Call us Join or login
Client login Supplier login
I’d like to join a network Get started
Login or Sign up
Client login Supplier login
I’d like to join a network Get started

Five skills required by modern retail supply chain professionals in 2020

Confidence in supply chain competencies in the future is set to drop to an all-time low, according to Deloitte’s latest report, Supply Chain Talent of the Future.

While 87% of supply chain leaders are confident that their organisation has the competencies required to meet demands of the job, this figure dropped to 77% when leaders were asked about their confidence in five years’ time.

Combined with all survey respondents, confidence levels in supply chain talent in five years’ time dropped even further to just 44%. Deloitte’s report was quick to point out the role that technology is set to play in the industry, hence the reason for the decline in confidence.

“The coming years will likely be one of those eras of dramatic transformation thanks to a combination of accelerating technology development and widespread experimentation with new operating models.”

The retail industry faces more change than most industries, but what can modern retail supply chain professionals do to get ahead and increase confidence amongst their leaders and peers?

Amidst the technological boom, here we look at just five skills required by supply chain professionals, as identified by Deloitte’s report.


1 – Strategic thinking and problem solving

74% of respondents believe strategic thinking and problem-solving will become one of the key skills required in five years’ time. Supply chain models will be under experimentation and professionals will need to study the ‘bigger picture’ in order to meet the wider demands of the company.


2 – Ability to communicate and collaborate

While 68% of respondents said the ‘ability to collaborate across functions’ will be one of a number on skills required by supply chain professionals, 65% said the ability to persuade and communicate effectively is required too. Whether they are speaking to teams internally or suppliers on a strategic level, communication is a paramount tool to keep the company ticking over.


3 – Leading and developing others

It is no real surprise to see that leading and developing others is still an important skill required. 66% believe this will be an important skill to have in the future, which reflects a growth in its importance compared to only 41% in the current climate. Any failures to develop the next generation, of course, effects the future supply chain excellence – this is much the same position that the industry faces now.


4 – Manage global teams

Respondents believed there would be a 23% increase in demand for supply chain professionals to manage global teams. This also extends to virtual teams who may be working from home, but still have a critical role to play in the supply chain function.

As a good starting point, current ‘supply chain leaders’ have already revealed in the report that they facilitate virtual workplace practices (37%) – making the transition to working with a global and remote team, a lot easier to do.


5 – Negotiate with value chain partners

While the ability to negotiate and collaborate with value chain partners now is seen as the most important competency by respondents (51%), this will not be the most important in five years’ time. While technology will provide professionals with the data required to drive better value, this leaves them in a position to be more strategic, as well as focus on generating the talent.


Are you prepared for other changes?

The supply chain talent pool and skills required aren’t the only changes that are set to occur in the industry. The retail industry is set to see dramatic change as consumers push for greater customisation, brand transparency and entertainment.

To read more about these trends, download our free guide, Retail 2020: A future insight of trends that will affect facility and property management.

How will change in the retail industry affect you in 2020? Download report

Tags: retail
Best practice guide to supply chain compliance now available as a free download.