I interviewed Baidhurya Mani who discussed Supply Chain Training and The Supply Chain Industry.
Can you provide a brief background of yourself?
Thank you, Dustin, for having me on this interview. I currently work in supply chain analytics. I design online courses for students and young professionals in the industry.
I actually started my career as a supply chain modeler. I moved to General Mills and worked there as a supply chain consultant for a couple of years. From there I left the job, then I spent some time as an independent consultant. I built a consulting business.
But my interest was in training, and that's why I kind of shutdown my consulting business and now I am in the training business.
Can you talk about the reasons why you transitioned to a trainer?
We have been hearing about the supply chain talent crisis that our industry faces. Some people even feel like the demand to supply ratio is as high as six is to one. However, if you look at the number of programs available in the industry or the number of training programs especially for the young professional, that's almost close to nil. So, that I see as a big issue.
Most of the training programs that come up are targeted at mid and senior level executives management, and most of them are offline training programs, limiting its reach. There is a huge gap in the training requirements and the availability right now. So, that was one reason.
And second, I actually feel motivated, and I really appreciate the Information Technology industry, where they have done such wonderful job in preparing their future IT professionals. If you look at the platform like Udemy or Coursera, you want to build a skill, learn any new technology, you simply do a search, and then you usually can take courses from several availableoptions. And those are courses which can help you gain enormously.
We have not been able to achieve. So that was the main reason I had to move into supply chain training.
What about the supply chain industry in training? Are there issues that affect training in the supply chain industry?
The issues are somewhat common to other industries as well. However, in some ways,we have not been able to tackle those challenges. So, one big challenge has been the gap between the academia and industry, because students are still being taught the same thing. So for example, supply chain. Analytics has been one of the fastest growing segments in the supply chain industry. However, still there are not many degree programs or training programs for supply chain analytics. And we just have the standard, traditional supply chain degree programs. So, that's one big issue, as I mentioned earlier.
Another big issue is that most of the programs targeted mid and senior level executives. And we kind of, as an industry, somewhere fail to provide guidance to our young students who actually begin their careers. That's something that I think are the 2 issues in the industry right now.
Do you have any recommendations for supply chain professionals that are in need of training?
I will answer this question from two angles. One, I have recommendation for the career supply chain professionals who are already experts in the industry. So, I actually want to kind of use the new tools, maybe kind of make a request to the experts in the industry to come up, to actually share more and more knowledge with the new students. So, if they can create some online courses and programs from their experiences, so that would be one way by which we can actually educate a large audience.
Apart from that, we have some certification programs, the standard ones. But apart from that, as far as courses are concerned, I think that things like Udemy have some good courses. There are some good courses by MIT. There are a few good courses in the sector. I think as far as how students should approach them, I think there are a lot of resources available which have not been kind of put together in an organized training form, but still there are a lot of resources available on the internet.
So, for example, if you're trying to say, learn an advanced software like Supply Chain Guru, you can find a lot of documentation, a lot of videos also. You have to do a lot of search and research on your end. But that is something that I at this moment, recommend to the users.
About Baidhurya Mani
Supply Chain Analytics Trainer @ SupplyChainModeler.com