CSCMP highlights criticality of supply chain managers despite recession.
By Chris Gillis
Manufacturers and retailers may have tightened their belts amidst the global recession, but they're continuing to turn to their logistics managers to find ways to wring even more costs out of their supply chain networks.
The logistics field remains so critically important to many companies that recruiters are actively seeking senior level managers to fill these roles for corporate clients, making the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals fertile ground for scouting prospects.
'With the economy rebounding, we're beginning to see an increase in job activity in the logistics and supply chain management disciplines,' said Rick Blasgen, CSCMP's president and chief executive officer. 'To me, this is a positive sign that demand for these professionals is growing.'
In May, CSCMP upgraded its online Career Center. According to the Lombard, Ill.-based association, the site, SCM Careers, offers employers a target global audience of more than 40,000 supply chain professionals from which to attract qualified applicants. New features include a streamlined process for reviewing resumes, a wider selection of job-posting and resume-search packages, and a job-posting distribution system that provides access to multiple job boards.
'It's time for companies to evaluate their hiring practices so they can quickly and effectively identify the right candidates for their supply chain needs,' Blasgen said when the Web site upgrade was launched. 'Enlisting the support of a niche platform like CSCMP's Career Center will give organizations the competitive edge in hiring skilled professionals who will make a positive impact on the bottom line.'
The Career Center also provides special features, including the ability to create a personal and confidential account, post resumes at no charge, search job announcements by multiple criteria, apply to job listings online and receive e-mail alerts when jobs match criteria.
Yet, Blasgen said recruitment appears to be focused mostly on attaining senior-level managers capable of accomplishing more for their companies with less internal resources, a theme that's expected to run through presentations by shippers, logistics providers, consultants and academics speaking and participating at this year's CSCMP conference in San Diego on Sept. 26-29.
'We wanted to make sure we're addressing the issues,' said Kathleen Hedland, director of education and research at CSCMP, about the upcoming conference. 'Now the VP is not just managing a staff, but may be doing most of the work with more responsibility than ever before.'
The conference, with its focus on 'supply chain transformation,' is expected to attract upwards of 3,500 attendees. Registrations for attendance had already exceeded the organization's goals by early August, Blasgen said.
'To be competitive, especially today, companies need to do more and most likely different things with their supply chains,' said John Caltagirone, vice president of supply chain strategy at The Revere Group, and CSCMP board member responsible for this year's conference program. 'If they stand still and do nothing, they will lose market share and possibly even go out of business.
'This is about logistics in the post recession because most companies are a lot leaner now than they were a few years ago,' he said. 'Because of this how does a company ready its supply chain when the time does come to ramp up to meet demand?'
|'A few years ago, customers would say, 'help us be more strategic.' Now it's 'help us be more competive.''|
senior vice president of transportation,
The recession has also encouraged resource-strapped shippers to continue outsourcing more of their supply chain functions to 3PLs as a way to stay competitive. 'A few years ago, customers would say, 'help us be more strategic.' Now it's 'help us be more competitive,' ' said Jim Butts, senior vice president of transportation at C.H. Robinson Worldwide and a CSCMP board member.
C.H. Robinson has become deeply engrained in many of its customers' supply chain activities. Besides handling routine transportation functions, the 3PL provides information technologies that allow its customers to 'make better, more informed decisions' about their logistics processes and requirements, Butts said.
Based on the success of conference's revised format last year, this year's event will contain 20 tracks with six sessions each over the first two days of the event, and will use the third day to bring everyone together for several 'mega sessions,' covering broader interest topics such as U.S. versus China sourcing, global support operations and the future of defense logistics, and mergers and acquisitions in the supply chain space.
In addition, CSCMP has organized a series of 20-person roundtable discussions where logistics managers can ask questions of the experts.
'It's a highly regarded and well-attended industry event. We send a lot of our people there,' Butts said. 'Providers like us get a good understanding of the changing needs of customers. It's also a good means for C.H. Robinson career development.'
Reflecting on his many years of participating in the organization, Caltagirone said the two most important outcomes have been learning about the many areas of logistics and supply chain management, and the abundance of relationships and friendships that have developed over the years. 'Being a member of CSCMP is one of the most important things that I have done to help me in my career and a field that I am extremely passionate about.'
While the annual conference is one of its most important events, CSCMP also provides routine education to its members through about 100 regional roundtables, of which 30 are now set up outside the United States.
CSCMP offers webinars on demand and on-site supply chain instruction to companies, and provides supply chain information through numerous reports and member publications, include the Supply Chain Quarterly, the annual State of Logistics Report, and Global Perspective papers which focus on logistics activities in particular markets.
For more details about CSCMP and its activities, access the organization's Web site at www.cscmp.org.