Hiring Advice; Professional Growth
Hiring Advice

How to Find Your Next Supply Chain Executive

Supply chain executives must be versatile and able to work across many different departments within the same organization to ensure supply chain functions are optimized and running properly.

The job of a supply chain executive requires a distinct set of skills, and therefore finding someone to fill this unique position isn’t easy. If your company is looking to fill the role of a supply chain executive, review the following considerations.

Process Versus Product

One of the predominant questions that comes up when organizations are seeking to hire a supply chain executive is if candidates ought to have experience in the same industry as the company. If you’re a business that produces and markets cosmetics, do you need someone with cosmetic industry experience? Or is it more important to find someone with exceptional supply chain-specific skills and experience?

This “product versus process” issue is not easily answered, and the best approach is to focus on your organization’s particular needs.

It is important to note that someone with industry-specific experience can offer the near-term boost of crucial knowledge on suppliers, regulatory challenges, logistics issues, and other industry-specific factors.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to identify a supply chain executive candidate with industry-specific skills and experience. In the end, you may have to try to find the talent that best fits your needs.

Promote from Within

Before you start looking outside your organization for the perfect supply chain executive, a critical first step is to determine if there is a purchasing, logistics, or other supply chain manager who is ready to move into upper management.

If you’re looking to hire the person who can best fit the needs of your organization, it sometimes means thinking outside the standard plug-and-play model. Those inside your organization who are ready to step up should be the first place to look when trying to fill a supply chain executive position.

Occasionally, a supply chain executive can be hired from other business departments, particularly finances. Financial executives may not have skills and experience that are specialized in the supply chain, but successful finance executives understand how to manage money. And at the end of the day, managing money is what the supply chain is truly all about.

Resources for Your Search

If you are going to look outside your organization, you should consider several supply chain specific resources. APICS is a primary association for supply chain management that ought to be No. 1 on your list. You can post your job to the APICS website, which has a global reach, or you can work with your local chapter.

Another approach is to research local organizations certifying for Six Sigma Green and Black Belts. Top supply chain professionals pursue these certifications, and they can be a large pool of upper-level supply chain talent.

We Can Connect Your Company to Executive-Level Talent

At ZDA, we have a vast network of supply chain talent, which includes a significant amount of executive-level talent. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your company find its next supply chain executive.

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