RECRUITMENT Supply chain links to success

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					THE SUNDAY BUSINESS POST
SEPTEMBER 10 2006                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            M17

RECRUITMENT                                                                                                                                                                                                                       EDITED BY ELAINE O’REGAN e-mail: eoregan@sbpost.ie




Supply chain links to success
Employment levels in Ireland’s supply chain
sector rose by 4 per cent lastyear, and this trend
is set to continue, writes Emmet Ryan


S
                upply chain                 ‘‘It is somewhat misleading        tics and supply chain manage-
                m a n a g e m e nt       to think of logistics and SCM         m e nt hav e b e c o m e mor e
                (SCM) offers a           as an industry or a sector,’’ said    knowledge-intensive and re-
                variety of career        Huber. ‘‘It’s a set of activities     quire highly-skilled profes-
                opportunities.           that’s important in virtually         sionals more than ever,’’ he
                Many of the top          every business. Logistics and         said.
international supply chain               SCM careers are on offer in
firms have operations in Ire-            sectors such as manufacturing,
land. Employment levels in the           retail, consultancy, education
                                                                               Growing complexity
sector rose by 4 per cent last           and training,’’ he said.                 The demand for better skills
year, compared to 2004.                     This diversification, Huber        means that meeting customer
   According to Bernd Huber              said, has been driven by more         needs is becoming more com-
of the National Institute for            complex demands resulting             plicated. ‘‘The goal of logistics
Tra n s p or t a n d L og i st i c s     from globalisation, greater use       is to satisfy the customers’
(NITL), the main reason for              of outsourcing and more so-           needs by delivering the right
the healthy employment trends            phisticated technology re-            product, in the right quantity,
in logistics and SCM is the              quirements.                           in the right condition, to the
spread of industries it affects.            ‘‘All of this means that logis-    right customer, at the right
                                                                               place, at the right time, and the
                                                                               right cost. This can prove far
                                                                               from simple,’’ said Garvan
      Get learning                                                             Cerasi, managing director of
                                                                               Logiskills.
   T he re are a nu mb er of             ment (postgraduate)                      In order to meet these new
   places offering logistics             & Limerick IT: BSC in Lo-             challenges, several companies
   education within Ireland,             gistics and Supply Chain              have merged or acquired com-
   including th ird-level                Management (undergradu-               petitors. ‘‘The local supply
                                                                               chain and logistics industry         Garvan Cerasi, managing director of Logiskills                                                                                                                           MAURA HICKEY
   courses and training initia-          ate)
   tives run by professional             & UCD: MBS in Supply                  has undergone a dramatic
   bodies. Dublin Institute of           Chain Management (post-               change over the last 12 months,      out, not add to it,’’ he said. ‘‘It                                        studying,’’ said Cerasi. ‘‘It is       year. According to Hudson Ire-
   Technology (DIT) and Lim-
   erick Institute of Technol-
                                         graduate)
                                            Courses provided by pro-
                                                                               with a large number of acquisi-
                                                                               tion and mergers,’’ said Cerasi.
                                                                                                                    will take time for the RFID in-
                                                                                                                    itiatives to begin driving cost         ‘SCM is a                          therefore essential that gradu-
                                                                                                                                                                                               ates carefully select their work
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      land’s 2006 Salary Survey, an
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      entry-level employee can ex-         Rising demand
                                                                                  ‘‘The new commercial land-        out of the supply chain and we                                             experience and try to align the        pect to earn an annual salary           Cerasi said he expected the
   og y r u n deg re e -level
   logistics and supply chain
                                         fessional associations in-
                                         clude:                                scape is dominated by leaner         anticipate a slow uptake to its         set of                             industry or experience with            of around e26,000,while senior       demand for skilled employees
                                                                               international organisations,         implementation.’’                                                          their target first position.’’         management positions can de-         would continue to grow. ‘‘Even
   management courses. Car-
   low Institute of Technology
                                            The Chartered Institute
                                         of Logistics and Transport:           where synergies can be capita-                                               activities                                                                mand salaries in excess of           during downturns, when com-
                                                                               lised and economies of scale                                                                                                                           e100,000.                            panies are cutting costs, the de-
   also runs degree-level un-            & Dangerous Goods Safety
                                                                               and advancements in technol-
                                                                                                                    Industry training                       that’s                              Developing skills                        The development of logistics      mand for able and experienced
   dergraduate courses.                  Advisor
      Postgraduate courses are           & Certificate of Profes-              ogy exploited,’’ he said.               There is now a wide range of                                               Due to the changing nature          and supply chain management          supply chain managers re-
   run by DIT and University
   College Dublin (UCD).
                                         sional Competence in Road
                                         Transport
                                                                                                                    third-level courses aiming to
                                                                                                                    meet the changing needs of
                                                                                                                                                            important                          of logistics and supply chain
                                                                                                                                                                                               management, it is vital that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      has seen a significant rise in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      demand in certain sectors.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           mains high,’’ he said.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Huber said there would be
      Professional bodies that
   run training courses and
                                         & Diploma in Logistics
                                         Management
                                                                               RFID and cost                        companies in the supply chain
                                                                                                                    sector. ‘‘Demand for staff with         in every                           those working within it focus
                                                                                                                                                                                               on developing their skills.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ‘‘Multi-modal operations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      staff are in demand in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           an increasing focus on man-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           agerial competence in the sup-
                                                                               control                              the right skills, knowledge,                                                  ‘‘Retraining and upskilling         freight sector as employers          ply chain sector in Ireland.
   seminars include The Na-
   tional Institute of Transport
                                         & Spe cialis ed Training
                                         Management                                                                 competencies and qualifica-             business’                          cannot be emphasised en-               seek to acquire multiple skill-         ‘‘There is an increasing
   & Logistics, The Chartered            & Trai n i ng C ou rs es &               Radio Frequency Identifica-       tions has increased,’’ said Hu-                                            ough,’’ said Cerasi. ‘‘Compa-          sets with employers to facilitate    trend to outsource lower func-
   Institute of Logistics and            Seminars CD-ROM (Certi-               tion (RFID) is a technology          ber. ‘‘Ireland as a small and                                              nies that have the resources           multitasking,’’ said Cerasi.         tion manufacturing processes
   Transport, The Irish Insti-           ficate in Logistics)                  that could have a significant        open economy,with a relatively                                             are implementing continuous               ‘‘Demand planners for raw         to lower cost locations, but to
   tute of Purchasing & Mate-               The National Institute of          impact on the field. To date,        peripheral geography, con-                                                 training and development               material or finished goods due       retain high-skill functions,
   rials Management and The              Transport and Logistics:              however, its use has been lim-       tinues to need supply chain                                                plans. Many employees are              to growth in chemical, phar-         such as research, design, mar-
   Association of Purchasing             & Foundation Certificate              ited.                                management and logistics pro-         training the graduate as well as     funding their own training and         maceuticals and fast moving          keting and sales, at the primary
   and Supply. The academic              Programme                                ‘‘Third party logistics execu-    fessionals.’’                         the risk of hiring a graduate        development plans with sev-            consumer goods (FMCG)                base,’’ he said. ‘‘This back-
   courses available include:            & Executive Development               tives feel the challenge of ap-         While the desire for gradu-        who may leave before costs           eral assigning significant por-        manufacturers are also in de-        ground suggests that there
   & Carlow IT: BBS in Sup-              Programme                             plying the RFID tags during          ates remains strong, proven in-       have been recouped.’’                tions of their upcoming SSIA           mand,’’ he said.                     should be more demand for
   ply Chain Management                  & Graduate Development                the manufacturing process is         dustr y exp er ience is a                He advised anyone who was         fund to this project.’’                   ‘‘Core supply chain skills,       highly skilled supply chain pro-
   (undergraduate)                       Programme                             an all-or-nothing proposition        prerequisite for many employ-         considering a career in the in-                                             particularly in procurement          fessionals in Ireland,’’ said Hu-
                                                                               as otherwise, a slap-and-ship        ers in the sector. ‘‘Companies        dustry to choose a course that                                              process and procedures, are          ber. ‘‘Many industries are in
   & DIT: BSc in Logistics                  I r i s h I nt e r n at io n a l
                                                                               application of RFID labels           can prefer to pay for experience      offers workplace experience.
                                                                                                                                                                                               Salaries and                           more important than sector           hiring mode after many years
   and Supply Chain Manage-              Freight Association (IIFA):
   ment (undergraduate)/MSc                 & Traineeship in Freight           prior to shipping product to         and decline the option of hir-           ‘‘Many companies are inter-       benefits                               background,’’ said Huber.            of cost cutting and we expect
   in Supply Chain Manage-               Forwarding                            the customer will be required,’’     ing graduates,’’ said Cerasi.         ested in hiring graduates only                                              ‘‘The majority of positions          2007 will demonstrate further
                                                                               Cerasi said.                            ‘‘They prefer to avoid the         where relevant work experi-            Salaries in the supply chain         arise at buying/planning man-        increases in hiring activity of
                                                                                  ‘‘The priority is to drive cost   time and costs associated with        ence has been gained whilst          sector have risen in the past          ager and more junior levels.’’       supply chain professionals.’’




Axa ahead in innovation                                                                                                                                       working
                                                                                                                                                                                                volved in sales. As co-owner
                                                                                                                                                                                                of the company, our strategic
                                                                                                                                                                                                direction is also a priority for
                                                                                                                                                                                                me. I am currently working
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          they say to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Who do you most admire in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Irish Industry?

By Caroline Allen                                                                                                                                             WEEK                              extensively on helping com-
                                                                                                                                                                                                panies understand how effec-
                                                                                                                                                                                                tively live events can
                                                                                                                                                                                                contribute to their overall
                                                                                                                                                                                                marketing mix.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             I admire John Brennan,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          general manager of the Four
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Seasons Hotel in Dublin. He
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          combines the art of tradi-



A
                more innovative                                                                                                                               ´
                                                                                                                                                            Padraic Gilligan is marketing                                                                                 tional Irish hospitality with
                                                                                                                                                            director of the Ovation Group,      What are your main profes-                                                the science of flawless luxury
                approach to staff
                manage ment                                                                                                                                 which he set up with his            sional motivators?                                                        service.
                could save Irish                                                                                                                            business partner Pat Delaney          I am motivated by the op-
companies millions in lost rev-                                                                                                                             in 1993. Ovation offers con-        portunity I have, as a business                                           Is this where you expected to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ´
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Padraic Gilligan                    be five years ago?
enue each year, according to                                                                                                                                ferencing, destination and          owner, to create a company
Catherine Whelan of Axa In-                                                                                                                                 event management services to        that pivots on human values                                                  Yes, although the route we
surance.Whelan is programme                                                                                                                                 the Irish and overseas markets.     and that places premium va-           What was the best business          have taken to get here is not
manager of Axa’s Six Sigma                                                                                                                                     The company employs 55           lue on human capital. I am            decision you ever made?             the one we embarked upon
programme in Ireland, which                                                                                                                                 full-time staff and has an an-      motivated by the business                                                 five years ago.
integrates the concept of ‘inno-                                                                                                                            nual turnover of e15 million.       challenges I face daily and the          The decision to appoint a
vation’ into the performance                                                                                                                                Gilligan is co-owner and            drive to maintain and grow a          financial controller.               Where do you see yourself in
management system.                                                                                                                                          marketing director of the           profitable business in a ra-                                              five years’ time?
   Each employee agrees a per-                                                                                                                              company.                            pidly changing marketplace.           What was the most valuable
sonal innovation goal. Five                                                                                                                                                                                                           lesson you ever learnt in              We are currently Ireland’s
thousand innovative ideas con-                                                                                                                              What are the main responsi-         What four words would you             business?                           largest event company, with
tributed by staff have been im-                                                                                                                             bilities of your job?               use to describe your work                                                 55 staff in Dublin and Belfast.
plemented in the past three                                                                                                                                                                     style?                                   Consult people you trust         In five years’ time, I hope we
years and employee satisfac-                                                                                                                                   I am primarily responsible                                             about any important decision        will have offices in Britain
tion scores have shot up from                                                                                                                               for Ovation’s marketing ac-           Informal, hands-on, driven          you are about to make. Learn        and elsewhere in Europe, em-
27 in 2000 to 58 this year.                                                                                                                                 tivities, but I am also very in-    and inclusive.                        to hear, and act upon, what         ploying 100 people.
   According to Whelan, the
programme has contributed
e10 million to Axa’s profits
since 2002. Launched in 2000
byJohn O’Neill, chief executive                                                                                                                                                                 at Ulster Bank as sales manager
of Axa, the idea behind the in-          Catherine Whelan of Axa Insurance                                                               TONY O’SHEA
                                                                                                                                                                                                in 2000. She was appointed to
itiative is to keep Axa ahead of                                                                                                                                                                the position of senior sales
the competition using its own                                                                                                                                                                   manager in 2003.
in-house expertise.                      quite good at putting in place        change that maximises the va-        stantial number of quick-win                                                   The bank has also appointed
   Irish companies are falling           R&D and project manage-               lue of your business.’’              initiatives. One idea that came                                             Michael Walsh as director of
down on some aspects of inno-            ment systems. However, they              Once innovation had been          from an employee was that                                                   client relations at its Invoice
vation, said Jim Cuddy, man-             are less good at the strategy,        earmarked as a strategic objec-      everyone could innovate every                                               Finance Division. Prior to joining
ager of Enterprise Ireland’s             par tnersh ip and c u ltu ral         tive at Axa, O’Neill initiated       day if the framework was in                                                 Ulster Bank, he worked for
Technology Transfer Depart-              sides,’’ he said.                     The Mad House, a team-based          place to allow that to happen.’’                                            Mercantile Credit for 15 years.
ment.                                       Whelan said that Irish com-        innovation programme aimed               The impact on staff morale
   ‘‘Innovation is at the heart of
the growth of Irish compa-
nies,’’ said Cuddy. ‘‘Market re-
                                         panies should try to be more
                                         culturally innovative. ‘‘Every-
                                         one thinks innovation is to do
                                                                               at encouraging employees to
                                                                               come up with new ideas.
                                                                                  ‘‘One of the first things we
                                                                                                                    was immediate,Whelan said.
                                                                                                                        ‘‘People became more open
                                                                                                                    and confident and more will-
                                                                                                                                                            movers &                            & Noel Sweeney has been
                                                                                                                                                                                                appointed to the role of president
                                                                                                                                                                                                of the Travel & Tourism Research
s e a r c h i s c a r r i e d o u t to
understand the requirements
for goods and services. Innova-
                                         with tangible products and is
                                         not actually a cultural capabil-
                                         ity, but you can innovate in all
                                                                               did was energise people into
                                                                               making an additional contri-
                                                                               bution,’’ she said. ‘‘Innovation
                                                                                                                    ing to share ideas. It is said that
                                                                                                                    it is through people you inno-
                                                                                                                    vate. Not only can they inno-
                                                                                                                                                            SHAKERS                             Association. Sweeney estab-
                                                                                                                                                                                                lished Tourism & Transport Con-
                                                                                                                                                                                                sult International in 1983. Prior
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maeve Rogers                        Michael Walsh
tion activity within the com-            areas of the value chain,’’ she       was very much driven by re-          vate, but we b el ieve they                                                 to that, he was director of
pany creates these products              said.                                 ward and recognition struc-          should every single day as part         & Ulster Bank Corporate Mar-                             ´
                                                                                                                                                                                                marketing at Bord Failte for eight    radio and print production jobs.
and services and that generates             ‘‘Culture and the culture          tures, with a 20 per cent bonus      of the job.’’                           kets has made two new appoint-      years.                                Conway joins from Euro RSCG         & Martin Delaney is the new
export sales.’’                          you create is critical. Many or-      paid at the time for the imple-                                              ments to its Invoice Finance                                              Advertising, where she was an       chief operations officer at IT
   The four pillars of innova-           ganisations are not seeing in-        mentation of suggestions.               Catherine Whelan spoke at            Division. Maeve Rogers is the       & AFA O’Meara Advertising has         account executive for six years.    consultancy Original Solutions
tion, Cuddy said, include strat-         novation as the strateg i c              ‘‘About 300 staff partici-        Enterprise Ireland’s Business           new director of sales at Ulster     appointed Ailbhe Conway as its        Prior to that, she was an account   (OSL). Delaney joins from VPS
egy, partnerships, systems and           improvement opportunity it is.        pated in the part-time sessions      Innovation Conference in Du-            Bank Invoice Finance. Rogers        production manager with respon-       manager at Print & Display for      Voyager where he was chief
culture. ‘‘Irish companies are           It is a managed programme of          over a month. We had a sub-          blin Castle last week                   joined the Invoice Finance team     sibility for all press, television,   two years.                          executive for two years.