The following is a Supply Chain Matters guest contribution provided by Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM)


After decades of residing largely behind-the-scenes, today’s supply chain executives have a seat at the table, side-by-side with the CFO and COO. Finally, business leaders and boards of directors recognize the extraordinary competitive advantage to be gained by appointing a Chief SupplyChain Officer (CSCO)ASCM- Win the War for High-Performing Supply Chain Talent

The essential role of CSCOs is making the war for high-performing supply chain executives fiercer than ever. Globally minded leaders with strategic thinking, continuous improvement, risk management, customer service and corporate social responsibility experience are urgently needed by companies of all types and sizes. The umbrella of what is today supply chain management is growing wider. In addition to supply chain planning, procurement and customer fulfillment, it now includes elements of product, quality and customer service management and influence. Businesses know that CSCOs are uniquely positioned to interface with literally every corner of the business, creating essential understanding and connections.

The shortage of skilled workers, coupled with more people leaving the workforce through retirement, is creating an imbalance that is especially noticeable in supply chain management,” Richard Crandall, Ph.D., CFPIM, CIRM, CSCP, recently wrote in SCM Now magazine. “One global study estimates that demand for supply chain professionals exceeds supply by six to one.

With more businesses seeking the strategic advantages provided by CSCOs, supply chain job stability will stay strong. Talented professionals of all profiles and backgrounds are stepping up to fill the CSCO pipeline, taking on increasing levels of responsibility, enjoying higher profiles and receiving greater compensation.

In fact, according to ASCM’s brand new 2019 Supply Chain Salary and Career Survey Report, nearly 25 % of survey respondents indicate  they were promoted in the previous year. Plus, an overwhelming majority reported being very or extremely satisfied in their jobs, with 93 % of respondents saying they believe they will stay in the field; 44 %indicate  they definitely will.

Furthermore, a new joint research project by the Copenhagen Business School, Harvard Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed that supply chain jobs are now the highest paying in the United States.

These findings make a strong argument for increased investment in supply chain education and training, which are made possible by the industry-leading APICS certifications and professional development tools. Best-in-class organizations around the world are choosing to support their employees’ educational journeys because they know these individuals are the CSCOs of tomorrow.

Traditional supply chain functions are a thing of the past.

The future of complex global markets is about CSCOs , their associated talented teams, and the tremendous value they add. Support and recognize these industry leaders — they are the most transformative executives in any company.