Talent management: Bring on your rising stars

Injecting the “cool factor” into the supply chain

By ·

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

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

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

talent management · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Finding Agility in your Workforce: Are you prepared to meet the next market shift?
Logistics companies need every advantage available to them to be a vendor of choice and remain competitive
Download Today!
From the April 2017 Issue
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management market, and in marked contrast to 2016, paints a rosier outlook for career placement and advancement.
Is Your Tractor Trailer Yard a Black Hole?
Information Management: Wearables come in for a refit
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Maximize Your LTL Driver Adherence with Real-time Feedback
This webinar shows how companies are using real-time performance data to optimize the scheduling of their city fleets, as well as the routing of their standard, accelerated and time-critical shipments.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
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...
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...