An expert from the global logistics industry has examined how supply chain jobs in the e-commerce sector have been transformed by emerging technologies.

Praveen Vashistha, Director of high-tech global logistics solutions company Gxpress, noted that before the start of the millennium, internet-only retailers had no commercial presence. Today, they are major global players with intricate supply chains and worldwide logistics solutions. What is more, they have very specific requirements for professionals holding supply chain jobs at a managerial level:

Data-driven foresight

Managerial supply chain jobs in e-commerce have unique specifications. Managers in this industry must be capable of accurately predicting the outcomes of interventions or events arising at any point in the supply chain. They’re also required to anticipate company needs in advance. Both require an ability to analyse complex data relating to the supply chain.

Intelligent delegation

It’s impossible to run an entire e-commerce supply chain single-handedly. Tasks have to be delegated wisely, especially for e-commerce supply chains which straddle multiple countries and a large number of human actors. When recruiting for a managerial role in procurement, you need to look for these key attributes. The ability to pay attention to individual links in the logistics chain is especially important, as is a working knowledge of real-time tracking technology for shipped products. Above all, a crucial but often undervalued soft skill is the capacity to collaborate with other people to ensure the whole supply chain works effectively.

Tech-enabled end-to-end supply chain visibility

The conventional wisdom just five years ago held that end-to-end supply chain visibility was barely more than a pipe dream which had little prospect of being realised in the foreseeable future. Disruptive new technology, however, demonstrates that nothing is more difficult to predict than the future.

Technologies now exist that allow companies to successfully implement advanced strategies by producing visual representations of their logistics chain, allowing them to tweak it as required.

Vashistha writes: “Today and in the future, every well-run logistics network will have to make optimal use of technology.” Superior logistics today, he continues, is about harnessing and maximising the efficiencies of the supply chain to ensure it runs smoothly and cost-effectively end-to-end.

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