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Supply chain staff crisis warns DHL

BONN: July 26, 2017. A report sponsored by DHL Supply Chain into a shortage of industry talent says as much as a third of the current workforce is at or beyond the retirement age.

Calling on corporate leaders to recognize a growing crisis, DHL says studies suggest the demand for supply chain professionals exceeding supply could be as high as 9:1.

DHL supply chain personnel"Leading companies understand that their supply chains – and the people who run them – are essential to their ability to grow profitably," observed report author Lisa Harrington. "However the task of finding people with the right skillsets required to run these highly complex operations is increasingly difficult – especially at the middle and upper management levels."

In addition to an ageing workforce, her study says other reasons for the personnel shortage includes changing skill requirements, lack of personnel development, and negative perceptions of the sector.

To attract the right talent, DHL says the industry needs to start emphasizing that a future workforce will need to have skills in robotic management, AI and AV control – job aspects that would be attractive to a younger demographic.

"We recommend that companies start with prioritizing the development of their current talent pool to adapt to the changing job requirements through training programs, and then retaining staff through clear career paths," noted Louise Gennis, DHL Supply Chain vice president for Talent Management/Acquisition, Learning & Development.

"We strive to combat misconceptions surrounding working in the supply chain through highlighting the technological developments which are digitalizing the industry and that are attractive to younger demographics," she continued.

Harrington added: "New technologies and fundamental areas of the supply chain have changed, meaning [companies] now require that a person has a different and much larger skillset than required when most of the current workforce began their careers."

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