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5 Ways To Strengthen Your Communication Skills For Career Success

“Supply Chain is the linking of people, products and ideas around the globe. You need to be a connector.” Amanda Decook, Sourcing Associate, A.T. Kearney. Most supply chain professionals would agree. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Thomasnet.com showed that more than 90% of purchasing professionals believe communication is essential to their career and more so, 39.39% believe it is the most important skill for success.

However, mastering communication is not easy. For some, it’s not a natural skill, And even if it is, a third of respondents believe it is the one skill they consistently need to work on. “Communication is king. It’s the key to success, and it will make or break things on so many levels depending on if it’s there or not.” Sara Robichaux, Strategic Sourcing Category Lead – Services, Apache Corporation.

So how can supply chain professionals practice effective communication with colleagues, stakeholders and suppliers? These 5 tips could be a career game changer.

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30 Under 30 Stars Share Their Perspective On Global Supply Chains

Supply chains are more global than ever before, and that's reflected in the supply chain workforce of today.

Our 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars include professionals that live and work around the world. We recently got to chat with two of those supply chain stars to get their perspective on working in the global supply chain. Here's what they had to say:

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A Chat With Dan Kaskinen, Rising Supply Chain Star Megawatt Winner

In 2014, Dan Kaskinen sat in the audience of ISM2014 and learned about a brand new program launched by THOMASNET.com and ISM called the 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars Recognition Program. Three years later, Dan has not only been named a Rising Star, he’s this year’s Megawatt winner.

“When I was chosen as a winner, I was really excited and so appreciative," he said. "I had the chance to meet a few of last year’s winners, so knowing how impressive they were made me really appreciate winning the award.”

We got the chance to catch up with Dan and learn more about his supply chain career, his advice for success and the future of the industry. Take a look at what he has to say:

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How To Successfully Make A Career Change Into Supply Chain

Deciding what you want to do with your life can be overwhelming, especially when that decision is made early in your career. In fact, an astounding majority of people don’t find their calling right away, which is why 80% of workers are interested in making a career switch.

Making that switch can be daunting and confusing. There are so many options, and the wrong move can set you back in your career and in your finances.

However, switching to supply chain can be a great option. That's because the field is broad enough to be a fit for people with a variety of technical and soft skills. It's also a growing industry, with millions of new employees being added to the workforce.   

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The Training Manufacturers Need To Keep Their Skills Up To Date


Studies show that a well-trained staff is more productive and engaged. However, organizations tend to push training to the side when other pressing issues occur on the shop floor. So what can manufacturers do to ensure their employees receive the training necessary to maximize productivity and employee retention? 

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Why It's Great To Work In The Supply Chain Industry As A Millennial

At THOMASNET.com, we know that there are variety of reasons to choose a career in supply chain. Unfortunately, however, many young professionals don't consider supply chain as a career option. Even worse, many don't even know it exists!

To spread the word and shed some light on why working in supply chain can be a great option, we asked the winners of our 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars contest to weigh in. Here's what some of them had to say: 

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How To Take An Employee-Centric Approach To Change Management

In today’s increasingly dynamic and ever-changing market, organizational change isn’t only to be expected; it’s essential. However, change isn’t always easy, and it’s important to understand how different employees will respond in order to implement and manage change effectively.

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Should You Go To Market? Strategies For 3 Common Sourcing Scenarios

Strategic sourcing is all about generating a return on investment for every sourcing initiative. However, different sourcing scenarios require different levels of investment – in terms of time, effort and resources. Therefore, it’s important to approach each situation differently as well in order to produce the best results.

Here are three common sourcing scenarios, along with proven advice you can use to ensure an optimal return.

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Can Worker Training Programs Solve The Skills Gap In Manufacturing?

The skills gap is a major roadblock to the growth of the manufacturing industry. While training programs could be the solution, they raise the question of who should be leading the training initiatives and who should be paying for them.

The U.S. government has the money to put into manufacturing training programs but doesn’t have the expertise to train workers. On the other hand, manufacturing companies have the expertise to teach new students but don't have the funding necessary to launch these programs.

A new approach, introduced by the Aspen Institute, might be able to bridge the gap.

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