What are the functions that are in high demand with a low supply of quality talent? I can think of four general categories: Logistics, Digital Marketing, Continuous Improvement and Sales Development. Why? They follow the current needs of the business cycle during a recovery.
When things are bad, organizations are looking for people that can cut costs, add revenue, increase performance, or develop new business. At times like this, when the economy is flattening out and shows signs of improving, organizations want to focus on growing the business, expanding their reach to new customers and making their operations not only more effective and efficient, but also prepare it for expected growth.
So what can these four functions do? Let’s look at their potential contributions:
Logistics: From raw materials to finished goods to the end user, this function touches all aspects of moving products through the process as efficiently as possible. This includes purchasing, distribution, warehousing, transportation, modular carriers, and many other systems and reporting. It knows where everything is at all times. Any organization that is not “logistics” organized and operational is losing money.
Digital Marketing: A relatively new marketing tool, digital marketing includes all website, Internet connections, social media, and all marketing and sales that is not face-to-face with the customer. It also tracks and interacts with the customer with speed and accuracy. Digital marketing is responsible for more revenue generation than ever, as customers are using the Internet for purchases and moving away from brick-and-mortar or catalogue sales. Organizations that are not involved with digital marketing strategies are falling further behind.
Continuous Improvement: Contributing to continuous improvements in any organization is a valued function. This includes looking in every nook and cranny of the business for ways to improve the organizational results. This can include products, inventory control, hiring talent, manufacturing, engineering, information technology, taxes, or management reports to name a few. People with a Six Sigma designation or a PMP certification are especially valued.
Sales Development: Nothing happens until a sale is made. Sales development can occur through expanding existing products, markets or customers or new opportunities in products, markets, customers or niche segments. Anything that will grow revenue and accelerate growth is included in sales development. Without new products, markets, customers or marketing, a business becomes stale and static, giving the competition the edge. Without growth, a business will die. It’s just a matter of time.
Each business cycle gives rise to functions that are in demand. When business was in a slide, finance and cost cutting was a primary requirement. Not anymore. Today’s drivers are those functions that help business expand or become more efficient. Use this information in your resume as you search for your next opportunity to contribute to business results.