Technology will play an increasingly pivotal role in the supply chain sector in 2018, with rising demand in the implementation and adoption of artificial intelligence to optimize freight movements. We expect greater investment in traditional warehouse management systems (WMS), transportation management systems(TMS) and other IT software, including real-time tracking to optimise transport capacity throughout the supply chain. Candidates offering expertise on how to embed and harness technology solutions will be in high demand.
The evolutionary shift from bricks-andmortar to e-commerce distribution models will continue to alter the perception of warehousing functionality. Candidates who can make strategic decisions on issues such as the physical location of warehousing, and how and where to fulfil e-commerce orders, and who can simultaneously balance the adoption of modern, omni-channel retailing strategies, will be key hires in 2018. Also, with more retailers offering free returns as part of their customer services and brand development strategy, we expect an increased demand for reverse logistics candidates.
Consumers are demanding faster deliveries, bringing last mile logistics and crowdsourcing to the forefront of the supply chain industry agenda. Professionals with expertise in these areas will be in particularly high demand.
Hong Kong continues to offer fundamental advantages forprocurement and will remain a key hub for international sourcing and trading companies. However, as China evolves its economy away from manufacturing and restructures towards a service-based economy, Hong Kong-based sourcing professionals will increasingly need to focus their attention on emerging Asian sourcing hubs, such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia and Bangladesh, alongside more established markets such as Vietnam, Thailand and India.
Consumers are increasingly concerned about the provenance of their goods. Corporate social responsibility, carbon footprint reduction, supply chain transparency and ethical sourcing practices which meet sustainability agendas are some of the important topics the modern
multinational corporation has to consider. Hiring managers will be seeking candidates with relevant knowledge of these issues.