2017 SCM World Power of the Profession Award winners announced
The Hershey Company and Bayer Crop Science have taken home top accolades at the SCM World 2017 Power of the Profession Awards, recognising their dedication to developing supply chain programmes that help solve critical global challenges and recruit and retain leading talent in the sector.
The award ceremony, held as part of the SCM World annual Live Americas conference, brought together the community’s network of leading senior supply chain professionals. The event celebrates outstanding approaches to supply chain that are delivering strong business value while also having a positive impact on larger societal challenges.
Founder and CEO of SCM World Oliver Sloane said “Companies expect their supply chains to be the backbone of the business and act as a critical tool in creating competitive advantage.
“But it is the ability of the supply chain to offer viable solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges, like access to healthcare, world hunger and environmental sustainability, that reflects the broader power of what we do as supply chain professionals.
“All the winners are working to build not only successful but also socially responsible businesses, and this is something that we in the SCM World community are committed to supporting.”
- The Hershey Company received the Talent Breakthrough of the Year award for its efforts to increase diversity among its supply chain workforce through the introduction of Women in Supply Chain (WiSC) and Abilities First in Manufacturing programmes. This initiative has engaged everyone from entry-level to director level employees.
As a result, The Hershey Company has substantially improved the retention of women and has reported an increase in employee engagement within those manufacturing plants that employ staff members with disabilities.
- Bayer Crop Science won the Supply Chain Breakthrough of the Year award for its work in helping to bring agricultural supply chain into the 21st century. In the face of the depressed agricultural economy of the past three years and the substantial revenue loss throughout the channel, Bayer Crop Science developed a new collaborative, integrated and comprehensive approach to supply chain management.
Named Supply Chain Integrated Planning (SCIP), Bayer’s programme has improved profitability and has greatly reduced the unnecessary storage of high quantities of pesticides throughout the year, in an effort to be more environmentally responsible.
More than 50 companies submitted entries for this year’s Power of the Profession Awards, with the finalists decided by a panel of leading supply chain C-Level executives and academics including representatives from Intel, Microsoft, Chevron and Mars.
The full list of winners include:
- The Clorox Company - Talent Payback of the Year
- Hilti Corporation - Talent Partnership of the Year
- Mondel%u0113z International - Business Win of the Year
- General Mills, Inc. - Social Impact of the Year
For more information, visit www.scmworld.com/awards
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Driver shortages: Why the industry needs to be worried
While driver shortages are a global problem, with a recent survey from the International Road Transport Union suggesting that driver shortages are expected to increase by 25% year-on-year across its 23 member countries, the issue has very much made itself felt for UK businesses in recent weeks.
A perfect storm of factors, which many within the industry have been wary of, and warning about, for months, have led to a situation wherein businesses are suddenly facing significant difficulties around transporting goods to shelves on time, as well as inflated operating costs for doing so.
What’s more, the public may also see price rises as a result due to demand outmatching supply for certain product lines, which in turn brings with it the risk of customer dissatisfaction and a hit to brand and stakeholder reputation. Given that this price inflation has been speculated to hit in October, when the extended grace period on Brexit customs checks comes to an end, the worst may be yet to come.
"Steps must be taken to make a career in the industry a more attractive proposition for younger drivers, which will require a joint effort from government, industry bodies, and the sector as a whole"
That said, we have already been hearing reports of service interruption due to lack of driver availability, meaning that volumes aren’t being transported, or delivered, to required schedules and lead times. A real-world example of this occurred on the weekend of 4-6 June with convenience retailer Nisa, with deliveries to Nisa outlets across the UK affected by driver shortages to its logistics provider DHL.
But where has this skills shortage stemmed from?
Supply is the primary issue. Specifically, the number of available EU drivers has decreased by up to 15,000 drivers due to Brexit alone, and this has been further exacerbated by drivers returning to their home country during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as changes to foreign exchange rates making UK a less desirable place to live and work. This, alongside the recent need to manage IR35 tax changes, has also led to significant inflation in driver and transport costs.
COVID-19 complications have also meant that there have been no HGV driver tests over the past year, meaning the expected 6,000-7,000 new drivers over the past year have not appeared. With the return of the hospitality sector we understand that this is a significant challenge with, for instance, order delivery lead times being extended.
It is little surprise, therefore, that the Road Haulage Association (RHA) earlier this month became the latest in a long line of industry spokespeople to write to the government about the driver shortage for trucks. The letter echoed the view held by much of the industry, that the cause of this issue is both multi-faceted and, at least in some aspects, long-standing.
So, many in the industry are in agreement as to the driving factors behind this crisis. But what can be done?
Simply enough, outside of businesses completely reorganising their supply chain network, external support is needed. In the short-term, the government should consider providing the industry with financial aid, and this can also be supported more widely with legislative change.
Specifically, immigration policy could be updated to place drivers on the shortage occupations list, which would go some way towards easing the burden created by foreign drivers returning to their home countries. Looking elsewhere, government should also look for ways to increase the availability of HGV driver tests after the blockage created by the coronavirus lockdowns.
Looking more long-term, steps must be taken to make a career in the industry a more attractive proposition for younger drivers, which will require a joint effort from government, industry bodies, and the sector as a whole. As it stands, multiple sources suggest that the average age of truck drivers in the UK is 48, with only one in every hundred drivers under the age of 25. We must therefore do more to increase the talent pipeline coming into the industry if we are to offset more significant skills shortages further down the line.
On the back of a turbulent year for the supply chain industry, it has become increasingly clear that the long-foretold shortage of drivers is now having a tangible and, in places, crippling effect on supply chains.
Drivers, and the wider supply chain industry, have rightly been recognised for the seismic role they played in keeping the nation moving and fed over the past year under unprecedented strain. If this level of service is to continue, we must now see Government answer calls to provide the support the sector needs, and work hand-in-hand with the industry to find a solution. If we do not see concrete action to this effect soon, we are likely to be in for a turbulent few months.
Rob Wright is executive director at SCALA, a leading provider of management services for the supply chain and logistics sector