Pandemic spotlights scarcity of supply chain professionals

PHILIPPINES: The severe disruptions in supply chain networks brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic have highlighted the need for professionals in this space.

Despite the promises of a successful career, recruiters still find themselves hard-pressed to fill the vacancies. They say there is a limited local talent pool of people who can navigate the uncertainties and ever-changing environment, while reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

Few universities in the Philippines offer targeted supply chain programs. Data from the Commission on Higher Education revealed that dedicated supply chain courses attracted only 162 students in the 2019 academic year. That compares to the 826,494 total student population enrolled in the business discipline that year.

The situation is further exacerbated by inadequate collaboration between industry and the universities. Prior to the pandemic, supply chain functions such as logistics, procurement and operations, were viewed by many in the corporate world as mere support departments, rather than strategic drivers of business.

However, companies that did a 2020 lookback have learned their lessons. A 2021 PricewaterhouseCoopers survey confirmed that 84% of chief operating officers are planning to increase long-term investment in supply chain talent development over the year ahead.

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