Move with the times to work in this sec­tor, Me­lanie Burgess re­ports

NT News - - CAREERS -

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.


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