How do you attract today’s 80 million Millennials (born ~1982-2002) to careers in supply chain? As reported in a recent post by Dan Dershem on LogsticsViewpoints.com, there are “dwindling numbers of younger professionals” coming in to the field. Dershem strongly suggests luring this talent pool with the right technology to do their jobs — specifically SaaS-based systems.
SaaS, short for Software as a Service, essentially enables one to use software, while the provider maintains the hardware, performs upgrades, backs up the data… and keeps the software running (learn more here).
Millennials — also known as Generation Y — have grown up immersed in technology and it is second nature to them. Supply chain systems that are SaaS-based are a natural fit. According to Dershem:
“For example, most VPs of Supply Chain know that their [trade management system] needs to have a high uptime, but Millennials know that installed and hosted software is challenging when it comes to keeping things up and running. Crashes, slow loading times, or constant upgrades are not the way to win over this group. Instead, SaaS-based, web-enabled solutions that can be accessed from anywhere will provide Millennials with the right technology to keep your business moving.”
Other benefits of SaaS-based systems appeal to Millennials:
Conducting business with service providers across the globe, and leveraging data in the cloud to evaluate performance of those providers
Providing real-time visibility to transactions and communications with business partners
Enabling simplified collarboration with vendors, carriers and shippers via online networks
US Customs has announced that the 2013 East Coast Trade Symposium will be held on October 24 – 25, 2013 at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. This year’s theme is “Increasing Economic Competitiveness Through Global Partnerships and Innovation.”
Anticipating the mega-ships that will traverse the Panama Canal when its expansion project is complete, the Port of Baltimore has already spent millions on enormous cranes that can service those vessels. Moreover, Vice President Joe Biden just announced a federal grant of $10 million for “widening and straightening the shipping channels into the port.”
Outside of deeper channels and bigger cranes, ports will have to consider other improvements in port infrastructure, such as on-dock rail service to quickly move containers, and labor — ensuring that there are enough longshoremen to unload the larger vessels, and sufficient harbor pilots (and tugs) to guide the ships.
In the August 2013 print edition of American Shipper, the magazine highlighted its Import Operations and Compliance Benchmark Study which was released in May. In particular, the focus was on the results of one part of the study — a survey of over 100 shippers on the effectiveness of US Customs’ C-TPAT and ISA programs.
Unfortunately, the results were not particularly positive.
As for C-TPAT:
11% – Receiving all promised benefits of C-TPAT
29% – Receiving some, but not all, of the expected benefits of C-TPAT
7% – Receiving less than expected benefits of C-TPAT
20% – Receiving no benefit from C-TPAT
33% – Uncertain if C-TPAT is effective
As for ISA, “a third of respondents say they derive no benefit from the program, and nearly one half say they are uncertain of its benefits.”
The study is available here (registration required).