This site depends on JavaScript to run. Please enable it or upgrade to a modern browser that supports it.

In observation of the Thanksgiving holiday, ASCM will be closed starting at 2 pm CST on Wednesday, November 25. ASCM will reopen on Monday, November 30, for normal business hours.

ASCM Insights

5 Strategies for Expanding Your Supply Chain Skill Set


Industry experts estimate that 270,000 new supply chain management positions are created each year. Furthermore, for every six job openings, there is only one qualified worker available to fill them. To address this ongoing talent gap and prepare to lead the supply chains of the future, industry professionals must hone their skills and continuously develop new capabilities.

“The supply chain landscape is not the same as it was a decade ago,” writes Roy Strik for Logistics Middle East. “New advancements in technology such as 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, the internet of things, big data analytics and omnichannel retailing have brought about tremendous change.”

Likewise, in a recent Forbes article, author Anant Agarwal says technology is revolutionizing modern work. As a result, professional success will hinge on having a mix of skills. “The power to learn lies in the hands of individuals to take control of their careers,” he writes.

To prepare for these extraordinary shifts, Strik and Agarwal offer some tips:

  1. First, conduct an audit of your skillset. Identify areas of strength and weakness, and always be thinking about how you can better position yourself professionally.
  2. Next, hone your technological expertise. Information systems are at the heart of most business processes. You’ll make better decisions when you understand how they work. Similarly, learn all you can about the latest innovations — artificial intelligence, robotics and the like — in order to apply them effectively. In addition, look to advanced analytics to help you maximize the data sets created by your networks.
  3. Gain risk-management expertise. Strik writes: "As new and improved products, processes and services are entering the market, risk management is fast becoming an important asset for supply chain managers. … The knowledge of risk management can help supply chain managers ask the right questions, quantify risks and build contingencies."
  4. Develop a holistic leadership style. The ability to control a global supply chain from a single point of command will empower you to drive positive change.
  5. Finally, be a lifelong learner. “Education no longer stops after high school or college,” Agarwal says. “Learning will be a fluid and continuous process.”

Ongoing advancement

As technology transforms our supply chains, how can we blend the latest innovations with our understanding of fundamental supply chain activities in order to achieve strategic, next-generation networks? ASCM is dedicated to helping you answer this question with APICS certifications and credentials. The APICS body of knowledge has been the global standard in learning and development for more than 60 years. Yet, we know that keeping pace with change is critical. Therefore, I am pleased to share the news of a patent-pending tool we have developed called Rapid Item Development (RapID™).

RapID will enable ASCM to create high-quality test questions more quickly, add questions on several important topics, enhance security and expand testing windows. Download the RapID whitepaper to read more about how this strategic approach will ensure that APICS education continues to be as relevant as possible. By clearly reflecting future supply chain management job requirements, we at ASCM look forward to supporting you and your organization for years to come.

About the Author

Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE CEO, ASCM

Abe Eshkenazi is chief executive officer at ASCM, the largest nonprofit association for supply chain and the global leader in supply chain organizational transformation and innovation. Prior to this, he was the managing director for the Operations Consulting Group of American Express Tax and Business Services. His leadership roles have included project management, business process redesign, and individual and organizational alignment. Eshkenazi may be contacted through

Use of Cookies

We use cookies to personalize our website’s content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

Live Web Chat