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Profile Supply Chain & Operations Market Update, Singapore, Sep 2018

The following report provides an update on the key trends that we have observed within the Supply Chain & Operations job market in Singapore. It identifies emerging themes across various industries and details the major factors impacting hiring and talent movement.

ECONOMIC LANDSCAPE

  • Singapore’s economy advanced at a slightly better than expected 3.9% in the second quarter of 2018 compared to a year ago, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore's latest announcement in August 2018.

  • Quarter two growth this year was supported primarily by manufacturing, wholesale trade, business services and the finance and insurance sectors.

  • Specifically, the manufacturing and services sectors continue to fuel Singapore's growth in the second quarter of 2018. All the manufacturing clusters saw growth; however, the biggest contributors were the electronics and biomedical manufacturing clusters. For services, the finance & insurance and wholesale & retail trade sectors were the solid performers.

  • The Ministry of Manpower reported that the labour market continued to expand with net growth in total employment, while unemployment and retrenchments in the second quarter of this year remained lower compared to the same period a year ago. However, the unemployment rate has increased compared to March 2018, which saw the lowest unemployment rate since March 2017.

  • Retrenchments may rise as restructuring and reorganisation within organisations gather pace.

MARKET TRENDS

  • There continues to be strong demand for Supply and Demand Planning professionals as companies seek to improve their S&OP processes.

  • Candidates with experience in Automation and Streamlining Supply Chain processes have been highly sought after for jobs within the e-commerce, logistics and manufacturing sectors. The logistics sector in particular has seen many global companies investing in both infrastructure and talent, with the aim of making Singapore a distribution hub. 

  • Singapore is a regional or global headquarters for many major logistics companies. This creates a vibrant ecosystem of leading shippers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) in Singapore and, as a result, many firms have set up innovation hubs. Demand for Logistics professionals remains high as these companies actively drive innovative activities and new supply chain solutions for their customers.

  • As companies develop their capabilities by engaging in, and integrating into their systems, smart processes, there has been a rise in demand for professionals who are well versed in Data Analytics, Automation, Robotics and 3D Printing. The increased use of technology to deliver better experiences and accelerated performance has certainly become more important.

  • Robotics, AI and other digital technologies such as automation, blockchain, cloud, IoT, automation and 3D printing are creating new capabilities in modern supply chain and gaining momentum in many companies. This is due to their ability to increase efficiency, reduce costs and boost employees' productivity. As a result, Supply Chain & Operations professionals with experience in Supply Chain Transformation and change management will continue to be sought after.

  • As organisations continue their efforts to drive process improvements in the supply chain and operations function, demand for Process Improvement professionals with a proven track record in reducing costs for organisations will increase. Project Managers along with Continuous Improvement and Solution Implementation professionals with relevant certifications (PMP, LEAN/Six Sigma) continue to remain in demand.

  • With the explosive growth of e-commerce, consumers have come to expect a modern day retail experience associated with affordability, convenience, flexibility and speed. This has created a growing need for Logistics professionals with expertise in last-mile delivery solutions and supply chain analytics.

  • The Trade and Customs function will see an increased importance for many companies as a result of ongoing trade tensions and its potential impact on trade and supply chain flows.

  • With the evolving threats being faced globally in relation to safety and security, there has been an increase in hiring for Safety and Security professionals. This has been especially true for companies with widespread physical facilities in the region. Professionals with expertise in enhancing security standards through the use of security technologies have become well sought after.

  • Candidates with demonstrated Business Partnering skills have been increasingly in demand, especially within the supply chain and manufacturing functions. With the fast-changing and dynamic climate brought by organisational transformation and post M&A, companies have been placing greater emphasis on hiring talent who demonstrate adaptability, nimbleness and willingness to embrace change. 

THE FUTURE

  • As we enter the second half of 2018, there is heightened economic uncertainty in light of ongoing trade tensions between major economies.

  • The trade tensions between the United States and China could have huge implications on heavily integrated and globalised supply chains.

  • Moving into the second half of 2018, slower market growth is anticipated due to several factors including ongoing trade tensions, slowdown of key final demand markets such as US, Eurozone and China, and an expected normalisation of monetary policy in the US.

  • In line with developments in the global market, it has become increasingly important for professionals to remain agile and responsive to emerging technological trends, economic restructuring and the evolving workforce landscape.

NOTABLE PLACEMENTS

Profile’s recent completed searches in our Supply Chain & Operations practice include:

  • VP of Procurement

  • Regional Supply Chain Director

  • VP of Health & Safety

  • Director of Operations

  • Business Process Re-engineering Lead

  • Supply Chain Manager

  • Regional Planning Manager

  • Regional Health and Safety Manager

  • Senior Manager, Trade Compliance

  • Customer Service Head

KEY CONTACTS

For more information about hiring trends in Singapore, please contact the Supply Chain & Operations team.


Yvonne Goh, Regional Director

T: +65 6513 2511

E: ygoh@profileasia.com 


Shyan-Hwei Phua, Associate Director 

T: +65 6513 2510

E: sphua@profileasia.com 


Matthew Chan, Associate

T: +65 6513 2515

E: mchan@profileasia.com

Author

Yvonne Goh, Regional Director, Profile Search & Selection

Date

September 2018