How Millennials are Poised to Change the Supply Chain Industry

Supply Chain Industry

Millennials are Poised to Change the Supply Chain Industry

This is part two in a two-part series examining the role of Millennials in the supply chain industry. Part one highlights strategies for attracting and retaining top Millennial talent.   

With supply chain industry leaders lamenting a growing talent gap, tapping the Millennial generation may be key to filling that gap. But how, exactly? A closer look at the generational characteristics emerging from the influence of digital technology and pervasive interconnectedness allows us to draw inferences about the potential Millennial contributions to the supply chain industry.

Here are four areas where Millennials are poised to change the supply chain industry.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT), loosely defined as the growing and pervasive use of interconnected devices, is rising concurrently with Millennials entering the workforce. Born and raised during the digital revolution, they’re accustomed to products and processes that are highly integrated and interconnected. Supply chain companies should tap Millennials to leverage their unique perspective by engaging them in creative and strategic thinking about optimizing operational processes using interconnected devices, sensors, and tracking tools and soliciting ideas to grow revenue through the production of devices.

Marketing and Sales Approaches

Targeted for advertisements from an earlier age than their parents and grandparents, Millennials have been desensitized to overt branding messages. Instead, they respond to more organic marketing and sales approaches – strategies that can be expected to carry over into their work. Further, following current trends that deploy digital and social media, Millennials will seek to shift sales and marketing activities online to develop more meaningful, solutions-based relationships with buyers.

Global Partnerships

Ubiquitous and immediate virtual access to resources, information, networks, and people make Millennials the most interconnected generation. That unencumbered access, coupled with a tendency to favor collaborative decision-making in their work, creates opportunities for global work spaces and more complex industry partnerships – particularly relevant and significant advantages to companies within the supply chain industry.

Big Data

Similar to the way Millennials relate to the Internet of Things, so too will big data emerge as a tool Millennials will use to transform the supply chain industry. Their digital confidence and understanding of the types of information and data being collected and analyzed by companies will lead to gains in supply chain operational efficiency as Millennials seek to analyze robust data and apply their findings in practical ways.

With Millennials positioned to outnumber Baby Boomers in the workplace by 2020, shifts in ideas and processes are inevitable. What other supply chain elements do you see as ripe for transformation by Millennials?

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