What are executives looking for in supply chain professionals?  That was the topic of the panel I participated on at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum with executives from the Walt Disney Company, Source Intelligence, Intelligent Audit and CSCMP.   So, what is the consensus?

  1.  Broad knowledge –  Supply chains are global and more complex in today’s world.  Thus, a broad and diverse set of skills is required to be successful in the field.  If you have the opportunity to try a new area you wouldn’t have requested, give it a shot.  You might just enjoy it.  Worst case, you’ll have built skills that will come in handy as you move forward in the supply chain profession.
  2.  Technology – There is no doubt about it.  Supply chain and technology skills must go hand-in-hand.  If you aren’t keeping up with what’s needed to be effective in the current environment while also looking ahead, you’ll be left in the dust.  Artificial intelligence is gaining momentum. Cloud computing is the norm. Collaborating across your supply chain is becoming commonplace.  Are you on top of these topics?
  3. Communication & presentation skills – Unfortunately, no matter how smart your solutions and ideas, none will proceed if you cannot present them effectively.  And, that is just one aspect.  Consider how to collaborate across your supply chain without these skills.  Not feasible.
  4.  Risk – Your supply chain cannot be effective without thinking about the impact of risk.  There are countless types of risk around us – cyber, natural disasters, financial, political etc. Have you at least considered the most impactful and likely risks?
  5. Sustainability – This topic continues to gain steam and popularity.  Are you thinking about how to turn sustainability into a win-win-win?