In our preparation of the 2014 Supply Chain Salary Survey, we not only solicited facts and figures from respondents but we also invited them to share comments regarding their salary, their job situation, the state of the industry, or professional challenges. All responses were posted anonymously.

We sought to identify the biggest challenges to managing a supply chain, and as you’ll see, there’s no love lost between supply chain managers and the amount of government regulations they have to deal with on a daily basis. We also asked respondent to share their viewpoints on any workforce-related issue important to them.

Some of the following comments have been lightly edited (primarily for clarity).


What is the biggest challenge facing the industry today?


Acquiring and keeping the right people.

Being competitive with foreign competition.

Buying customers.


Cost of doing business.

Cost of goods, inventory, transportation.

Cost of raw material.

Cost reduction.

Currency manipulation by China.

Customers’ continuing pressure to reduce order lead time.




Energy prices.

Engineering resources.

ERP software.

Expenses that are mandated by law and become virtually uncontrollable, i.e. healthcare, EPA, OSHA, taxes (all kinds).

Federal regulations, taxes and domestic supply.

Federal taxes.

Finding qualified job seekers for tech positions.

Finding qualified workers and government regulations.

Foreign competition from China and other Asian countries who do not pay the same wages and benefits. Social media invading printing. Increasing union benefits.

Government regulations and interference.

Getting good quality people.

Global competition.

Finding and keeping employees.

Government regulations and restrictions.

Government regulations.

Growth to become a billion-dollar company as our management vision.\

Higher insurance cost; higher taxes; more federal and state controls.

Hiring qualified people at a competitive wage.

Just-in-time stocking.

Hiring qualified people.

Hours of service on trucking.

How the market acquires product.

Imports and lack of government support.


Inability to plan for supply chain needs due to buyers’ confusion over taxes and economic uncertainty.

Interfacing with the Internet.

International competition.

Keeping up with appropriate technology.

Lack of management leadership and vision.

Lack of skilled workers entering job market.

Lack of vision and leadership.

Lean manufacturing at low costs.

Loss of business.

Low-cost competition.

Maintaining competitiveness while being able to offer quality livable wages.

Market growth.

Out of vogue in attracting talent.