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Spread the Word: Supply Chain IS Cool

Changing the perception of supply chain—and the types of careers within the industry—is essential to successfully attracting and retaining the workforce of the future.

* By Carol Miller *

Changing the perception of supply chain—and the types of careers within the industry—is essential to successfully attracting and retaining the workforce of the future. This much is both clear and universally accepted across our industry.

What’s less clear is how to proceed. How can supply chain organizations and companies begin to reshape the narrative and position our industry as the creative, engaging, diverse and technologically advanced field that it is? In other words, how do we do a better job communicating what makes working in supply chain “cool”?

Just like in day-to-day supply chain operations, there is no one right solution to this challenge. Recognizing that, MHI Solutions sought input from more than a dozen thought leaders across a broad spectrum of roles and industries, asking them two questions:

  1. WHY is working in the supply chain cool?
  2. HOW can the industry better communicate how cool it is?

Read on to discover what they have to say.

  • Alan Amling, Vice President, UPS Ventures
  • Bill Best, Divisional Vice President of Supply Chain Operations, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
  • Randolph L. Bradley, Technical Fellow, The Boeing Company
  • Amy Carovillano, Vice President of Logistics and Distribution, The Container Store
  • Luis Castaneda, Regional Sales Manager, Raymond Handling Concepts
  • Kevin Condon, Senior Director of Engineering & Network Strategy, The Kroger Co.
  • Christian Dow, President, Panther Industries, Inc.
  • Angie Freeman, Chief Human Resources Officer, C.H. Robinson
  • Matt Jensen, Director of Supply Chain Business Applications, Rinchem Co.
  • Karissa Miller, Pavement Solutions Engineer, Pacific GeoSource
  • Alyssa Oles, Vice President of Fulfillment Operations & IT Services, Penguin Random House LLC
  • Alex Pace, Supply Chain Analyst, Kerry Ingredients
  • Jonathan A. Rader, Manager of Design Engineering, FedEx Ground
  • Jason Robke, Data Scientist in Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Operations, The Boeing Company
  • Kevin Vliet, Vice President of Supply Chain Engineering, Target Corporation
  • Dan Waugh, Product Line Sourcing Leader and Executive Program Manager, GE Aviation

You can also join the conversation by emailing me at cmiller@mhi.org with your ideas on how we as an industry can communicate this important message. We’d love to add your input to this ongoing discussion. To learn more about supply chains and the technologies and people that make them work, visit the MHI view video portal at videos.mhi.org.

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There is no silver bullet to building a workforce that can thrive in this new digital environment. It takes leadership, collaboration, innovative talent sourcing, continuous training and improvement. This issue of MHI Solutions focuses on this important topic from the technologies driving changing skill sets to industry-academia collaboration to how to hire, retain and develop the digital supply chain workforce.

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