In the event of AUTOMOTIVE LOGISTICS SOUTH AMERICA 2018 in São Paulo, Namoa Digital was pleased to be the moderator of the "Think Tank: Skills, Talent and Recruitment" with several representatives from the Supply Chain area of OEM’s and TIER1 suppliers.
by Stephan Gruner with the support of Andre Cardoso on 06.12.2018
Expectations about the future
In the next five to ten years, the traditional model of the Automotive Industry will undergo a process of transformation never seen before.
Disruptive areas such as customer expectations, new technologies, new market entrants, and redefining collaborative concepts will greatly influence Supply Chain and Logistics modelling and operations. Most automakers have upgraded their vision and put several projects into practice in new segments - from car sharing, urban mobility applications and even participation in fast-food chains.
But what will this transformation mean for the day-to-day of teams in logistics operations, demand planning, transportation, etc.? How can each professional prepare for the new challenges? How can different generations cooperate in this process?
Here are the technical and behavioural aspects discussed for this change process:
Importance of an end-to-end vision
Global knowledge is essential to successfully manage a Supply Chain, mainly due to the complexity of this area. Understanding the impact of each action (which occurs at a given stage in a given process) is fundamental. Even the most "harmless" actions can compromise the level of services for the end customer or even the performance of the process as a whole.
Getting this global vision has become even more challenging with business segmentation. The current deficiency in relation to this general knowledge can, however, be corrected by stimulating best practices in the teams and by the continuous development of this skill by each professional.
Specialization in Efficiency and Automation
Opportunities previously impossible due to technical or cost constraints have become feasible thanks to new technologies. For this reason, to achieve the desired transformation through cooperation with technology companies, it becomes increasingly important for professional to specialize in solutions for efficiency and automation.
This goal requires the combination of a detailed knowledge of operational and administrative processes with a broad vision of the technologies applicable to each business - for this it is necessary to know how to filter the various available technology options.
Management in Strategy and Projects
A strategic vision aligned with the ability to feed a pipeline of digitalization projects for an organization is still somewhat rare to observe. In addition to having in-depth knowledge about the processes and all internal and external interfaces of the company, it is necessary for managers to be able to translate all this complexity into the execution level.
The decision driver on what is a priority among digitalization projects should be an overall analysis of not only the benefits of each project, but also how each of them contributes to the organization achieving its strategic vision in the short, medium and long term. Many projects could have an insufficient ROI when considered individually, but they are essential if the long-term strategy is to be achieved.
The Supply Chain area is usually the largest consumer of IT solutions. Professionals with knowledge in data analytics, machine learning, etc., allied to knowledge in Supply Chain will make a decisive contribution to this business - and this is an area with a lot of labour shortage.
Clarity for the Individual
In addition to arousing curiosity about the new, it is undeniable that digital transformation has awakened in many people insecurity about the future. It is necessary to demystify the idea that this vision will only pave the way for artificial intelligence and will only give space to few professionals. What is expected in practice in the short, medium and long term? In this event, it was clear that the volume of projects is really large and that these are still in the initial stage - in several projects it was mentioned that in most cases there is still a lack of standardization of the Database. But to seek these job opportunities it is essential that everyone is open to developing their skills and can understand their role in this process of transformation.
This was the most cited item in the behavioural area. Working aligned with purpose has become extremely important for talent retention and motivation for teams in companies. In addition to financial compensation, work must be meaningful.
Especially the new generations actively seek the understanding of purpose. In traditional and still very hierarchical environments there is a difficulty in systematizing this concept. Mainstreaming and as well as the implementation of restructuring processes without clear understanding of the benefits end up causing an opposite effect. On the other hand, an adequate methodology of project implementation with the measurement of results in smaller cycles can bring a greater identification, since it exposes the benefits generated and thus provides the perception about the meaning of that work to reach the vision.
Communication about the roadmap for each digitalization project needs to be efficient so that participants understand what the activities are and what the role of each is. Expectations are very individual - and how do we deal with increasingly segmented structures with professionals from different generations? The ability to communicate well with different target audiences will be a major differential within an organization.
Digitization needs creative people who want to reinvent themselves. Design thinking tools or design sprints are some examples of encouragement. An interesting example cited was that of two young professionals from a TIER1 who learned a new language through a free application, while others said they did not have money for a course. The possibilities have increased, but you have to have your own initiative!
From the experience of the present, the newly trained professionals come to the companies without any technical knowledge in the areas of Supply-Chain-Management and Logistics. It was unanimous to note that, in educational institutions, the preparation of professionals for this segment is insufficient. Consequently, in addition to reinforcing this knowledge in current higher level courses, there is a lot of room for creating technical courses focused on the training of these professionals. Today, companies have no choice but to encourage the development of professionals in a more individualized way, as well as to implement new tools and work models so that knowledge spreads throughout the organization - and perhaps this is one of the most important tasks for the current managers. Don't you feel motivated for a new challenge by having the right skills?
Namoa Digital thanks a lot the organization of Automotive Logistics and specially Christopher Ludwig, Kate Rooney and Louis Yiakoumi for the opportunity!
Please find here the complete report: https://automotivelogistics.media/events/south-america/2018-2/149618-2