May 17, 2020

DHL warns supply chain sector over looming talent gap crisis

Supply Chain
Logistics
DHL
Talent
James Henderson
3 min
Logistics giant DHL has warned the supply chain industry that more must be done to combat the growing talent gap crisis in the sector.

The U.S. Bureau...

Logistics giant DHL has warned the supply chain industry that more must be done to combat the growing talent gap crisis in the sector.

The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics reports that jobs in logistics are estimated to grow by 26% between 2010 and 2020, while another global study estimated that demand for supply chain professionals exceeds supply by a ratio of 6:1, with some predicting that ratio could be as drastic as 9:1

A recent DHL survey of more than 350 firms found that there are a number of reasons contributing to the talent shortage crisis in what is a rapidly evolving field.

The report ‘The Supply Chain Talent Shortage: From Gap to Crisis’ was commissioned by DHL and authored by Lisa Harrington, president of the lharrington group LLC.

Harrington said: “Leading companies understand that their supply chains – and the people who run them - are essential to their ability to grow profitably.

“However, the task of finding people with the right skillsets required to run these highly complex operations is increasingly difficult – especially at the middle- and upper management levels. Unless companies solve this problem, it could threaten their very ability to compete on the global stage.”

The survey revealed the top factors driving the talent shortage:

Changing skill requirements: Today, the ideal employee has both tactical/ operational expertise and professional competencies such as analytical skills. Some 58% of companies’ said this combination is hard to find. But tomorrow’s talent must also excel at leadership, strategic thinking, innovation, and high-level analytic and technological capabilities.

Aging workforce: As much as a third of the current workforce is at or beyond the retirement age.

Lack of development: One third of companies surveyed have taken no steps to create or feed their future talent pipeline.

Perception that supply chain jobs lack excitement: The industry is still contending with the impression that other fields are more prestigious and offer more opportunities, fuelling lack of interest in the industry within the world’s future workforce.

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Harrington commented: “Companies are now recognising that sourcing strategy has a large impact on their bottom line and ability to remain competitive.

“As one study recently found, companies that excel in talent management increased their revenues 2.2 times as fast and their profits 1.5 times as fast compared to ‘talent laggards.’ That’s a powerful advantage.

“Unfortunately, recruiting the right talent - especially at the critical mid-level and senior management levels - is proving very difficult in today’s environment.

“New technologies and fundamental areas of the supply chain have changed, meaning they now require that a person have a different and much larger skillset than required when most of the current workforce began their careers.”

 

 

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Jun 8, 2021

DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID

DHL
Supplychain
COVID19
Logistics
3 min
Global logistics leader DHL’s new white paper highlights what supply chain professionals have learned one year into the pandemic

Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.

 

This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go. 


 

Public-Private Partnerships

With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”. 

 

Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats. 

 

In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.

 

“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”. 


 

How Do We Sustain Immunisation? 

By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”. 

 

Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared. 


Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.

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