People still say that the 20th century is the century of the financial industry, but in the 21st century, that no longer seems to be the case with the emergence of the pandemic.
The prestigious news site Bloomberg Businessweek recently made a comment that made many people nod. It is about which industry will replace the financial industry as the “brightest star” in the world economic sky? The answer is industry: Supply Chain Management.
The reason why the “balance” of the importance of this industry suddenly reversed is from the time of the emergence of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. When the epidemic broke out, people in many countries around the world had to fall short of the most daily necessities that they had dreamed of before, and they did not think they would be able to “run out of stock”.
However, when witnessing empty shelves of toilet paper on supermarket shelves or crowds scrambling to buy masks, sanitizers, oxygen ventilators, etc., in serious epidemic areas, suddenly many people must admit that: “The world has changed”.
In March 2021, the historic stranding of the Ever Given cargo “supership” in the Suez Canal caused a daily flow of $ 9.6 billion, including a variety of essential goods to supply to many countries. . Many seaports in China are paralyzed, and reports of a supply chain affected by the pandemic and the amount of cargo dwindling due to the “traffic jam” continue to thicken every day. At that time, the experts had to say: These are the events that destroy the “Instant Production System” (JIT) (or simply a management strategy that arranges raw material orders from suppliers directly with production schedules).
After the incident, the “super giants” in the retail industry such as Walmart and Home Depot had to charter their own package of freight trains to avoid shortages of goods. The movement, storage and coordination of the most essential items, which were thought to “smoothly” reach the shelves, suddenly became of special interest, because it is not clear when the epidemic will be controlled. and when will Covid-19 break out or an accident like Ever Given will happen again and push the supply chain once again into a “stuck position”.
It was from that point on that companies began to turn their attention to a workforce with supply chain expertise, a profession that didn’t get much attention until before the pandemic hit and spread everywhere. The importance of this profession and the recommendation from experts is so strong that many prestigious business schools around the world have had to adjust their curricula in supply chain specialization. All are aimed at creating a future generation of the most elite supply chain managers, ready for crises that may come at any time.
Professor Srikant Datar – Dean of Harvard Business School, the world’s most prestigious school, said: “For many years, we have always underestimated logistics. However, the pandemic has forced us to think seriously. about this”.
Professor Hitendra Chaturvedi (Supply Chain Management major at WP Carey Business School – Arizona State University, admits that Logictic industry has “sleeped off” after many years of stability and no significant crisis.
Hyun-Soo Ahn, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, said that Covid-19 has shown the weaknesses of the “Instant Production System” when companies had previously given too much priority to the issue of cost reduction. . Port accidents and truck shortages immediately caused chaos in already overstretched supply chains, driving up grocery prices due to lack of supply, putting pressure on consumers. distribution and retail industry.
All of the above reasons have made the Chain Management major at universities strongly rise into one of the top “priority for development” majors, both in terms of training quality and the number of registered students. sign. Business schools changed their curricula and focused more on training in “critical” subjects including: risk reduction, data analysis and production re-measurement, and supply chain restoration, in addition to those subjects. directly related as communication, crisis handling.
Kevin Linderman, president of Smeal’s Department of Information Systems and Supply Chains, said that this academic year 2021, more than 400 undergraduate graduates have expressed their intention to major in supply chain management. , an increase of 270 people over the previous year.
Job opportunities with attractive salaries for graduates in supply chain management and related fields are also very wide when there will be about 50 companies, including large corporations like Honda. , Honeywell, Procter & Gamble… also plan to be there to find talent at Georgia Tech (Supply Chain Career Fair) in September.
Experts admit that the problem of supply chain continuity will now delve into the downsides of focusing on “sourcing” too much from China or any other country. At the same time, large corporations will increase the development of new technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence that can play a role in production and inventory decisions.
Besides, increasing awareness for leading companies to understand that logistics will no longer be just an expense but it will actually create value when done well. The top executives from some of the world’s biggest corporations, like Apple’s Tim Cook and General Motors’ Mary Barra, all had complex supply chains runs before holding their current positions.
According to MIT expert Jarrod Goentzel: “Now, if any company says that they know their supply chain well, they are lying. The time has come for the supply industry experts. The 20th century is like that. The 21st century will be for supply chain management”, the expert believes that supply chain professionals will eventually be certified, “a must” in every business such as is an accountant and will become a “hot” profession in the future.
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