RATTLING SUPPLY CHAIN
Move with the times to work in this sector, Melanie Burgess reports
THE supply chain and logistics workforce is evolving with new technologies but this is not predicted to stop job growth. A Deakin University study, commissioned as part of a government Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities, imagines a future in which groceries are delivered by autonomously-driven mobile stores and mail is dropped off by drones.
Meanwhile, a Deloitte Access Economics report predicts increasing reliance on data-driven insights to improve supply chain efficiency and the implementation of sensor technology and the Internet of Things to assist with live tracking and monitoring.
Professor Booi Kam, program director of RMIT University’s Master of Supply Chain and Logistics Management, says new technologies are improving the sector.
“(There are) significant opportunities for applying data analytics to improve supply chain and logistics operations across functions such as demand forecasting, inventory management and supply chain visualisation,” he says.
Despite the fear that increased technology results in decreased staff, however, the Deloitte report forecasts an extra 16,000 supply chain and logistics workers will be needed in the five years to 2021-22.
This represents a 2.1 per cent average annual growth rate, which is stronger than the 1.5 per cent forecast for the overall workforce.
Deloitte partner David Rumbens says the evolution of supply chain is accelerated by consumer-driven change – moving away from traditional “bricks and mortar” retailers and towards online purchases.
“Supplying goods from the retailer to the consumer for online commerce involves different transport and logistics considerations to in-person purchases, such as requiring efficient delivery services and customer management processes,” Rumbens says
Deakin Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics director Dr Hermione Parsons says new talent and skills are desperately needed but, given the lack of women in the sector, it is only accessing 50 per cent of the talent.
Women interested in a career in this sector can learn more at Wayfinder: Supply Chain Careers for Women, a luncheon to be held in Adelaide on September 6.