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Cleo Sights Deep Deficit In Supply Chain Automation

December 16, 2022

A Supply Chain Jobs Report explored what recruitment strategies tell us about the state of IT innovation and digitalization at supply chain-oriented businesses (manufacturers, logistics providers, warehouses, and wholesalers/retailers) in the U.S.

Key takeaways from the report include:

Supply chain-oriented roles are still highly manual at a time when companies should be digitalizing roles and processes.

Only one-third (30%) of all roles require ERP experience and nearly half (42%) of managerial jobs require no software experience at all – demonstrating a lack of technology adoption across supply chain facilities and operations.

The Midwest and Northeast regions are most lacking in technical supply chain roles – signalling increased competition for talent in those regions.

Companies are not effectively using technology to optimize operations.

“These findings clearly point to a deep deficit in supply chain automation at a time when companies can least afford it. Software technology, people, and processes have not come together in a transformational way that has truly permeated supply chain organizations,” said Tushar Patel, CMO, Cleo. “The data indicates that companies are failing to approach digitalization through an end-to-end lens that visualizes and analyses supply chain operations across their internal and external ecosystems. The lack of recruiting for people skilled in modern software will result in organizations struggling to keep up with operational efficiencies – which are desperately needed in an increasingly fierce supply chain market.”

When job responsibilities are analyzed and compared with technology experience requirements, it becomes apparent that companies are not effectively using technology to optimize operations. For example, less than one-third (30%) of roles analyzed cite ERP experience as a requirement, but over three-fourths (77%) list internal collaboration as a role expectation – a responsibility that could be facilitated by an ERP or integration solution.

Job descriptions also indicate that leaders are not looking at their enterprise as a whole when strategizing for digitalization, including their changing workforce. Successful digitalization and optimization start with buy-in from the top of the workplace hierarchy. Surprisingly, nearly half (42%) of manager and senior manager roles required no software experience at all.

“Supply chain-oriented businesses are not thinking about the end game, which is to become more agile,” said Patel. “Post-pandemic supply chain inefficiencies have impacted every business, leading to the redefining of many supply chain roles and processes. Given the speed of market transitions, and volatility, effective supply chain management will make or break organizations in 2023.”

Job roles across four key regions in the U.S. – Northeast, South, Midwest, and West – show that technical supply chain jobs are moving south and west. In the Northeast, only one-in-three managerial positions includes supply chain software in the job description. However, over half of manager jobs located in the South (59%) and Midwest (60%) mention software; and roles in the West required managers to have experience with one software application on average. In fact, just under half (40%) of all roles were for the South region, with one-fifth (20%) of all jobs being located in Florida or Georgia.

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