Online retail is now a firmly established reality in our daily lives. However, online grocery shopping has yet to become such an embedded reality for the Canadian consumer. This is set to change over the coming years, as industry observers predict a surge in high profile providers pushing us away from the check-out lane, and towards our digital devices. This transition will rely on well-trained supply chain and logistics professionals, who will help ensure this transformation of the grocery sector can take place.
What does this mean for recent graduates of supply chain and logistics programs? Here’s just a small taste.
An Expanding Market in Every Sense
Figures show that the Canadian buying public has not been tempted towards online grocery shopping thus far. In fact, online sales only take up $2 billion of this $100 billion market. However, industry observers have noted that big changes seemed to have started brewing in 2017. Sales are predicted to swell up to $4 billion over the next couple of years, and big industry players like Loblaw have announced plans to expand home delivery options.
Other developments south of the border might also creep their way north, either through expansion or simply by inspiring other businesses to follow suit. In particular, Amazon’s landmark purchase of the Whole Foods brand and launch of programs like Prime Pantry opens up its huge client base to the world of ‘one click shopping’. Industry observers have already pointed out that Whole Foods supermarkets already in operation in Ontario could act as the perfect springboard for that company’s online grocery campaign in Canada. Along with the rapid expansion of online grocery start-ups like Instacart across Ontario, and the prospect of lean European competition from the likes of Aldi putting a further squeeze traditional supermarkets, it seems like the future of groceries in Canada could soon get a lot more digital.
Food Expiration Challenges Underline Benefits of Comprehensive Logistics Courses
Groceries differ from other e-commerce products—such as clothes or electronics—in that the products sold often have restrictive expiration and refrigeration constraints. Even Amazon has encountered this as an issue, with customers still more likely to buy less-perishable items like coffee and candy than to opt for fresh veggies and fruits. Graduates of logistics courses will certainly find a rewarding challenge working in this sector!
To overcome this problem, highly efficient logistics efforts will be important. Ensuring that goods are properly stored in warehouses, and that products are quickly delivered in order to avoid spoilage will be essential. With the help of innovative supply chain professionals, customers will be able to order groceries online without fear of defrosted or spoilt products arriving.
The challenges of the grocery sector are tied to the unique logistic demands of food retail
‘Bricks and Clicks’ Combo Stresses the Importance of Finding Creative Solutions
While online retailers push forward, professionals withsupply chain and logistics training may note an interesting retail trend. Increasingly, online retailers are appreciating the benefits of brick and mortar supermarkets. These can continue to make sales in the traditional way, but can also act as well-positioned distribution points for online orders, with the likes of check-out employees being re-designated as order fillers.
This new kind of retail could offer an interesting solution to graduates who want to ensure that goods ordered online are properly stored before last-mile transport to the houses of customers. With the industry evolving, innovation and efficiency measures will be actively sought to ensure all purchasing avenues are being used effectively.
Do you want a rewarding career helping world-class businesses run smoothly?
Today’s globalized world has created a pressing need for the fast and accurate shipment of goods. Dizzying amounts of food, consumer products, medications, and all kinds of specialized equipment are sent from here to there every single day, often with tight deadlines to meet. With the emergence of new technology and consumer trends, the challenges of offering timely and accurate delivery of goods will almost certainly grow more complex.
Within this promising environment exist many possibilities for those with the right training. Curious about how studying logistics and supply chain coordination could be a great move for your future? Here are some of the biggest reasons.
1. Good Pay and High Demand Come With a Career in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Simply put, one of the best and biggest reasons to consider a career in logistics and supply management is that the career outlook looks great for the coming years. In fact, the Government of Canada has rated the employment outlook for this sector a solid two out of three stars for all of Ontario, observing that “employment growth is expected to be strong” and that “a large number of people are expected to retire.” Randstad has also noted that “At any given time, there are 23,200 logistics jobs posted in Canada,” and that “It takes recruiters 55 days to fill logistics jobs, well over the national average of 45 days.” To complete training in logistics and supply chain management, then, is to transform yourself into someone with skills that are perpetually in high demand.
Logistics professionals are in high demand across Canada
In addition to having many career opportunities, professionals looking to embark on a career in logistics and supply chain coordination can look forward to a very respectable salary once they are established in their field. If you are searching for a career that can help you achieve financial stability, careers in logistics and supply chain coordination are an excellent opportunity to be explored.
2. A Career in Logistics Could Include Opportunities for Travel
Having an in-demand career and a good salary are far from the only reasons to get excited about a career in logistics. Depending on the particulars of a given position, one might be expected to do contract negotiations, work with international partners, and arrange purchasing. These are all activities that can take place remotely, but can sometimes include travel. After completing logistics courses and entering the workforce, you could well find yourself enjoying an occasional business trip as part of your responsibilities. If you’re someone who likes to get out and see the world, the right career in logistics could help you do so.
3. Graduates of Logistics Courses Will Rarely Be Bored on the Job
The fast pace and sheer variety of activities necessary to effectively ship goods means that a career in logistics always presents new puzzles to be solved, new relationships to build, and new tasks to complete. It’s a career that has variety coded into its DNA, and is therefore a perfect fit for individuals who love to keep busy doing different things.
There is no shortage of diverse, interesting work to do in logistics careers
If you think you’d be interested in stepping into this fascinating professional landscape, enrolling in good logistics and supply chain training is essential. Doing so can help you gain a good understanding of how best to complete the many aspects of logistics planning, and allow you to step into your new career with the confidence and ability necessary for success.
Do you want to secure a rewarding and engaging career in logistics?
If you can eat it, see it, use it, wear it or scare the living daylights out of someone with it – it came from somewhere. From the apples in your fridge to the zombie costume you ordered online. Getting virtually anything from point A to point B is all about supply chain management and logistics.
While the name of this career choice may seem a little uninspiring the reality is quite the opposite – this sector is headed for unprecedented growth and offers you incredible long-term career potential. In fact, with a median salary of $61K this is one of the few careers that doesn’t require a university degree to secure a position or to move up within the ranks of an organization.1
What interests you? Are you a die-hard believer in delivering organic produce with a minimal carbon footprint? Would figuring out how to transport the mass operational needs of urban planning projects quicken your pulse? How about swiftly assembling and delivering medical aid to disaster sites? Perhaps becoming a custom broker for individuals selling unique one-of-a-kind items feels like your niche? Whatever your desire supply chain training and logistics courses prepare you for a career that matches your interest. Very few industries can make this claim. And the biggest benefit: working in supply chain management and logistics gives you the advantage of being employable on any continent in any country in any sector around the world.
Unprecedented Career Growth and Opportunities2
As of 2012, there were over 800,000 Canadians employed in some aspect of supply chain occupations.
From 2012-2017, it is anticipated that there will be an additional 65,000 new and vacant supply chain positions each year for the next five years totaling over 350,000 positions.
From 2012-2017, it is expected that the number of supply chain employees will increase from a rate of 8.4% for tactical occupations to 14.9% for managerial occupations.
You already have Job Experience in this Sector.3 That’s right. If you already have experience in financial planning, forecasting, knowledge of international business practices, knowledge of laws and regulations, mechanical skills and general business management you’re already on your way to breaking into this ever-growing sector.And, there are sub-functions within the supply chain sector that will help you leverage your existing experience in warehousing, transportation, inventory management, purchasing, marketing, sales and customer service.
Almost every existing job function contributes to either a main or sub-function within the Logistics and Supply Chain Management – meaning you’re already bringing experience to the role… before you begin.
Industry Accreditation and Support4 Should you choose a career in this field you can easily add credibility to your resume and help build your career by joining the Supply Chain Management Association.
Membership is available to anyone with an interest in supply chain management and you’ll gain access to best practices and professional development courses, the latest research and trends within the industry as well as exposure to numerous career and networking opportunities. 4
Sources: 1http://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Logistics_Manager/Salary 2The Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council Human Resources Update Study 3http://www.womeninsupplychain.org/why-supply-chain/ 4http://www.sclcanada.org/en/join-scma
A transparent supply chain means that when customers get a product, they know exactly where it was made, what it’s made of, and how far it has travelled to reach them. In the past, looking up all that information would have been difficult for the average customer to do. But, today, that information can often be found right on company websites.
Why are companies making their supply chains more transparent? As it turns out, there are many advantages that come with a transparent supply chain. From boosting consumer confidence to ensuring product quality and safety, students enrolled in supply chain and logistics programs learn about the many advantages of a transparent supply chain.
If you are planning to enroll in supply chain courses, read on to learn why such courses promote supply chain transparency and why graduates from these programs can be a huge asset to any company.
1. Transparency in the Supply Chain Ensures Product Quality
Professionals working in logistics complete supply chain courses, where they learn to evaluate the cost and quality of goods. With their specialized training, they can help companies keep product quality high—which is an important part of keeping customers satisfied.
Companies that don’t carefully supervise their supply chains can sometimes run into problems with product quality. For example, in 2013, European consumers were shocked when product quality tests revealed that some burgers claiming to be beef also contained horsemeat. Many customers were upset, and stopped purchasing burgers affected by the scandal.
2. Transparency Promotes Product Safety
Supply chain and logistics professionals play an important role in product safety. With their expert training, they know what to look for when negotiating contracts with suppliers, and how to keep goods safe and secure while they’re being transported. They also help make that information accessible to consumers, and keep any potential dangers properly labelled.
These skills can help companies ensure that foods containing allergens like peanuts, for example, are properly labelled. Even when a product doesn’t contain nuts, logistics professionals know to carefully check the supply chain to make sure that no ingredients came into contact with allergens in factories, warehouses, or other potential points for contamination.
3. Logistics Courses Promote Ethics in the Supply Chain
As students completing their supply chain training will learn, many customers are willing to pay a premium for products that are ethically sourced. In fact, many companies that sell products like conflict-free diamonds and fair trade products will put information about their supply chain front and center in their ad campaigns and other promotional materials.
For these companies, their reputation often relies on their supply chains. With the help of trained professionals that have completed logistics courses, these companies keep their supply chains transparent so that customers can be sure they’re purchasing an ethically-sourced product.
Many students looking for a satisfying and in-demand career enroll in supply chain and logistics courses. That’s because supply chain professionals are in-demand, and graduates with cutting edge training can help companies looking to make big changes like going green.
Many customers are now pushing for greener products, and a transparent supply chain that demonstrates a small environmental footprint can boost sales.
To help make important changes in environmental impact, professionals in logistics search for local ingredients, find more efficient ways to transport goods, and make other modifications to the supply chain.
Are you interested in pursuing supply chain and logistics training?
Visit NAHB for more information or to speak with an advisor.
Once limited to military use, drone technology is reaching new heights in the commercial sector. Unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs) are fast becoming the shiny new tool of the supply chain trade.
What does this mean for the business of supply chain management? From reducing costs and delivery time, to creating new industry policies and mapping the supply chain with 3D imagery, drones are set to reshape this field in a big way.
Drones Shrink Supply Delivery Time & Cost
The race for fastest delivery time is already intense, with eBay dispatching college students by foot to do the speedy groundwork that ensures “next-day delivery.” It might sound impossible, but drone technology could bring products from factories to doorsteps in just 30 minutes.
That’s the goal of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. He says drones would reduce reliance on traditional shipping providers (like trains and trucks), significantly shrink delivery time and increase output, without straining resources. And their parts are significantly (90%!) cheaper than those we use for traditional delivery.
While risks associated with UAVs might bump up specific insurance premiums (ie: new insurance charges to account for product theft or weather damage), the overall impact is a cheaper link in the supply chain.
Amazon’s bid for delivery drones has hit several speedbumps along the way with the need for federal permissions and regulations.
These new rules involve geographic, speed, and weight restrictions. As of June 1 2015, the FAA has specified that delivery drones can only fly in good weather, not close to airports, and within visible site of the operator.
Some industry leaders are frustrated by these restrictions. “Drones seem to offer an affordable and flexible solution – but not if the FAA rules are in place,” says Guy Courtin of Constellation Research in an article on ZDNet.
Opinions like these may encourage companies to move even more elements of manufacturing abroad, to cheaper countries with more drone freedom.
Drones Allow Supply Chain Mapping
UAVs are equipped with wireless communications and data analysis software, allowing them to track the location of a person using data from their smartphone before completing the delivery.
Cameras and GPS capabilities are essential to UAVs, which makes 3d mapping possible. A drone can update its route in real-time, and film its trek from warehouse to doorstep, offering a visual map of the supply chain timeline.
Students in supply chain management logistics courses can now work with the data these new features provide.
Drones Will Do More Than Just Deliver
UAVs can also be used to perform maintenance checks and repairs, especially in remote, inclement, and hazardous conditions.
What’s more, UAV surveillance can continually monitor warehouses and inventory; becoming the eyes and ears of a building to monitor it in real-time. While a little Orwellian, that’s undoubtedly useful and cost-efficient.
There are both major gains and significant challenges to integrating drones in the workforce. If we keep on top of it, with innovative supply chain training and an ear on the industry, the future could truly be sky high.
Are you interested in training for a challenging career in supply chain management? Visit NAHB to explore our program and connect with an advisor.