Monday 26th Sep 2016 - Logistics Manager

Look for skills over experience, says Tesco forecaster

Tesco supply chain forecaster Michael Moss has called on logistics firms to look further afield when recruiting new staff if they wish to compete at the highest level.

Too much emphasis is given on “supply chain experience” among recruiters, said Moss, when the better proposition may come from an outside field.

Moss was speaking at this year’s Logistics Manager Technology Showcase; his comments come as the industry is under stress from driver shortages.

Moss said that firms needed to pull away from thinking specifically about job titles, and rather need look towards the attributes required.

“Job adverts need to emphasise excellence and soft skills,” he said. “Not just supply chain experience.”

Earlier this month the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport said that over 70 per cent of logistics operators were experiencing a driver shortage. While the Freight Transport Association has said that it backs the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) in encouraging service personnel to take up careers in logistics.

Speaking candidly about his own entry into Tesco, Moss said that he had no idea it was Tesco he was applying for, having been headhunted while working for a tech start-up. He said that he had never considered moving into retail.

Moss has continued this approach to building a stronger supply chain team, and he noted several case studies displaying the success Tesco has had with it.

“Each year, Tesco prints 1.2bn reduction labels, partially as the result of incorrect forecasts,” he said. “So we sought someone to help improve our forecasting capacity. Rather than hiring direct from a supply chain background, we hired someone whose experience had been in the racing car sector.”

This employee’s background provided the attributes for creation of better forecasting systems, which has resulted in the retailer having to reduce fewer items per year.