Maintenance supply chain teams all over the world have a problem.
For every graduate with supply chain “skills,” there are six positions to be filled.
And it’s only going to get worse.
It’s expected to increase to nine to one soon.
If you rely on purchasing high-value or large volumes of anything, this is a troubling statistic.
Some studies assert that 25 to 33 percent of the current supply chain workforce is at or beyond retirement age, and the backfill pipeline is inadequate to satisfy replenishment demand.
It’s not just retirements and an increase in talent need. There’s much more to this talent shortage story.
One of the most significant factors impacting the supply chain talent shortage in aircraft maintenance is changing job requirements.
No longer is it good enough to send out mass RFQs, purchase the cheapest priced component, ship material from all over the world, and watch the inventory age as it gets pushed off as a finance team problem.
Operations are looking to decrease total costs, increase efficiency, and rely on technology to do the predicting and routine administrative tasks.
This changes the supply chain model for many operations.
You don’t have the future talent to drive the results you seek. According to Supply Chain 24/7, “Today, the ideal employee has both tactical/operational expertise and professional competencies such as analytical skills.”
The second most significant factor in supply chain has an image problem.
Only 25 percent of survey participants say their company views supply chain as equally important as other disciplines.
Future talent avoids supply chain roles. They don’t see it as essential or beneficial to the overall success of the organization.
And they’re wrong.
However, it’s not up to them. Organizations, your operation, need to communicate the value of these roles better and show the career advancement possibilities.
Supply chain teams need to do better at tying operational goals and results to individual contributors.
An aircraft maintenance supply chain talent shortage has many impacts on your operation. Here’s just a few…
As the supply chain profession keeps its tainted reputation, especially as baby boomers begin to retire, your approach to a systematic procurement process will begin to suffer.
You’ll see an increase in aircraft part QA issues, increased material lead times, and an increase in total material costs.
Maybe you or your team lacks the skills and vision of supply chain team whose primary goal is to decrease total maintenance material costs.
If so, you’ll have the wrong buyers who don’t purchase with a total cost mindset. You’ll see an increase in shipping costs, unused inventory and quality assurance tickets.
You’ll also notice that your operation who devotes its time and energy to non-core competencies such as material management, spends more time and money to produce the results that would be gained faster and at less expense by choosing to outsource specific functions.
These are the things you need to think about today if you’ve found yourself in a supply chain talent predicament.
You’ll need to adopt a new material requisition strategy that focuses on the complete procurement cycle from planning, sourcing, processing, chasing, delivery, and inventory.
This focus will outline a KPI not of the price but on total material costs and lead times / turn-around-times.
You’ll also need to update your hiring efforts to recruit qualified team members for the long-term or outsource a portion of your material procurement capabilities to a trusted material partner.
This partner will have the capabilities of streamlining delivery for all your rotable, consumable and tooling needs, as well as the complete aircraft part repair cycle.
Think of it as your external employee, the only difference is, the majority of the cost burden is put on your partner.
Now is the time to be thinking about your aircraft maintenance supply chain team. What will you do to overcome this trend?