Make Your Supply Chain Millennial

Logistics experts in trucking and the supply chain have been talking lately about how to draw more younger workers into the industry space. The number of millennials (also known as Generation Y, the demographic cohort following Generation X) in the workforce is increasing.

Statistics show that there are 80 million Millennials vs. 79 million Boomers in the U.S and as boomers retire, the workforce is getting younger overall. Millennials are vastly different from any other generation in the workforce, and have a unique set of skills and values that can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your supply chain and trucking company operation.

Millennials are cloud dwellers

As businesses increasingly rely on digital connectivity and technology to improve operations, inter-connectivity and sales, millennial expertise can be a big boon. As the most “connected” age group Millennials practically live in the “cloud.” For them it’s second nature to stream content, network socially, and complete work tasks all within a few successive clicks of a connected device.

Millennials on the whole are also vastly in tune with the latest trends in social media and generally anything that will make their work or chores simpler. Web automation productivity tools like Zapier and IFTTT are sure to have seen the bulk of their early users from this generational cohort. They usually also know a thing or two about troubleshooting systems and they thrive on making use of technology to help them complete work projects or tasks (usually during or after work hours).

In short, the more open your system is, the more millennials will feel they can do: as they grew up with technology, most millennials are always on and looking for better ways to connect and improve.

Millennials are promoters and communicators, savvy software users

As a generation, Millennials:

  • express themselves online to nearly anyone who cares to read,
  • nurture and promote reddit posts feverishly (even inconsequential, random facts),
  • have an expectation of instant response to most of their postings, and
  • keep tabs on tens (or even hundreds) of different brands.

These tendencies mean that Millennials are comfortable researching, interacting with, and making transactions online simply based on what their social networks are saying.

This generation is the most likely to leverage data in the cloud to help them make informative decisions, such keeping track of who “likes” what company, or when applying for a new job they’ll seek feedback from their Facebook friends for reviews about the company or help with interview tips.

They are also some of the best positive word of mouth marketers for the companies that do hire them (as long as they like their job, the reverse is also true - flexibility is one of their most important criteria).

Additionally, millennials' readiness to seek out answers and find solutions when given access to technology and data makes them power users. A valuable resource when navigating new software, real-time analytics, CRM or communication tools that many supply chain or LTL shipping companies currently use, or are looking to put in place.

Millennials enjoy collaboration

Network collaboration is often considered to be one of the most significant benefits of any SaaS (Cloud software) based platform-- and millennials are comfortable connecting and collaborating.

The millennial generation can share information faster and more efficiently than any other generation in the supply chain workforce, which would naturally facilitate improved collaborating with vendors, carriers, and shippers to work across each other’s networks. This allows for sharing transportation networks and resources while creating economies of scale.

Millennials have a lot to teach the supply chain, just as the supply chain industry has much to teach millennials. Organizations that can embrace and use the strengths of the millennial generation will ultimately benefit-- those organizations need to be open to new styles of thinking and executing, but that is what growing is all about.

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