We along with other recognized supply chain thought leaders have been raising awareness to the current talent shortages regarding areas of supply chain management, particularly individuals with experience related to linking the introduction of new products and product management with overall supply chain ramp-up and ramp-down deployment needs.

One of globe’s top-ranked supply chains, Apple, has been under considerable pressure of-late because of the perception that its product innovation cycles have slowed and industry competitors are quickly narrowing the gap in surpassing such capabilities.

A newly published report from the Wall Street Journal (paid subscription or free metered view) places a poignant perspective to Apple’s growing need.  The report indicates that Apple is in the midst of hiring hundreds of new engineers and supply chain managers across China and Taiwan in its attempts to speed product development and introduce a wider range of innovative products. The report notes that current victims of this hiring blitz include the likes of HTC Corp. and other Taiwanese technology firms.  According to the report: “The total number of engineers and (supply chain) operations staff in China now exceeds 600…”

The report further outlines that while core research and development will remain in Cupertino, engineering and supply chain management talent investments within China pale in comparison to those in the United States, implying an ever more expanded presence in China. Further disclosed is that Apple has added contract manufacturers Wistron Corp. and Compal Communications to help produce upcoming versions of iPhones and iPads.

Supply Chain Matters has often commented how Apple’s purchasing clout and volume scale can lock-out smaller high tech and consumer electronics OEM’s from lowest cost pricing and favored supply agreements.  With this latest report regarding the current talent seeking hiring spree centered on China, the industry can probably add talent raiding and talent shortages to the impacts of Apple along with its competitors.

Talented and experienced cross-functional supply chain management professionals with experience in new product ramp-up and time-to-market, along with alleviating supply chain choke points are going to be in the catbird seat across global locations, since the talent war seems to be escalating across high-tech supply chains.