Many manufacturers and distributors are faced with bridging the skills gap in current employees and new hires.

I recently partnered with the APICS (the leading association for supply chain and operations management) Inland Empire chapter to complete a survey on skill gaps as it is becoming a critical topic for manufacturers and distributors in today’s work environment.

Additionally, we hosted an executive panel discussion on the latest trends and ideas to address the skills gap. Interestingly, I cannot think of a client that doesn’t have some sort of challenge with having enough of the right skills in critical areas of the business.

Stay tuned for a press release. In the interim, a few highlights emerged:

  1. Skills gap growing – Greater than 80% of manufacturers and distributors see more of a skill gap than prior years. It is a topic to think about!
  2. Soft skills rule – According to one of the panelists in our executive panel who compiles statistics for the ISM, soft skills are gaining in importance. We saw that come through loud and clear as well.
  3. Technical skills are required – Technical skills have become more of an assumption – a required baseline. As complexity grows in the supply chain, the gap becomes greater.
  4. Problem solving core – It seems we often worry about complex skills when problem solving capabilities came out on top. What training and development options are you providing to help employees with problem solving skills? 
  5. Communications & presentations are key – On the soft skills side, by far, the most requested and/or largest gap is in communications and presentations skills. In today’s environment, they are a must for success!