February 01, 2016

“We’re like Rodney Dangerfield—we don’t get no respect.” Professor Yossi Sheffi, a professor of supply chain management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), chuckled when I asked him why there’s such a shortage in supply chain talent. He, like a number of supply chain professionals I spoke to over the past month, was lamenting the fact that the term supply chain doesn’t do a great job of suggesting the hard, dynamic work involved in running the manufacturing, movement and storage of a product. And while the reputation problem can hurt pride, it can also affect businesses in a much more tangible way: Companies across the globe are sinking millions of dollars into their supply chains each year—and there simply aren’t enough qualified people to make sure that investment goes as far as possible.

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