Several supply chain management executives discussed how to find, acquire and retain top talent in a panel discussion at the 2016 Leadership in Supply Chain Management and Procurement Leadership Forum in New York on Nov. 16. The discussion, titled "Finding, Acquiring and Retaining Premium Supply Chain Talent," featured insights from:
Assistant Vice President, Head of Shipping & Logistics, Americas
Vice President, Sourcing and Development
Chief Procurement Officer
Head of GBS
Marsh & McLennan Companies
Senior Vice President, CBS and Supply Chain
The panelists explored several supply chain management topics during the discussion, including:
1. Best Practices for Integrating Supply Chain Talent
Adding supply chain talent represents one piece of the supply chain management and procurement puzzle, as this talent must be integrated into an organization to ensure it can deliver immediate and long-lasting results.
Natarajan pointed out understanding the talent that is available and tailoring an organization's efforts to connect with this talent is key.
Today, supply chain management requires the use of state-of-the-art technology and tools. But organizations must find supply chain talent that can adapt to challenging situations and is ready and willing to learn consistently. By doing so, an organization will be better equipped to achieve its short- and long-term goals than its rivals.
"The knowledge that you have today is far less important in comparison to your ability to learn new stuff," Natarajan said. "The world around us is changing quite rapidly. … Your ability to learn about how your firm makes money and the technologies that are there will become increasingly important."
2. How to Use Internal and External Resources to Find Talent
In many instances, organizations are able to find and grow talent from within their workforce. Doing so may prove to be difficult, however, without a successful culture.
"The knowledge that you have today is far less important in comparison to your ability to learn new stuff."
Wittig pointed out his organization prioritizes culture in its day-to-day efforts. He said this enables his company to establish realistic expectations for its workforce and find and retain talent who can help the business drive ongoing revenue growth. Also, Wittig noted his company is able to identify talent quickly and give its employees a clear-cut path to achieve their career goals.
"We're very inquisitive … and with our way of working, mistakes aren't tolerated a lot," Wittig stated. "If you have good inventory within the business in which you're working, you'll get a look. … If you have poor inventory, you're probably not going to get elevated."
Networking plays a key role in an organization's ability to attract external talent, and an organization that encourages its employees to network across multiple online platforms can boost its chances of finding external talent for years to come.
3. The Future of the Supply Chain Role
Although the supply chain represents a crucial function in organizations globally, supply chain professionals must understand that the role of the supply chain continues to evolve.
No longer can supply chain professionals operate in silos within their respective organizations. Instead, these professionals must be able to communicate effectively to highlight their value within their organizations and foster collaboration with multiple departments.
"We're trying to elevate the [supply chain] role to not just where we're transactional- or operational-focused," Cutrell noted. "There is a skill to that, to be able to convince someone to do something that they might otherwise not want to do. … We need to understand the other person's point of view and the other functional group's requirements and desired outcomes."
4. How to Integrate Talent into an Organization
Integrating talent throughout an organization may seem impossible, but a mentorship program may help streamline this process.
"We're trying to elevate the [supply chain] role to not just where we're transactional- or operational-focused."
Gundersen said her organization leverages a mentorship program that has proven to be successful because it allows new talent to collaborate with a long-time employee, which often helps a new worker feel at ease.
"We found [mentorship] as a practice really does invite people in. It allows them to meet folks quicker, and the impact has been [positive] for us," Gundersen stated.
5. The Importance of Continuing Education
An organization that gives its employees the ability to learn new skills could stand out from its rivals, and for good reason.
Ultimately, if an organization goes above and beyond the call of duty to provide continuing education to its workforce, it may be able to help employees build their skill sets and become valuable contributors over an extended period of time. This organization also can take a proactive approach to engage with workers and ensure these employees receive the support they deserve at all times.
"You have to support your team and you have to be tenacious," Natarajan stated.
Timothy Moul is the Assistant Vice President of Supply and Logistics for Sotheby’s Americas region and is based out of their corporate office in New York City. As the Head of Department, he manages the Shipping and Logistics team and their functions to ensure the effective and efficient end-to-end shipment of fine art and rarities to and from Sotheby’s on behalf of their global clientele in accordance with current laws and legislation.
Prior to his current role, Tim spent over 28 years serving in the United States Army as a Quartermaster (Logistics) Officer and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. During this career, he deployed and served all over the world and at all echelons where he provided logistic support from individual and unit levels to regional and theater levels. In addition to his military background, Tim holds a MBA degree as well as a BS in Finance.
Tim is married to Virginia (Scott) Moul for 25 years, and has two daughters and four sons. His wife is a 1987 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and his oldest daughter is currently attending the United States Air Force Academy’s Prep School (Class of 2021). Tim and his family currently live in West Orange, NJ.
*Sotheby’s was founded in 1744 and is the oldest company on the New York Stock Exchange. They have over 90 locations in 40 countries and conduct over 250 auctions each year in over 70 categories. Sotheby’s is one of the most trusted and well-known auction houses in the industry.
As Vice President of Strategic Sourcing and Development, Doug Cutrell leverages more than 20 years of experience in sourcing, contracting and supplier management to lead Randstad Sourceright’s Supplier Strategy team. In this capacity, he is responsible for expanding the company’s current capabilities in the areas of compliance, relationship management and supplier performance, optimizing the company’s supplier value to its clients. Cutrell joined Randstad Sourceright from Siemens, where he held the role of Director, Supply Chain Management, Services & Goods, supporting North and South America and leading temp labor, consulting, legal services, training, relocation and factory supply categories. Cutrell also worked for The Boeing Company, where he was responsible for proposal development and contract negotiation. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA in finance from Southern Illinois University.
Sheila Gundersen is the Managing Director of the Procurement and Sourcing Group which also includes Global Travel and ITAM (IT Asset Management). Sheila and her team work to partner with business leaders across the organization to develop the category sourcing strategies necessary to meet their organization’s needs. Sheila is a strategic sourcing and supply chain business leader with a proven track record of delivering incremental profitability and organizational improvement in Fortune 500 companies. She has extensive sourcing expertise across all categories as well as transformation experience helping to move companies from reactive to proactive management. Sheila is also a recognized leader in supply chain program management, risk management and supplier relationship management.
Prior to working with Moody’s Corporation, Sheila was a Managing Director leading the Global Sourcing Organization at BNY Mellon. Additionally, she was a Senior Director of Sourcing and lead the transformation and lean efforts at TIAA-CREF. She has successfully lead large transformations of supply chains, developed corporate wide supplier management/risk management programs and developed strong governance and relationships to institutionalize the proactive sourcing organization.
Before joining BNY Mellon Sheila worked for TIAA-CREF, Wells Fargo and AT&T.
Laks joined Marsh & McLennan in 2010 as the Chief Procurement Officer. His role was expanded in 2012 to head Global Business Services which includes the Sourcing/Procurement and the Real Estate/Facilities organizations. Laks' previous jobs were with TD Ameritrade where he was the Chief Procurement Officer and TD Bank where he led the US Sourcing Organization. Previously, he was a Principal Consultant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Supply Chain Strategy and also held program management and technical consultant positions at IBM and the ANZ Bank.
Laks holds an MBA in Operations and Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business where he was designated a Stern Scholar and an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering.