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Top 3 fastest-growing supply chain functions in Hong Kong
Well known for its international status as a logistics hub and gateway between the East and West, Hong Kong has been the first choice for many supply chain companies setting up headquarters in Asia.
However, with increasing globalisation, Hong Kong’s competitive edge has taken a toll, resulting in more companies switching their operational approaches to include global outsourcing and offshore manufacturing. As a result, several companies have switched their operational base from Hong Kong to other countries, bringing about a corresponding shift in hiring focus.
Previously, recruitment used to focus on operational-level roles, with emphasis on a job seeker’s technical skill sets. However, with more companies diversifying their manufacturing bases in Asia, businesses will need a centralised function to consolidate regional operations. As a result, companies now prefer to recruit professionals who are able to demonstrate skills in strategic planning, risk management and cost savings.
Three of the skill sets in demand include:
1. Indirect procurement
Currently, in many organisations, indirect procurement duties have been divided among various internal departments. However, companies are slowly starting to understand the potential damage this move could inflict on overall productivity and costs.
For example, having specialised personnel in charge of a centralised indirect procurement function would free internal departments to focus on their operational work. A centralised function would also provide the company with a higher bargaining power for bulk orders and group discounts.
2. Strategic demand and supply planning
Many companies have since extracted the planning function from daily operational employees, handing the responsibilities to a dedicated planner, often a newly-created role.
Being one of the most crucial aspects of a business, planning, when done well, will lead to higher accuracy in demand and supply estimations, and more accurate profitability analysis. It can also save costs by reducing dead stock and ensuring adequate buffer stock.
3. Process improvement
Driving improvements in the business processes has always been a focus for many managerial roles, however, more recently, junior candidates have started to acquire such skill sets through attaining lean manufacturing and process improvement qualifications.
Such a change reflects the increased importance and emphasis in improving efficiency, which will in turn help businesses to be more effective in determining their areas of focus and growth.
As Hong Kong adapts to the international market, the various functions within the supply chain are bound to evolve further. While a certain degree of risk accompanies these changes, companies who adopt them will find new opportunities opening up to them. On the job seeker front, those who are able to expand their skill sets in these areas will also be able to establish a new competitive edge.
To find out more about recruitment trends in the procurement and supply chain sector, click here to view the 2016 Greater China Salary & Employment Outlook.
The top three fastest-growing supply chain functions in Hong Kong are:
- Indirect procurement
- Strategic demand and supply planning
- Process improvement