Are we falling short of attracting next gen talent?

The short answer is yes.

Our supply chain community is struggling to attract young talent.

Tony Richter, Founder, Bastian Consulting

In Bastian Consulting’s latest survey of more than 500 supply chain executives from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand, the majority of respondents think graduates are unlikely to apply for roles in supply chain.

How to make supply chain a desirable career across APAC report

Seventy-two per cent of respondents said graduates are more likely to explore roles in sectors other than supply chain. Furthermore, 76% of respondents said there is not enough being done to raise awareness of the opportunities available in the supply chain.

Respondents were also in agreement that employers are not doing enough to engage with young people, as 70% said organisations are lacking in apprenticeships or graduate recruitment program opportunities.

Over the past 12 months, supply chain has made the headlines and made the public more aware of its important role in society as well the major contribution it makes to the global economy. These results clearly show that the industry can do more to communicate the diverse opportunities available in this growing and exciting sector.

Study the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional and advance your career today. Buy from the ASCI Store.

Interestingly, despite the perception that the supply chain sector is grappling with an ageing workforce, less than half (48%) of respondents said there is an ageing workforce issue in supply chain.

The survey also revealed that technology is playing a huge role in supply chain, as just over half (51%) of respondents said technology has changed the type of skillsets required in supply chain roles. Respondents were more united in their view that the industry is not ready for this change, as 68% of respondents said that the industry is not prepared for the shift in skillsets that will be required.

In New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan, the majority of respondents think there is a gender imbalance across the supply chain workforce. On the contrary, just over half of respondents from Australia and Thailand do not think there is a gender imbalance issue in the supply chain industry.

One of the biggest issues facing the supply chain industry is a lack of talent. This is clearly being felt across the entire APAC region. While there is a lot of investment going into technology, the industry needs to do more to invest in raising awareness of the profession as well as market the many opportunities available to young people. Creating an inclusive culture, equal opportunities and career development programs alongside a united effort to demonstrate that this industry is more than just forklifts and warehouses, should be high on the agenda for any business looking to attract new talent in this sector.

To download the How to make supply chain a desirable career across APAC report in full, visit:

Bastian Consulting connects great companies to extraordinary leaders who share the same vision and hunger for success. Our specialization is in the value chain domain and with over eleven years of experience spanning across the entire Asia Pacific region, we are proficient in finding the right leader for the right role. We offer supply chain recruitment in Australia and in Asia Pacific. Visit:

How resilient are our supply chain brains?

Indrasen Naidoo, Western Australian Chapter President, ASCI

Our Supply Chain “reptile brain” is triggered by:

  • Supply shortages in the semiconductor and motor industries, which are deeply invested in SC best practice
  • Shortages leading to the knock-on price impacts in freight, becoming a hot topic even for the FED
  • Imbalance in equipment availability ie. containers, enough to fill the Ever Given 25 times!!

Is this a supply chain resilience question, and things will go back to normal, given time?  Or is this a “new normal”, thereafter a systematic shift in supply chain management?

Possibly, a bit of both… 

Supply Chain resilience enables improved information flows and supply relationships; increased use of Digital Technology and visibility; smart manufacturing solutions. This is a highly technical approach, insufficient in itself to cope with the challenges ahead.

Systemic shifts require going deep down the iceberg to include socio-technical dynamics. I’m reminded of Peter Senge (The Fifth Discipline) and his idea of dynamic complexity, i.e. “situations where cause and effect are subtle and where the effects over time of interventions are not obvious”. 

Solutions in one context are not necessarily replicable.

Therefore, a fundamental rethink of our supply chain mindset is required.

When exploring how we redesign to survive, adapt, and thrive, a human-centric supply chain should be the core principle that will shape the future.

A human-centric supply chain:

  • Has a deliberate in design and development, considering global ramifications
  • Equitably addresses human needs without prejudice or harm to person and planet
  • Constantly evolves, aware of the broader impact of their operations.

The supply chain principle: “begin with the customer, end with the customer” is worth reflecting on. Not only in customer centricity but also in terms of the COVID19 challenges to customers and the related socio-economic strife.

We may end up having a growing population and a decreasing customer base!!

Indrasen Naidoo is the Chair of the Systems & Technology stream on day two of ASCI2021: Supply Chain Vision In The Decade For Action, to be held 28-30 July 2021 in Western Sydney. Secure your conference ticket at:

Shifts in Global Supply Chains

Strategic Choices and Practical Issues in Global Procurement During Times of Uncertainty

There are five things you need to know……

Kobus van der Wath, CEO, Axis Group International

& Rachel Wu, MD Asia / Head, Global Procurement & Supply, Axis Group International

A turbulent world at the end of 2019 along with Covid-19 in 2020 has had a marked impact on global supply chains. This has left a trail of new issues, risks and choices for organisations, procurement and supply chain managers and teams that manage exposures to international markets. Looking ahead, it is clear that increased uncertainty is here to stay in 2021.

Let’s look at key changes in global trade patterns and the associated realignment in supply chains; the new risk landscape and challenges; strategic choices; and practical matters to get right.

And let’s not forget the new markets that matter as emerging supply clusters globally – and the approach and methodologies that are adopted by organisations that succeed with complex global procurement during times of uncertainty.

Five things you need to know about global procurement:

  1. Global supply chains are realigning dramatically – based on changes in relative cost, competitiveness, geo-politics, Covid’s impact, etc.
    • Global supply chains were already realigning pre-pandemic due to competitive forces, relative cost differentials, geo-political shifts, etc.
    • The pandemic only exacerbated the situation by exposing sourcing managers to new risks (and opportunities) in their supply chains
    • There is an increased need to assess how one’s own supply chain has shifted amidst the global realignment
  2. There is more risk globally now – procurement practitioners must simply be better at risk management
    • A plethora of risks need to be managed – a risk-radar and risk matrix that measures the probability of risks arising and their potential impact is now more important than ever
    • Regulations, supplier health, logistics disruptions, price volatility, availability of raw materials, etc, are suddenly all back in focus
    • Pre-empt and anticipate and increase efforts for real-time forecasting, demand-planning, setting inventory levels, etc
    • BCP’s must be updated and in place – and constant monitoring needed as new risks emerge as the global situation unfolds – and do recognize that all supply chains are directly or indirectly globally connected
  3. Leadership is crucial – unprecedented times call for astute leadership at all levels of the organisation
    • Talent and skills become a crucial driver for success
    • Get the mix between people and technology right
    • Use information as a strategic tool – the speed and quality of information that is available to managers and teams are differentiators
  4. ‘Right things Right’ – find YOUR focus as an organisation
    • All organisations and teams have gaps or areas that may require improvement – this becomes most evident in times of uncertainty so build the right capacity early
    • All organisations face critical challenges from time to time – and having the awareness, response, learning culture and agility will determine how they cope with risks and shocks
    • Critical challenges in areas where the organization has gaps could be a perfect storm
  5. Supply chain leaders must boldly pursue global sourcing opportunities despite the associated challenges
    • Global sourcing drives value but presents risks if not done correctly i.e. single-source procurement presents risks while over-exposure to a single market must be avoided
    • Understand new markets that matter for relevant categories, and update strategic intelligence on new markets in order to pursue value adding global procurement
    • Run effective programs early to shift supply chains for sustainable global sourcing – do not wait until it is too late

Axis International is a proud ASCI Corporate Member. Gota question for their team? Get in touch via the ASCI Corporate Directory here.

Australia’s Progress on Packaging Consumption

How Australia is faring against APCO’s ‘Australian packaging consumption and recycling data 2018–19’ report, tracking progress towards the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

This is the second in a series of annual publications, originally launched last year, mapping the state and fate of packaging in Australia.  The current report’s findings indicate that overall trends are positive, and Australia is making progress towards the 2025 Targets year-on-year.

However, significant action from stakeholders across the supply chain is still required if Australia is to meet the 2025 Targets. 

The key 2018–19 benchmarking results include: 

·         Target 1: 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging.

Ø  Result: Proportion of recyclable packaging increased from 88% to 89%

·         Target 2: 70% of plastic packaging being recycled or composted.

Ø  Result: The plastics recycling rate increased from 16% to 18% (Figures are higher for individual polymers e.g., 36% of PET and 23% of HDPE were recycled). 

·         Target 3: 50% of average recycled content included in packaging (revised up from 30% in 2020).

Ø  Result: average recycled content increased from 35% to 38%

·         Target 4: The phase out of problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics packaging.

Ø  Result: apparent reductions in some of the priority materials – PS, EPS, PVC.

The report shows improvements to packaging sustainability in a range of areas including a reduction in the volume of plastic (-6%) and an increase in the volume of recyclable packaging on market.

This year’s report also contains new data exploring the volume of packaging in landfill and reusable packaging formats.

·         2.9 million tonnes of packaging were disposed to landfill in 2018-19, accounting for 50% of the total amount of packaging placed on market. 

·         The impacts of landfilling instead of recycling these materials include 

o    lost economic value of around $520 million (the value of this packaging if it had been sorted and diverted to recycling instead of landfill),

o    an additional 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The 2020 report also quantified reusable packaging for the first time.  The pilot project examined material flows associated with five common reusable packaging systems, which were found to avoid the use of an estimated 1.7 million tonnes of single-use packaging. This demonstrates the enormous potential of reusable packaging systems to reduce consumption of single-use packaging, which will be a major area of focus for APCO and its Members over the next five years.

You can read find the reports here:  

·         Executive Summary 

·         Full Report 

·         Australian Packaging Consumption and Resource Recovery Data 2017-2018  (prior period) 

America’s pandemic supply chain

By ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE

This has been an eventful week for those of us in the United States. Shortly after being sworn in as the 46th president on Wednesday, President Biden signed 17 executive orders — more than any previous modern president.

It’s also been a momentous week for supply chain professionals. On Day 2, Biden signed the Executive Order on a Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain. It includes a Pandemic Supply Chain Resilience Strategy to design, build and sustain “long-term capability in the United States to manufacture supplies for future pandemics and biological threats.” The plan includes:

  • mechanisms to respond to emergency supply needs
  • an analysis of the role of foreign supply chains in America’s pandemic supply chain, as well as options for strengthening and better coordinating global supply chain systems
  • mechanisms to address points of failure in supply chains and to ensure necessary redundancies
  • approaches to assess and maximize public-private partnerships and federal investments in latent manufacturing capacity
  • a multi-year implementation plan for domestic production of pandemic supplies.

To achieve these goals — and vaccinate 100 million Americans in 100 days — Biden has invokedthe Defense Production Act. It will be used to help his COVID-19 response team figure out the logistics of delivering vaccines to hospitals, doctors’ offices and pharmacies across the country — as well as shoring up the supply of shots, masks, PPE, syringes, vials, dry ice and other cooling equipment to transport millions of doses.

In addition, Biden has named three officials to his supply chain task force, who will be responsible for coordinating supply chain strategy: Bechara Choucair; Carole Johnson; and Tim Manning. As supply coordinator, Manning is tasked with identifying potential vaccine- and testing-related supply shortages. A former deputy administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he will also have the ability to evoke the Defense Production Act to spur production.

Manning will “coordinate the federal effort focused on securing, strengthening and ensuring a sustainable pandemic supply chain,” according to a press release by the Biden-Harris transition team.

On Inauguration Day, the nation also rejoined the World Health Organization (WHO), adding the United States to the global pandemic response. A key shift in health policy, this move also supports the coordinated task force created by the United Nations and supported by the WHO, which ensures the rapid production of PPE and the distribution of materials to cooperating countries across the world.

In addition, Biden fulfilled his promise to immediately rejoin the legally binding Paris Agreement. It was a signal to the world that his administration is serious about slowing climate change and creating more sustainable business practices.

It’s also incredibly significant that Vice President Harris became the first woman and woman of color in the White House. As I wrote last week, a shocking 100% of jobs lost in December 2020 were held by women, who are a key part of a functioning supply chain for businesses around the globe. Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill includes $416 billion for the vaccination program and a plan to reopen schools.

Getting school-aged children safely back to in-person schooling will hopefully lift the burden on millions of parents struggling to manage work and childcare, freeing them to return to jobs many of them have left unwillingly. While kids back at school won’t be a panacea for unemployed women, it will be a major step in the right direction.

Here at ASCM, we have long known the power of supply chains to make an impact. Now, with the Executive Order on a Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain putting our industry in the spotlight once again, it’s time to turn these visions into reality. When we work together, there’s no doubt in my mind that we can address critical global challenges, achieve brighter futures and create a better world through supply chain.

ASCM’s Peter Bolstorff will present at ASCI2021 on ASCM’s Impact Program and its associated work in Africa.

Digital Transformation Success

The reputation of a business often hangs on the effectiveness of their supply chain. And, there is a realisation that supply chains can be more effective with smart digitalisation. 

When organisations introduce digitalisation, there can be micro-implosions in different corners of the business, or even bigger ones. Without doubt, technology can be our ‘friend’. It may not always be friendly in the beginning, and this is where ‘people-power’ is a critical element for the introduction of digitalisation. 

According to a 2018 McKinsey report*, digital transformations are the most difficult. They also cite that in traditional industries such as oil and gas, success for these transformations is between 4 and 11 percent. 

Three of their recommendations to improve the chances of success are: 

  1. Have leaders who are digital-savvy 
  2. Build employee capabilities 
  3. Empower people to embrace new ways of working 

People need to be nurtured, developed and encouraged to bring their learnings into the business to help with any new ideas. If a company trips over itself to bring in digitalisation without conversations with the frontline workers, they may find they dropped their money into a black hole never to be recovered. 

Professionalising your workforce in both supply chain and leading people is a must to building supply chains of excellence, resilience and responsiveness. Trying to shortcut this may result in disaster, sometimes not recoverable! 

Guest Blog: Karen Livey, Rewiring Leadership

Karen focuses on working with those leaders in supply chain who want to make a difference, and they want to develop best practice for themselves, their people and their organisations.

Karen is a member of the Australasian Supply Chain Institute Western Australian Chapter Committee.

McKinsey Report

Container fill transformation: Marks & Spencer reduces shipping and carbon footprint

Ground-breaking packaging optimisation technology is helping some of the world’s biggest retailers transform their global supply chains by reducing shipping costs and their impact on the environment.

The Packaging Compliance module, pioneered by global supply chain management specialists EV Cargo Technology, also cuts wastage, and promotes sustainability by improving transit packaging compliance, minimising damage, and increasing the amount of product which can be shipped.

Since implementing the system, a year ago, Marks & Spencer have been able to rationalise 3,800 carton types to just 10 – a 99% reduction in under eight weeks.As a result, they have increased shipping container fill levels for clothing garments by more than 15% to a market-leading 95%.

The module has also helped condense lead times for approval of transit packaging and shipping of goods from 72 hours to just a few minutes.

This helped M&S exceed its planned benefit of 15% cost savings, part of a three-year initiative to increase efficiency within its international supply chain through packaging optimisation.

“Underpinning this success has been the migration from a clunky packaging approval tool to EV Cargo Technology’s streamlined Packaging Compliance module, which has provided the data to help us track cartons, establish what was in them and dramatically improve container fill levels.

“It reduced complexity and cut out the need for lots of extra solutions from a supplier perspective. Significantly, it has also reduced the lead time required from approving transit packaging to raising a packing list, giving us more flexibility with time in case any issues were to arise.”

Stephen Jarman, vendor performance and compliance, M&S

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The cloud-based module requires suppliers to confirm transit packaging sizes and construction against agreed standards set by the retailer or brand owner; any requests that are outside of tolerances are flagged, reviewed and, if appropriate, rejected either manually or through automation built into the system.

“EV Cargo Technology is renowned for intelligently applying supply chain technology to deliver operational, cost and sustainability improvements for its customers. The positive results with M&S are encouraging and very typical of what can be achieved.

“Our data-led approach and application of best practise through our range of global supply chain modules continue to deliver unrivalled benefits to manufacturers and retailers with complex international supply chain needs.”

Duncan Grewcock, Chief Commercial Officer, EV Cargo Technology


Catch up on ASCI’s latest webinar featuring EV Cargo Technology’s Duncan Grewcock.

For more information about EV Cargo technology please visit the website: 



To CSCP or not to CSCP in your career?

CSCP Banner

Guest blog from Andrew Hill CSCP – Inventory Governance Leader, Bega Dairy & Drinks

I did not have anything to prove my competencies to the broader market and had no experience to demonstrate that I could apply my skillset in different industries and contexts.

Like many entering the supply chain profession in the early 2000’s, my entry into the profession was not by design but by taking advantage of an opportunity to shift focus within my career.  Through 13 years of experience at Brightstar, some great mentorship and exposure to international operations, I gained a base of knowledge of supply chain fundamentals in the Telecommunications industry and progressed into senior leadership positions.

When I was faced with the loss of a major contract in the local business and a global restructure, it became clear that my next challenge would not be at Brightstar.  Considering next steps, I saw two challenges that I needed to overcome in order to progress my career:

  1. I had no educational qualifications relevant to my career experience.
  2. I had broad experience working with clients in a single industry, working for a single company.

Considering these from the hiring manager’s perspective, I did not have anything to prove my competencies to the broader market and had no experience to demonstrate that I could apply my skillset in different industries and contexts.


I addressed these challenges by pursuing CSCP certification. Having worked across several functional areas from: demand planning; retail allocation and merchandising; to supply planning, I saw this qualification as a great fit to broaden my knowledge across supply chain and prepare for future leadership roles encompassing the whole of supply chain.

CSCP 2020

I chose the self-directed learning approach to learning, as this allowed me flexibility to study in my own time.  The combination of online and physical learning materials allowed the convenience to learn anywhere, anytime and online quizzes provided instant feedback on my understanding – allowing effective revision to revisit the concepts I needed to review.

While independent online learning fit well for my circumstances, classroom-based options are available for those who prefer a more structured learning experience and to receive feedback from an experienced instructor.

The CSCP program provided me with a solid foundation across a whole of supply chain curriculum, addressing areas where I had not had previous exposure, as well as providing fresh best-practice perspectives in areas where I initially felt I was stronger.

Having completed the CSCP program, I strongly believe that this qualification will provide a great foundation to further my supply chain career and am looking forward to using the knowledge gained through this program in my next role!

For any members wanting to know more about my experience in completing CSCP, please feel free to send questions through the comments section or to connect with me via LinkedIn.

ASCI Online Certification Review Classes for CSCP commence in the Winter Term in July. Purchase your Learning System in advance to ensure you make an informed decision about self studying, like Andrew Hill, or a hybrid solution of self study and online classes. Geta quote today at or subscribe to our regular updates on pricing and scheduling here. 

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Andrew Hill CSCP 

Six Essential Steps to Building Trust in Remote Teams

Guest blog from Marie-Claire Ross, Trustologie


Transitioning to managing a remote team when your team is normally co-located requires a steep learning curve for both team leaders and team members.  Throw in the COVID-19 crisis and high levels of anxiety and trust levels in the team can come crashing down if not managed correctly.

Whenever there is change and uncertainty, employees will naturally withhold expending too much energy into a team, until it feels safe to do so.  The antidote is trust.

After all, when you don’t have trust, it’s like walking through sludge.  Everything takes a long time to get done. Miscommunication and misunderstandings become rife requiring multiple meetings to sort out differences – slowing down decision-making and action.  Blame increases and avoiding accountability resulting in more conflict.

Continuing to boost your teams trust levels is critical, while everyone is learning the ropes.  This is trickier to do remotely because repairing and maintaining trust is much easier face-to-face.  To ensure team performance doesn’t drop precipitously requires the team leader, and team members, to be willing to not only change how they interact, but also their underlying mindsets.

That’s because humans have this odd tendency to only believe something is true if they can see it.  In a work environment, leaders only think team members are working if they can seethem work.

Today, team leaders have to cast aside this limiting belief that has literally stopped remote working from really taking off in the past.  Now, we’re all in this interesting workplace experiment where leaders have no choice but to let go of the reins and trust that people are getting work done.  This requires leaders to stop basing people’s performance on whether they’re seated at their desk from 9-5.  The truly liberating and empowering benefit of working from home is that people can adjust their work schedule to fit in with their lives.  As long as they can attend important meetings and produce the work required, the set times people work are irrelevant.

Pivoting from measuring time at work to delivering outcomes takes time.  Particularly for more mature leaders, who have been conditioned since school to work during set times.  Usually the tendency is to micromanage when people aren’t visible – sending an unintentional message to employees that they’re not trusted.  The result is employees will overwork to demonstrate their contribution.  And during this anxious time, this only compounds stress levels.

The good news is that this can be avoided if leaders are self-aware and have the right tools.  Visibility can be improved through using project management software that makes progress highly visible to all.  While team members need to step up and modify how they work together.

Learning any new skill this takes time.  After all, it’s a bit like moving a team from playing netball to football.  All the behaviours, mindsets, interactions and communication styles all need to change.  And it’s common to make mistakes.

To keep trust levels optimised, there are two elements leaders to focus on in equal amounts.  Otherwise, you risk being strong in one area and not the other, creating minimal improvement.  These elements are:

  1. Building trust with each individual in the team and
  2. Fostering trust between team members.

Counter intuitively; leaders need to spend more time structuring communication and relationship building between team members than when working separately.

Let’s go through the steps to do this using our SUCCEeD Together Trust Framework. This is based on six trust drivers that make it easier to leaders to identify and understand trust issues.

Support – Leaders who care, get the most out of their people.  Support underpins all of the other trust drivers and is more critical to remote teams than co-located ones.  Essentially, humans don’t trust people who don’t care about them.  So leaders need to do more work to ensure that team members feel supported by everyone in the team.

This is so critical because distributed teams have limited opportunities to spontaneously interact in hallways and food areas, which naturally bonds people together.

According to the Building Workplace Trust Study by Interaction Associates, the main way virtual workers wanted their leaders to build trust was to convene periodic face-face meetings (40%).  Of course, during the pandemic this is impossible.  But for teams that have each previously met in person, building trust remotely is easier.  But you can’t take it for granted.

If you’re a team leader, there are two areas that you need to focus on to improve support:

  1. Foster Visibility – This is on three levels. The first one is ensuring that you share as much information as possible.  It can be easy to forget to share making people feel left out.  Make it a general rule to be as transparent as possible, in order to provide the right context for people.  Share meeting notes, send regular updates and ensure all tasks and expectations are clearly documented.  The second level is making sure you’re accessible.  In a workplace, it’s important for leaders to walk the floor and speak to people daily.  Of course, it’s impossible to do this virtually.  To get around it, schedule the same time everyday when people can call you and get an immediate response.  Another example is to let employees know that if they mark their email as a high priority you will respond to it that day.  Finally, make sure everyone has their webcam on in meetings.  Video meetings encourage stronger connection between team members than phone calls.
  2. Help Team Members Understand each Other– Remote teams are less likely to recover from team members who are not trusting or trustworthy. Creating opportunities for people to learn about each other outside of work is important. Make sure that you schedule social time before or after a meeting to allow people to talk about their personal lives.  You can even have virtual coffee or lunches, where people chat over meals.  If your organisation is big enough, consider have a Slack channel where people can find others in the organisation that share the same interests such as knitting or photography.

United to Solve Customer Problems – We trust people who are similar to us.  In a team, you have lots of different people thrown together.  Unite everyone by regularly aligning people to how the work solves customer problems.  On an individual level, connect how each person’s contribution brings value to the team and organisation.  In team meeting, regularly share customer success stories, customer feedback and challenges.

Clarity of Thinking and CommunicationHumans need certainty and communication is all about reducing ambiguity.  Without it, we tend to not trust a situation.  This trust driver requires leaders to spend time clearly thinking and planning how they are going to provide employees with the right information to do their job.

According to the Building Workplace Trust Study by Interaction Associates, there were three things that virtual workers required from their team leaders:

  1. Reveal their thinking about important issues
  2. Remind team members of their common purpose
  3. Create clear working agreements.

To do this requires spending time one on one with people and convening together as a team.

With each individual, make sure you:

  • Discuss what success (including quality) looks like for the team and how their tasks connect to that.
  • Work with them to create their own goals that are tied to the team’s overarching goal (and encourage each team member to share their goals at team meetings).
  • Clearly articulate how they need to communicate progress with you. For example, do they need to send you a summary email of work done at the end of the week or would you prefer a daily phone call?
  • Explain their role, responsibilities, and your expectations. Encourage them to repeat back to you what they believe them to be, so you can check for accuracy and understanding.

For the team, you’ll want to ensure you have regular meetings, in order to co-ordinate team schedules and progress updates.

  • Ensure each team member talks about their progress to help everyone understand each person’s contribution. Make each individual responsible for gathering this information and presenting it.  This is important because we only trust people who are competent at their job. Encouraging each member to prove their competency will help others trust them.
  • Weekly check-ins to discuss what people are working on, what’s keeping them stuck and what is or isn’tworking. If you’re team is new to remote work, implement daily check-ins

Candour – You can’t fix problems, if people aren’t willing to talk about them. Ensuring team members feel safe to talk about issues is one of the defining factors of a high performance team. Unfortunately, conflict can go unresolved because it’s easy to agree in an online meeting.

Improving candour involves the team leader modeling the right behaviours that enable people to speak up.  Allow people to challenge you and respond by listening and asking curious questions. Give positive verbal feedback for those brave enough to express issues and concerns.  If your team does not naturally talk about issues, ask in meetings: Who has a different point of view on this issue?  Consider asking people by name to articulate their support or concerns.

Empowered to GrowYou can’t grow a company unless the people within it are growing.  You want to make sure that learning is safe and it’s a journey that you’re all on together.

Set aside time to learn jointly.  These can either be formal learning (eg: learning how to read a profit and loss statement) right through to ensuring that people are learning from each other.  Don’t forget to do training because you’re remote.

Encourage project wrap-ups to share lessons learned.  And also encourage team members to provide virtual presentations that you can record it, and tag, so that it is easily searchable.

DependabilityAt the heart of trusting others is being able to rely on people.  In a workplace team, we need to feel that others will make good on their promises and do the right thing.  This requires ensuring that each team member understands all of the interdependencies of the role.  The job of the leader is to provide a holistic understanding of the interactions between all the moving parts and ensure everyone is accountable.  Check in with team members regularly about any bottlenecks that are potentially stopping team members from delivering on goals.

Powering Great Remote Teams

Great remote teams thrive in a culture of trust.  And it requires team leaders that are conscious of building trust into their team interactions, actions and communication.

And it’s a skill that is going to more valued in the supply chain market once we are in the brand new world on the other side of this pandemic.  While we don’t know what the future will look like, it’s pretty clear that leaders who micromanage, resist change and find it difficult to rally their people won’t be tolerated.  Low trust leadership slow things down creating unnecessary problems that we can no longer endure in a fast paced world.

The payoff of high trust leaders is extensive.  According to Interaction Associates, virtual workers tend to report a significantly higher level of trust in their organisation than their non-virtual workers.  And the benefits can be quite staggering – the same research study found that organisations that have high trust have 2.5 times the revenue generation of low trust organisations.

Authentic leadership is built on trust.  The more people trust their leader, and each other, the more they will take risks and adapt keeping their organisation alive.  In these difficult times, organisations that can adapt quickly will be more likely to survive.

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Marie-Claire Ross is the chief corporate catalyst at Trustologie.  She is a speaker, author and consultant focused on helping CEOs and leadership teams put the right processes in place to empower employees to speak up about issues, challenge each other, and share information.

If you would like a complimentary Remote Team Trust Cheat Sheet, that can help you build trust both one on one and within your teams, go to







Data And AI Set To Transform Retail Supply Chains

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Guest Blog: Craig Sears-Black, Chief Executive of EV Cargo Technology

It once belonged in the realms of science fiction, but today artificial intelligence (AI) plays such an integral role in our daily lives that most of us don’t even notice it’s there, while all the time generating vast quantities of data.

In recent years AI systems have been developed to utilise this data in increasingly sophisticated ways, none more so than in the field of retail. As more of us shop online, so AI is used to transform our experience with personalisation, automation and increased efficiency.

But advanced technologies now also play a pivotal role in the operation of the modern retail supply chain, helping dictate how goods reach retailers. Although AI was identified as being a game-changer more than ten years ago, its limitations had not then been fully grasped and the industry wasn’t aware of the large amounts of quality data required for it to be effective. It’s only when industry-wide data can be combined that technologies such as machine learning and neural networks can be applied effectively.

However, after a huge amount of groundwork, the foundations have now been built to obtain the volume and quality of data required to support the development of AI in supply chains.

“Businesses have recognised the value of their data and its potential to solve the complexities of running a global logistics network,” says Craig Sears-Black, chief executive of EV Cargo Technology. “They have become considerably better at accessing data and now better understand how to incorporate AI into everyday work tasks to augment human decision-making.

“This next decade will be about harnessing AI and placing our trust in technology to make the correct decisions. This will evolve over the next decade, gradually moving from a recommendation that requires human sign-off, to limited automation if certain conditions are met. As the tech proves itself over time, it will take on more and more automated decisions.

EV Cargo Technology has been providing supply chain software solutions for more than 25 years and is used by many of today’s leading global and high street retailers.

“As an example, AI can use shipping data, combine it with predicted volumes, weather forecasts and emerging disruptive events and recommend that the shipment should be re-routed via an alternative port, saving significant transit time and costs,” explains Craig. “Initially, someone will review and approve this recommendation but eventually AI will make greater decisions on the retailer’s behalf.

“That extends to re-routing and re-prioritising shipments based on changing stock position or trends. If a retailer’s forecasting system says they’ll sell more stock, AI will be able to suggest and decide on changes to the transport mode and route, taking demand and costs fully into consideration.”

“Technology will also find greater applications within product sourcing. Considering information stored about factories, supplier reliability in terms of on-time and quality, cost price and time taken to market, AI can weigh all those elements and recommend the best supplier for that particular product.

“It will never fully replace the buyer but, for basic products with consistent sales, AI could monitor stock and sales and re-order automatically. Or with access to sales and inventory information, re-prioritise shipments of product to ensure optimum stock levels.”

Improving visibility, reducing friction, encouraging collaboration and promoting compliance are just some of the ways EV Cargo Technology has helped clients transform their supply chains. The benefits are both tangible and significant: increased sales through improved availability, an increase in profitability and reductions in inventory, logistics and overall operating costs.

“Technology is ramping up efficiencies in network planning and predictive demand, allowing retailers to become more proactive,” added Craig. “Advances in AI and analytics will enhance the ability of the technology to predict outcomes and mitigate potential impacts.”

So is full automation just around the corner? Not in the next ten years, according to Craig, who says that issues over trust in the technology and decision-making mean human input will remain, at least for now.

He adds: “Data is one of a company’s most valuable assets and there’s no doubt that AI-supported analytics is set to take a huge leap forward over the next ten years in helping unlock the true potential of that data – interpreting it and intuitively directing attention to where it is most needed.”

EV Cargo Technology works with retailers to monitor their supply chain networks and design, build, test, and deploy optimum supply chain management systems for each organisation’s individual needs. They  work to improve business processes through connecting the entire trading community, giving a platform to thrive by efficiently collaborating with external partners, and managing the complete supply chain with full transparency, efficiency and cost effectiveness

With over 25 years’ experience in delivering supply chain intelligence, EV Cargo Technology has a global client base spanning across America, Europe, South Africa, and Australasia. For more information, visit: