How supply chain roles are evolving with technology

The digital world has changed the face of supply chain with technologies emerging that are altering the traditional ways of working. As a result, roles across supply chain are rapidly evolving and new skill sets are in demand.

A recent report published by McKinsey stated that the potential impact of Supply Chain 4.0 in the next two to three years is huge – up to 30% lower operational costs and a reduction of 75% in lost sales while decreasing inventories by up to 75% are expected. The digital transformation is powered by technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced technologies that are innovating the industry.

New technologies, require new skills, meaning training will be essential for businesses to realm in the full benefits of the technology.

Jobs and training

The integration of digital technologies into the supply-chain function has made it more critical than ever to recruit, train, and retain the best supply-chain talent.

Many expect 2020 to see a big increase in the number of businesses looking to combine RPA with AI to create new methods of working, which will mean it’s vital for both candidates and businesses to understanding what new skills and training are going to be essential in this field.

Freelance, contract, and remote working prevail in many areas, and organizations must decide which professionals should be brought into an organization and which roles can be outsourced to experts.

Automation of tasks

The challenge of attracting and retaining talent becomes even greater as more and more tasks are automated, requiring a shift not only in skillsets but also mind-sets.

Efficiency in the supply chain is boosted by the automation of both physical tasks and planning. Robots handle the material (pallets/boxes as well as single pieces) completely automatically along the warehouse process – from receiving to putting away to pick, pack, and ship. McKinsey reported that with a few notable exceptions among the most visible technology leaders, supply-chain companies may not appear to be the most exciting career options at first glance.

Opportunities for candidates to develop skills

Further research stated that as the adoption of digital technologies passes the tipping point to become widespread, these new roles will offer opportunities for candidates to develop and hone their digital skills in a function that touches every area of an organization, from planning to distribution.

Developing a sustainable talent pipeline to keep up with the advancements in the industry will require businesses to invest in people with skills in algorithms, data and technology who understand the supply chain from end-to-end.

Training from within

Organisations looking to get ahead of the curve should be capitalising on the digital talent pool already available. There is a huge opportunity for businesses to reskill from within their organisation using people who already have a deep understanding of the business.

If you’re a supply chain professional looking for a new opportunity or have any questions about the market then please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing info@x4engineering.co.uk or visiting or jobs page.