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Millennial Potential

  • Abe Eshkenazi

There’s a lot of supposition about millennials in the business environment. It’s hard to know what’s fact and what’s fiction. This week, I ran across an interesting perspective in Forbes, “10 Things Millennial CEOs Will Reimagine in America,” by marketing guru Jeff Fromm. He considers how the business world will evolve when millennials take over leading it.

For example, Fromm says that while companies will become more pragmatic in their financial decision making, they will also invest in research and development to innovate and solve problems. He also writes that millennial bosses will care more about economic value generated than time spent on the job.

“The millennial generation is largely misunderstood,” Fromm writes. “They are a diverse group that has faced real social and economic challenges during their most formative years. Smart companies will take heed of millennials’ perspective.”

While everyone is talking about millennials, maybe it’s time to talk to them? I’m excited to share with you a video produced as part of the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) “We are Manufacturing” campaign.

In the video, you will see there are lots of outdated views about manufacturing and the jobs associated with it. It seems millennials’ ideas about manufacturing come from the 18th and 19th centuries, not the state-of-the art, international networks of today. However, what the people interviewed in the video did seem to grasp is that manufacturing is important to economies. What APICS and our friends at NAM understand is that millennials and the generations that come after will be the future of manufacturing.

The future of the profession

We in supply chain and operations management have some work to do to ensure this new generation of workers (and future workers) understand the potential that jobs in this field offer. For example, consider the summer 2013 results of the APICS Operations Management Salary and Employment Report. At the time, 49 percent of survey respondents with hiring responsibility indicated they anticipated hiring new employees within in the next 12 months, with 93 percent indicating they planned to hire within one or more of the following operational areas: execution and control of operations, purchasing/customer relationship management, quality, resource planning, and supply chain management. 

Further indicating the quality of jobs in the supply chain and operations management area is the pay for those jobs. According to the salary and employment report, the average annual compensation across all operations management job categories was $99,685.

To get the word out to millennials about APICS and the rewarding field of supply chain and operations management, the APICS Board of Directors unanimously voted to eliminate student membership dues, retroactive to January 1, 2014. As of April 1, students who meet the eligibility requirements will able to enjoy the benefits of ASCM Membership at no cost.

We are pleased to make the benefits of ASCM Student Membership even more accessible to our future leaders in the industry, and we appreciate the roles you—as members, volunteers, and partners—play in this process. Encourage the students you know to visit and join now.


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