By Andy Kaye, CEO, Bis Henderson Group

Much of a retail business’ ability to remain competitive and relevant to a market depends upon the readiness of its supply chain to react and adapt swiftly to change. Smart technology and flexible processes may go some way to facilitate this, but organisational agility is heavily reliant upon people and their attitudes, skills and enthusiasm for change.

Andy Kaye is CEO at Bis Henderson Group:

Considering the importance placed on creating an agile supply chain, little is said about the critical role people play. What attributes should a business look for in recruiting an individual? Can up-skilling aid agility? And what can organisations do to attract the right talent?

Here are five key factors that businesses need to consider:

Attitude – Recruiting people with the right attitude is absolutely critical and is as important as developing talent within the business. Many of the qualities looked for in a recruit, cannot be instilled through training. So search out individuals with a positive attitude and an enthusiasm for embracing change.

Loyalty – Loyalty is a highly desirable attribute; however, it has to be won. The foundations of a good employee/ employer relationship are built upon mutual trust and for this to work the organisation must be one that individuals can buy into. For success, people should be able to see where the business is heading and where they can play a part.

Motivation – Agile businesses rely on well-motivated staff. Culture plays a big part in creating cohesion and employee engagement and for this to work positively it has to be inclusive – where success is openly recognised. It’s important to build a culture where people are told when they are doing well – rewarding them, and helping with training if they are falling behind.

Skills – Agile supply chains need people with a wide range of skills. As the landscape changes and technology play a greater part in creating advantage, the skills and roles required are becoming more sophisticated. Recruitment needs to focus on attracting individuals with the new advanced skills required. And from within the business, capable staff should be identified and encouraged to upskill through apprenticeship and graduate programmes.

Attraction – Attracting young people into the business is vital. This is a challenge affecting the entire sector and to some extent is one of image and public perception. Every forward looking, agile business needs to play a part in reaching out to local schools and colleges, relaying the exciting message of the opportunities that exist in logistics and supply chain for young people and the new skill sets that are required.

To gain further insights and a greater understanding of how to recruit and train for an agile and responsive supply chain, download the free eBook here: