The following blog is the third in a joint thought leadership series in collaboration with Supply Chain Matters.

This article delves into the growing significance of talent acquisition and retention in companies adopting responsive cloud-based software technology for tactical and operational planning in process and batch manufacturing.

Click here for Part One  |  Click here for Part Two

Colleagues having fun at work. Businessman and businesswoman playing table soccer.

Background and Key Insights

In the initial segment of our educational series, we emphasised the following key takeaways:

  • Businesses must adapt, realign, and respond to ongoing pandemic-related disruptions, economic uncertainties, geopolitical factors, and macroeconomic changes in 2023 and beyond.
  • Proactive sensing and response to market fluctuations are crucial for manufacturing and supply chain processes. Disciplined planning frameworks are necessary to address changing customer demands and product requirements.
  • Automating manual processes enhances supply chain agility and resilience, reducing the feedback loop between planning, scheduling, and operational execution.

In the second part of our series, we highlighted the importance of understanding and addressing business transformation goals across strategic, tactical, and operational planning processes. Sustainability objectives should be integrated into these processes, and areas with bottlenecks and misaligned performance indicators should be identified.

We advised readers to seek technology augmentation that minimizes disruption, with a focus on supply chain-focused cloud-based technology offerings.

Addressing Evolving Talent Needs

Technology-driven transformations impact talent and skill requirements. Here are the key considerations.

Impacts on Supply Chain Talent:
Recent supply chain disruptions, along with global inflation and industry changes, have intensified talent recruitment and retention challenges. Burnout among professionals, driven by pandemic-related stress and time pressures, has prompted experienced individuals to seek opportunities elsewhere, leaving a knowledge gap in manufacturing operations.

Planners have been conditioned to firefighting over the past three years, often resorting to workarounds and customized spreadsheets due to a lack of adequate tools and resources. This reliance on manual processes has made planning less fulfilling.

Moving Toward Skills-Based Recruitment:
Skills-based hiring and performance assessment should replace traditional job descriptions that focus on specific requirements or years of experience. Planning skills evolve over time, requiring a shift in recruitment practices that emphasize desired skills and adaptability.

Younger professionals seek organizations offering career growth, advanced tools, and a departure from manual processes. Companies demonstrating commitment to social and environmental responsibility are more attractive to skilled planners.

Artificial intelligence-enabled technology can transform planners into exception handlers and decision analysts, codifying planning routines and decision context.

Organizational Change Management Considerations:
Change management strategies should encompass skills-based recruitment, training, retention, and career development. Urgent planning process fixes are necessary to prevent overburdening existing teams and to respond effectively to market dynamics.

Competitive Advantage Through Talent:
Competitors who can hire or retain skilled planners execute supply planning more responsively, gaining market share. Interactions between older, experienced workers and tech-savvy professionals bring complementary skills, breaking down traditional organisational barriers.

Skills and compensation components should be considered, and candidates with backgrounds in online gaming or simulation skills can be valuable. Occupational training programs focused on manufacturing skills provide resources for upskilling planners and manufacturing leaders.

Summary and Takeaways

Technology-enabled transformations require adjustments in talent and skills. Production planning and scheduling transformations necessitate adaptable tools to cope with complex supply chains. Businesses should foster operational planning processes leveraging advanced technology for timely and context-aware decision-making.

Cloud-based B2B platforms, supported by artificial intelligence and machine learning, can augment and retain knowledge while improving decision context.

Educating senior management on the urgency of fixing planning processes is crucial. Supply chain and human resource managers recognise that planner skills evolve over time, necessitating a shift toward skills-based recruitment.

The next installment of the series will explore Industry 4.0 and its impact on operational planning, specifically the relevance of real-time data on the shop floor.

Click here for the original Supply Chain Matters’ article.

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