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

A recent report published by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association makes clear the supply chain challenges consumer packaged goods (CPG) shippers are up against, with some of these challenges, specifically transportation-related ones, gaining traction in recent years.

Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk. Using the precise metrics captured in Armstrong’s most recent study, he'll demonstrate how shippers can measure ROI and plan for the future.

At $2.832 per gallon, the average price per gallon was down 1.1 cents, following drops of 1.6 and 1.1 cents the previous two weeks and a cumulative 8.2 cent cumulative drop over the last six weeks.

The index ISM uses to measure non-manufacturing growth—known as the NMI—was 56.0 in June, which edged out May by 0.3 percent.

Regardless of the date or year, one thing is beyond consistent when it comes to key themes in freight transportation logistics: the state of United States highways and related transportation infrastructure is in an eternal state of chaos and disrepair.

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.