With over a decade of niche recruiting experience under our belt, Argentus has witnessed a great deal of change across industries for professional roles in supply chain and procurement. Part of the reason this search firm is so excited to be working as experts in this business vertical is because of its challenging, high demand nature.
As those in the field know, supply chain management has undergone an incredible amount of transformation in recent years, emerging as one of the most important strategic functions in organizations today. This is true whether it’s in a small startup context or at a large corporation, and for both private sector firms and key public institutions – at home in Canada and across the globe. So what’s the reason for this rise in the profession, and what’s made it such a hot career trend with a unprecedented talent gap?
In its early days, supply chain was an overarching umbrella term that encompassed all of the behind-the-scenes actions required to bring a company’s product to market; related but separate silo functions such as logistics, procurement, and operations. Most companies did not have dedicated units to manage strategic sourcing or cost savings across their entire organization, and there was little precedent for a unified approach to best practices. The kinds of workers who held supply chain management roles were traditionally blue collar individuals who rose the ranks, and did not necessarily have a post-secondary education. Supply chain jobs at this point in the field’s development were transactional, not strategic.
Now, supply chain innovation is an integrated white collar business function that is strategic, not transactional. Supply chain is flush with open positions that carry the kind of clout that can influence key decision makers and CEOs, as well as corporate initiatives that dominate boardroom discussion. But supply chain management’s image hasn’t kept up with these changes, and as a result it can be a struggle to communicate the kinds of analytical, creative, and senior-reaching opportunities supply chain now offers top talent.
The global economy has shifted, and the world is a much more competitive place now for companies vying to bring products to market in the most streamlined way possible. Sensible procurement, consumption, and demand planning are what help distinguish those at the top of their market from the rest. When companies leverage more sophisticated communication and transportation networks, or outsourcing labor and manufacturing to other countries, or need to make the most of trade laws and optimize product flow for reduced warehousing time and better delivery results, that’s the new era of supply chain management in action.
Now more than ever, there is a real need for highly-skilled professionals who are able to handle the increasingly complex processes of supply chain while balancing a holistic understanding of the mechanisms and subject matter expertise. After the economic downturn with the 2008 recession, the US financial crisis created a heightened urgency for a stronger focus on supply chain efficiency that’s linked to corporate profitability and sustainability. As a boutique recruitment firm dedicated to finding bright professionals to fill difficult roles for our clients in supply chain and procurement, we continue to feel the effects of this urgency today.
When global economies contract, the best way to improve the bottom line becomes a matter of smart and strategic cost savings, which is where the supply chain puzzle piece comes into play. But that also means confronting a shortage of suitable candidates and cultivating an educational and professional level of awareness about the shortage to help combat problems in the long term. At Argentus, we are actively managing this talent deficit with a deep network of passive candidates and an unmatched understanding of Canadian supply chain management needs.
Contract and contingent positions are growing not only as a desirable path to supply chain entrepreneurship, but a nuanced solution to engaging with talent deficits in an ongoing fashion as well. We see more and more clients making thoughtful provisions for contract work to secure highly-skilled SCM staff, and it is becoming the “new normal” for cost containment. Another added benefit? Contingent strategies are a diversifying employment plan to juggle a business’s short term demands with longer term company goals.
Supply chain and its related functions are an intellectually rewarding and stable, lucrative career path. It’s exciting and rewarding to help supply chain management professionals find the best company/candidate match. For our clients, rigorous consultation makes our recruitment relationship with employers a true partnership. They need the right talent to fill these roles, and we’re here to help. Get in touch with us to explore more about the Argentus advantage.