What impact is this new generation having on the supply chain? This question was asked by eft (EyeforTransport) in their "Q1 2016 Hot Trends in Supply Chain and Logistics Report".

Only around 12% of respondents representing LSPs, manufacturers, retailers and solution providers had businesses dominated by millennials. However, 34% of respondents had workforces that comprised of between 25% and 50% millennials. This number is in-line with the labor force, where the largest percentage of the U.S. labor force is millennials, explains eft.

When asked if the respondent’s’ company was prepared for a future change in workforce… ie more millennials, the following results were reported.

  • 36% said yes, they have adjusted our on-boarding to reflect millennial values – technology, innovation, data-driven, ownership, etc.
  • 25.5% said yes, and there is no need to change our current practices of on-boarding
  • 17.6% said no, but they have plans in place to do something to ensure our business is aligned with this workforce
  • 12.1% said no, and they don't have a plan as of yet
  • 8.8% answered they didn’t know

“We will likely see both of these numbers start to shift in the coming years as millennial-specific incentivization work environments and job functions start to prove their effectiveness,” the report said. “In addition, with top-end millennials approaching their mid-30s, we will start to see a shift in management teams with more and more of them running businesses. Finally, due to millennial driven change in consumer habits, we are likely to see more involved in developing strategies to take advantage of such changes.”

Respondents said that the biggest impact millennials will have on the supply chain is in terms of how they change the way consumers buy. The move towards new marketplaces – online, mobile, via social media – will be one of the transformative ways supply chains will be affected.

Over 55% of respondents also felt that the abilities of millennials to understand and adopt technology will drive many new innovations within supply chain organizations. This was the same across industry types – manufacturers, retailers, and all the logistics types asked.

This could prove of significant importance for logistics companies especially, as they look to differentiate themselves. Manufacturers and retailer will also be able to profit in that millennials presumably will best understand their own consumer base and as such will be able to innovate within.