Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Talent management: Bring on your rising stars

Injecting the “cool factor” into the supply chain
By Bob Trebilcock, Editor at Large
May 19, 2014

Admit it. You go to a party and someone asks you what you do for a living. You want to say: Hey, I’m the bass player for Metallica or I’m a transplant surgeon or I’m a skydiving instructor. Something with a Wow factor. Instead, a little sheepishly, with averted eyes, you say: Oh, I work in the supply chain.

I remember several years ago taking my then 17-year-old daughter on a tour of colleges outside of Chicago. On the way to O’Hare, we visited the new tech lab of an automated materials handling supplier. The executives who showed off the lab could not have been prouder. Back in the car, I was jazzed only to have my daughter snarl with the disdain that can only be conjured by teenagers: “If I had your job, I’d shoot myself.” Not cool, right?

Still, the world needs procurement, manufacturing, logistics and distribution rock stars; in the future, as Baby Boomers like me hang it up, they’re going to need even more of them.

All of which explains why ThomasNet and Institute for Supply Management (ISM) announced a new 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars recognition program last week in Las Vegas at ISM’s annual conference. The program will honor thirty professionals who are 30 years of age or younger, and are already making their mark on the purchasing/supply chain management industry. You can read more about the program, and more importantly, how to nominate a Millennial rock star by clicking here.

At the Las Vegas event, ISM and ThomasNet said there were a couple of imperatives for the initiative. First, by 2025, today’s Millennials, like my daughter, will comprise about 75 percent of the workforce. To be blunt, we have to convince them not to want to shoot themselves.

Second, as ISM CEO Tom Derry pointed out, supply chain professionals make decisions every day that affect their companies’ brands, competitive positioning and performance.

“We hope that by spotlighting the accomplishments of young supply chain ‘rock stars,’ we will encourage them to stay and build lifetime careers in this profession,” he said, adding that they’ll also serve as role models for other Millennials.

Last, they hope to inject the “cool factor” into supply chain management and procurement. After all, our industry brings together global business, new technologies and the opportunity to manage the complexities of different cultures. Millennials have the chance to get involved in areas that may dovetail with their personal values, such as sustainability and corporate social responsibility, Derry and Mark Knudsen, ThomasNet’s president pointed out.

Maybe convincing Millennials of our coolness is a tall order. I will say this. Recently, I had the chance to sit in on a round table discussion on purchasing moderated by Kate L. Vitasek, the founder and managing partner of Vested and one of the industry’s rock stars. While most people probably think of purchasing the way my daughter viewed a visit to a materials handling tech lab, the Millennials in the room were passionate, excited, full of questions and focused on their careers. Perhaps one of them will end up as a 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Star.

About the Author

image
Bob Trebilcock
Editor at Large

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484 and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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!

Recent Entries

This legislation takes the same name of a previous bill rolled out in April 2014, which did not make enough traction to be signed into a law, and would replace the current authorization, MA-21, whose most recent continuing extension is set to expire at the end of May.

The wave that heavy e-commerce activity currently rides is not close to crashing anytime all that soon. And with that comes a heightened focus on the logistics-related aspects of e-commerce, specifically on the last-mile side of things.

Conveyors, shuttles and robots were on display, but as with last year's Modex, software is where the action is in today’s materials handling industry.

When assessing areas of risk facing their departments, nearly half (45%) of Chief Procurement Officers named supplier risk as a top concern, according to a new survey by Consero Group.

2014 was a very good year for the Port of New Orleans, and officials there are forecasting an even more robust cargo scenario in 2015.

Article Topics

News · talent management · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA