SAP survey illustrates talent shortages for retailers focused on e-commerce and Big Data analysis

Retailers "don't know where new skilled managers will come from and don't see the required skills reflected in the current talent pool."
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
November 20, 2013 - MMH Editorial

Finding employees with the right functional competencies continues to be a challenge for retailers according to a recent survey by SAP AG. In an environment where the ability to understand and manage technology and data is increasingly in demand, retailers are worried about filling management positions with employees that have the strategic skill sets needed.

Retailers see a need for functional competencies leaning toward technology and data skills, even more than general business and people management. But the survey revealed that 84% of retailers are worried that it will be challenging to find employees with these skills. Exacerbating the problem is the overall hiring trend: 93% of survey respondents said hiring will not decrease over the next two to three years. When asked to specify which skills are in high demand, retailers indicated they are focused on filling management-level roles that have a strategic impact on the business, such as:

Understanding and applying business analytics and Big Data in retail (80%)
Optimizing the retail business for omni-channel commerce (72%)
Analyzing consumer buying behavior for improved operations (55%)

Within these functional competencies, 97% of the retailers surveyed are aware of the challenge of finding and training employees for new skill sets. Retailers plan to approach this challenge using a mix of activities. The majority (75%) plan to hire new people from outside the organization to fill these roles, if they can find them. More than half said they plan to use in-house educational resources or organically develop new skills through experience and training. And 53% plan to offer external education opportunities to current employees to improve skills.

Other skills of note that are top of mind for retailers include mobile commerce management (50%), merchandise buying/planning (37%) and digital and social branding skills (37%).

SAP surveyed 76 retail managers from top-tier retail brands at the SAP Retail Forum North America, held last month in Dallas, Texas, and attended by retailers including Zappos, PGA Tour Superstore, Luxottica, eBay, Sports Basement and Shane Company.



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

Even as Congress was putting the finishing touches on a 10-month short-term funding extension to the federal aid highway bill that temporarily averts a funding crisis, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was ripping the measure as a short-term “gimmick” that once again fails to adequately fund U.S. infrastructure needs in the long run.

ISI is comprised of Integrated Services, ISI Logistics and ISI Logistics South and is focused on the warehousing and transportation needs of automotive shippers. RRTS said that in 2013, Integrated Services generated revenues of approximately $21 million adding that Integrated Services is expected to be accretive to Roadrunner’s earnings in 2014.

The market for supply chain management software continues to expand, highlighting the importance of software in today’s supply chains.

Over the past five years emerging markets have maintained their “growth dynamic,” observes John Manners-Bell, CEO, of the London-based think tank Transport Intelligence (Ti).

Amid the talk and coverage about things negatively impacting the trucking industry like increasing regulations, tight capacity, and equipment-related issues and challenges, there is one thing to always remember about the sector: it moves a lot of freight, make that more than a lot, actually.

About the Author

Josh Bond, Associate Editor
Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce. Contact Josh Bond

Comments

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