2019 job trends in supply chain and logistics will continue to be shaped by the impact of Amazon in Australia, global trade discussions and technology advancements.
Opportunity for entry-level job seekers and career advancement remain exciting. There are over 2 million companies in Australia, and more than 400,000 of them are small and medium-sized businesses that have supply chain and logistics functions.
The five most significant Australian supply chain and logistics job trends in 2019 are:
1. International Job Market Trends
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in logistics are estimated to grow by 26% between 2010 and 2020.
A DHL report: The Supply Chain Talent Shortage: From Gap to Crisis, states that ‘the ideal employee has both tactical/operational expertise and professional competencies such as analytical skills, but 58 per cent of companies say this combination is hard to find. Additionally, tomorrow’s talent must excel at leadership, strategic thinking, innovation and high-level analytic and technological capabilities.’
In response, USA Supply Chain Advocate and lecturer Rex Magadla, writing for APICS Magazine says this view is too idealistic. He states, ‘Rather, the expectation should be that new hires have the business acumen and work ethic to develop these aptitudes and, consequently, learn the nuances of the supply chain industry as they advance in their careers. Companies must train and invest in undeveloped employees. That’s the only way for young professionals to become supply chain professionals.’
With recruitment and retention costs continuing to impact supply chain and logistics, combined with rising wages, investing in the education and development of young recruits makes good business sense. Most Australian businesses require staff to have or obtain a Diploma of Logistics (TLI50415).
2. Increasing Growth in Specialist Positions
The industry trend is towards specialist over generalist needs. Below are key supply chain positions with scope for advancement:
- Distribution Managers – plan the transportation, storage and distribution of products, while organising IT systems, negotiating contracts and managing staff.
- Logistics Planners – strategise the entire life cycle of a product, including shipping and receiving goods.
- Supply Chain Engineers – optimise the supply chain by finding new ways to improve the production and transportation of products while maintaining relationships with vendors and distributors.
- Quality Management – manage and meet products standards and expectation
- Buyers/Purchasing Agents – evaluate, research, negotiate and select products that a company will sell, balancing budgets with emerging market trends.
3. Accelerated Growth of Ecommerce and Online Shopping
The arrival of Amazon in Australia has created large waves in the logistics sector. It’s estimated that Australians spend 8 of every 100 of their retail dollars online. Overall, the macro trend of Australians wanting the convenience of online shopping over the bustle of retail will continue to grow.
Areas of entry-level job opportunity with higher salaries exist for:
- Transport drivers – until driverless trucks become a widespread reality, there is an urgent shortage of drivers to fulfil delivery demands.
- Warehouse Labour – many warehouses cannot yet invest in full robot automation, and the retooling required. Jobs exist for motivated employees with wages rising with demand.
Where robots or collaborative warehouse robots (cobots) do exist, they serve to assist with automation solutions and add stability to staffing. Many businesses are seeing that automation increases workforce stability, job satisfaction and productivity while reducing recruitment needs – a big win/win for the staff and management.
4. Impacts on Global Supply Chains
2019 will see the continued impacts of Brexit, the unresolved USA/China trade agreements, and pending USA economic sanctions with Iran affecting global supply chains and possibly driving up the price of oil.
Positions exist at the upper management levels for candidates experienced in change management, negotiation and long-term strategic thinking.
5. Understanding the Digital Supply Chain
Supply chain professionals need to be informed about trends in the digital supply chain. Digital supply chain solutions combine software, communications and automation to meet digital criteria. Solutions at the ‘digital edge’ are:
- Online apps that manage stocks shipments and give real-time data to customers.
- IoT data used to streamline operations within warehouses. Warehouse automation providers develop Warehouse Executions Systems (WES), platforms that allow warehouses to operate with agility to fulfil fast delivery expectations. WES sit between emerging Warehouse Control Systems and legacy Warehouse Management Systems to enable faster, responsive automated and manual process application.
- A Digital Control Tower concept uses supply chain visibility, relevant data (e.g.: social, weather, news feeds) and IoT data (e.g.: GPS fleet analytics), to provide insights into the end-to-end supply chain, then leverage Machine Learning and AI technology to implement actions.
- Machine Learning capabilities that take large amounts of data and enhance systems, planning and efficiencies.
- Using Blockchain technology to improve security and achieve new levels of visibility
Developing competencies and experience with the digital supply chain will be an attractive asset on your CV and improve your career longevity.
2019 Australian job trends remain positive
Positions in supply chain and logistics will continue to grow in 2019.
Supply Chain Position Stats:
Seek is advertising over 2,000 jobs, and Adzuna has over 1200 jobs in the supply chain industry across Australia with an average salary of $98,000. Categories include Logistics/Warehouse, Sales, Accounting/Finance, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Admin, IT, Construction and Retail.
Woolworths, GrainCorp, ANZ, KMPG and Komatsu are currently experiencing the greatest shortage.
Logistics Position Stats:
Jobs in logistics exceed 8,000 on Seek and 3,000 on Adzuna, with an average salary of $75,700. Currently, most of these are full-time with a mix of permanent and contract positions.
Demand is from HealthShare NSW, NSW Health, City Beach, Woolworths, APS, and Compass Group. 7% of positions available exceed the average salary.