In a sluggish economy with growing unemployment and deficits run rampant, to read some good news is a breath of fresh air.
In an article published May 1st, 2014, Anne Fisher at Fortune reports that between now and 2018, as many as 1.4 million new workers will be hired in the logistics and supply chain industries. If you're curious where she gets that figure, it's right here on page 19 of the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics. I'm not exactly sure how she got to 1.4 million in four years from the 270,000 per year figure (270,000 * 4 = 1,080,000), but the projection is significant regardless of precision.
The article describes in detail how little is actually understood about the industry by the typical college graduate and the public writ large. I'll admit that before I met Dave Schneider, my understanding of logistics was limited to trucks, trains, container ships, and warehouses. That is to say, I knew stuff needed to be transported and I knew it needed to be stored, but that's about it.
Ms. Fisher's article is written with job seekers in mind. They may not have even heard of "logistics" as its own industry, and if they have, they may not realize that there's a lot more to it than just forklifts and delivery drivers. As any of our readers know, there is tremendous complexity and the industry as a whole offers fascinating challenges which require highly creative solutions and a lot of hard work. George Prest of MHI is 100% correct in his use of Amazon's two-day shipping as a prime example. How is it possible to get just about any consumer product delivered to just about any address in the continental U.S. in two days? When you stop and think about the "How" of that, it's really quite intriguing.
I'm grateful for Ms. Fisher's effort in getting the word out, but where the article doesn't go is somewhere it didn't need to... "Why?" Why is the industry growing so quickly? Why will so much talent be needed in coming years?
This question is germane not only to those seeking employment, but those of us Practitioners already in the thick of it who need to prepare for the future. The simple answer to "Why?" is that as technology advances, so, too, do the demands of the marketplace for more and better services. Take a look at this slide from Dave's webcast...
I can say without exaggeration that as I listened to Dave talk about this slide while he performed a dress rehearsal of today's webcast, my mind was utterly blown. I don't want to steal the thunder from it, but I will say this: once I understood what is going on in that picture, I was thoroughly impressed that South Korea has these services available. I've come to expect rapid implementation and adoption of innovative technologies in that part of the world. What I didn't see coming, was this....
This technology has already landed on our shores.
At this point in our development as a civilization, it's easy to look back 20 years ago and say we live in different world today. The world 10 years from now will be a different one than this. It would seem that Moore's Law isn't limited to transistors.
With the accelerating pace of development, how can you keep up? By looking back and understanding the trends that carried us to today, factoring the trends that are affecting us now, and triangulating the future.
What are the trends we face today and will continue to affect business and commerce in the next ten years? Here's another slide from Dave's webcast:
So don't delay! Dave's free webcast starts at 2 PM EDT TODAY. Reserve your seat by clicking here: "Building Your Own Roadmap"
(If you can't attend at that time, no worries, sign up and they will email you a link to the recording)