As a boutique recruiter specializing in Supply Chain, we’re always interested in new initiatives and ideas to help get young people involved in the field. Supply Chain is projected to both grow in importance and face a talent shortage in the coming years, and the discipline lacks the visibility of many other professions. As a result, young people often aren’t aware of the huge opportunities that Supply Chain offers as a career.
Today, we wanted to take a few minutes and highlight some initiatives that have sprung up to encourage and build the next generation of Supply Chain talent: the Ptak International Prize, SCNext, and the SCMA Student Case Competition.
The Ptak International Supply Chain Prize:
This an interesting initiative to encourage young Supply Chain Professionals across the world. Targeted at university students, college students, and individuals in junior Supply Chain roles within organizations, the Ptak Prize rewards teams who put together the best Supply Chain case study in a Harvard Business Review-style format. Teams participate in one of seven regional competitions held around the world (including regions as diverse as Chicago, Hong Kong, and Dubai) between Sept. 22 and November 18th. Successful teams are then invited to the competition’s final round, held December 11th 2015 in Las Vegas, NV. The reward for the winning team is free admission to a Supply Chain certification program and a $1000 grand prize. Past winners have come from Colorado, India and other places around the globe.
The Ptak International Supply Chain Prize is named after Carol Ptak, a Supply Chain author who has written extensively about Materials Requirements Planning, Enterprise Resource Planning, and the Theory of Constraints.
It strikes us an excellent way to foster innovation and reward young people in the discipline. It also represents a solid networking opportunity for young Supply Chain professionals looking to jumpstart their careers.
SCNext is an interesting professional association that just came to our attention. Emerging out of the International Supply Chain Education Alliance (ISCEA) in 2013, SCNext is an organization dedicated to providing networking and skills development opportunities to Supply Chain professionals at the junior end of the spectrum. As their website says, they’re an organization “founded and managed by Young Professionals, for Young Professionals.” Like the Ptak prize, SCNext has an international focus, with membership drawn from across the world and active leadership in the USA, India, Jordan and elsewhere.
SCNext undertakes a number of activities, including webinars, scholarships, conferences and journal articles aimed at building young Supply Chain professionals’ careers. One of the most exciting things about recruiting for Supply Chain is its global scope, and we’re encouraged by organizations like SCNext that aim to integrate the global community of new Supply Chain professionals.
Supply Chain Management Case Study Competition
Here’s a competition in a similar vein to the Ptak prize, but specifically Canadian. The SCMA Case Study Competition, now entering its fifth year, is aimed at undergraduate students with the goal of raising awareness of the field’s career potential. Like the Ptak Prize, the Case Study competition challenges teams of four young Supply Chain professionals to innovate through the preparation of a case study covering common Supply Chain issues including Procurement, Sustainability, Logistics, and Relationship Management.
This year’s SCMA Case Study Competition is a full day event, and will be held on Saturday, February 20th, 2016 at the University of Calgary and at McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business.
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We’re sure there are other initiatives that we haven’t covered (and please let us know in the comments if there are!), but hopefully this list will act as a primer on some of the ways that Supply Chain is making more efforts to appeal to young professionals and build the profession’s next generation. If there’s a person in your network just starting out their career in Supply Chain, don’t hesitate to send them this list of opportunities!