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Staff shortage? Optimize your resources!

Vacancies remain open for a long time

Figures from the global job site Indeed indicate that the number of vacancies in the logistics and transport sector increased by 30% between 2016 and 2017. Due to the attracting economy, and consequently the growth in e-commerce, demand for logistics staff will increase dramatically in the coming 5 years. In November 2017 only in the Netherlands there were app. 3,500 open vacancies for planners, for the USA this number was app. 36,000. If we take all kinds of different functions within the supply chain into consideration, then the number of open vacancies for the Netherlands is app. 7,800 and the for the USA app. 90,000. Let’s agree, for the supply chain staff recruiters there is a serious challenge, some work to be done.

Open vacancies multiplier

According to Indeed, companies and organizations fulfill their demand for experienced supply chain managers difficult. Of those vacant positions app. 82% remains open longer than sixty days. Now the economy is growing again, the logistics sector also flourishes and the demand for staff increases sharply. Adding the accelerated digitization of the supply chain and you immediately will come to the conclusion that the demand for higher educated profiles will increase dramatically. But the lack of employees is not limited to supply chain management alone. There are also many vacancies for supplier drivers remain unfulfilled (83% remain open for more than sixty days), followed by shipping agent vacancies (53%), supply chain analyst (51%) and dispatcher (50%).

Is there a solution?

In other words, there is a serious resource challenge within the supply chain world. What can you do about it? Just wait for the right people to apply for the job opening which may be obsolete when they are finally filled? Offer ridiculous salaries and even more outrages secondary benefits? Slow down your business and wait for the right people to join? Or optimize your supply chain and your supply chain staffing. In fact, doing more with less resources, simply because they are not available in sufficient numbers.

As a business case driven person, always working with KPI’s and convinced that optimization has no limits and any reduction will end around zero, I would vote for optimization as the only long term solution. One of the most important concerns in both manufacturing and service organizations is efficient management of workforce. This has a direct effect on the productivity of day-to-day operations and the quality of the service provided. Nowadays and even more in the future, companies need to be able to combine the optimization of production, supply chain and workforce.

Author: Alfred den Besten, ICRON


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