Skills or Competencies—Which Are Your Priority?

Today’s guest blogger is my colleague, James Baehr.

By ·

Today’s guest blogger is my colleague, James Baehr, who in addition to his broad experience with Strategic Sourcing, heads up the IT Strategic Sourcing practice at Greybeard Advisors LLC. Jim has had management roles in IT sales, IT operations, and IT procurement at major firms, before joining Greybeard. Jim can be reached at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


For a Supply Chain group to be successful it needs to be staffed with skilled professionals.  However, what skills are needed?  How are skills defined?  Do a web search and you will find numerous definitions and long lists of what are considered skills. There is no consistency.  Skills can range from “basic” - the ability to type in orders or do simple math to “advanced” - being able look at production planning and make associated forecasts. 

Almost a decade ago Larry C. Guinipero and Dawn H. Pearcy prepared a paper titled World-Class Purchasing Skills: An Empirical Study.  In their work they collected information from numerous sources to identify the skills of a “world class Purchasing professional”.  The paper calls to attention just how much research had been done to that point in time without reaching a consensus on the exact skills needed. The discussion is even more complex when differentiating between tactical and strategic skills (which, unfortunately is important only if your Procurement organization has committed to being truly strategic).

Individuals come to their assignments with skills but if they don’t convert their skills into competencies, they won’t be successful.  Competencies are acquired through training, practice and experience.  Competencies are the difference maker.  Why?  Because, competencies represent understanding which, in turn, converts to predictable and measurable performance. 

Being tactical or conventional implies reacting to conditions and requires basic skills.  A competent Procurement professional anticipates and understands the needs of a Stakeholder and uses his or her experience to strategically address these needs.  Successful organizations understand the difference.

 


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Unlock the Value of Your Supply Chain Through Embedded Analytics
Learn how embedded analytics can provide deeper supply chain intelligence and help you extract maximum value from data for your supply chain operations
Download Today!
From the May 2017 Issue
Everyone is talking about terms like digitization, Industry 4.0 and digital supply chain management, but what sort of technologies fall under these broad terms, and how will they change the management capabilities at our disposal? To find out, we talked to some noted supply chain analysts, consultants and technology executives and gathered six digital trends to watch.
Transportation Trends and Best Practices: The Battle for the Last Mile
2017 Technology Roundtable: Are we closer to “Intelligent” Logistics?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Going Beyond Rate Negotiations for Logistics Cost Savings
The pressure to reduce cost is a fundamental part of every organization today leaving many supply chain professionals constantly renegotiating rates. This webcast examines four areas that may hold untapped savings potentials and even help organizations negotiate better rates.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
The Evolution of the Digital Supply Chain
Everyone is talking about terms like digitization, Industry 4.0 and digital supply chain management,...
2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...

LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...