Supply chain leadership and a renewed focus on workers are key to sustained recovery

“The recent increase in talent development efforts is a strong indication that leaders are working diligently to address the talent gap and help their planning teams embrace a ‘Planning for Growth’ mindset,” said Paul Strzelec, CEO, Digital Tempus

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With the year’s first fiscal quarter behind us, some supply chain professionals are predicting that 2011 will see companies adopt a renewed focus on people, resulting in new efforts to recruit, develop and retain critical portfolio and planning talent.

“The recent increase in talent development efforts is a strong indication that leaders are working diligently to address the talent gap and help their planning teams embrace a ‘Planning for Growth’ mindset,” said Paul Strzelec, CEO, Digital Tempus.

In an interview with SCMR, Strzelec added that developing and sustaining effective portfolio and planning capabilities requires strong leadership and a renewed focus on people.

“It is easy to shift focus to an execution behavior, the here-and-now, and overlook the need to continuously develop talent – especially when confronted with a crisis,” he said.

Leveraging human resources with existing technology has provided many companies with new efficiencies, Strzelec added. He noted that his company has worked with DuPont and Church & Dwight, Co., Inc., recently to improve demand forecasting and to develop an enhanced S&OP strategy.

“Our initial contracts are project based,” he said. “But we function in an advisory role in an ongoing way, so that we can grow with the client.”

According to Strzelec, the best supply chains belong to companies that did more than just focus on cost during the recession.

“The ones who attacked the bottom line but continued to invest are the ones controlling their respective industries now,” he said.

He concluded by noting that many companies have established planning proficiencies and demonstrated performance gains, only to fall back on less than satisfactory performance levels as soon as they lose focus.

“Planning is a unique skillset that requires continuous investment – markets are dynamic, organizations are dynamic, and portfolios and strategies need change to keep pace with market demands,” he said.  “By structuring continuous investment in talent development and providing planners with career development paths, companies can advance portfolio and planning competencies, drive a performance-based culture, and make the planning role exciting and rewarding, ultimately increasing retention.”

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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]

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