In the past few months we’ve been pondering the question of developing new talent in supply chain. I’ve been hearing complaints all over: companies are looking to expand their operations but find that they are having difficulty getting the right people for the job, whether because there is a shallow pool of existing talent, or the new ones in the pipeline don’t have the exact skill sets they need. We’re looking to tackle this question further in our General Membership Meeting on April 11, as well as on the upcoming issue of our magazine, Supply Chain Philippines.
That said, it is encouraging to see that major universities have begun to recognize these gaps, and have gotten in on the act. (Well, it is good business, after all.) The De La Salle University, for one, has begun steps to establish the Enrique Razon Logistics Institute, based in their Laguna campus; they plan to offer masteral and doctorate degrees (and, hopefully, a bachelor’s degree too) in supply chain, as well as organize research and case studies into the industry.
The Ateneo Graduate School of Business is also hoping to establish a master’s program in supply chain management. We at SCMAP are collaborating with them in establishing the content for these courses, and we hope to have news in the coming months.
Finally, the University of the Philippines’ business administration department, led by their chair Dr. Ma. Gloria Talavera, are looking to integrate supply chain lessons into their curriculum. You may recall that we have also signed a memorandum of agreement with the university’s National Engineering Center for the mounting of short courses in supply chain.
All this is on top of current efforts from the Technological Institute of the Philippines, Jose Rizal University, University of San Jose Recoletos and the University of Makati in offering degree programs in supply chain, as well as programs and electives geared towards this discipline from the College of St. Benilde. At least we can say we are not starting from scratch, but we recognize we must step up efforts further.
Why focus on tertiary education? Our initial research suggests that companies looking to bolster their supply chain staff want to hire people who already have a good understanding of supply chain. Yes, most of what one will know will come from on-the-job experience—there are specific conditions for specific cases—but they can hit the ground running if they come in knowing basic aspects of supply chain. Companies also want their new hires to be good with problem solving, communicating, working with teams and collaborating with different disciplines – all qualities that are best forged in the classroom.
An interesting question arises, however. The horizontal approach of supply chain means there are many ways to approach it: you can come from the financial side, or the operational side, or even the sales and marketing side. Most of the new supply chain talent we’ve encountered are industrial engineering graduates, which makes sense considering they dive deep into operations early in their careers. However, the ability to understand the cash flow aspect, or the customer service aspect, might be limited.
Here’s an opportunity for those college and universities: a supply chain education that does not job focus on logistics. It’s not just about making efficiencies, but about providing value for both company and customer. The best supply chain people can bridge the disconnects between production, distribution and marketing. It’s about the ability to see the whole picture. Here’s hoping efforts by academic institutions recognize this: we don’t want a missed opportunity in our hands.
Supply Chain Immersion: Registration is now open for this year’s Supply Chain Immersion, which will be held in Bacolod on May 17-19. Fees are at PHP 19,800 for SCMAP members and PHP 23,800 for non-members, inclusive of all seminars, tours, transportation, accommodation and meals.
This year will see talks and workshops led by Alipio Bernardo IV of Personal Collectiion, Anghelita Santor of Nestlé, Carlo Curay of XVC Logistics and Dario Arive Jr. of URC Flour. We will also visit the facilities of Central Azucarera de La Carlota and Roxol Bioenergy to understand sugar supply chain from end to end.
For more information and to become a delegate or sponsor, visit scmap.org or drop us a line through email or phone.
And also: Our North Luzon chapter will hold a General Membership Meeting on March 26 at the Widus Hotel and Casino at the Clark Freeport. Joining the discussion on cargo traffic rationalization are Michael Kurt Raeuber of Royal Cargo, Marilyn Alberto of PMTLAI and Jerome Martinez of SBMA, among others. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to register.
Henrik Batallones is the marketing and communications executive of SCMAP. A former board director, he is also editor-in-chief of the organization’s official publication, Supply Chain Philippines. More information about SCMAP is available at scmap.org.