Achieving Supply Chain Sustainability Through Effective Talent Management Strategies

Achieving Supply Chain Sustainability Through Effective Talent Management Strategies

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-7664-2.ch028
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Talent management plays an important role in managing various supply chain activities effectively. However, recent studies found that there is a shortage of relevant people in this area. This is attributed to a lack of appropriate and long-term talent management strategies with respect to developing and retaining the right abilities and skills in supply chain function. Specific human resources strategies focusing on supply chain needs and requirements are not developed by the majority of business organizations. Additionally, there is a dearth of research focused on this function. Considering this gap, this chapter focuses on identifying the key supply chain positions, processes/activities, and the relevant skills to manage talent at various levels of the supply chain. This kind of mapping would immensely benefit practitioners and researchers in redesigning their talent management strategies for effective management of the supply chain.
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The supply chain sustainability through a strategic transformation will ultimately fall on the effective management of talent at different positions of Supply Chain Management (SCM) and this transformation would build circular economy. Talen management strategies in supply chain would enable the development of circular economy. Retention and development of employees in functional area of supply chain is found to improve the management of its processes Talent is the core element of an enterprise’s Supply Chain (SC) competitiveness, and it is of profound significance to the realization of the company’s strategic goals and sustainable development. But in the actual operation process, most companies cannot find existing talents when the demand for talents arises. Traditional talent management in SC mostly separates the different work modules of talent management and cannot guarantee that companies can obtain a matching and continuous supply of talents for managing their supply chains. SCM has realized the effective integration of various activities in the supply chain with system and process ideas and has grown up to be a strategic competitive resource for enterprises (Han J., 2022).

Supply chain is the basis of industrial competitiveness and industrial economic security, and also the critical field of international industrial competition. In recent years, developed economies such as the United States, Europe and Japan have attached great importance to the security of global supply chain by upgrading the global supply chain to a national level strategy. Logistics, a part of SCM is used to maximize customer value and achieve sustainable competitive advantage through effective movement and storage of related goods and information from origin to destination (Gopal and Thakkar, 2016). Globalization, dynamic environment, technological innovation and the increasing role of the logistics firms’ strategic planning intensify the need for skilled supply chain (SC) experts who can manage the SC’s multiple activities effectively through statistical analysis and engage in fact-based decision-making. Skills and abilities of employees for various supply chain positions are found to be knowledge of logistics management, information decision-making ability, resource integration ability, resource collaboration ability, data process ability, foreign language ability and quality requirement. In addition to the above, skills such as communication skills, compressive capacity, positive and optimistic mindset, ability to work in teams, endurance and diligence, executive force, expressive ability, innovation ability, and organization skills are found to be highly needed ones (Huang et al., 2021). Development of these skills and abilities among the employees in supply chain management function through effective talent management strategies is found to improve the organization’s performance, leading to the sustainability. SC managers also need a balanced knowledge of hard (analytical and technical) and soft (human and behavioral) skills to accomplish seamless integration in the current global and competitive business environment. Furthermore, SC managers must be capable of multi-tasking and have analytical proficiency for coordination with different network partners. However, recent prescriptions for achieving better coordination contend that acquiring and developing the best SCM talent is the first phase of execution of the SC transformation strategy. Further, to minimize the talent shortfall, logistics experts suggest that SCM managers must go through training and development (T&D) processes for acquiring the necessary skills and gain competitive competencies to manage increasingly complex and dynamic SC processes (Barnes and Liao, 2012).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Talent Retention Strategies: A talent retention strategy is a plan that organizations create and use to reduce employee turnover, prevent attrition, increase retention, and foster employee engagement.

Supply Chain Management: Supply Chain Management (SCM) is management of the flow of goods, data, and finances related to a product or service, from the procurement of raw materials to the delivery of the product at its final destination.

Supply Chain Sustainability: Supply chain sustainability refers to companies’ efforts to consider the environmental and human impact of their products’ journey through the supply chain, from raw materials sourcing to production, storage, delivery and every transportation link in between. The goal is to minimize environmental harm from factors like energy usage, water consumption and waste production while having a positive impact on the people and communities in and around their operations.

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