Tag Archive: research

The Skills Gap in the Modern Era

October 2nd, 2019

People are the #1 topic on our most successful clients’ executives minds. That’s because these clients realize that even the best strategies and plans will fail without people.

On the other hand, we have seen clients who appear the least likely to succeed, overcome great obstacles to not only become competitive but also to gain a strategic advantage in the marketplace. The secret ingredient is people. As a former VP of Operations and Supply Chain, there was no doubt that my success was directly correlated to the strength and attitude of my team.

Since it is such a key topic to ensuring growth and profitability, we wanted to dig into the current state of the skills gap. As a follow up to our research several years ago when we found that 87% of companies were experiencing a skills gap, we wanted to understand the current state of this topic and how it has evolved as we are knee deep in the technology era. For example, there is quite a bit of discussion on the topic of people vs. robots. Do we need to think about the skills gap if robots can take over? In other circles, the talk is all about artificial intelligence (AI). Will AI transform the industry? For example, there is a concern about this happening in the accounting profession. However, it might just mean that those trusted advisors must add value to what can be taken over by robots. That is certainly true in manufacturing environments. The skill requirements are changing. Perhaps we need people to interpret data? And how about to get people and technology to work together?

Please take our skills gap survey as we would appreciate your feedback into the following types of questions:

  • Which skills do you need the most?
  • Are technical skills enough? Do you need a savvy communicator as well?
  • How do you find your best talent?
  • Do you offer incentive to keep top talent such as rewards and recognition programs, performance management programs (tied with compensation systems) etc.?
  • How have you seen these requirements changing with the hot bed of technology?

A few highlights from what we’ve seen at a cross-section of clients across closely-held businesses to private equity backed companies to global enterprises:

  • Broad skills: Companies are looking for a broader base of skills. It is no longer sufficient to be an expert in a specialized area.
  • Presentation skills: Those who can present ideas effectively succeed whereas the most talented resources will struggle if they can’t get their ideas across.
  • Technology overload: Although everyone is interested in the latest technology, we are overwhelmed with all the options. Selecting just enough technology to advance a key point is often the best course of action.
  • Your network is your most valuable asset: It doesn’t matter if we are talking about a new hire, sourcing a supplier or getting just the ‘right’ trusted advisor at just the ‘right’ moment, the best way to find these resources is through your network. Are you nurturing your network?

The bottom line is that the most successful companies pay close attention to their #1 asset, their people. This idea extends to your customers, suppliers, trusted advisors and more since your face to your customer will be inclusive of each of these people. As the rubber meets the road, navigating your skills base will be of paramount importance.

Participate in our skills gap survey and we will ensure you are the first to receive the findings to help all of us successfully navigate the skills gap.

Did you like this article?  Continue reading on this topic:

People and Robots Can Coexist Successfully

Profit Through People



Weigh in on Outsourcing, Near-Sourcing and Insourcing Trends in Research Survery

November 3rd, 2016

We need your help. Just as we have conducted previous research studies on Skills Gaps and The Amazon Effect, we are now working on a study that examines outsourcing, near-sourcing and insourcing trends for manufacturers and distributors. It has arisen as a hot topic within our clients and so our goal is to be able to provide timely expertise and trends to help our clients navigate this topic in the best way to achieve growth, customer loyalty, profitability and cash flow.

In the last several years, it has become obvious that we are living in an Amazon-impacted world. Customers expect rapid deliveries, 24/7 accessibility and products and services tailored to their needs. Thus, the traditional sourcing from Asia (with the longer lead times associated with it) has created a significant challenge. Additionally, for non-commodity products, the total costs of outsourcing are rising to parity with North America sources. And, of course, risks abound. Thus, executives are reacting to these factors and re-thinking their strategies about outsourcing, insourcing and near-sourcing.

Have you outsourced, thought about sourcing or plan to in the future?

outsource, research, survey, manufacturing, outsourcingWe want to hear from you. As manufacturing reignites, executives are re-evaluating their end-to-end supply chains in response to elevated customer expectations, increasing labor rates in low cost countries, concerns about “too much” money tied up in inventory due to lengthy lead times and worries about the increased level of risk and disruption in the supply chain. Combinations of outsourcing, insourcing and near-sourcing solutions are increasingly popular as a way to optimize customer service, cost and cash flow. What have you done and/or learned? What are you currently doing? Do you have outsourcing, near-sourcing and insourcing future plans? Complete the survey and help others facing the same decisions make better decisions.

Register to Get the Outsourcing Research Results

Again, I thank you in advance for participating. I always receive great feedback from these studies and we can’t do them without your input. Don’t forget to register for the free report that we will send upon completion of the outsource research. And feel free to let me know of any other topics we should consider researching.