People and Talent Supply Chain Management

People are what makes organizations work or in some cases not work. How many times have the actions of one person in an organization either made you loyal to that company or swear to never do business with them again? Just as supply chain is all about getting the right product to the right place at the right time and at the right price, the talent supply chain is all about getting the right people in the right jobs with the right skills at the right time and right price.

Building The SCM Company is all about the application of supply chain management methods to all aspects of a company’s business and the talent supply chain is no exception. Just as in supply chain management you begin with an inventory of your current human resources within the firm and the skills and attributes of those people. It’s then time to do some future planning relative to what your needs will be by location in three to five years. This will become your forecast for the talent supply chain in your firm but only represents the beginning of the full application of supply chain management principles to ensure the future health and stability of your workforce.

Once you know your future requirements and when these new people are required, forecasting, planning and management of your talent supply chain can then begin. Please note that supply chain management is a numbers game and the analysis and management of all the people in the talent supply chain is not meant to in anyway downplay, degrade or dehumanize the people of an organization. The intent is to ensure that The SCM Company always has the right people in the right numbers with the right skills to best match the company’s business strategy now and into the future.

Beyond application of SCM concepts within your own company, as SCM professionals will know, forecasting success, accuracy and supply chain performance increases greatly with aggregation and can be so applied by combining the human resources and development needs of a number of organizations which will not only provide better results for individual company talent supply chain performance but also reduce the cost of maintaining this readiness.

All of the SCM concepts and methods also apply to the successful management of the Talent Supply Chain. Procurement of the right people with the right attributes/skills through hiring at a cost the organization can bear. Lead time application for hiring to ensure that when people leave through retirement, illness or other cause that there is not a shortage or critical human “out of stock” condition in your organization.

It is important that business planners understand these lead times and communicate future potential needs with enough time for the Talent Supply Chain Manager to react and deliver effectively. You can see how especially in this instance, using the Classical Re-Order Point method of replenishing your people could be problematic, whereas implementing a systems driven Distribution Resource Planning methodology incorporating the above nuances, and even more up to and including neural network inputs, can give your SCM Company a competitive advantage and unmatched resilience. In conjunction with applying SCM Company methods and measurement to all facets of the organization our goal is to take another step forward in the evolution of modern organizations providing stability, adaptability and resilience in the face of the accelerating change within our world.

People and the Talent Supply Chain is the first in a series of articles entitled “The SCM Company” and these articles are intended to lay the groundwork for a future book of the same name. If you have input, feedback or wish to perhaps become involved in this project feel free to ASK.


Jeff Ashcroft

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Ashcroft Communications International Ltd.

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