Supply chain 'still beset by labour and skills issues'

Labour shortages and worker retention & training remain major concerns in supply chain workplaces like warehouses, research from Avanti Wavelink shows

Labour problems are continuing to dog supply chain operations globally, new research shows.

The main concerns of supply chain managers are the time it takes to train the workforce (52%), the high turnover rate (50%) and the urgent need for digital upskilling (41%).

The paper – Supply Chain Trends for 2023 – is from Ivanti Wavelink, the supply chain business unit of the IT company, Ivanti

Ivanti Wavelink quizzed 200 warehouse workers, drivers, line workers, warehouse managers, analysts, customer support specialists, and C-suiters to gauge the current state of the supply chain.

A key takeaway is that technology is playing an increasingly important part in productivity as labour challenges continue. 

The survey suggests that it’s difficult – yet critical – for companies to hire and retain the right people in the right roles.

To help address their labour and skills concerns, organisations are embracing technology and automation to enhance worker experience and productivity. 

Most (85%) respondents plan to invest in new technology and/or build upon existing technology in the next year, with more than half (53%) saying they intend to increase automation by up to 30%.

The survey says that reliability is the biggest factor when evaluating new tech (69%). Other concerns are ease of deployment (67%), ease of learning (63%) and adaptability (63%).

The most-used tools are hand-held mobile computers with barcode scanners (58%) and tablets (50%). Wearable computers and automated picking tools are less common but are trending upwards, with respondents saying these tools are the top items they plan to invest in throughout the next year.

Ivanti Wavelink Senior VP & GM, Brandon Black, says: “With the shortage of available labour many industries are equipping teams with tech that helps them optimise workflow. 

“By implementing technology and automation that uses real-time data companies can gain end-to-end visibility that allows them to evaluate information more efficiently and be more agile in mitigating issues.”


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