Sep 27, 2023
by Seb Taylor

Logistics & Operations Market Update

Overall the recruitment market has picked up since a relatively slow H1. Businesses were apprehensive about recruitment and headcount due to the economic climate, especially for senior hires. We are seeing business being more optimistic, with inflation and wholesale prices all reducing, but it's not without its challenges…  

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐞𝐥𝐬𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠?  

  • People are returning to the high street across Europe. Although very sad news for Wilko in the UK; the high street is seeing an increase in footfall which is driving revenue and within logistics meaning that operations must be omni channel.
  • DE&I remains a priority but from what I hear from HR individuals is that there is a struggle with this and getting the right person in as line managers a being very specific on requirements.
  • Although not the level of roles we saw in 2021/2022 - strong candidates have multiple job options and are seeing companies that are engaging and move quickly as their preference.
  • Returns - as I posted earlier this week - a pain! There has been a 20% increase and so businesses are having to review return policies, how their 3PL partners operate, new technology (e.g. Augmented reality 'try on') and reviewing automation options.
  • Many 3PLs e.g. Unipart Logistics have launched or are developing Control Tower models, as well as investing heavily in automation and technology as the cost has reduced massively over the last few years and salaries for warehouse staff have increased.
  • Continued evolution and growth of 3rd Party Retail Market with Sainsbury's,Next, Zalando & H&M all expanding range in this space (+ TikTok - watch this space!).
  • Many site operations leaders are struggling to find individuals with the want, drive and capability to move into leadership positions, causing issues with succession planning (esp. Junior level).
  • There’s a big focus on technology; platform development, automation, but also AI and machine learning to improve efficiencies.
  • Huge increase in demand for stock & inventory positions as businesses looking to review stock holdings, reduce slow-moving products and improve cash flow.
  • Customs & trade compliance - Brexit pains haven't gone away… Lots of businesses focus on cross-border logistics and where money can be saved. Move to more commercially focused roles to ensure profitability, efficiency and client retention.   

Any thoughts on this or anything worth highlighting?   If you found this interesting and would like to speak on any of these points, - drop me a message or email