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The Future of Supply Chain Jobs

May 17, 2023 | Staffing Blog

One of the most important parts of effective supply chain planning involves knowing how the industry will change over time. Based on technological advances involving the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) and other tools, the future of supply chain jobs looks different than it’s ever looked in the past.

Logistics managers, hiring managers, and HR directors should stay informed about how their field will change in the next 5-10 years. This way, you can plan for the roles that will need to be filled to support the workforce and help your company grow.

Supply Chain Outlook: High Demand for Supply Chain Jobs

Let’s start with the outlook of the industry. You can rest assured that interest in supply chain jobs will remain strong in years to come, providing you with steady access to a strong talent supply.

A recent Harvard Business Review article based on research conducted by MIT indicates that the supply chain already accounts for approximately 44 million jobs in the United States – or 37% of the nation’s overall economy.

  • 4% of those jobs are STEM-related, which is considered an excellent predictor of growth.
  • 6% of patent applications in the U.S. originate in the supply chain sector.

Based on these numbers, supply chain leaders can be confident in the industry’s continued growth. Workers will want to participate in the industry, especially with technological advances creating more opportunities for talent to apply their skills in the supply chain.

The Growth of the Global Supply Chain

One of the key trends to consider is the growth of the global supply chain impacting the types of jobs that will need to be filled domestically.

We all know about the issues that plagued global supply chains during the pandemic. The systems in place could not handle unprecedented changes that impacted every company that operates in the supply chain. But, while product shortages and other consequences are still being felt years later, that won’t be the case forever.

Progress is being made supporting the re-design of the supply chain. Businesses are putting programs and systems into place that will allow them to quickly recover from sudden changes, promote agility, and increase visibility. Then, they will be prepared to quickly change course when new obstacles arise.

In the long term, once the global supply chain matures and becomes more resilient against disruption, companies will reap the benefits. New opportunities to tap into a strong global supply chain will create a fresh set of jobs that will need to be filled. Let’s take a closer look at some examples.

Jobs That Will Shape the Future of the Supply Chain

The innovation of new machines and technology will always create the need for people to utilize AI and Machine Learning (ML) within the supply chain. However, according to industry experts, some job types are expected to grow even more rapidly than others.

Data-Driven Planning

Problem-solving is perhaps the most important skill for success in a supply chain job. Looking at big data to make decisions about where to send materials and products requires an intricate knowledge of virtually every step of the supply chain.

Supply chain specialists who use data to formulate plans are the backbone of the global economy. While basic programs such as Excel have long been at the heart of data-driven planning, that likely won’t be the case going forward.

Instead, supply chain professionals will need to know how to aggregate data from multiple platforms, think critically about what the data is saying, and help inform decision-making to keep the supply chain moving.

Traceability Analysts

One of the worst-kept secrets in the world of supply chain logistics is that companies lack real-time visibility over their own supply chains.

For years, companies operated on the “Plus-1/Minus-1” standard, meaning that the company only needed to know one level up and one level down. This meant that many supply chain managers were siloed and only knew their specific suppliers and buyers.

After the impact of the pandemic, it became clear that companies need to know more about the movements of products throughout the supply chain – from manufacturing to distribution. Going forward, successful supply chain companies will have a team of professionals who are aware of each step in the process and can trace the movement of products throughout the supply chain.

Communication Specialists

Communication is one of the most important parts of product planning. Successful supply chain companies of the future will be able to communicate effectively with those involved at each step of the process. This includes communicating internally within the company and externally with vendors, suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, and other stakeholders.

Simply telling people what is going on in the supply chain isn’t enough, as the supply chain is a complex, often chaotic system. That means you will need to employ specialists who can go beyond just looking at data to convey clear, concise messages to the individual (or group) that needs to receive timely information.

Innovation Specialists

Mid-sized and large companies are looking for opportunities to completely rethink their operations. One of the most common trends among the most successful companies in the supply chain involves creating redundancy within the supply network to mitigate supplier risk.

Examples of supply chain innovation that future workers will need to be able to support include:

  • Supporting the creation of localized, regional hubs.
  • Establishing a network of backup suppliers.
  • Revamping the process of production planning.
  • Thinking through vertical integration strategies.

One of the best investments for a supply chain manager is finding professionals who specialize in rethinking how things have always been done. Innovation will be the key to tapping into the full power of a mature global supply chain.

Your Partner to Support the Future of Supply Chain Jobs

In addition to considering expert forecasts and other data science regarding jobs of the future, you should also consult with staffing agencies. At Allegiance Staffing, we are prepared to help companies meet the talent needs of their supply chain facilities, including the warehouse.

As a leading U.S. staffing agency, we have the resources to help you meet current talent needs and look ahead to the future of supply chain jobs you will need to fill.

If your company participates in supply chain logistics, you need to work with Allegiance Staffing to build a workforce that meets today’s and tomorrow’s needs.
Contact us today to learn how our team of staffing experts can help you find the staffing solutions that will carry your company into the future.