Almost half of supply chain managers lack critical skills – CIPS

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Almost half of UK supply chain managers lack the skills necessary to do their jobs, a survey by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply has revealed.

Not only that, 60 per cent of the 460 supply chain professionals surveyed said they felt the profession is not respected within their business.

In total 45 per cent said their employer has not equipped them with requisite training.

The survey found that a core of insufficiently trained supply chain managers are failing to prevent malpractice, investigate the origin of their raw materials or follow best practice.

CIPS chief David Noble said: “These new figures show that our tentative recovery is being undermined by a lack of skills. Without them, we risk building our growth on human rights abuses and malpractice abroad. Supply chain professionals are doing the best they can with insufficient training but as the threats to British supply chains continue to evolve, so skills must be continuously renewed to keep up.

“You wouldn’t trust an under skilled surgeon using out-dated equipment to operate, but that is often what is happening in the management of our supply chains.”

Some 79 per cent of those who consider themselves as inadequately trained supply chain professionals admit that there could be undetected malpractice in their supply chain with only 16 per cent able to see the entire length of their supply chain.

In addition, adequately trained supply chain managers are 50 per cent more likely to be carrying out yearly supplier audits – an important way to prevent disruptions and spot fraud.

The survey also revealed that UK supply chain managers see ethical considerations as the most important responsibility of the profession. The majority (51 per cent) say that treating human beings fairly at all levels of the supply chain is one of the top three aims of a supply chain professional, followed by meeting regulatory requirements (46 per cent) and helping to grow their business (44 per cent).

Supply chain managers are also decreasingly concerned with driving down supplier costs. Only 7 per cent in the survey were motivated by driving a hard bargain, with 48 per cent motivated by the task of contributing to business growth.

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