Market Update Q2 2020 - Supply Chain

Tribe's Head of Supply Chain, Dan Percvial, gives his team's take on the supply chain industry for Q2 of 2020. 

We have hundreds of years’ worth of collective recruitment experience here at Tribe and I can say without hesitation that the last three months have certainly been the most challenging for every single one of us. 

After a wonderful break over Christmas and New year, January got off to a great start, February broke records and March was on track to beat that, until it happened...


Suddenly, we were all facing the biggest global health crisis the world has ever seen and a significant economic impact. The effects were immediate on the supply chain sector. Some benefitted and others had 100 percent of their business pulled from under them in the space of a few days. The fact that so many adapted and changed so quickly, simply to survive, is testament to the way supply chain people seem to work. That is one of the reasons we love working in this sector. If it is broken – fix it. If it is working – how can it work better.

Anyway, on to a brief market update:

We have all been living and working in a rapidly changing environment, so this is a quick reflection on the quarter that has been and an overview of the current job market in supply chain.

While the employment market is considerably more candidate-heavy, contrary to the pre-COVID-19 state of talent scarcity, the increase in applicants is to some extent great for employers in that they have more applicants to choose from. There are still challenges sorting through the higher than normal volume of CVs - like finding a needle in a big haystack for the best person for a role. It is still vital that hiring managers ensure every application received is acknowledged and considered in a fair and timely manner. Utilising technology today helps to ensure that this can be done the right way for everyone.

Looking back, lockdowns across the world led to significant supply chain disruptions for businesses as consumer behaviour made unpredicted shifts. Most of NZ’s primary industries and essential services were able to continue operating and exporting despite the crisis, such as the food and beverage producing sector. It’s been positive that many logistical challenges and freight issues have already improved. This is expected to keep improving globally in the coming months. 

These times have accelerated supply chain transformation for many businesses. A roadmap to being prepared for the future is something that is both really interesting and exciting to be involved in. Businesses are turning towards local as opposed to overseas suppliers, and relationships are more tight-knit than ever.

Looking ahead, we are seeing recruitment pick up in supply chain as more businesses can forge a plan for their future needs. Some businesses are on a recovery journey, some are on hiring freezes until 2021, others are setting up strong new teams to tackle continuous improvement and optimisation. Planning and procurement professionals have been in demand as cost and operational efficiency are key focus areas for businesses. 

It is also worth noting that we have seen an increase in contract work across a wide range of roles across supply chain. Including demand/supply planning, analysts, inventory, warehousing, DC management and purchasing.

Supply chain never stops – and for NZ it has surely been a shape-shifting experience as they keep innovating and driving forward.


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