Welcome back to another installment of Whitepaper Wednesday here on the Purchasing Certification Blog. Today, I’ll be reviewing a whitepaper called “Critical Issues and Initiatives Facing Supply Chain Professionals” from Sourcing Interest Group and available through Supply Chain Management Review.

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This whitepaper reveals supply chain professionals’ opinions on various topics as gathered during a recent survey. It starts out with the top supply chain issues and here are the top five:

  1. Cost of materials/services
  2. Quality of materials/services
  3. Availability of materials/services
  4. Transportation costs
  5. Long lead times

The whitepaper also reveals something that I’ve observed myself: “green” initiatives are not as high of a supply chain priority as one may think judging from all of the media and marketing attention given to green practices. The whitepaper says “green issues, at present, are not a main concern among supply chain professionals and rank low on the list of issues critical to supply chain operations. While there has been much hype over the adoption of environmental sustainability practices, the greening of the supply chain, to date, is not a priority.”

The whitepaper goes on to list the top three supply chain initiatives:

  1. Total cost of ownership assessments
  2. Global sourcing
  3. Low cost near sourcing

To me, the most interesting part of the whitepaper revolved around the topic of the supply chain labor market. The whitepaper reveals that “While one out of three executives are very satisfi ed with the available talent, the majority are only somewhat satisfied with the crop of existing job candidates. And, it remains unsettling that the pool of skilled candidates does not seem to be improving. The majority of hiring managers contend that their ability to find and hire qualified applicants has become increasingly difficult or has changed very little over the last few years.”

The whitepaper goes on to share an opinion on the fertility of the supply chain and purchasing job market and also features a section on the supply chain areas that companies are investing in. This whitepaper packs a lot of interesting details into its mere seven pages (my type of whitepaper), so it’s worth checking out. You can download a copy by clicking here (registration required).

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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