformation strategy at all is, at seven percent, the lowest we have measured so far. Our findings reveal increasing investments in software, automation and people.”
Fifty-three percent of respondents said that having people with the necessary skills was the biggest obstacle they currently face in making the transition. Recruitment is on the top of the list of many companies, but labor shortages in key disciplines remains a significant challenge.
“As supply chain challenges become more frequent and intense, company leaders are increasingly focused on implementing solutions that can help them better manage risk, bypass skills shortage and become more resilient,” said Mark Baxa, CSCMP president and CEO.
Half of the respondents said a focus on people, process, technology and security are key to their digital transformation efforts. Forty-five percent said change management and effective communication are necessary for success. Forty-three percent point to the need for leadership-driven goals.
The more than 300 supply chain pros participating in the study reported that they started off 2022 with a positive outlook but that external factors have made supply chain planning more challenging. Twenty-five percent point to supply chain delays as a complicating factor. Twenty-four percent said surging inflation and 19 percent reported escalating fulfillment costs.
Internal concerns, including shorter product life cycles and more production options, were not top of mind for many who find themselves having to respond daily to external challenges.
- Global Study Reveals 53% of Vital Digital Supply Chain Transformation Efforts Hamstrung by Skills and Labor Crunch – ToolsGroup/Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Has the lack of skilled people combined with supply chain disruptions, inflation and other external challenges made the logistics planning process significantly more complicated than before? Are there ways that companies can effectively pursue their digital transformation efforts despite the internal and external challenges that they currently face?