Welcome to supply chain planning 2023: Lights, camera, action!
⏱️ 4-min read
Whether it is a knee-jerk reaction to the pandemic or just the result of reaching the tipping point of next-generation thinking, professionals are now asking deeper questions about the added-value of their jobs and contributions. How they spend their working hours is a big portion of that reflection. It has become increasingly important to find purpose in our work.
This is particularly true for the younger generation of employees who now make up 13% of the workforce. Colloquially known as Gen Z, Generation Z is defined as the demographic group born in the late 1990s to early 2010s. They are expected to make up one-third of the workforce by the end of this decade. They are ambitious, brimming with opinions and ideas, and care about different things than those who have come before them.
You may argue that our own forefathers said the same thing; however the accelerated pace of technological change has made the generational divide more marked. This group are entering the workforce with a natural appreciation of rapidly advancing technologies and an innate expectation to be able to put them to good use. In an overheated supply chain recruitment market, with high costs of onboarding and knowledge drain, managing the needs of these supply chain professionals is key to business success.
Closing the gap of supply chain professionals
A key characteristic of Gen Z is that they are noticeably more insistent on protecting their own boundaries and achieving alignment between their work life and their own value system. This can feel alien to previous generations. Like any good S&OP/IBP cycle, achieving success starts with figuring out how to close the gap.
Left unaddressed, Gen Z’s protection of their boundaries and defense of their moral code can quickly descend into a frustrated work environment and a speedier tendency to seek alternative employment. Showing your willingness to invest in upskilling and to adopt innovative practices to close the gap, is essential to keep young talent on board and engaged.
Define excellent performance
To manage Gen Z supply chain professionals, we must recognize their individual talents and respond to their needs. They are even more concerned with academic performance and job prospects than previous generations. They seek clarity on what to prioritize to deliver excellent performance.
To achieve maximum results, we need to acknowledge that their life programming has resulted in the expectation of a high degree of personal choice. To respect this, but still achieve the desired progress, we must offer:
- A clearly articulated end goal
- A list of any hard constraints to be observed en route, and
- A high level of freedom in how to get there
In granting this freedom, we must also realize that the responsibility to deliver on those expectations can feel like a heavy weight to a less experienced employee. Dashboarding to facilitate prioritization setting and to act as a safety net, for both parties, can help.
Clarify where to focus
As the only generation in our workforce to grow up in a social-media-fed world, where new stimulus comes every 10 seconds, you could be forgiven for thinking that Gen Z would be adept at handling a higher-paced environment.
However, the sheer volume of data available with limited time to process it, exacerbates pressure during a demand planning cycle. The responsibility to make intelligent decisions, against the backdrop of limited capability building and an abundance of data to wade through, introduces a high risk of data paralysis or burnout.
Executing non-core processes such as slogging through masses of data to support decision-making is unattractive work for a typical Gen Zer. They are digital natives, so they know that functionality such as cognitive planning and planning parameter automation exist, which could be doing a lot of this work, and so feel denigrated to have to manually do such work, time and time again. They would much prefer to focus on the value-added activities that rely on the human brain, such as critical decision-making or driving new product adoption.
Removing the grunt work, and supporting Gen Z with understanding your business priorities and providing clarity on where to focus is the number one gift you can give them in this volatile world. At EyeOn Planning Services we offer just that.
Accessible data science and capability building
At EyeOn we have developed our own Honeycomb platform, harnessing the power of cutting-edge data science techniques and putting them to work for our customers modelling industry best practices gathered from years of experience in multiple domains.
Within EyeOn Planning Services, our experts leverage this platform to execute advanced analytics for your critical planning processes, while supporting capability building and continuous improvement efforts. We highlight top priorities for attention in the subsequent planning cycle and offer reliable, secure, affordable services to do the data crunching for your team. Years of happy customers have reported higher forecast accuracy, an unbiased forecast, optimized inventory levels and higher customer service.
Our team of talented Planning Service Experts finds their purpose in delivering time-sensitive value adding insights and in driving years ahead innovation in our field.
By outsourcing to the experts, you are future-proofing your processes and relieving your own team of duties that cost them energy. That time and energy can be put to much better use, focusing on more purposeful work and boosting key value drivers for your business, such as new product introductions or promotions.
Remember to keep an eye on this page where we will address further supply chain challenges you will be facing this year.